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An Open Letter to My Students

February 7, 2019

 

To My Students,

 

What I have to say in this letter, I hope is withstanding enough, that it doesn't need any further preamble from me...

 

 

Dear Students,

 

I am writing this as I want to clarify that I am not your instructor, nor am I your trainer. 

 

No, I have not, nor will I ever be either of those things for you. 

 

Why, you ask?

 

Or better yet, why not?

 

If you look at the definition of an instructor it is,

 

Instructor - An instructor is a person who teaches something.

 

The definition of a trainer is:

 

Trainer - To teach, so as to make fit, qualified, or proficient

 

While the two definitions are similar and components of each allow me to teach you, to help you, and to help train your dogs. Neither, truly encompasses our relationship in its entirety. 

 

That is why, I cannot and will not be either of those things for you.

 

I am, your coach.

 

Now, the definition of a coach is:

Coach - A coach is a person involved in the direction, instruction and training of the operations of an individual or a team.

 

While all three terms are similar by definition, it is what lies in their differences that truly defines them and why the three are not interchangeable. 

 

The key difference between a coach, a trainer and an instructor is their priority.

 

Coaches are primarily focused on a team, while a trainer or instructor focuses on an individual or small group.

 

Thus, coaches improve a person's ability to benefit the team,

 

A trainer or instructor can improve the person's ability to perform.

 

And that is just it.

 

We are a team. 

 

You, me and your dog.

 

And just like with any team, the strength does not lie in the individual teammates but in how we all function together as a single unit.

 

My knowledge and experience, your knowledge and experience and the wonderful being that is your dog all help us to be the best team we can be for one another. 

 

As a team, when one of us is triumphant, we all are triumphant. When one of us fails, we all fail. After we fail, we all rise together, we learn from the failure and we move on.

 

It's that simple.

 

I know I don't tell you all enough, but thank you. 

 

Thank you for having enough trust in me, to let me be part of your journey, to listen, to stay teachable and also for having a sense of humor. The laughter makes working together just a bit sweeter.

 

Because of you, I continue to grow as a coach. As every single one of you help to better my skills. Be it listening, teaching, watching, training dogs or even just communicating. Without you, I would not be given this opportunity. 

 

And it is an opportunity I am extremely grateful for. 

 

Thank you, thank you.

 

~ Your coach, Kim

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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