This is the fourth and final article of a series that has presented Learning Styles in the Texas Holdem Poker Learning Process. We have been addressing how the Learning Styles concept can be applied in a learning situation including the development of Texas Hold Poker knowledge and skills. We have previously dealt with the Auditory Learner and the Visual Learner. This article will deal with the Kinesthetic or Tactile Learner. Tactile relates to touching and feeling. Feeling also has an emotional connotation that applies in this instance as well. Kinesthetic relates to action and movement. Therefore, the Kinesthetic Learner learns best through physical actions that involve handling and manipulating objects using emotions as a motivator.
- The first step in this process is to determine your learning style. The following statements describe how Kinesthetic Learners react to a variety of situations or circumstances.
- You trust your instincts or gut feelings in helping you make poker decisions.
- At the poker table you fiddle with your poker chips or like to have a card cover. You may be pretty good at doing poker chip tricks.
- When you have made a big decision like all-in, you are compelled to get up and walk around.
- When playing poker online you need to be doing something else like squeezing a ball, drumming with a pencil, constantly changing positions or other small physical activities.
- When you recall a past event you remember the emotions that you experienced or actually re-experience them.
- You instinctually know the direction you are facing.
- You spend your leisure time involved in physical activities or making things.
- When you make a new purchase that requires assembly you generally ignore the directions and just get at it using trial and error.
- In conversation you say things like I know how you feel, get a grip or just do it.
- When shopping you pick items up, handle them or test how they work.
- You greet friends with a hug. You use physical contact or movement when you are talking to someone, i.e. place a hand on a shoulder, gesture, move around, etc.
- You express your anger physically, stomp out of the room, throw things, slam doors, etc.
- You like sports and consider yourself a good athlete.
- You enjoy games like charades that involve acting things out.
- You have difficulty sitting still for long periods of time.
This is not a scientific analysis based on years of research but if these statements capture the way that you do things, you are probably a Kinesthetic or Tactile Learner.. So what works best for you?
- Your teachers, parents and even you yourself may think that you are hyperactive. This may or may not be the case, but many of the techniques that have been applied to working with the hyperactive learner can work for you. Don’t be offended by the implications, being a Kinesthetic Learner is not a handicap. On the contrary, a great many very intelligent and success individuals including very successful artists and athletes are Kinesthetic Learners. The approaches to learning that I am suggesting here will merely help you acquire knowledge in the most expedient manner.
- Your learning cannot be static, you must be doing or experiencing something at all times.
- Whenever you engage in a studying or concentrated learning activity, work for short periods of time 25-30 minutes taking short 5 minute breaks in between. Don’t try to stretch the work periods or the break periods any longer than suggested. If you stretch the work period you may tire or lose interest and if you stretch the break you might not want to get back to work. Shorter is better than longer.
- Kinesthetic Learners are often athletic. Combine your learning with your physical conditioning. Read a book, magazine article or go through index or flash cards while you or on an exercise bike or treadmill. Again, keep each session to 20-30 minutes with a 5 minute break in between sessions.
- Be comfortable when you read or watch an instructional video. Reading in a hammock, a swing or a rocking chair can give you physical movement when you read. Using a bean bag or big comfortable chair will allow you change your body position as you read or watch an instructional video.
- Read or watch instructional videos while lying on your side, back or on your stomach.
- Try to get the big picture before you start to read an instructional book. Scan the book quickly from front to back, looking at the cover, back and book jacket. Take a quick look at the Table of Contents noting the chapters. Flip through the pages perusing pictures, diagrams etc. very quickly. When you actually get into reading the book, scan each chapter in the same manner. There is no law that says that you are required to read the book in the order that it is published. You can read the chapters in the sequence that you find most interesting.
- The use of colored transparent sheets over the text on the book page has provided good success for individuals who have difficulty focusing. You might want to try this if you have some trouble sitting down and slugging your way through a book. Experiment with a variety of colors until you find the color that works best for you.
- To accommodate your need to expend physical energy while trying to focus on learning, squeeze a stress ball, chew gum, sit on an exercise ball or move your feet and hands.
- At the poker table be comfortable, wear comfortable clothes this will help you concentrate better.
- Don’t force yourself to sit for hours. Get up and move around between hands or after you have folded a hand.
- To keep your hands busy, learn and perform poker chip tricks. They may be a great way to demonstrate your hand and finger dexterity but they can also serve a more important purpose for you.
- If you use head phones stay away from music with a heavy rhythmic beat. Listen to classical baroque music or concentration and relaxation music.
- When trying to internalize information with your eyes closed, write on your desk, table or in the air with your finger trying to visualize and hear the words in your head as you write or draw. Reinforce this activity later by closing your eyes and trying to visualize and hear the information again.
- Kinesthetic Learners enjoy creating or making things. These things are instrumental in their learning process. Use your imagination and create artifacts that you can use to enhance you learning. Create physical items that will help you learn and to remember your new knowledge. Simple examples include index cards, flash cards, wriing on white boards or making posters. These are items that you can refer to frequently to help you recall the information when it is required.
- Playing other games that require strategy and the ability to read your opponents like chess and backgammon can help you develop your poker strategies and skills. Many professional poker players are also expert backgammon players.
- You learn best by using trial and error as your teacher. So play poker.
- Some cautions about being a Kinesthetic Learner.
- You learn by trial and error and learn best by playing a lot of poker. However, make sure that you are playing within you sphere of competence. Play with poker players of comparable ability to yours. Yes, you want to play with players that will challenge your skills and help you learn along the way, but in the game of poker, getting in above your head can have drastic financial results for you. Keep your game within stakes that you can afford and with players that provide you a reasonable chance for success.
- Don’t try to sit at the poker table or in study sessions for periods of time that are too long as this may cause you to lose your focus, get up and move around about every 30 minutes or so.
- At the same time don’t be too active as you need to study and be aware of your opponents and how they play the game.
- Since you tend to be emotional you can be impulsive so don’t let your emotions take control, stop and take a moment before pushing your chips all in.
As a Kinesthetic Learner there are not an abundance of manipulative poker resources available to help you with your poker learning process. Your challenge is to use these resources effectively. By recognizing and combining learning with your natural abilities i.e. your drive, your passion and your need for movement you can acquire, reinforce and permanently store sensory information as you jog along the path to quick and effective learning.
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