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holding the ladder

Posted Jun 27 2007 12:00am
Such a feelins comin over me
There is wonder in most everything I see
Not a cloud in the sky
Got the sun in my eyes
And I wont be surprised if its a dream
- carpenters

Here’s Gryphon from our evening at the lake last night. Last year he was not all that into his new kayak. He wanted it, but feared the water too much to really play. But last week when we were up in Lake Superior and I towed him through a bit of surf and through a sea cave, he suddenly saw kayaking in a new light. So last evening he nailed his cowboy recovery, then just stood up to boot.

Last Sunday he was still a bit figity playing in his EpiSea when we first got to the lake, but I found some games and let him build up comfort in falling out. Then I gave him some easy things to try that would give him early success. With success comes confidence. And of course the good feeling of succeeding drives you to learn more and succeed again just because it feels good.

In my opinion that’s how you teach children and for that matter Adults as well. Give them places to succeed and then just watch that success motivate them to more complex tasks. If they feel good about themselves, they will put in the time. You don’t teach someone to be a good paddler, you can just hold the ladder for them.

So as coaches do we teach skills or do we teach success? Something to think about.

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