The K in SPARK stands for KNOWLEDGE. Wanting something or wanting to do something and knowing how to get to that goal surely are two different things. I may want to rock climb, but if I have no knowledge of the techniques, tools or where to go, it is not likely that I will become a successful rock climber.
If I seek out a skilled teacher though who guides me with the basics, shows me what equipment would be good for me to have and takes me to a place to practice, now I will start to have the knowledge and skills I need to reach my goal. The same is true for any practice that we would like to take up, whether it is computer science, playing a game, or learning how to study.
Part of gaining knowledge and skills though is our willingness to be coached. When I have a student that is ‘coach-able’ I am speaking of someone who will listen to the suggestions (new knowledge) and then try to put it into practice. While it is good to ask questions of your coach to gain deeper knowledge, it is not good to question the validity of the suggestions made by the expert (why do I have to do this?). We may not understand how this change or suggestion is going to help us reach our goal, but if we practice soon enough we will see how it helps us with details later.
When dealing with children or anyone new in a practice, getting the basics is key to the building blocks. It has been suggested by some researchers that unless gross motor skills are developed in children before they are asked to perform fine motor skill tasks – they will never reach their greatest potential. The same is true in math, reading, studying or leadership. Gaining knowledge and skills in the correct order will help us maintain our perseverance to complete our goals.