You can go to youtube but the problem with that is that u really have to know who to listen to, so you can be learning good or bad traits from that. Youtube is very touchy, so if you use it then pick and choose wisely. Good luck with it
Much of the training out there is focused on developing solid fundamental skills. When you understand the fundamentals, perform them consistently, can objectively evaluate your results, and know how to adapt to achieve the desired result every day you have accomplished much. Competency is a wonderful (and under-appreciated) thing.
Equally important is developing your palate. Some training addresses this directly, some doesn't. At very least, though, training should expose you to well-executed drinks. In any case, palate development is critical because it is your guide moving forward.
I happen to think that being trained is the best way to develop basic competency for skills and palate. However, after you've achieved basic competency, the focus ought to shift from "being trained" to continuously learning and practicing.
Learning can come from reading publications, online discussions, observing others at work, tasting others' drinks, and experimenting. Practicing should seek to intentionally refine technique - improving quality, consistency, and efficiency. In all cases, you're falling back on a palate to guide your progress. This palate, however, should be ever-advancing too, never being satisfied with a certain level of quality for too long, always pursuing greater things.
I guess what I'm saying is, once you've achieved basic competency, become your own trainer. Approach your own development almost like you are two people - the trainer and the trainee. As the trainer, actively seek new things to learn, learn them, practice them, and critically evaluate your results. Move your focus - shot quality, milk texture, milk waste, shot time consistency improvement, preparation speed, bar cleanliness, latte art, exploring different flavors in your espresso, signature beverages, etc. As the trainee, work deliberately to master each new lesson before moving on.
I agree with previous statements about getting out into the world. This is one of the truest ways to find both where you stand and where you can go. This is one of the reasons that many great baristas compete, judge, travel extensively, and visit others' cafes. The possibilities for learning are endless if one looks hard enough.
Alright so what is your suggestions for people and videos I should be watching on youtube?
Jonathan: from your responses I get a feeling that you might not be that motivated to improve your skills? There's loads of good stuff online to study: videos, blogs, forums etc. Use your own judgement on what's good and what's not, after all you are a barista manager and trainer? A good start is to study the performances in the finals and semifinals of the WBC of 2010. If you can't manage to google that up....then I don't know
I spend alot of time on the BGA site Id love to go to one of their classes but none of them are in my area and again I just don't have the money to travel and attend a class *tear*.