Regarding your "Amethyst is a leader theory" You mentioned stuff about Amethyst being able to connect with her "troops" Well... In "Crack The Whip" Connie and Steven managed to hold off Jasper due to Amethyst's advice... Even though they have practiced so long under Pearl. Only after Amethyst's advice then they did manage to understand how fighting works.
I wouldn’t discredit all of Pearl’s training! I mean, she did teach them the technical aspects of fighting. And that’s really important. Even with all the righteous fury and will to fight, not knowing how to wield a weapon renders it moot.
By Crack the Whip, Steven and Connie had been training for months. I think by then, they’d know “how fighting works.” But I do think, and this is something that is very much characteristic of Pearl, they were too much in their heads about it. I feel like it’s also a function of how Pearl teaches. I think it’s best exemplified in Cheeseburger Backpack. Pearl was plotting out holographic versions of them, trying to find the best way around their obstacles.
Moreover, she knows that the setting is like a lesson, so she’d focus on the more “objective” aspects, say, one’s stance, the angle of the blade, and things like that. In reality, there’s some flexibility in combat, and the fluidity is what makes the difference between learning it from a textbook and experiencing the actual battle. I’m sure Pearl knows this, but again, she’s in teaching mode (think of the Pearl Points).
Steven and Connie were training really hard and in the episode they did it by repetition. While that does help improve muscle memory and lot of other skills, it’s not everything.
And they got frustrated because they were trying to get the steps and the posture and all of these technical things right. But again, there’s more to fighting than that. Amethyst picked up on that, and it was the very thing at which she was poking fun at Pearl.
Amethyst’s style is very different. She’s a very go with the flow kind of fighter. Recall the way she explained shape-shifting to Steven. “You feel it, and then shake it out!” It’s very different from the way Pearl views and interacts with the world.
This is the very advice she gives Steven and Connie. Ultimately it’s a balance. And something I would like to stress from that reblog, is where I mention anyone can be a leader. Because all of these fighting styles and ways of seeing the world are valid. It’s a matter of knowing when things are appropriate. And the person who is able to do that best and direct other people towards it, is able to lead effectively.