Re: Student ability
Lack of focus is the problem.
I believe that the only way martial arts develops concentration is when a person forces themselves to focus. In order for this to happen, an instructor must not give too much help--actually, I'd say minimal assistance.
This is why I feel this way: I train under six instructors. I go to the beginner class, the regular classes, the advanced classes and train privately with a 20+yr veteran. Over my Aikido career, I've gone through periods where I train more with one instructor than the others. Every few months, it'd seem I was in someone else's classes more than the others.
Anyway, what I noticed is that when the instructor demonstrated the technique four or five times and then answered questions real friendly like, I got lazy. I didn't pay too much attention. My mind would wander and then when I caught it, I'd just say to myself,"ah, he'll show it again." However, there's one instructor who show's a technique two times. And if you ask questions, you really make sure they're not stupid before you ask them.
What happened? My focus was sharp as a tack when I trained more under that guy. Under the others, I was sloppy.
I see it with other students to. The beginners who are coddled perform like children--always looking to the instructor to make sure their foot's in the right spot. After a year of training, they still can't perform a very simple technique after it's been demonstrated.
Tell your student that HE needs to change. It's not the art, it's not the instructor, it's his problem that needs to be fixed....of course, do it in a nice way.
Focus and Practice.