can't spank a killer whale.
This sounds a little silly, yet it very well sums up what I know about
the interaction between teacher and student, and the learning process.
While on a visit to Sea World in Orlando, Florida, after the demonstation of "behaviors" by porpoises and
Orca Whales, the trainers asked for questions from the audience. One inquiry was, do they punish
the Orca Whales when they don't properly respond to commands when teaching and training them. The
answer: "You can't spank a killer whale."
anything is more than the teacher giving out facts and the students storing them in memory to be
recalled at testing time. To learn we need to assimilate
the facts and ideas presented to us in a manner that is meaningful to us as individuals. Memorization is knoledge, that
is the storing of facts. Learning is the understanding of This is much easier to do when the
student is encouraged when performing well, rather than being scolded or punished for performing poorly.
My goal is to instill confidence in students and inspire them to work at and understand
for themselves that which they are trying to learn. Positive reinforcement and encouragement are
essential to students of all levels. Dwelling on mistakes and errors only sets those things into
the mind of the student.
I spend very little
time on what is wrong, but instead focus on identifying and accentuating the positive. Find what is good and keep on doing
it. Nothing works all of the time. You are simply trying to find what works best most often, and any time you begin to struggle
you want to go back to those things to get yourself back on track.
The actual presentation I make of the golf swing is quite different from conventional golf
instruction. In most cases golf instruction is process based. That is you are taught and expected
to carry out all of the individual motions that each part of your body should perform in making
the golf swing. Unfortunately we don't learn that way. We learn by doing things. We learn to walk. We learn to throw.
We learn to kick. We learn to write. We don't learn the processes and how the parts of our body move, we learn to accomplish
an objective. This is objective learning.
In golf the objective
is to learn to swing the golf club. As for the motions of your body, how it moves is a function
of how you move the club with your wrists and arms and hands. As you progress, your body starts
to move in response to the motion you make with the golf club. This is your sense of coordination at work. Coordination
is nothing more than your body following itself in motion, finding more efficient ways to produce objectives. The more
time you spend doing anything, the more coordinated your efforts become.
In short, I want you to practice and reward yourself for your