The Inner Game: Towards More Effective Teaching

Sean Brawley

Tim Gallwey: Give instruction that forwards the natural learning process.

In the last Inner Game article, we looked at the Culture of Coaching and its dependence primarily on giving technical instructions arising out of a model best described as the "medical" model or "fix what's wrong" model. We also looked deeper at some of the inherent weaknesses and limitations of that approach. (Click Here.)

In this article we'll look at what has been called a "guided discovery" approach where the coach leads the player and gives instructions to their focus or awareness and asks questions about what they are noticing. Research has shown that this is a better, more effective way of facilitating change in both beginners and advanced players.

But this way is challenging for the coach to learn, because it requires them to suspend the habit of telling the player what to do and be comfortable with not knowing exactly how the player will answer.

As Tim Gallway put it: "For the teacher or coach, the question has to be how to give instructions in such a way as to help the natural learning process of the student and not interfere with it."

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Sean Brawley has dedicated the past 25 years to helping people from all walks of life elevate their performance and unlock their potential. In the process he has become one of the world’s foremost experts on accelerated learning, innovative coaching, and sustainable high performance.

Sean was the primary mental coach for the USC football team for 9 years and helped Pete Carroll and the Trojans win 2 national championships. Sean is a former Top 150 world ranked tennis professional who competed at the highest level of the game including Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

After the tennis tour, Sean met and began working closely with Tim Gallwey, the author of The Inner Game series of books including the classic, The Inner Game of Tennis. Sean is the first certified Inner Game coach in the world. He has facilitated numerous Inner Game of Tennis and Golf workshops in the past 20 years.

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