In the classic tale about Alice, Through the Looking Glass, Lewis Carroll shared Humpty Dumpty and Alice‘s great semantical argument:
‘When I use a word,’ Coach Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’ ‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’ ‘The question is,’ said Coach Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’
During today’s training session I about dropped a nut when I asked my over-rotating discus thrower to “… drive down the right-sector line. Look at it, see where it is.” To which he turned waaaaay around to look at the far sector line, on the left-side, not the right-side. I asked him what he was doing–he said, “When I’m looking back, that’s on my right.” pointing down the left-sector line. He was right, I was wrong oh so wrong.I had made such a huge assumption you could hear me braying out past the 61m (200′) line [side note: When will the french invade the US and make us switch to the metric system?]
All season we’ve been trying to get his feet lined-up with limited success. Day-after-day he’s heard the cue “think about driving down right-sector line”, day-after-day I’ve been mapping out the wrong path. That’d never happened before and that’ll never happen again, I pray.
Teachers need to understand what the student perceeves what the cues mean. The students are the learners, the students is the performers. Coach Dumpty needs to understand Alice is the word ‘master’ while in the ring, not him.