Several recent threads have me pondering the idea of a soup to nuts model where first timer through expert and beyond is more than an background idea. It is not a new idea but as a constructive critique I see a lot more value in a longer view where we avoid the quick fix stuff that so often is incongruent with long term growth and development. Ideas like who leaves the beginner corral first often become more important to the instructor than lingering on that terrain and allowing the student to gain experience and confidence in their abilities. A simple rule of thumb a past training manager of ours suggested is not moving to new terrain until a student demonstrates ownership of a particular maneuver / movement pattern on five consecutive runs. That may seem to some a bit unworkable to some because they are forced into an all too brief encounter with their students but in the end a one hour lesson format doesn't justify short term fixes at the expense of long term success for the student and the instructor.
Perhaps some specific examples are the best way to demonstrate this disconnect. The most common example I just mentioned, racing other classes. Ultimately pacing and skill development cannot be done well if the instructor imposes that sort of agenda on their classes. Nor is it fair to hold back a particular class exhibiting more rapid progress. So where does that line exist? Is it the same for every class? For example if a particular coach leaves the beginner corral first consistently, it might be worth the training staff's time to investigate why. Are they simply better teachers? Or do they abbreviate the content or practice time in a rush to be first out of the beginner corral? Hopefully we can have a frank and honest discussion of class management and skill acquisition from the student's perspective as well as that of the coach's perspective.