It’s amazing how strong and loud a young child will throw a punch or kick when you’re watching…and how soft and quiet they become when you’re not! Yep! They love attention! 🙂

karate kids jumpOlder kids (and many adults!) are no different. They work hard when they know someone will see and reward them, but left to practice alone, the motivation to push themselves fades fast.

This is an ongoing challenge for teachers…and parents! How do you teach a child that working hard is its own reward? That being the best you can be only comes by working hard when no one is watching? I discuss the issue this way:

  • If I only eat healthy food sometimes, will I be healthy? NO.
  • If I only study sometimes, will I get good grades? NO.
  • If I’m only nice to people sometimes, will I make friends? NO.
  • If I only clean my room sometimes, will mom and dad be happy? NO.
  • If I only try my best sometimes, will I ever be great? NO.

They usually figure out the pattern before I remind them of our number one rule…the secret to success is to ALWAYS try your best. Even when no one is watching. Even when there’s no trophy. Even when you’re tired, scared, hungry, or sad. Always.

That’s why I slump a little when new parents ask if they can sign up for a three or four-week session…

They think Karate is just for fun. They think Karate is just an activity and not a way of life. They think Karate is just sometimes, when it’s really ALWAYS.