In Russia, the Spartak Tennis club has produced more top-20 women players than the entire United States. Its key philosophy is that technique is everything and so students spend 3 years learning how to hit the ball correctly before ever competing.
Spartek Tennis Club has three key learning principles;
1) Slow it down – Training in slow motion.
2) Imitate – Practice swinging without the ball.
3) Games can wait – Never competing until you’ve perfected your technique.
If we apply this to the current schooling system you can start to see a few similarities emerging;
1) Slow it down – You start nursery at the age of 3 and finish compulsory schooling at 16.
2) Imitate – You dress in uniform to mimic the workplace. Your weekly schedule represents a 9-5 job. You take regular tests and move up or down depending on your grade (output).
3) Games can wait – You don’t enter the workplace until you’re deemed ‘fully’ trained (completed your GCSEs).
So how come every child that leaves school is not a super star ready to enter the working world?
Unfortunately, today’s schooling system is still training children the techniques to perform in jobs that no longer exists. It’s like we’re spending years training a child to catch perfectly and then putting them onto a football pitch and wondering why they don’t perform.
The connection economy demands creativity not compliance. If we want to stand any chance of improving our economy and the future for young people, our schooling system needs a radical overhaul and that starts with recognising that we’re playing a new game.