Bernd Ziesche | Wednesday, 23 March 2016
Last week I had a student preparing for a fly casting instructor exam. He asked me about how to determine the ideal length of time for a fly casting lesson in general.
In my experience the ideal duration for a fly casting tuition depends on quite some aspects.
If the student has a full day available I prefer a length of 5-6 hours excluding a lunch break of one hour in the middle. Many students start to loose concentration after 2-3 hours when having several short breaks in between. Without having a lot of short breaks in between many students start to loose concentration after one hour. Pretty often when having a lunch break after 3 hours of fly casting tuition the casting level increases right after the lunch break. Full concentration is back online! Then after another 2-3 hours the learning goals should be achieved since many students will start to significally loose concentration. In order to help the students to keep up concentration at a proper level I recommend to make sure everyone performs just some false casts (3-5 for a beginner and 5-10 for an advanced) in a row before relaxing for a moment.
Proper learning in my experience is never about the number of false casts you perform within a lesson but about a) focusing precisely on the ONE target at a time for the current exercise and b) staying relaxed and avoiding to have your body starting to compensate for the movements no longer being relaxed. Make sure you store the proper movements free of compensation in your muscle memory. Again this is not a question of the number of false casts you perform!
Another very important point to focus on as a fly casting teacher is not to have the students trying to get rid of any trouble in their casting by try and error without knowing the cause. It's your responsabilty as the teacher to immediately identify the cause(s) and then point them out and help your student to understand them. This to me is the heart of any proper fly casting lesson when it comes to trouble shooting the student's cast. Without doing so a significant percentage of time easily may be wasted.
Some students may of course manage to keep up concentration even longer than two times up to 3 hours and thus you may add some extra time. I always leave this to my students to decide. But of course I'll offer a proper recommendation. ;)
In my book there is no sense in training fly casting whitout being concentrated and relaxed unless you want to drop the quality of your casting.
Fairly often advanced students entered my lesson with one or two specific problems in their casting. This was when for example my shortest lesson ever was finished after 5 minutes because the two issues which the student had with him simply were solved after 3 minutes and he was very happy with the outcome and then truly went home. Most students would ask for additional goals to make then of course. :)
So in summary the ideal duration of a fly casting tuition depends on the goals to make, the abilty of the teacher to help keeping concentration on a proper level and staying relaxed within all exercises.
It also is important to make the whole fly casting lesson being a lot of fun. As a student I would want to end a lesson pretty soon if I wouldn't truly enjoy it. To enjoy a lesson is maybe the best catalyst for concentration and staying relaxed!
Great - fly catchy - week to all of you!
All my best
Some pictures of the last days. Lots of teaching involved...