The Joy of Coaching
Welcome to my new blog, and thanks for reading! I was going to write a long introductory paragraph about my hopes for the blog, values, goals, failures, successes and background. But there’s time for that later. FIRST, I want to get into the juicy stuff…How much JOY, PRIDE and FULFILMENT I experience in my work as an aerial coach.
Not to brag (okay, to brag a little), but I have some of the best students in the world. They work hard, take creative risks, care about one another’s wellbeing, and encourage one another. These practices reflect the values we hold in my classes, and I want to make this post a reflection on how much more goes into teaching than simply transferring knowledge. Of course, you know this already, but we all need to be reminded sometimes of the things we know. As a person whose ~joy in life~ is to help people do things they want to do, but are scared of, teaching aerial is an amazing field.
I get to be there in the moments when students first learn to trust their hands and arms to hold them, when they learn to let their head be lower than their hips in an invert or a hip key, despite millennia of evolution saying, “no no! Head stays on top!”. I get to be there for that first drop, when we all know the student is wrapped in safely, and we’ve walked the drop down a few times, and all that’s left is that moment of… Letting go.
I get to watch students go from nervously sitting out improvisation activities, to giggling and getting too much in their head, to finding their own natural movement and ability to flow.
And recently, I got the absolute career high of getting to support one of my young students in preparing an audition act and auditioning for a pre-professional youth circus program. Let me tell you, I teared up with pride and happiness on more than one drive home from the gym after working with her. Her dedication to her own artistic growth, to expressing herself in her act, and her willingness to put herself out there to be evaluated are inspirational to me. Sure, I love the moment when a student nails a hard-earned skill, (I’ve been known to jump up and down cheering). But when I really think about it, what fills me up most, and keeps me coming back despite challenges, is the incredible personal growth that my students have been willing to pursue through their work in aerial. I have seen students overcome shyness, body-image issues, stage-fright, fear of heights, fear of failure, fear of mediocrity, and crushing self-doubt as a result of the hard work they put into learning aerial.
For some of the lovely people I get to teach, our classes and the aerial studio are their heart-home where they get to express themselves and grow like they can nowhere else. And THAT, dear reader is why I do what I do.