A teacher presents techniques through a particular structure- Learning is from the outside in. The student is waiting to be told what to do next and how to do it.
In contrast, a coach will inspire and empower their students to learn more than just proper execution of a set of exercises. They create the desire to explore and inquire in such a way that what is uncovered is something that maybe neither the client nor teacher knew before. This model focuses on the learner as expert in their own experience, and is from the inside out. It's not always about telling one what to do. Most people know what they need to do; they just can't get themselves to do it.
I have noticed that when I listen to clients from the viewpoint of fixing them or doing “it” right, I put a lot of pressure on myself to have all the answers. In this way of looking at it there tends to be a right way and wrong way, which in most situations is not the case. My belief is the client is the expert and when I shift my focus to this concept, we can work together and find what is actually working and build on those strengths. Problems become less of a focus.
To really be an effective instructor, trainer or coach, you must hear the other person using your eyes, ears and your heart. It isn’t about what you want for that person, rather, working together in the direction they are looking.
Staying away from the trap of “bigger, faster, higher” can be challenging, especially when our enthusiasm for new discovered interests are in full swing. Hurrying the process of awareness and focus isn’t the best path to advanced work. And it can actually be a setup for injury. Learning to sense what is needed within the movement pattern; being willing to slow down, be patient and listen; old habits will melt away.
Quote from M.A. Kelty in “Healing After Loss by Martha Whitmore Hickman
“Watch your way then, as a cautious traveler; and don’t be gazing at that mountain or river in the distance, and saying, “How shall I ever get over them?” but keep to the present little inch that is before you, and accomplish that in the little moment that belongs to it. The mountain and the river can only be passed in the same way; and, when you come to them, you will come to the light and strength that belongs to them”.