Quality Over Quantity

I used to think that having a huge class size would be the best. Give me 25 or 30 and life would be ideal. At least Systema life.

As I continue in my 7th year of teaching at Central FL Systema, I now simply smile at my earlier statement. Smile, as in “I cannot believe I actually thought that” kind of smile.

I am reminded of the movie “Miracle.” This was a film about the incredible, once-in-a-lifetime USA hockey victory over the (then) USSR in the 1980 Olympics. In one particular scene, Coach Herb Brooks played by Kurt Russell tells the assistant coach, “We are not looking for the best ones. We are looking for the right ones.”

I would alter the statement a tad. “I am not looking for the biggest numbers. I am looking for the right one.” What is the right one? First, we must ask what is the “right” student.

The “right” student is one who is open minded, respectful and consistently shows up and puts forth their best efforts. It matters not if they are the youngest or the most experienced. Nor does it matter if they are the most skilled, talented or athletic. THE word that most teachers look for is this one: Coachability. If you have this, you have everything.

So, what is the “right” number? How many students do you have that are coachable? The answer to question #2 is the “right” number.

At the end of the day, quality trumps quantity every single time.