So you don't buy the idea of matching the person's learning style at all?
Everyone learns a bit differently from the next guy. The Inner Game
has nothing to do with learning how to play music, golf, tennis, or any other complex physical skill. Its focus is on improving execution by eliminating negative, self defeating talk and the tension that negativity produces. I hate to keep referring to golf on a piano forum, but it is the most concrete example that I can find from my personal experience.
As I said in an earlier post, like you I am much more of an analytical learner than I am a feel learner, but feel or kinesthetics is an important part of my learning process, especially if what I am learning involves movement of some part of the body. Perhaps a couple stories/examples will help illustrate both what I have been trying to illustrate and how I view the role of the Inner Game
When I was much younger, I flew single seat jets on and off aircraft carriers, a demanding task which required precise hand-to-eye coordination, and I was damn good at it. That task required both extensive formal knowledge of one's aircraft, how the ship functioned, and the basic dynamics of flight, but the execution was almost an autonomic response to sensory clues. Secondarily, from the time I was introduced to ballroom dancing in grade school I have been an excellent dancer.
So what? To do well in each activity requires accurate and rhythmic movement controlled by both the large and small muscles of the body. Enter from stage left the challenging and frustrating game of golf.
Golf also requires precise rhythmic movement of the body to score well. For 15 years I tried to improve and gain some consistancy. I took many lessons, attended week long intensive golf schools, and spent hours and hours on the practice tee and practice green, all to no avail. I could not lower my handicap below 36 no matter what I tried.
I only kept playing the game because I enjoyed playing with my wife who was a better golfer than I was and because of the occasional miracle shot. Normally, I chunked, missed, duck hooked, and banana sliced golf balls all over the course and into every available hazard. I knew I had the intelligence, physical skills, and coordination to become a good golfer, but could not deliver. I had studied the game from an academic standpoint until I literally wore out some of the books I purchased. How was it that my dancing partners would compliment me on how good of a dancer I was, and my fellow aviators would commend me for my flying skills on and off the ship, but I could not hit a golf ball the same way twice in a row? Believe me, I was frustrated beyond words.
I had learned golf and learned it well, but I could not execute. Several years ago I determined that a much of the problem was tension, but I did not have any idea of how to eliminate it. Practice swings on the tee were fluid and rhythmic. All too often they were followed by a swing that propelled the ball 100 years into the dense woods on the left, the large lake on the right, or almost up to the ladies tee 20 yards ahead of me.
The Inner Game
did nothing more than release me of the tension so that I could do what I already knew how to do. The Inner Game
did not teach me anything about golf as such. It did allow my body to use all of the knowledge that my analytical learning machine had stored between my ears.
Does that make it any clearer what I am talking about and why I say that the Inner Game
tension management skills should work for everyone?