The following scenario demonstrates how important it is for teachers to allow their students to make mistakes in order to help them:
|Practicing and making mistakes are vital aspects of learning to do anything.|
“Nice shooting Lisa! You’ve improved a lot since we first started last month. I think you can hit that bull’s eye though. What do you think?”
“Well,” Lisa said thoughtfully, “yes, I think so…but I am not sure what I’m doing wrong.”
“Oh, it’s not about what you’re doing wrong,” said the coach with a smile, “it’s about what you can do better. I’ve been watching you shoot now for several weeks and there’s one more thing I’ve noticed we can improve. We need to work on your breathing.”
“Breathing?” restated Lisa in a slightly surprised tone.
“Yes. You are standing very still and you’ve learned to hold your arms steady and I can see you’re aiming the way we talked about but you’re not controlling your breathing. Your breath can cause very small movements that can make a big difference in where the arrow lands. What I want you to do is breathe in and out, in and out, and at the bottom of the breath—when all the air is out of your lungs and you’re the most still—release. Right at that small moment, gently release the string. Do you want to try that? Remember, no one expects you to be perfect, it’s all about practice. The junior beginner’s tournament isn’t for another month, so we have a lot of time to practice.”
“OK, I want to try.” Lisa looked thoughtful and eager.
“All right, let’s see how that works!” exclaimed her coach enthusiastically.
Lisa drew an arrow, notched it, drew back and aimed at the target. She paid attention to her breathing and at the bottom of her third breath, she gently released the arrow. Thunk! The arrow struck the target and this time it was just outside the bull’s eye. She repeated the process and the next arrow landed right in the bull’s-eye. She lowered the bow and couldn’t contain her smile.
“Wow! That really works!”
“Nice shooting!” Now, let’s see it a few more times. It doesn’t guarantee a bulls-eye every time, but I think we can get pretty close most of the time. Coach couldn’t contain his smile either.