To write a book, even a tiny one, is to play a particular kind of game. Rules must be formed and obeyed. Characters must be conceived and constructed. Landscapes must be described. Lines of narrative must be puzzled out and followed. EAch of these can be thought of as distinct action, the firing of a circuit that's linked to other circuits.
The four Virtues
1. The Matrix: the vast grid of task-specific knowledge that distinguishes the best teachers and allows them to creatively and effectively respond to a student's efforts.
2. Perceptiveness:Though the gaze can be friendly, it's not chiefly about friendship. It's about information. It's about figuring you out. On the micro level, they constantly monitored the student's reaction to their coaching, checking whether their message was being absorbed. This led to a telltale rhythm of speech. The caoch would deliver a chunk of information, then pause, hawkeyeing the listener as if watching the needle of a Geiger counter.
3. The GPS reflex. Most master coaches delivered their information to their studetns in a series of short, vivid, high-definition bursts. They never began sentences with "Please, would you"; instead they spoke in short imperatives. “Now do X" was the most common construction, the "you will" was implied.
concise, locating mistakes and their solutions in the same vivid stroke. It was more like probing, strategic impatience.
4. Theatrical honesty. Truly great teachers connect with students because of who they are as moral standars. There's an empathy, a selflessness, because you're not trying to tell the student something they know, but are finding, in their effort, a place to make a real connection.
Skills like soccer, writing, and comedy are flexible-circuit skills, meaning that they require us to grow vast ivy-vine circuits that we can flick through to navigate an ever-changing set of obstacles. Playing violin, golf, gymnastics, and figure skating, on the other hand, are consistent-circuit skills, depending utterly on a solid foundation of technique that enables us to reliably re-create the fundamentals of an ideal performance. (This is why self-taught violinists, skaters, and gymnasts rarely reach world-calss level and why self-taught novelists, comedians, and soccer players do all the time.)
He can walk up to someone he's never met, in an atmosphere thick with unknowns and money and wariness, and forge a connection. He can use that connection to find the truth about someone whose talent is yet to be known to the world and maybe even to himeself.
I feel it in a changed attitude toward failure, which doesn't feel like a setback or the writing on the wall anymore, but like a path forward.