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[LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding

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  • Gary Brown
    Over the last several months, I have been learning to shoot NRA Conventional Pistol, also known as Bullseye. If you want to know more about it, here is a link
    Message 1 of 12 , Dec 27, 2010
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      Over the last several months, I have been learning to shoot NRA Conventional Pistol, also known as Bullseye. If you want to know more about it, here is a link >http://www.bullseyepistol.com/<. I have a coach that helps me, who is a very accomplished competitor and advocate of the sport.

      From the beginning, my coach told me that the secret to pistol marksmanship is sight alignment and trigger control. He taught me how to align my sights on the target and gave me drills to work on my trigger control through dry fire (operating the gun without ammunition).

      I took the information that he gave me and practiced, practiced, practiced. Align the sights on the target, then pull the trigger straight back without disrupting the sights.

      After a few weeks, we met on the range to check my progress. I fired ten rounds and we walked down range to check my target. The six bullets that hit the target were all in the lower left hand corner of the target. Coach told me that I was jerking the trigger, keep working on the trigger control drills, focus on the front sight, not the target, sight allignment and trigger control.

      After a few weeks, we met on the range to check my progress. I fired ten rounds and we walked down range to check my target. All of my bullets hit the target, but they were still low and left. I told him that I couldn't hold still. He told me that no one can hold still, we have to accept our wobble and smoothly pull the trigger straight back without disrupting the sights.

      After a few weeks, we met on the range to check my progress. I fired ten rounds and we walked down range to check my target. All of my bullets hit the target, but they were all over the place. It looked like a shotgun pattern covering the whole target. Coach said we're making progress, focus on the front sight, keep your sights aligned *while* smoothly pulling the trigger straight back. Then I got it, sight alignment *and* trigger control. They weren't separate actions, but simultaneous actions.

      After a few weeks, we met on the range to check my progress. I fired ten rounds and we walked down range to check my target. All of my shots were inside the 8 ring. Coach said now you can work toward becoming an Expert marksman. Yes, sight alignment and trigger control!

      That was my experience as a Novice pistol shooter, working with an Expert. He told me what I needed to do, but I didn't understand the words in the same way he did. I needed to gain enough experience with the task, so I understood his words in context. My Coach was able to enhance my understanding as I gained experience.

      I think that there are two morals to this story. As a Novice, I need to trust that my Coach is giving me advice that will help me improve, and I need to put that advice to work, to the best of my ability, so I can learn from it. As an Expert, I need to recognize where my student is and adjust the precision of my words to match their understanding of the subject.

      Don't ask why I decided to try precision pistol shooting at my age. I woke up one morning, feeling the need to stoke my competitive fire, picked Bullseye, and the rest is history. I must say, that it is a very relaxing hobby. To do well, you have to let go of all of the troubles of the day and focus on the task at hand.

      What do you think?

      GB.

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • D.André Dhondt
      ... What do you think? ... Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: Hearing is not Understanding . Your coach told you something over
      Message 2 of 12 , Dec 28, 2010
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        On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 8:29 PM, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:

        > I have a coach that helps me... After a few weeks... After a few
        > weeks... After a few weeks... After a few weeks...
        >
        What do you think?
        >
        Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
        not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
        different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
        important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.


        --
        D. André Dhondt
        mobile: 215-805-0819
        skype: d.andre.dhondt
        twitter: adhondt http://dhondtsayitsagile.blogspot.com/

        Support low-cost conferences -- http://AgileTour.org/
        If you're in the area, join Agile Philly http://www.AgilePhilly.com


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • james@renaissancesoftware.net
        Gary thanks for the story. You had a couple other things going for you.. you wanted to learn the skill and respected and trusted your expert. In mentoring
        Message 3 of 12 , Dec 28, 2010
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          Gary thanks for the story.

          You had a couple other things going for you.. you wanted to learn the skill and respected and trusted your expert. In mentoring relationships that is not always common.

