Teaching vs. Coaching

I had a private agility lesson today with a student and her young Border Collie. They are extremely fun to work with and are becoming a wonderful team. Teaching is one of my favorite things to do, especially agility. Most of my lessons are in the mornings and I find that it really sets my mood for the whole day. Days that I have lessons I am much happier and more positive throughout the day, versus the days that I don’t have lessons and I can find myself getting frustrated with things easier- or even when I used to have my part-time kennel job, not that I didn’t love working with the dogs, but working for somebody else just wasn’t my thing. It really put a damper on the rest of the day and even week. The more lessons I get in a week, the better I feel; about everything.

 

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A student and her mixed breed practice the automatic down.

 

Watching the Super Bowl with my boyfriend tonight, obviously there was a lot of emphasis on the coaches, and it really got me thinking. What is your definition of a coach versus a teacher/instructor?

A teacher/instructor to me is somebody that shows you how to do things. They provide you with the necessary skills to perform certain tasks.

A coach is more of somebody that helps you along the way once you have those skills. Somebody that is there to encourage and motivate you, work on your mental game.

I like to believe that I am both, but I hate to give myself a title like that just yet. If you asked me to pick one, I would probably go with teacher at this point, for a couple of reasons. One; I haven’t been teaching that long, and I believe that in order to be a coach, you need to have first been a teacher. Which leads to my number two; the majority of my students are still in the learning process, still gathering the skills that they will need to compete in agility. Though even after these reasons for being more of a teacher, I find myself making sure that my students are always encouraged and motivated. I try my best to help them stay positive and give any advice they may ask for. Maybe they aren’t two separate things, maybe they go hand in hand.

What role do you play?

To end… The Ravens won! I was rooting for them because of their cool purple and black uniforms. ;)

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