What Value Do You Offer Your Students
Over the years I have trained thousands of students. The most valuable skill I can offer is not some super secret or high speed technique, it is nothing more than the fundamentals and it is these fundamentals that create the beginner’s curse.
What Is Mastery
The biggest challenge any instructor has is in their efficacy for behavioral change in their students. Students bring a lot to class, they can be motivated, ready to learn and physically active. Or, they can be none of those. It doesn’t matter because your charge is to train them in whatever skill set and skill level they selected. When I look at the effectiveness of my curriculum I’m looking to see how well we produced the desired result. The best results have always come from our insatiable drive to focus on the fundamentals. While many things have changed over the years, this philosophy of minimalism has stood the test of time. When I reference a minimalism philosophy what I mean is strict adherence to mastery of the fundamentals and nothing else.
Don’t Do Things To Delay Mastery
Here is the hard part as an instructor. Sticking to your guns. If you believe mastery of the fundamentals is what the student needs, then deliver it in the best way you can. The problem is when the student who is nothing more than a customer wants something that might be considered excessive, unnecessary or down right silly. What i can lead to is weak fundamentals or what I consider the most overlooked key. Delayed mastery. Folks wonder why mastering something is so difficult. The act or skill itself may not be difficult, but the difficulty comes in the form of time. The time it takes to master is whatever it takes to master. There are no shortcuts. There is simply working hard to perfect the fundamentals. When a student gets wrapped up in current trends, new equipment or even sophisticated or overly complicated tactics or techniques they fall victim to the beginner’s curse.
Quality Over Quantity
Whether a beginner or elite, the fundamentals do not change. The steps that make up a skill are still the same. The steps did not disappear, they became effortless to the elite and that’s the difference. But, when you begin your journey it is easy to fall victim to the flash and hype to the beginner’s curse. It is human nature. You have identified a goal and now just want to get to that goal faster. I get it and have been there myself. The harsh reality is will take time, lots of time to master a skill. The secret to mastering the skill is wanting to master it in the first place. If you are not committed to mastery, you will never achieve mastery. I don’t think it is fair to state mastery will be achieved within a set time period. Whether it is 10,000, 1,000 or 100 hours what makes the difference is your dedication to the practice. I would rather have 100 hours of high quality practice versus 10,000 of low quality practice. If I can add a feedback loop to those 100 hours to help ensure each one is achieving the very best outcome that is even better. Then, take what I have discovered in my 100 hours of deliberate practice and share it with friends, families or peers. Being a “teacher” teaching someone what you discovered in your 100 hours is hugely valuable. What ties all of this together is those 100 hours were focused on mastering the fundamentals. Let that soak in because that is the most important sentence you will read.
I love the idea of mastering a skill, it is a drive that pushes me to be the very best. No matter the skill, mastering the fundamentals is the number one goal. Everything else is a distraction.