Soldier Mentality

I want to address a mindset I see quite a bit in many realms of physical training.  It is something that I do my best to avoid in my own training and teaching.  

The soldier mentality refers to blindly following orders without any thought or hesitation.  This approach definitely has its place in the world and certain hierarchies, but I think that over the long term it is detrimental to our personal and mental health.  

Because we have access to so much information it is vital to learn to think for ourselves.  

Ask someone why they do a technique a certain way.  "Because coach told me to" should never be the correct answer.  This shows that they do not have a fundamental understanding of the movement they are practicing.  Now what happens when they go out and teach the same thing?  We have a case of the blind leading the blind.  

My preference is for students and teachers alike to always stay informed, which is not as difficult as it seems.  If you have a teacher, there is a reason for that.  There is no need to question their every motive; you should place sufficient trust in them to know what they are doing to a certain degree.  

Every once in a while, ask "WHY?"  Ask both your teacher and yourself.  If you do not get a satisfactory explanation, that should raise a red flag.  

I had no consistent teachers for years, so in my process of exploration I had to constantly ask myself why.  This attitude helped me learn a lot and greatly heightened my ability to analyze and break down movement.  However, as a student it made me a bit rebellious and resistant to tutelage.  This would be a massive juxtaposition to the many athletes who only do what they're told.  


Here is my point in all this:  everything we do is for a reason.  It is important to understand why.  

What it comes down to is that everything we learn should not be duplicated but interpreted as to how it works for us individually.  
If you want to increase your understanding and awareness, do not forget to ask "Why?".