I have never been one to criticize the teaching of other instructors. I believe that there are swing instructors that teach sound principles of swing mechanics – but there are very few.
When teaching, I have noticed lately that I spend quite a bit of time changing things that students have adopted from other lessons in their swings. Most of these things have become bad habits which then create compensations resulting in bad swings and sometimes injury. This is what I call “unteaching” because the art of teaching is to educate. By definition, educate is derived from the latin word “educere” meaning to draw from within or to bring forth. I find myself erasing rather than educating.
Too often when I teach a student Moe Norman’s movement I run into what I call resistance. Resistance is when I make a suggestion and the student immediately responds with “thats not what my other teacher said”. This type of resistance is a barrier to progress. It shows that the student is having a hard time knowing or “trusting” the teaching. Similar to putting up a road block, questioning does not allow the student to draw from within.
Anything that feels “new” will also feel awkward. These feelings must be overcome to make learning progress. Without this type of experience, learning is stifled.
Ideally, I would show the student the desired swing position and he, on his own, would develop a feel and then through repetition would “remember” his movements. A student always teaches themselves. A teacher just leads. I wish it was this easy.
So what would I say is the best learning and teaching scenario? The answer is easy. Empty your cup. This means that when you enter into instruction you must empty yourself from the “old” instruction and be completely open to any and all suggestions. I call this the “OK” zone. When the teacher asks you to do something, just say OK.