Saturday, July 3, 2010

How to Choose a Coach (A Dichotomous Key, in Blank Verse)

A) Do you thrive and grow with:
1) Positive feedback, praise and reinforcement. If yes → American
2) Detailed explanations of the myriad ways that you fall short.→ Proceed to B

B) Do you react to pain by:
1) Stopping to rest and heal. If yes → American
2) Recognizing injury for what it is—a weakness of the will. → Proceed to C

C) Do you need:
1) words to parse what you do right, instructions to improve. If yes → American
2) or, can you deduce from foil’s twitch, a shrug, a snort, a mimicked lapse, a disapproving silence, what needs to be done? → Proceed to D

D) Do you believe that:
1) Pleasantry, the random joke or smile, a little kidding, make a lesson fun and, therefore, more effective? If yes → American
2) Niceness is insincere, therefore the enemy of the good. → Proceed to E

E) Is your reaction to a threat that bids fair to kill you (body, soul) to:
1) Run like hell. If yes → American
2) Embrace it as the path to true salvation? → Proceed to F

F) Do you accept that any good result arises from your Coach’s talent and instruction, all failure from your own deficiencies?
If yes → find yourself a Russian coach, sign in blood and brace yourself for one long, hard, painful, interesting ride.
But never say you were not warned….

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