The saying goes that, ‘Those who can’t do, teach.” While I understand why so many people believe this statement, in my experience, it hasn’t always been true. In fact, every time I’ve taught something, it’s made me better at whatever the subject is.
When I started helping people learn how to be better gamblers, my gambling skills started improving faster than ever. Teaching and speaking turned out to be a great learning experience. Here are three reasons why teaching is the best way to improve your gambling skills.
1 – Forced Preparation
In all of my experience gambling with real money, the thing that has forced me to be at the top of my game and gather as much knowledge as possible was when I started teaching others and sharing what I know. I’ve taught classes and run seminars in many different subject areas, and every time I’ve done so, I spent a large amount of time preparing.
Because of all the effort and time I’ve spent teaching and speaking engagements, now, I don’t have to do as much preparation. When I give a speech nowadays, I often spend less than an hour doing any kind of prep, because I’m confident in my knowledge and abilities.
You never know when you might have an opportunity to speak. But, more importantly, preparing to do one will force you to improve your gambling skills and knowledge.
2 – Fear of Being Shown Up
Years ago, I was attending a weekly class and the teacher decided to retire. He was one of the best teachers I’ve ever had, and his retirement was a big loss for everyone in the class. The age range within the class were young adults all the way up to people in their 60s, so there were experience and knowledge levels of all types.
I was in my early 20s and had quite a bit of knowledge, but I was learning something new every week. The group decided they wanted me to take over the class. I was resistant to the idea because I didn’t think I was qualified or ready. I also knew for a fact that I was nowhere close to as good as the current teacher.
The teacher was going to continue with the class as a student when he retired, and he told me he’d help me in any way he could. I finally agreed to take over and was scared to death. I taught the class for several years and it was a great experience. I still attend the class, but a new teacher took over a few years ago, and he’s doing a great job.
I also used to teach math and business courses at a small college. This was after I started with the class I mentioned above, but I had some of the same fears when I started doing the college classes. The first fear was that I wasn’t ready to do it. I overcame this fear with preparation, like I covered in the last section.
The other main fear was that I was going to be trying to teach or lead a class with people who knew more than I did. This was especially true in the class I took over. It was a fact that the retiring teacher and a few others knew more than I did.
The mistake I made was believing that the teacher needed to know everything and needed to know more than all of the students in every area. I knew more in some areas and added value to the class. Once I accepted that there were students that knew more than me and didn’t try to hide it, things became much easier.
The people who knew more than me didn’t want to lead the class, but they were always willing to share and help during class. Instead of trying to know everything, I learned my limitations and wasn’t ashamed to use the knowledge of the people in the class to help everyone else.
These fears did help me become a much better teacher and a better student. The fear of saying something wrong in class as the teacher drove me to learn more. I learned from every available resource, including the others in the class, and everyone gained from it.
When you put together a class or seminar, just focus on a subject you know well and advertise it in a way that brings in people that don’t know as much as you.
But when you find yourself leading a seminar or class with someone in the audience that knows more, learn to use them as a resource instead of trying to cover up your shortcomings. Also, let this fear drive you to master your subject, which in turn improves your gambling skills and knowledge.
3 – New Challenges
If you want to learn something new, one of the best ways to do it is to challenge yourself in some way. Take a 30-day challenge and work on what you want to learn every day for a month. This helps you make consistent progress. And, by challenging your mind, you stay sharp and let your mind show you new ways to do things.
This is something I learned soon after I started teaching. Students ask questions and look at things in ways I’ve never even considered. Sometimes, they’re wrong in their way of thinking, but other times, they help me learn something new or understand a different perspective.
This is much like talking over a difficult problem with a child. The way a child views the world can be a great learning experience for us when we get older and get stuck in our ways.
When you accept and create new challenges, it helps keep your mind working and expands your knowledge. This can be particularly valuable as a gambler, because gamblers can fall into the same habits when they aren’t playing anything new.
A game like casino blackjack has been pretty much the same for 50 years. There are certain ways to play that lower the house edge, like basic strategy, and there are ways to beat it, like counting cards. But advantage players are constantly trying to come up with new ways to beat the game.
If advantage players blindly accepted that there are no new ways to win, they’d never come up with new ways to win. This is the trap that most gamblers fall into; they get stuck in a narrow way of thinking that doesn’t let them see when new opportunities are present.
I once read an interview with an advantage player and expected to find the usual information about card counting, hole carding, and possibly sports betting or horse racing.
But, instead, he talked about other ways he was able to get an edge over the years. If I hadn’t been working on building my knowledge by reading the interview, I’d have missed some important newfound strategies.
This is why teaching is such a powerful way to improve your gambling skills. It pushes you to new challenges and to constantly expand what you know.
It doesn’t matter if you currently teach or if you never plan to teach anything. If you want a fast way to improve your gambling skills, prepare to teach a class or lead a seminar. Preparing an outline to teach forces you to do a lot of research, put together a plan, and face new challenges. It’s a great way to quickly improve upon your current knowledge.
You can also use the fear of not being prepared and of teaching something wrong to drive you to a new level of excellence. While there are other ways to improve your gambling skills, you should consider adding teaching to your tools.