People tend to respond in one of two ways when confronted with performing a task outside of their skill package. They either ask for help or they fake it.
Faking it can be hazardous to your health. If you step into the boxing ring without any lessons, you will ultimately feel your face against the mat.
One ineffective training approach is partnering a rookie with an experienced fighter who has a great performance record, but no teaching skills. The rookie tries to pick up skills by shadowing the more experienced professional. The result leaves the rookie with critical gaps in what they actually learn. They may develop into a championship shadow boxer, but they never learn how to land a punch. Without learning technique and strategy, the rookie has no chance of being a contender. In time, the rookie becomes too embarrassed to admit their lack of skills and will attempt to survive as many rounds as possible by faking it. Shadowing without mentoring is the fast track to losing new talent.
Look at training and education as you would look at planning a nutritional program for a championship fighter. The less specific the regimen, the harder it is to establish consistent health and reliable performance. If you don’t understand their physical needs and pretend to know what you’re recommending, they are likely to show inconsistent technique and poor stamina.
Take the time to train the trainer on how to break strategies down into techniques and match the lessons up with an individual’s reference points. Speed of learning is a function of our ability to connect new skills with old habits. Consistent performance results from persistence and practice.
To evaluate progress, simply look, listen, and learn. Ask the rookie to explain how they would respond to specific situations. In doing this, you will discover whether or not you have missed an exercise in practice and determine if more sparring may be needed. When trying to convince a rookie to use your methods, be willing to take some of the hits to keep them off of the ropes. Adjust the strategies to maximize their instinctual responses. The ultimate knockout punch is a combination of practice, technique, and natural instinct. Regardless of the weight class, the rewards of earning a true victory will always outweigh the reasons for faking it.