Redefining Limits: The Hidden Value of Hard

Courses that are considered high-risk or stressful appear to be antithetical to what we know about effective training and education. In an effort to handle a number of problems like attrition and improve student retention, many programs have been changed in a way that lowers the stress (physical and emotional) on the student. This is a mistake.

There is a value to pushing the limits and expectations on students that has been lost because the training community failed to define the value inherent in these methods. In not applying a performance objective to fear and stress, many programs (including basic training and others) gave up a piece of what mattered most. Drawing on research from the U.S. Navy, the opinions of noted psychologists, and on his own experience, CWO Mario Vittone tells us why yelling at recruits is valuable, why stress and fear have a place in the classroom, and why asking for more than is humanly possible sometimes makes everyone safer and more effective.

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