Failure Is Sometimes An Option
Don’t think for a moment that I haven’t failed, whether in life or on the firing line. Believe me, I have learned the importance of failure since I have failed more times than I can count.
Understanding The Lesson
I’m okay with the vast majority of my failures because I choose to look at them as lessons. The hard part is really listening to what the failures tell us. When I’m coaching students during diagnostics the first question I will ask them is “what did they feel.” I’m not asking about their emotional condition, I’m asking them to listen to their brain and body to understand the importance of failure. What did they tell you about the last shot or evolution. This is probably one of the hardest concepts to get across to students. That it is okay to fail and in fact we should fail often. As long as we are willing to look deeply at the failure and try to understand the lesson.
We place a high premium on repetitions to help students learn new skills. I ask students to move at a speed they can think their way thorugh the drill. When we approach the target, I ask what did they feel. My hope is they were paying attention and can gleam something as a result of their slowed processing speed. This doesn’t come easily to many so my philosphy is to fail fast. What I mean by this is the faster we can fail, the quicker we can learn. It boils down to being able to perform the same drill or relatively the same drill over and over to the point you start to pick up on the micro level details. By quickly getting to the failure point we are able to make a mental jump to the learning point.
Healthy Risk Taking Is Good
With the idea of failing growing more comfortable, we start to shift our mental focus to more about how does this failure lead to success. That leads us to a failing forward mentality. This allows students to embrace their own learning cycle. Some will learn faster than others, requiring less mistakes. Others will take more mistakes to truly begin their learning cycle. Nothing in this world will be achieveable without a little risk taking. There is a balance we all need to seek, right at the point of healthy risk taking. You have to be comfortable taking these risks so you can experience the lesson they provide you. There is a big differnce between letting loose in a semi-controlled manner to complete choas and unsafe.
It Boils Down To Failing Often
Adults learn differently. They have several self-imposed barriers that prevent them from reaching new levels. Failures impact us twice as much as successes. Which is why as humans we are happy staying in our comfort zone. The thrill of victory pales to the agnony of defeat. There is little gained by staying in your comfort zone. Life is best experienced on the edges. In our classes there are standards all must achieve. What so many students don’t learn until it is too late is the importance of failure. To fail early, fail fast leading to failing forward. My biggest advice to new students or even returning students is to go slow and fail often. These are the two most vaulable traits a student can bring to a class.
Getting to the point of getting comfortable being uncomfortable has taken me years to master. But, I feel the most alive and accomplished when I’m outside my comfort zone.