The Teacher’s Teacher & the Student’s Student, Simon Schmid

Olivier is everything but a classical coach. On the one hand, he is your teacher, obviously, but on the other hand, he is your student as well. He is curious about the challenges you face. He wants to understand your situation as much as possible. This deep understanding allows him to support you in the best possible way within the framework given by you. He is always paying attention to your individual situation, your needs, opportunities and deficiencies. That is why when you evolve through the practice your relationship with Olivier evolves as well. Depending on the situation Olivier is a coach, mentor, listener, discussion partner, inspirational storyteller and sparring partner, just to name a few.

The goal of the collaboration with Olivier is not to become better, stronger or more flexible. Rather you are seeking more awareness within you. Throughout this process, you learn to gather more and more information about your body at the very same time (and on different layers). I remember Olivier saying: “How many things can you observe (be aware of) whilst not become distracted?” This ability to be aware of many different things going on in your body, mentally as physically, allows you to understand yourself step by step a little bit more. In the end, you are on a journey of self-discovery. 

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You are going to learn to pay attention to the smallest details which are happening (or not). Your goal is no longer to do as many repetitions as possible. Now, it is to reach a high quality in your practice which allows your body to interconnect, cell for cell. You are going to make your joints, ligaments, muscles intelligent in a way that your body becomes your brain. You are going to find joy to observe the smallest details whilst practising. Naturally, there is a mind-shift happening from counting towards observing. It is this observation-mode, the awakening of a long lost capability you had as a child, being curious about your environment and how it interact with your body. You become a seeker of discovering new possibilities again. And yes, it is inevitable that you are going to make progress in all sorts of aspects throughout this process in areas like mobility, strength, coordination and mindset.

It is difficult for me to pick out a specific quality of Olivier which I appreciate the most. But I admire his capability of showing himself vulnerable and deeply rooted at the same time. This environment supports me to open myself up, sharing my doubts, things I am afraid of or my success stories. We are both on different paths, our own’s, but on the same as well.

Over the last 10 months, I learned that my practice is not restricted to my practice sessions. It is infiltrating my daily life in a very positive way. An ongoing transfer is happening. My life is becoming more and more my practice, a playground of unlimited opportunities.

I am very thankful that I found in Olivier a person who supports me in this process in which I am learning to understand myself as a human being.

- Simon Schmid on our 10-months of Fighting Monkey Practice online coaching