          James

          --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
          James Grenning TDD for Embedded C is in Beta
          www.renaissancesoftware.net http://pragprog.com/titles/jgade/
          www.renaissancesoftware.net/blog
          www.twitter.com/jwgrenning
        • Adrian Howard
          w ... Nice story! ... Yup. That s something I still have problems with a little in coaching/mentoring situations. I run out of ways to restate the same lesson
          Message 4 of 12 , Dec 28, 2010
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            w
            On 28 Dec 2010, at 15:53, D.André Dhondt wrote:

            > On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 8:29 PM, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
            >
            >> I have a coach that helps me... After a few weeks... After a few
            >> weeks... After a few weeks... After a few weeks...

            Nice story!

            > What do you think?
            >>
            > Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
            > not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
            > different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
            > important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.

            Yup. That's something I still have problems with a little in coaching/mentoring situations. I run out of ways to restate the same lesson after the first two or three times and occasionally get frustrated - which doesn't help anybody.

            Getting better at it slowly though :-)

            Adrian
            --
            http://quietstars.com adrianh@... twitter.com/adrianh
            t. +44 (0)7752 419080 skype adrianjohnhoward del.icio.us/adrianh
          • Gary Brown
            Hello, André! ... From: D.André Dhondt To: Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:53 AM
            Message 5 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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              Hello, André!

              ----- Original Message -----
              From: "D.André Dhondt" <d.andre.dhondt@...>
              To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
              Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 9:53 AM
              Subject: Re: [XP] [LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding



              Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
              not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
              different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
              important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.

              *******
              Yes, that is what I thought was so interesting about my experience. He kept
              telling me what I needed to do, but I didn't get it for a long time. I
              thought I was doing what he asked me to do. I easily shot 20,000 rounds
              doing it the wrong way, until that one moment of clarity. My coach couldn't
              see what was going on in my head or in my hand. All he had to work with
              were my results on the target. His 30+ years of experience told him what I
              was doing wrong. It took me a very long time to understand what he meant.
              My fault, not his. I'm very happy that he didn't give up on me!

              GB.
            • Gary Brown
              Hello, James! ... From: To: Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:00 AM Subject: Re: [XP]
              Message 6 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                Hello, James!

                ----- Original Message -----
                From: <james@...>
                To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                Sent: Tuesday, December 28, 2010 10:00 AM
                Subject: Re: [XP] [LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding


                > Gary thanks for the story.
                >
                > You had a couple other things going for you.. you wanted to learn the
                > skill and respected and trusted your expert. In mentoring relationships
                > that is not always common.

                ********
                Yes, I did want to learn. Now that I am having some success, I'm even more
                hungry to learn and improve.

                During one session, I was getting frustrated with my poor results and
                complaining that I was just wasting good ammo. My coach smiled and said,
                "Am I wasting ammo when I put 10 rounds in the 10 ring?". That got me back
                to reality. That's the goal. That's why I am practicing. I haven't shot a
                "clean" target yet, but I will! 8^)

                I wonder why it can be so hard to establish that trust and respect between a
                Novice and an Expert. I guess the Novice has to want what the Expert has to
                offer. A manager telling a Novice to do what the Expert says probably isn't
                sufficient motivation, in most cases. 8^)

                GB.
              • Gary Brown
                Hey, Adrian! ... From: Adrian Howard To: Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1:26 AM Subject:
                Message 7 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                  Hey, Adrian!

                  ----- Original Message -----
                  From: "Adrian Howard" <adrianh@...>
                  To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                  Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1:26 AM
                  Subject: Re: [XP] [LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding


                  w
                  On 28 Dec 2010, at 15:53, D.André Dhondt wrote:

                  > On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 8:29 PM, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
                  >
                  >> I have a coach that helps me... After a few weeks... After a few
                  >> weeks... After a few weeks... After a few weeks...

                  Nice story!

                  > What do you think?
                  >>
                  > Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
                  > not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
                  > different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
                  > important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.

                  Yup. That's something I still have problems with a little in
                  coaching/mentoring situations. I run out of ways to restate the same lesson
                  after the first two or three times and occasionally get frustrated - which
                  doesn't help anybody.

