Friday, December 1, 2017

Anjali - The Signs of a Great Coach

50 years of coaching experience, some of them with the best in the business, a burning passion for the game - all of which translate into greatness as a coach. Baig sir qualifies fully. While reading 'The Inner Game of Tennis' by Tim Gallwey, I realised how similar his approach is.

So I could totally relate to what Anjali said the other day.
'All he has to do is just stand there,' she said. 'He does not say anything. But everything happens right when you know he is standing there and watching. The ball falls in the right place, everything is right. But when he moves away, we lose it all again. I don't know how he does it.'

To teach by not saying anything, by not giving feedback and not even a word of encouragement, is the highest way of teaching according to Zen. Gallwey says the same thing, of how he was able to make drastic changes by not using words and allowing the student's Self 2 (or the subconscious to take over) and they quickly start doing the right thing when the Self 1 is not self conscious.

The sign of a great coach then - he speaks little, corrects rarely, allows the student to find his own way and voila, magic happens. He is as tough as he is soft, as disciplined as he seems distracted, but nothing escapes his eye, no source too small for him to learn from.

This coming weekend, I will spend all my time just watching Baig sir. Amazing.

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