I was chatting with a friend Chris on Saturday evening and we got round to talking about trainers and coaches. he mentioned that when he goes to a yoga class or training session, he expects to work hard and be challenged. However, he measures value not just by how hard the instructor/coach makes him work but by the number of “a ha” or light bulb moments.
He told me that there is an instructor who teaches far away from where he lives that he’ll go to once a month because there will be a couple of critical life changing lessons in every 60 minute session he has with him. Usually it will be about body awareness – he’ll be moved into the right position or verbally cued to change something – and this will reveal the proper way to do a particular move. Chris said that these epiphanies are worth the extra drive because they make all of the difference with his training and each one takes a while to full incorporate.
This got me thinking about the value of the training experience I provide. I do know a lot of these light bulb things and have worked hard to facilitate as many of them as I can with my clients. But there was something about Chris’ “go there once a month” comment that got me thinking that maybe I’ve been overloading people with too much information in an attempt to maximize the value of their training dollar. Maybe 1 or 2 things a month is all people can actually handle because of the cascading effect small changes have on the big picture.
Maybe the better approach is to give people what they came for, a good workout, and give them a little piece of something else every now and then to make sure they have the ability to make the most of each piece of information. This is what I respond to. When Des blows my mind with a small truth, I’m often left with my head spinning for days trying to figure-out how to rebuild my life using this new piece of the puzzle. Other people are likely the same way, and when it comes to movement, new motor patterns do require substantial practice to replace old ways of moving. There really is very little value in overloading the person with information that they cannot use because they haven’t created a strong enough foundation. In fact, my approach was probably hindering their progress.