                  Getting better at it slowly though :-)

                  ********
                  Never give up!!! 8^)

                  GB.
                • james@renaissancesoftware.net
                  Hi Gary Well said. Exactly one of the problems I face at work. (not claiming to be expert, just experienced) James ... James Grenning TDD for Embedded C
                  Message 8 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                    Hi Gary

                    Well said. Exactly one of the problems I face at work. (not claiming to be expert, just experienced)

                    James

                    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
                    James Grenning TDD for Embedded C is in Beta
                    www.renaissancesoftware.net http://pragprog.com/titles/jgade/
                    www.renaissancesoftware.net/blog
                    www.twitter.com/jwgrenning


                    >
                    > I wonder why it can be so hard to establish that trust and respect between a
                    > Novice and an Expert. I guess the Novice has to want what the Expert has to
                    > offer. A manager telling a Novice to do what the Expert says probably isn't
                    > sufficient motivation, in most cases. 8^)
                    >
                    > GB.
                    >
                    >



                    [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                  • james@renaissancesoftware.net
                    Hi Andre and Gary Saying things in different ways is really important when coaching people that have English as a second language, too. Need: pictures, arm
                    Message 9 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                      Hi Andre and Gary

                      Saying things in different ways is really important when coaching people that have English as a second language, too.
                      Need: pictures, arm waving, metaphors, humor, stories..

                      James


                      On Dec 29, 2010, at 11:15 AM, Gary Brown wrote:

                      > Hey, Adrian!
                      >
                      > ----- Original Message -----
                      > From: "Adrian Howard" <adrianh@...>
                      > To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                      > Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 1:26 AM
                      > Subject: Re: [XP] [LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding
                      >
                      > w
                      > On 28 Dec 2010, at 15:53, D.Andr� Dhondt wrote:
                      >
                      > > On Mon, Dec 27, 2010 at 8:29 PM, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
                      > >
                      > >> I have a coach that helps me... After a few weeks... After a few
                      > >> weeks... After a few weeks... After a few weeks...
                      >
                      > Nice story!
                      >
                      > > What do you think?
                      > >>
                      > > Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
                      > > not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
                      > > different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
                      > > important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.
                      >
                      > Yup. That's something I still have problems with a little in
                      > coaching/mentoring situations. I run out of ways to restate the same lesson
                      > after the first two or three times and occasionally get frustrated - which
                      > doesn't help anybody.
                      >
                      > Getting better at it slowly though :-)
                      >
                      > ********
                      > Never give up!!! 8^)
                      >
                      > GB.
                      >
                      >



                      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                    • Kim Gräsman
                      Hi Gary, ... I read the story as being about deliberate practice, and I wondered whether it would have gone faster if you two had done the shooting together? I
                      Message 10 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                        Hi Gary,

                        On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 17:27, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
                        >
                        > From: "D.André Dhondt" <d.andre.dhondt@...>
                        >
                        > Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
                        > not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
                        > different ways, over a long period of time.  I think this is really
                        > important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.
                        >
                        > *******
                        > Yes, that is what I thought was so interesting about my experience.  He kept
                        > telling me what I needed to do, but I didn't get it for a long time.  I
                        > thought I was doing what he asked me to do.  I easily shot 20,000 rounds
                        > doing it the wrong way, until that one moment of clarity.  My coach couldn't
                        > see what was going on in my head or in my hand.  All he had to work with
                        > were my results on the target.  His 30+ years of experience told him what I
                        > was doing wrong.  It took me a very long time to understand what he meant.
                        > My fault, not his.  I'm very happy that he didn't give up on me!

                        I read the story as being about deliberate practice, and I wondered
                        whether it would have gone faster if you two had done the shooting
                        together? I got the impression you spent some time alone shooting,
                        then came up to your coach for review every once in a couple of
                        thousand rounds.

                        Your comment that he "couldn't see what was going on in my head or in
                        my hand" leads me to think that it wouldn't have helped, however... Or
                        do you think you could've understood the technique faster if you
                        worked closer together?

                        Thanks for the story,
                        - Kim
                      • Gary Brown
                        Hello, Kim! ... From: Kim Gräsman To: Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 4:06 PM Subject: Re:
                        Message 11 of 12 , Dec 29, 2010
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                          Hello, Kim!

