Last week I shared one of the many insights I took away from Georges St. Pierre’s book The Way of the Fight. This week we will carry on with lessons learned from the book.
Over the years I have encountered trainers who were of the belief, “Officers need to learn how to lose before they can learn how to win.” In order to accomplish this these trainers would put on the protective gear, play the role of the ‘bad guy’ and beat up recruits during combatives drills. They would also set up scenarios so they were unwinable for the officer. I have never understood this philosophy. It would be like a (fill in the name of your favorite sport) coach intentionally setting his or her team up to lose games so they could “learn how to win.”
In the book St. Pierre states, “Some people learn to lose. Others lose and learn. The latter is a much better approach in my opinion because it focuses the mind on the positives and keeps your thoughts away from the negative.” The goal is not to learn to lose, it is to learn from experience. Sometimes when we are gaining that experience we will lose. The challenge following the loss is to learn from the experience, to grow and to get better for the next experience. It is not the losing that is important, it is the learning. St. Pierre goes on to say “losing only becomes tolerable when you can look at it objectively and find ways of learning from it……..when I am able to dissect the reasons why, which opens the way to finding solutions.”
GSP offers some advice for those who believe the secret to good scenario based training is to create no win situations for officers. He says “A big part of my training is to create conditions that make survival almost impossible, but I also want to ensure to build balance by creating conditions that make my success entirely possible.” He goes on to use the baseball analogy of a player taking batting practice. “When a baseball player takes batting practice, he’s not up there to strike out. The person throwing balls at home plate isn’t trying to fool the hitter: he’s trying to make the hitter feel powerful. He’s trying to get the hitter to understand how to hit the ball out of the park, or safely for a base hit, with his eyes and physically with his whole body.”
He goes on to say, “Good training and preparation aren’t about creating losing conditions, they’re also about creating winning conditions.” If this philosophy works to develop a world champion UFC fighter, it will likely work to develop competent and confident officers. Challenge your officers, but design scenarios and drills so they are winnable. They do not need to learn to lose, they need to understand what it takes to win.
The question then is what are your players (officers) learning? Are they learning to strike out? To lose? Or are they learning to feel powerful and hit it out of the park?
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Thought Leader, Catalyst for Change, Speaker, Author and a Man With Many Questions
Winning Mind Training – Leading the fight against mediocrity through Life’s Most Powerful Question – What’s Important Now?
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