(Principles are basic truths that, when applied, cause success to come to you easier and quicker.)


After learning the basics of flying an airplane a pilot may go on to the more advanced training of learning to fly by only looking at the readings on instruments on the panel, not by looking outside the airplane.

There is a common problem for pilots new to instrument flying. It occurs when the plane goes through some normal variance from straight-and-level flight, perhaps due to turbulence. The pilot notices this on the needles of the instruments and then immediately tries to course correct by moving the controls.

The novice pilot will over-correct, sending the needle off in another direction. When this is repeated, they are said to be chasing the needle.

An experienced pilot will relax, let the airplane self-correct (self-correction is part of properly designed airplanes), and then perhaps make a slight movement on the controls, if needed.

Sometimes you may find yourself “chasing the needle” in life when things don’t go the way you want and you find yourself a little off course. The trick is to relax, see if things will self-correct, and then maybe provide a little input, if needed.

As with an airplane, the clearer you are about your destination the easier it will be to provide just the right amount of input and control to stay on course.


Coaching Point: Have you ever chased the needle?


Copyright 2008 Steve Straus. All rights reserved.