(Originally posted on Studioveena.com)
Just a few minutes ago I was reading the "Rules and Punishment" laid
down at a New Zealand pole dance studio. Quite honestly I was shocked.
Push up and planks for flexed feet, negative body statements, saying
can't etc?? I am going to share my thoughts coming from the viewpoint of
a man and an ice hockey coach.
It sounds like U.S. Marine Corps basic training. Pretty extreme for bad
dance pole form don't you think? I have been a youth ice hockey coach
for more than twenty years and hold the highest certification that can
be granted to an American amateur ice hockey coach. Back in the dark
ages (when I was thirteen up until the late 80's) ice hockey coaches
used a variety of skating drills to punish players for poor performance,
misdeeds, and lazy work ethics. One of the most notorious drills was
the "Herbie or Ladder" drill that was demonstrated so graphically in the
movie, "Miracle" about the 1980 USA Olympic Gold Medal ice hockey team.
The idea is to take away the pucks and skate a team until someone
pukes. Punishment. I've been the victim and the guy who blows the
whistle. In the end the method fails for the majority of the players.
What modern hockey coaches have learned over the years is that we took a
skill that every player must master (skating) and made it something
dreadful. The great hockey players are by and large great because they
skate as naturally as they walk and they love doing it. When you look at
a great pole dancers upper body and abs you have to understand that
this is one of the keys to their mastery of the pole. The Push Up and
Planks build this strength. Why would you want to make a dancer dread
them or associate them with negativity?
Great coaches and teachers are exceptional because they do not adopt
one size fits all methods or methods used by men to teach other men how
to stay alive in primitive combat. A good coach understands that every
person they work with needs to be motivated and reached individually.
One size does not fit all and the more intelligent a person is the more
they resent "punishment." It might be fun at first but I can tell you
that after living a life time of push ups and Herbies in the macho world
this "guy" would run, not walk out of a pole studio that had
One of my hardest skating drills split the team in half and had each of
the players in their group push one of the hockey nets down the full
length of the ice (200 ft) and back in a relay. The team who finished
the relay race first got the hot water in the showers. The drill ended
up being fun and encouraged team work. The players skated their hearts
out in that drill and laughed the whole time. In my opinion Push Ups and
Planks should be approached in a similar manner. If a dancer is saying
can't or negative things it is easy to say, "Give me ten." It is hard to
pull that person aside and find out what they fear or what voices from
other places are talking to them from the past.
Coaching and teaching demand that coaches and teachers learn how out to
get the people they mentor to do difficult things without damaging them
physically or emotionally. It's much more complicated than posting a
list on the wall.
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