Monday, January 22, 2018


There is a quote ascribed to Brazilian Jiu-Jiutsu legend Marcelo Garcia that in order to achieve mastery you need to have three relationships in your practice with others: 1) one in which you are further advanced, 2) one of balanced equality, 3) one in which you are clearly less advanced.
Working together with those in a student - teacher relationship is one way to place yourself in a position where the relationship is one in which you are further advanced. However, the overriding feeling for me when teaching, instructing or running a course is a humble sharing of my experiences along my journey.
A very important, strong indicator of good coaching is the feeling of the teacher sharing experiences, asking the student what they are sensing and thinking about and creating an environment where learning is a mutual sharing of information.
Teaching is not spewing verbal facts and information to demonstrate how much one knows. Teaching is not arrogantly telling someone everything they need to do. And teaching or coaching is certainly not cheerleading.
Good coaching is setting up the conditions where the student, client, athlete, etc., teach themselves. This is so foreign to both those in a role of student as well as in the teaching role that it often creates a  sense of initial disorientation.
The instructor, teacher, coach, etc., overcomes the student disorientation by modelling and transmitting that there is 100% trust in the relationship. There must be a feeling of being protected, cared for and valued. But the point is to make the student better, not to make the student feel better.
There is not some quick fix, "hack", short cut, or whatever, to mastery. The greatest in any sport are always humble, open, honest and reflect that they are the eternal student.