The EYV Approach From Another Perspective

At EYV, we use experiential training methods that incorporate a variety of different approaches from legacy practitioners and modern innovators in the human behavior and communication world. We have synthesized these practices to impact and elevate key soft-skill abilities within the workplace. Our approach utilizes improvisation, acting techniques, and other body-based learned methods to help our clients step out of their comfort zone and into a different ‘space’ both mentally and physically. This approach is reminiscent of the cross-training approach we often see in the sporting world, and this offers some incredible insight on just how effective it can be.

For years, athletic administrators have struggled with the debate of whether young athletes should ‘specialize’ or ‘diversify’ their athletic resume. Decades ago, we saw many multi-sport athletes, but as sport has evolved we have seen young players pushed to only play one. It made a lot of sense for basketball players to just play basketball, or for football players to just play football (as two examples). The more time they spent on the sport would make them better at it, just as with many things in life. Youth coaches would start pushing younger and younger players to only play one sport, not only to develop skills, but also to prevent injuries from playing a different sport.

Yet as this trend has evolved, we have started seeing some interesting effects. For one thing, more and more youth athletes are experiencing overuse injuries. Doing the same actions every day is tough on a fully developed adult, but for a young player, it can have disastrous effects. This directly counteracted the injury prevention argument put forth by many youth coaches. Another thing that happened is that kids were getting burned out mentally. They either wouldn’t see the results they wanted (or that their peers were getting) or their parents were pushing them too hard beyond what the kid actually wanted, and they were dropping out of sports altogether. Finally, and perhaps the most important piece for why our diversified training here at EYV is effective, kids were not actually getting better through specializing.

It is absolutely important to practice a skill extensively in order to prepare yourself for a successful endeavor. However, simply practicing the same thing over and over again may not lead to success. Locking yourself in a gym and working on ball-handling for hours may grant you a great crossover, but it will never give you the full court vision an all-time great player like Steve Nash obtained through cross-training with soccer as a kid. Similarly, memorizing your talking points or script alone will not make you a better public speaker. It is invaluable to diversify your skillset, learn how to tell a story when you are speaking, empathize when you are managing a staff, or develop your own self-confidence when simply talking 1-1 with another person. Become dynamic in your approach, diversify your development program, and increase performance.  

Minna Taylor