At the beginning of last Thursday’s adult class, I announced that this would be a “Shut Up and Train!” class.
Any talking or socializing would be subject to a penalty of push ups or burpees. Despite the humourous vein in which I announced this, with accompanying laughter, the attendees took this theme seriously. I told them I would try every trick in the book to get them to talk. 🙂
I did succeed in getting a couple of them to talk. “Hey Terry how was work today?” followed by the start of an answer, catching himself and then dropping to the floor for push ups. All in good fun!
All in all, the students did very well in this particular class. There was no socializing or talking during class. The training partners were able to communicate effectively using gestures and crude sign language. The parents of some of the younger students thought that this idea was funny given that their kids like to talk quite a bit during class.
What was the point of this “Shut Up and Train” class?
Aside from getting the students focus more in class, the purpose was to cut down on the excessive socializing that can happen between training partners. This can act as a drag on real training.
Many students are there to train, not to socialize. I’ve had students confess to me that certain students like to socialize too much. They would like to train more and not let any gab fests get in the way!
Don’t get me wrong; I do not mind communication between partners when it comes to practicing a technique. They can talk about problem areas of a technique or help each other through it.
Where I have an issue is when the partners stray from training and start conversing about unrelated matters. It could be one partner attempting to strike a conversation or it could be both partners fooling around.
Why do some students engage in excessive socializing or talking during class?
It could be one of the following or a combination:
(1) Talking as an excuse to rest: We have plenty of breaks during class. You have breaks when I demonstrate a technique or the next step in a sequence. In addition, there is a water break halfway through class. You are not going to suffer the same fate as Wiley E. Coyote! 🙂
(2) When they are out of their comfort zone and socialize as a delaying tactic; See (3).
(3) As an escape from difficult challenges; This and (2) are related in many ways. A good instructor will push their students out of their comfort zone and get them dancing into the unknown. Some are not willing to get out of their comfort zones. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a “comfort zone” in the streets. You must learn how to deal with difficult challenges and being out of your comfort zone.
(4) Losing the focus on training; Sometimes, talking is a way to cover up the loss of focus. If I feel like I’m losing focus I usually redouble my efforts and dive right back in, knowing that the odds are high that a break will come around.
(5) They’re afraid of “looking bad” or “stupid.” – Students should not be concerned with this. They should only be concerned with their progress and the learning experience. Don’t put stock into what others might think how you look. There are 7 billion people on this planet, none of whom are going to see how you are doing in class. Suck it up buttercup and get on with it! 🙂
Many times, the partner of the excessive talker feel like that they didn’t get as much training as they would have liked and may end up frustrated. The instructor should look out for this in class.
Yes, we are going to have fun in class! But have fun while TRAINING!
Back to last Thursday’s class, all said that they had fun with the “Shut Up and Train” class!