Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 25 March 2015
Last Wednesday I offered you a list of 20 common fly casting faults. Teaching fly casting is as much of a skill as is fly casting itself, I wrote. Thus obviously there should be a list of common teaching faults as well. Having been a student myself in many lessons I learnt a lot of different ways to teach. Not all proper ones though. Here is my list of common teaching faults:
1. Limitations in the instructor’s head. If for example the instructor believes it to be impossible for a beginner to learn the double haul within a first hour of a fly casting tuition, the student will almost have no change of proving this to be completely wrong!
2. Aiming to impress the students with the instructor’s own casting skills. Demonstrating a proper cast is fine. Demonstrating max possible distance for each type of cast easily may be frustrating to quite many students.
3. No structure. Small fixes added to an inappropriate basement instead of offering the student learning-steps – each well connected to the next one.
4. Not using all three routes of learning: a) listening, b) watching and/or c) feeling.
5. Not having explanations and demonstrations matching each other in detail. One student will follow what was said, while the other student will follow what was demonstrated instead.
6. Not matching the individual targets of each single student (in a group lesson) or just one single student (in a one to one tuition).
7. Not informing the students what to bring to lesson. Warm clothes are just one pretty good example.
8. Too long of an introduction – especially in cold weather conditions. Learning by doing always works best and often keeps warm (and makes it fun).
9. Negative body language. I never enjoyed to be a student of the smoking, never smiling, always wearing sunglasses type of instructor, when he shrank his arms and stared at me practicing.
10. Not keeping the students from overdoing and thus soon getting exhausted.
11. Leaving the single student with an inappropriate amount of time practicing on his own. Every student needs time to practice on his own – but not too much of course.
12. Inappropriate positioning of the students during teaching or practicing. For example students should never watch against the sun or having the wind direction making it unnecessary hard to learn to control their casting.
13. Not making the lesson being fun - especially in bad weather conditions this is very important for the learning success.
14. Not offering supporting equipment. For example a short head fly line is much more supportive when learning the double haul as is a long belly fly line.
15. Not offering the students any sort of script/memo supporting it to remember all teaching content.
16. Forcing the students to focus on too many key points at a time. How many is too many? For Paul: TWO. ;) Seriously - one at a time works best for all of us!
17. Not keeping all information short, easy understandable and easy repeatable. I often heard instructors explaining things like they were reading down a book. I prefer to have short numbered key points.
18. Wrong content and/or none up to date content.
19. Not controlling the results/success. This should happen several times within a lesson!
20. Being fixed on one and one only casting style – telling the students this one to be the Holy Grail. Every casting style has its pros and limitations. Supporting the students to stay open-minded to different ways of fly casting is a far better way of teaching. Yes, I know some of the most well known fly casting instructors chose the opposite way all their life long. It’s that what proves me to be right!
Let’s see what else comes to mind of the BOARD!? It did a great job starting a discussion about common fly casting faults based on my last front page as well.
Great fishing to all of you!
All my best