Friday, August 29, 2008

Hurry Up...And Wait
I think it is an old army expression because there are large numbers of troops to manage. It is often necessary to place some men somewhere and have them wait while another group is placed somewhere else. This is also true of rolling classes.
I don't believe we can teach rolling as a class. True, we can have a rolling class, but it requires working one on one to teach the roll. Meanwhile, the rest of the class can end up waiting. There is, of course, something to be learned by watching another student work with the instructor. Then, too, there may be assigned exercises for those in wait. This can be something as simple as practicing hip "snaps" (I abhor the term) at the side of the pool or off another waiting student's bow.
Bottom line, it requires that one and one face time to transmit the mystical skill of rolling. More over, this one and one is best kept short. You just can't roll, or attempt to roll, for two hours. That's probably how classes came to be. By having most of the class on the "side lines", a student only ends up with perhaps 30 minutes of time alone with the instructor.
Still, folks do learn how to roll, in classes and in private lessons. I was surprised when colleagues told me that there is about a 10% success rate in classes. Now I realize that most won't get it on the first go around, but who would sign up and pay for a class that touts a 10% chance of success? I believe there are better ways and, given a flexible, relaxed, often young student, a roll can be achieved during the first lesson. I've seen it. I've done it.
So, don't wait. Hurry up and try it.
Paddle safe...


steve said...

One on one works for us, you learn to roll and then you help others learn to roll too

derrick said...

I have to say, a 10% success rate sounds really bad to me. There are much better ways to teach rolling out there and I can't see any reason that we should accept one out of 10 students getting a roll in their first class.

I agree with you that students hanging out waiting can be a mixed issue. IF there is something they can learn by watching that's fine. But it can also put unnecessary pressure on the student who is center stage as well. Lots of people just cannot learn under that sort of attention.