                          ----- Original Message -----
                          From: "Kim Gräsman" <kim.grasman@...>
                          To: <extremeprogramming@yahoogroups.com>
                          Sent: Wednesday, December 29, 2010 4:06 PM
                          Subject: Re: [XP] [LONG OT?] Hearing is not Understanding


                          Hi Gary,

                          On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 17:27, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
                          >
                          > From: "D.André Dhondt" <d.andre.dhondt@...>
                          >
                          > Thanks for telling the story. What strikes me is your subject: "Hearing is
                          > not Understanding". Your coach told you something over and over, in
                          > different ways, over a long period of time. I think this is really
                          > important to learning--a long-term mentoring relationship.
                          >
                          > *******
                          > Yes, that is what I thought was so interesting about my experience. He
                          > kept
                          > telling me what I needed to do, but I didn't get it for a long time. I
                          > thought I was doing what he asked me to do. I easily shot 20,000 rounds
                          > doing it the wrong way, until that one moment of clarity. My coach
                          > couldn't
                          > see what was going on in my head or in my hand. All he had to work with
                          > were my results on the target. His 30+ years of experience told him what I
                          > was doing wrong. It took me a very long time to understand what he meant.
                          > My fault, not his. I'm very happy that he didn't give up on me!

                          I read the story as being about deliberate practice, and I wondered
                          whether it would have gone faster if you two had done the shooting
                          together? I got the impression you spent some time alone shooting,
                          then came up to your coach for review every once in a couple of
                          thousand rounds.

                          Your comment that he "couldn't see what was going on in my head or in
                          my hand" leads me to think that it wouldn't have helped, however... Or
                          do you think you could've understood the technique faster if you
                          worked closer together?

                          ********
                          We did shoot together about once a month. He had a lot going on in his life
                          with an ailing father and a daughter getting married.

                          When we did shoot together, I spent much of the time just watching. He was
                          so relaxed and calm and focused. His hold seemed so still, motionless.
                          Every shot seemed to be the same. As I learned what to watch for, I noticed
                          that he had a wobble, and when everything wasn't right, he stopped and
                          started over. Seeing that he had some of the same problems that I was
                          struggling with helped me to stop fighting them and learn to accept them.

                          I do think that I would have progressed faster if we could have shot
                          together more often. I spent a lot of time practicing bad technique, which
                          I am still working to correct. On the positive side, this was a
                          particularly stressful time for me at work. Going to the range at lunch or
                          after work helped me mentally, even if I wasn't getting any better at the
                          physical task. 8^)

                          GB.
                        • Kim Gräsman
                          Hi Gary, ... Thanks, that makes sense. I think there s a lesson there, in learning what to watch for. Some things people do (whether in software, collaboration
                          Message 12 of 12 , Jan 1, 2011
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                            Hi Gary,

                            On Wed, Dec 29, 2010 at 23:48, Gary Brown <glbrown@...> wrote:
                            >
                            > We did shoot together about once a month.  He had a lot going on in his life
                            > with an ailing father and a daughter getting married.
                            >
                            > When we did shoot together, I spent much of the time just watching.  He was
                            > so relaxed and calm and focused.  His hold seemed so still, motionless.
                            > Every shot seemed to be the same.  As I learned what to watch for, I noticed
                            > that he had a wobble, and when everything wasn't right, he stopped and
                            > started over.  Seeing that he had some of the same problems that I was
                            > struggling with helped me to stop fighting them and learn to accept them.
                            >
                            > I do think that I would have progressed faster if we could have shot
                            > together more often.  I spent a lot of time practicing bad technique, which
                            > I am still working to correct.  On the positive side, this was a
                            > particularly stressful time for me at work.  Going to the range at lunch or
                            > after work helped me mentally, even if I wasn't getting any better at the
                            > physical task.  8^)

                            Thanks, that makes sense.

                            I think there's a lesson there, in learning what to watch for. Some
                            things people do (whether in software, collaboration or shooting) seem
                            so insignificant that they barely warrant noticing, but once you've
                            understood what difference a little thing can do, and why, it stands
                            out as noticeable.

                            Happy new year,
                            - Kim
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