How many goals could you shoot in 5 minutes?
I’m not too bad at scoring goals in netball, but definitely not as good as this pro basketball player who knows his stuff so well he can even shoot a goal blindfolded. Whatever my number or your number, I think it’s guaranteed we would successfully get more goals if we could see where we were aiming.
This is my favourite analogy for explaining why its so important to set clear goals as part of training and to do everything we can as trainers to make it easy to see exactly what it is we want learners to achieve.
To continue the analogy, let’s compare the following:
A person blindfolded who doesn’t know where the hoop is.
Someone trying to learn a skill without knowing the learning goal and without adequate support or clear guidance.
A person who can see the hoop and is told to just have a go getting it in.
Someone who has been told what it is they should achieve or need to try and do, such as when a trainer shares learning outcomes. This increases their chance of success, but will their independent skill level negatively affect their chance of success?
Having our pro player demonstrate the skill of how to shoot the ball first, then the learner having a go.
Having a skilled person demonstrate the skill first, breaking it down to step by step and giving the helpful hints that will improve technique, then supporting and giving feedback you have a go.
Our job is to help people succeed. We increase the chance of their success when we support learners and make it clear what they should be trying to achieve. If someone just isn’t hitting the mark in training, I always try to remember to check for blindfolds and to make sure they had a pro giving them some much needed coaching.
What’s your approach?