Learn2Teach. Teach2Learn.

“Look: I haven’t any money. I can only pay you in knowledge.”
“Then you’ve got me for as long as you need me.”
-Anonymous (overheard exchange)

There’s an old saying I read (that I’ve mentioned in a previous blog I’ve written) about how new curlers can always up their game: “Learn to teach, and teach to learn. We all need to go back to the basics at one point or another.”

The idea behind this saying is simple. Learning from instructors is a great way to gather knowledge. Learning from experience is a great way to gather wisdom. And yet, learning to teach is a great way to build upon both. By focusing on helping others, not only are we required to improve our own knowledge and experience, we are tasked with being able to articulate what we know into a language that others can comprehend.

How many times have you been on the ice and had an epiphany – a moment of clarity when something “just clicked into place”? Have you ever had a hard time explaining that revelation to others? It’s one thing to come to a conclusion on our own, it’s another to be able to articulate it (especially in a way that helps others). And yet, when we find those words to impart our knowledge, somehow watching another try to implement our advice opens up even newer revelations. By seeing ways for others to improve, we think of new ways to improve ourselves. Whether we discover a flaw in our advice/wording, a new problem our “solution” didn’t anticipate, or an even better way to streamline what we thought we already knew, teaching others only serves to better our own game. It offers us an outside perspective; a critical eye with an attention for detail that we, hopefully, can then turn on ourselves.

This is one of the reasons I love watching my toddler-aged nieces grow and learn: without experience to teach them, whenever they are faced with a problem, they have nothing but their own creativity to find a solution. They don’t always arrive at the best answer, but sometimes they absolutely amaze and surprise me with their simplistic ingenuity. So, too, do other beginners of this great sport of ours.

That’s why I’m throwing down a challenge to each of you reading this: I want every single one of you to, if and when you feel comfortable, volunteer to learn how to teach a Learn2Curl. Not only will you be helping give back to Windy City Curling by encouraging growth and new members to join us, you will also be learning to improve upon your own game.

This club of ours, like so many others in the United States, thrives because of its amazing volunteers.

If you were at the most recent all-member meeting, you already know that our club is in a bit of a transition; a cross-roads, if you will. What the current board began is an amazing thing. Now, as we hope to expand and grow, our club needs some helping hands to move past this “growing pain” stage we currently find ourselves in.

The board has proven they can do a great job getting new players addicted to this awesome sport (heck, they hooked almost everyone here all by themselves). But, as we saw in the meeting, their efforts to keep this club going are needed in ever-increasing and differing directions (marketing, funding, membership, scheduling, event planning, etc.).  So, in an effort to help them not spread themselves too thin, I’m asking that we the members help take this one simple task – teaching new prospective members that register for our Learn2Curls – off of their plate, if we are able.

There are some amazing people that take to the ice every single week at Windy City Curling; they play this sport with heart, passion, skill, and genuine camaraderie. I can think of no better ambassadors to bring new blood into the fold.

-Eric 🙂

P.S. – For those of you wanting an even extra challenge to tackle, I’m working on getting a group of WCCC members together to take an official Level 1 USCA Certified Instructor Course that will be happening out in Fort Wayne, Indiana on September 27th, 2014. You can read all of the details (that I currently have) HERE.

(Eric Reithel is -despite what anyone would convince you of- just a guest-blogger for the Windy City Curling Club. Some will say he is THE blogger, but those people are lying to you. Okay, they actually aren’t.  It’s official: he is WCCC’s blogger. But he wants you to know that this is a title and responsibility he reluctantly accepts out of fear of being a disappointment. He also wants you to know that you can follow him on Twitter – reluctantly or enthusiastically (dealer’s choice) – @TheCraftyCurler.)

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