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    Children, Judo and Failure


    Posts : 37
    Join date : 2013-01-08
    Location : Canada

    Children, Judo and Failure Empty Children, Judo and Failure

    Post by Okazi Sun Feb 03, 2013 9:20 am

    Some quotes from Confucius to get the juices flowing:

    "Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall."

    Do not be complacent. When you are thrown, get up and dust yourself off. Without hesitation, frustration and depression...Honor your efforts. Whatever scheme, strategy and technique you were working on needs a genuine series of test drives. Tenacity and Resilience are your best friends. Change, on the other hand, will always be just a lifelong acquaintance.

    "A man who has committed a mistake and doesn't correct it is committing another mistake."

    At some point you have to be honest with yourself. Thine own self. If something has got to change, it is most likely you.

    "The faults of a superior person are like the sun and moon. They have their faults, and everyone sees them; they change and everyone looks up to them."

    Why? Because failure, mistakes and losses are your wakeup calls. You’ve been asleep for some time now; these are the buckets of water that violently transport you back to waking life. Ignoring them only keeps you asleep longer. Learning as you go along can only make you stronger, faster and smarter. It is an opportunity, if you are wise enough to think of it as such, you will elevate yourself to new heights. No one practices behind a curtain, we are all too aware of each other’s shortcomings, so there should be no shame.

    "The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones."
    Nothing new is easy. As a beginner you start out at the bottom. You take baby steps, you progress, and you get better. One day you may find yourself standing on a massive mound of earth with a belt darkened by your sustained efforts.

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    This post was inspired by the “HOW & WHY JUDO BENEFITS CHILDREN” thread - https://judo.forumotion.com/t165-how-why-judo-benefits-children

    The thread began to move in the direction that the kids we train may be leaving our clubs worse off than when they first came in. I wanted to start a discussion on what we can do to ensure that our students are in fact benefiting from judo: physically, technically and mentally.

    Anybody who has ever been responsible for the training of others should chime in. The goal is to make us better instructors, by learning from each other.

    Oddly enough I would never want a parent to read this, even though a good part of this post acknowledges that they greatly influence their own child's judo related outcomes...I model the behavior I would like parents to exhibit regarding the topic at hand. The monkey see monkey do approach is much less awkward than the intervention approach.

    Quiz time!

    1. Which of the following remarks made by a father during his son's local judo competition should lead to an immediate conversation?

    A) Steven! I didn't cancel poker to watch you dance in circles!
    B) Steve! Stop dancing around him and throw!
    C) Cassandra (or whatever the unfortunate wife's name is), he's not even trying!
    D) None of the above, you pretend as if you never heard any of it and allow your face to slowly redden
    E) A, B, and C - this parent is a monster, where is Van Helsing when you need him?

    Words of wisdom for parents: if you are living vicariously through your kid, stop, you are a douche bag. Just stop it, immediately. Stop tying up your ego with the outcome of your child’s athletic endeavors. Do not use them to psychically rework your own childhood athletic failures, or to fill voids in other areas.

    2. You walk past another coach who has cornered his student, the student appears to be distraught. You:

    A) Quickly pass this scene in search of a washroom, when nature calls everyone else must go on hold
    B) Insert yourself into the situation and get to the bottom of whatever is going on
    C) Walk by, there is no "situation" here
    D) Other:________________________________________________________

    Words of wisdom for coaches: your students are human beings, separate from yourself, main characters in their very own motion pictures. Stop trying to cast them in supporting roles. Direct them towards Oscar worthy fame and fortune. You are there to serve them; they are not there to serve you.

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    Part 1: How to deal with Failure, this one is for the Parents...:


    1. Keep your negativity to yourself – as in – if you have nothing nice to say...
    If you are upset (not sure why you would be, it’s just judo) your words won’t be the only thing to out you as a monster, your body will too… single syllabic responses during the quiet ride home will be all too loud and clear.

    2. Do not lie to them – the officials did not favor the other child, the opponent did not cheat, McDonalds did not make your boy slower, you are not proud of them for doing their best when you think they didn’t

    a. You are free to teach your kids whatever you like, you are after all the owner. What I would like to suggest is that teaching them how to blame others could be detrimental to their development. That maybe teaching them how to take responsibility for their own actions will serve them better later on in life.

    3. Stop Interfering - you are their parent not their coach, keep your short cuts to Olympic gold a secret, at least until you co-author that bestseller with Malcolm Gladwell. You also are not a Freudian Psychoanalyst (who is these days), so let them grieve their “Ideal Self/Awesomeness” on their own. If after a failure, mistake or loss they begin to exhibit Hikikomori-like symptoms then you are obligated by law to intervene and seek out professional help.

    a. It’s the coaches job to constructively criticize

    b. They feel bad for a reason; they will feel bad for some time (How long? No idea), let them get over it on their own.

    What you should do is continue to honor the parental contract you signed at conception (unconditional love and support) and guide them along to higher order mastery of the tricky adult concepts of: perspective and proportion. By being:

    1. Empathetic: you know how they feel, because you too have failed. Share your stories, the older they get the less awesome they think you are, so you might as well get it out of the way now.

    and by:

    2. Keeping it real: “it was just a competition, you can’t win every time, what you can do is learn from it and try harder next time”, “you didn’t medal today and that’s o.k, we still love you” “it’s judo little buddy, not the middle east peace process” “talk to ____Sensei/Coach_____, they’ll tell you what to do” etc.

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    Part 2: How to deal with Failure, this one is for Instructors:

    The aforementioned will apply here too. With the addition of a couple of details. Please attempt to instill the following as core principles and ideas:

    Screwing up, Losing, and Failing:

    o Are all natural
    o Happen all the time
    o Are experienced by everybody

    Your job is to help them conceptualize failure as a source of feedback and not as a valid source of frustration. They have to feel as if you are o.k with it too.

    They must learn to respond with action and not to react with rumination. This the appropriate response:

    Children, Judo and Failure Kanji_mushin

    Worrying about screwing up footwork and counters oddly enough makes them more likely to happen.
    Mushin is also known as:

    Children, Judo and Failure 66354


    That empty space they must always strive to occupy. A place they will find themselves in more often than not when they focus on the present. Staying in the moment keeps them focused on executing. Focusing on mistakes will only create more of them. Choking is the byproduct of analysis during a performance of consequence.

    I get the impression that yelling and screaming instructions to them not only fractures their attention but compounds the pressure they feel. I also find it difficult to make adjustments in-between opponents on competition day. Is the kid a light switch (quick flick on/off)? Are they more like a dial (gradual change)? If they are a dial I would avoid offering specific strategies and focus on general support. If they are a switch than you could quickly deal with the problem and offer the solution. What is true regardless of their temperament is that the dojo is always the safest and most comfortable place to break down and rebuild. That is when we can study the issue under a microscope and construct various schemes, strategies and techniques till the cows come home.

    As an instructor you should strive to remove all impediments to your student’s success. Don’t let them stand in their own way.
    Teach them to conceptualize catastrophes as opportunities. To capitalize on these opportunities with real world solutions, helping them to solve problems instead of dwelling on them.

    A spark without kindling starts no fire.

    If you are ok with their screw ups they will be ok with their screw ups. Freeing them to deal with the disgustingly unreasonable demands you burden them with. The ones that require them to:

    work hard,continuously improve and strive for excellence.

    I’m suggesting that it is more than appropriate to be visibly disgusted with them if they are perfectly content to only tread water in a sea of mediocrity.

    *Also known as “The Zone”

      Current date/time is Mon Mar 04, 2024 2:59 pm