“I never yelled at my players much. That would have been artificial stimulation, which doesn’t last very long. I think it’s like love and passion. Passion won’t last as long as love. When you are dependent on passion, you need more and more of it to make it work. It’s the same with yelling.”
Pretty hard to argue with a man who is one of the most successful coaches in all of sports history and a man who served as a role model and mentor to so many people in his lifetime. Yet, how many trainers yell at their officers continually under the guise of stress inoculation training. As Coach Wooden so eloquently points out yelling is artificial stimulation.
Are there times where it is necessary or appropriate to yell at students? Yes. But, it has to be selective and it has to be for a very specific effect or it is just “that asshole instructor yelling again”.
Too many instructors get caught up in the belief that officers learn best under stress. They actually learn and retain skills best when training is done in context. Sometimes that context creates stress in officers and sometimes that context involves a ‘subject’ yelling at the officer. However, if it is constant yelling in an attempt to create stress in officers to allegedly enhance their learning it has little or no lasting effect other than to make people hate training and trainers.
Trainers need to stop focusing on stress and creating artificial stimulation and focus instead on conducting context based training. Context based training takes officers out of wide open combatives rooms and has them train in narrow hallways, small rooms, furnished rooms, low light conditions facing a variety of subject behaviors. Some of those subjects will be yelling insults and/or threats at the officer, but it is done by a subject, in context, not by an instructor.
How much artificial stimulation takes place in your training?
I challenge you to make the effort to replace it with more appropriate context based training.