Astros or Dodgers? No matter which team you root for, baseball fans and trainers everywhere can learn some important lessons from this series.
1. Warm Ups are Essential
The wear and tear on the muscles during a long season is a major concern. Proper warm ups help to prevent muscle damage and lost time in the game. Neuroscientists and learning researchers tell us that this is true for ongoing professional learning, too. Warming up the neural pathways by activating prior knowledge will ensure that your players stay in the game.
Here’s a favorite warm-up exercise.
2. Highs and Lows are Common
The lead shifts back and forth during the game, giving fans a marathon of highs and lows. This roller coaster of emotions keeps us on the edge of our seat, wondering what is next. Successful trainers build this tension into ongoing professional learning activities. Debates, inconsequential competition and humor are all simple ways to add an emotional element that will keep your learners coming back for more.
3. Some people need extra innings
The unpredictability of the game is balanced by a structure that allows for adaptability. Extra innings, while unusual, are occasionally necessary. Game 5, with its 10 inning marathon, lasted as long as it took to get to the win. Successful trainers proactively build in structures that allow for learners to advance at different paces.
4. Errors Happen
The longer the game runs, the more likely errors will occur. Most trainers can be at the top of their game for a brief presentation, but long-term, multi-session classes are likely to show up a few weaknesses. Have you considered what yours are? Is it group management? Adding in movement? Infusing variety? Players get coached on error patterns. What are you doing to reduce yours?
Check out some group management tips here.
5. Expect fly balls
Fly balls occur almost 50% of the time during a game. Fielders try to anticipate the fly, get under it as quickly as possible and be in perfect position to catch it. Successful trainers also anticipate questions that will be flying at them and are prepared to provide solid answers.
Here’s a recommendation for how to field questions.
6. Endurance is Necessary
By the time the World Series begins, pitchers and other players are approaching the edge of what the body can tolerate. The winners must have incredible physical and psychological endurance. Facilitating a multi-session class also requires endurance. Adult learners need our very best performance at each session, not just during the first. Try adding novelty to each session to invigorate everyone involved.
7. Celebrations are Valuable
Teammates are frequently seen sharing their excitement over the small wins. Whether it is a high five in the dug out or an excited scrum on the field, celebrations don’t need to wait until the big parade. Smart trainers find or create small moments to celebrate learner contributions and growth. I keep a stash of Lifesavers, Paydays and other inexpensive items to toss out as a thank you for contributions to the group. I also will ask my participants to join me in a round of applause for someone who has been a good sport. These little moments matter and add to the overall feeling of success.
For even more ideas...
Anne Beninghof is passionate about teaching and learning.
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