Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Being dismissed from the MSF course isn't the end of the world

Via Usenet this morning:

"By the end of the day It became apparent that everyone else was picking things up a bit faster than I was. However I went home that evening confident that the next day I would catch up.

Sunday morning arrived wet and raining. Not hard enough to stop the class though so things went ahead as planned. The wet surfaces intimidated me and the instructors seemed to be picking things up...hurrying from one lesson to the next.

By noon I felt I needed more time and was about to ask the instuctor what to do when he called me over after lunch and asked me to leave the class. He said they felt that the class was moving along and I wasn't able to keep up. He asked me to leave and said he would call me back at another time when a smaller class becomes available so that they could spend more time with me.

I left quite humiliated. They never called me back. I really don't know what to do." - Phil

I'm sorry to hear that you had a bad experience, Phil. As an instructor, it's always tough for me to dismiss a student, regardless of how badly he or she might be doing.

That said, you must understand that the instructors have a tremendous amount of responsibility on their shoulders. They must keep the class on time (every single module and exercise is timed), they must maintain visual control of the range, and they must watch 5 to 12 students at once to make sure they stay safe. In the midst of all that, they also have to instruct. If one student is causing a repeated distraction, can't keep up, or is dangerous, he or she must be dismissed for the sake of the other students. The last thing I always say before taking a class to the range is, "This course moves very quickly, so pay close attention, listen to my instructions, focus, and have fun."

Now then, just because you were asked to leave doesn't mean it's the end of things. You can always go back (or to a different MSF sponsorship) for a few sessions of private instruction to help you with the basics. And make no mistake, what you are learning in a BRC is most definitely the basics. If you were still having problems with starting, stopping, turning, and shifting at the beginning of the second day, you'd have never made it through the more advanced exercises to come.

All that said, you should also take enough stock in yourself to question whether or not you need to be on a bike. Things happen fast on the street, and an MSF instructor can see things you might not be able to. If your mind is constantly focused on the mechanical aspects of riding rather than concentrating on the riding environment, you'll never make it out there in the real world.

Food for thought. Best of luck with whatever you decide.

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