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Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Why is sound better for shaping skills than verbal instructions or pictures?

A: For several reasons:

  •  People are natural mimics – by far the best and most natural mimics in the animal kingdom. We can hear a sound pattern and repeat it with great accuracy - all with little or no practice.
  •  Making sounds is a muscular, modulated activity stretched over a period of time – just like a lot of skilled muscular movement. So a sound pattern can map very closely to a movement pattern.

  • There are limits to how many things can be held in consciousness at once. High-level processing like step by step instuctions and visual-image-matching end up interfering with the mental processing that generates and controls movement. But sound patterns, which are more kinesic and less conceptual, do not seem to cause this cognitive/motor interference.

Q: Does SkillShaper shape the right way to cast?

A: Not if you mean specific body positions and mechanics.

  • SkillShaper is not about right and wrong. It is a way to hear what it is you are doing so you can develop control yourself. There are times you want your line to land in a jumble, others you want it to shoot like an arrow. Some times you want it to curve one way or the other. Sometimes you want it to land like a feather, other times with a splat. SkillShaper doesn’t tell you how to do those things. It helps you learn how to do them.

  • MainStroke skill feedback focuses your attention on the acceleration (or "force") profile of your back-cast and forward-cast strokes. This is absolutely critical to an efficient casting stroke, and one that developing casters find especially hard to get right - even with the help of a great coach.  But there are other aspects to making good casts - like moving the rod tip along a straight line through space. "Straight line" movement feedback can help with that - letting you know, through your ears, when your stroke veers off a straight path. And the "Stop" movement skill setting only plays audio during the stopping of your main strokes - so you can focus on the how quickly and forcefully you are stopping your rod.

Q: I'm a complete novice. Is SkillShaper all I need to learn how to fly cast?

A: No. You need to start with a basic image of casting movements. You should watch what good casters do. Get the videos. Watch casters on the stream. Or better still, take a class or work with an experienced teacher to get down the basics. SkillShaper will keep you on the path of developing good muscle memory while avoiding the bad movement habits that spoil so many casts and discourage so many beginners.

Q: There are lots of different kinds of casts requiring different kinds of movement. Can SkillShaper help with all of them?

A: It can help with the most important components of all of them.

  • Double haul, switch and spey casting are not addressed directly - yet. (Roll casts and double haul are in development).  But controlling the acceleration of the main strokes of a cast, the side-to-side movements of your cast (sometimes desired, usually not) and the crispness of your stroke stops – all critical components of any cast - are things SkillShaper can help you develop.

Q: My smart watch doesn't have an internal speaker. Can I use it with SkillShaper?

A: Maybe ...

  • Apple watches already work this way. Movements of the watch produce sound on the paired iPhone..

  • The Android apps can run this way, too.  Pair your WearOS watch with a Android phone. Checkthe "remote data" checkbox on the phone's screen, and the audio will play from the phone's speaker. Under this arrangement, the phone can also save a record  of the cast, display it on a chart on the phone's screen,  and send the data to your computer for storage and analysis.

  • NOTE HOWEVER: Depending on your hardware  you may perceive lag between the start of a movement and the start of its sound through your phone

    You will still hear your movements. But the audio will not feel as "alive" or responsive to the caster who is making the movements. And we don't know if that will degrade the speed or quality of their muscle memory learning.  This is something we will be testing in the future.

Q: Can I use SkillShaper for skills other than flycasting?

  • Absolutely. Fly casting is only the first step in what will be a long and productive journey. We are already pursuing other implementations: other sports (like golf), fitness, and physical therapy. We are always hunting for more. As a donor in this campaign, you will be on our list to get early announcements of new products and extensions as they become available


Please submit your questions to us at info@skillshaper.us We will answer you directly and, with your permission, post the ones of most general interest here.

 

Related resources

For more about how the       mind of spontaneous action  works, and how it relates to the mind of conscious          decision making, you might   be interested in this article   by Dr. Rust:                    
                                     
The Mind Behind                                                     
 Graphic of two minds embedded