5 reasons why surf instructors shouldn't yell at pupils

Surfing
Surf instructors: stop yelling at your pupils | Photo: Shutterstock

Yelling is not an effective communication tool, especially if you're teaching someone how to surf. Here's why raising the volume of your voice won't produce better and faster learners.

Yelling is one of the five mistakes surf instructors make when trying to persuade first-timers to perform a series of actions in the water.

When you're sharing knowledge, you need people to trust, respect, and listen to what you've got to say. That's what a good educator does, for example, when teaching children to read and write.

Surf instructors tend to believe that authority and respect comes with yelling, shouting, and sometimes even harsh language and swearing.

Unfortunately, they often forget that their pupils are supposed to undertake a pleasant experience in the waves, in a relaxed and laid-back environment.

Let us not forget that they're spending money on surf lessons, and are not supposed to live some kind of military experience with severe and strict rules.

Surf lessons: you don't have to raise the volume of your voice to teach the basics of wave riding | Photo: Shutterstock

Thus, beginner surfers need time to learn with their mistakes, and that can only be achieved through constructive learning.

Surf instructors of the world - stop yelling at your students.

Yelling is stressful

If you're yelling at someone who is learning the basics of a complex water sport, you're putting a lot of pressure on a beginner's shoulders.

Surfing is one of those sports that can only be mastered by trial and error, and mistakes are a natural part of the evolution process.

Moreover, there are anonymous surfers around enjoying their time in the water that may lose their patience with constant yelling.

Yelling is destructive, not constructive

There's no problem in criticizing, warning, reprehending and finding fault in a surf beginner's actions. But if you're always yelling, you'll be smashing his or her hopes and dreams of, one day, becoming a real surfer.

The trick is to underline mistakes made, and guide pupils in the right direction, even if flaws persist through time.

Beginner surfing: surf instructors play a critical role in the development of future surfers | Photo: Shutterstock

Yelling leads to quitting

Raising your voice will intimidate the novice, and if he or she doesn't see any progress, sooner or later, it will lead to quitting surfing forever.

Yelling is disrespectful

Yelling at people who are still uncomfortable in the water, wearing a wetsuit for the first time, and trying to find balance on the surfboard is not cool.

It's worse than that. They're your clients. They're paying you to learn to surf - not to be yelled at.

Yelling may only work temporarily

Yelling reduces the pupils' confidence levels. If you shout an instruction, it's because you're not being effective at speaking loud and clear.

It may result in immediate improvements, but they'll only be temporary and won't generate changes in behavior in the medium and long term.