Teaching tip #4; Get a time machine!


One of the most difficult things I find with teaching is to fully understand exactly where peoples starting points are. You see, before we can get a student to a new, desired place, we need to first know where they currently are. Thats the tough thing.
The more clearly we understand where someone is in the present, the better we can begin to move them toward the new and improved desired state.

I feel one of the biggest mistakes a green instructor can make is to try to relate to their new students from where they themselves are after years of training. What they really need is a little time machine that whisks them back to a place near where the new student is, and deliver the info or class at that level in a way that makes sense to someone with that limited amount of experience. People need to start from where they are; not from where we are.

New students are also less capable of processing the truckloads of fine detail and technical points that advanced students are capable of processing. In fact, one of the several major hurdles or obstacles to the art of mastery is an over reliance on focal vision. Over hundreds of thousands of years, we have done the larger portion of our learning through the use of our peripheral vision. This is because males have been very busy relating to each other in a shoulder to shoulder fashion whilst on the hunt. Learning skills whilst employing our peripheral vision is something that we seem to be very good at.

So try this; when teaching a novice a technical move, demonstrate it at some distance from them. They will be unable to employ their focal vision, and they will very quickly get the big picture, the broad strokes of the move, so to speak. Once they have the general gist of the move, move them in and start to flesh out the details.
This works remarkable well.

Try it. It works.
Train smart, train safe.

JBW

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