It's a bit like teaching an american Rugby. You can go over all the rules for quite some time, if you throw them in a game after explaiing all the rules, they will forget everything you told them. You get more by letting them play a little bit, screwing up, and then explaining the details after they have some initial exposure.
That is an awesome analogy. As an American who has played rugby I can 100% relate to what you are trying to say!