"I don't know...I don't want you to feel like you're wasting your time."
I get this every now and then from clients, students, or seminar attendees. Oddly, the people who are most concerned about it are the ones least likely to be wasting my time.
It's simple, really. I'm a coach. That's my job. When I'm coaching, my responsibility is to make you better at the end of a training session than you were at the beginning. It's that simple.
If you needed to practice something a thousand times to get it right, that's okay.
If you didn't understand something the first time I said it, that's okay.
If you feel like you're slow, uncoordinated, or un-athletic...that's okay.
It's all okay, as long as you are honestly and sincerely trying to get better.
The way I look at it this. The time when I'm coaching is not my time. Not really. It's my time to coach, but not my time to develop my own skills. That's a separate time. That's when I'm training, NOT when I'm coaching.
If I'm coaching, it's your time. I'm just there to help you use that time wisely.
(There is, of course, the flip side. If I'm actually on my time, I will not come help you with something. When I'm training me, I am training, and I am very protective of that time. Don't ask me for advice about something when I'm in the middle of training session. I will be grumpy.)
The only way to waste my time is to be in a session where I'm coaching with no intention to learn. If you're just there because you want to satisfy your own ego, or you just want to get to the sparring and skip all of these stupid drills, because you think you know better than me...now, you are wasting my time.
I long ago gave up on engaging in verbal debates with people during training sessions. If you want to ask a sincere question, I'm all ears. If you're arguing with me just to hear your own voice, or because you just think you're all that, then you really are wasting my time.
But sincere questions? Sincere attempts to learn? That's never a waste.