… I would watch what they do between sets, even more than I would watch the sets themselves.
How do they move when class is over? How do they handle if something goes awry? (Do they leave any room for that to happen? I’d think that is a good thing in a certain light.) If they’re injured, do you see them adapt and create anew, or step off the wagon entirely and wait until they’re at 100%?
We find out about the quality of a teacher, I think, when we’re off his program. A well-structured program can teach a skillset. However, if we’re talking about movement, or about the quality of waking up in our bodies, we’re not talking about a skillset.
We’re talking about the attention and presence with which we learn any skillset. And about everything that happens when the camera is off, so to speak. Where it counts.
As a rule, I’d rather learn from an amazing badminton instructor than learn my skill of choice from a mediocre teacher. Not because I want to learn badminton, but because that’s just the medium with which she, the teacher, points back in. Who’s yielding that racket? The question at every turn.
Lastly, I hope this doesn’t serve to fuel any neuroses about needing to be on-point all the time. The point isn’t to shame anyone into not relaxing when class is over. I hope teachers do relax, even make mistakes, in the company of their students.
I do think there’s a movement towards trusting what our intuitions often tell us, about why you’re drawn one place and not another, to this teacher and not to that one. What they’re teaching is sometimes just a small part of that draw.
Any amazing teacher recommendations where you live? I’d love to hear them, either in the comments below or in email.