Jiu-Jitsu Letter

Harvey Penick

From the chapter/essay “Learning,” in Harvey Penick’s Little Red Book:

I learn teaching from teachers.

I learn golf from golfers.

I learn winning from coaches.

There are many good teachers of golf who teach quite differently from each other. I prefer listening to one who teaches differently than I do. I might learn from him. I already know my own way.

The piano master Horowitz told his students, “Never be afraid to dare. Never be afraid to play without asking advice. I’m not going to teach you, but to guide you.”

I read that quote to Tinsley, and he said, “Why, that sounds just like you.”

I’ll always remember what my cousin, Dr. D.A. Penick, said when he turned over the reins as University of Texas tennis coach to Wilmer Allison:

“Wilmer, I know you’ll make better players of your students in four years. But will they be better people? That’s the important thing.”

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