Creating Black Belt Parents
You may think, from this title, I am talking about getting parents enrolled in your martial art program. While this would be one goal, what I am talking about is totally opposite. For example if we claim to help a student to get in shape and lose weight but don’t really follow up on them as they are training inquiring about their diet, their daily practice and try to continually redirect and reinforce a lifestyle which is conducive to losing weight and getting in shape, then we are falling short of our responsibilities. Our goal is to treat each and every student as individuals. I know how hard that can be, but the harder we work at it, the better off all of us will be.
We are only a piece of the team, I only see most of my students 2-3 hours per week and in only three hours I can’t do it all. I always do my best to create a team, between, the student, the parents and my instructors. It is my goal to get the parents on board and ask them to become an active part of their child’s martial arts experience. If I am not doing that then eventually I will fail. I will give you an example: Just recently one of my Black Belt Youth students decided to quit. I had just recently had a conversation and talked to him about his goals and he told me he was excited to continue and take his training to the next level.
Within a week, his dad called and told me his son no longer wanted to train. I was surprised but not shocked. The reason why I had the conversation was I could see he was de-motivated. When I pressed for a reason, the dad said “he is bored and feels he is not progressing, he is doing the same thing over and over.” You may have had a conversation like this in the past, I then explained how repetition is everything and we must continue to perfect the spirit and become great at what we do before moving on. He said, “well, I am not going to force him, it is his decision.” I then said “well, if that were the case he would be doing anything he wanted right?” The dad then replied “Well, it is his decision and the conversation was over.” Now let me go a bit back in time, nearly two years ago, this same dad helped his son through his black belt test physical preparing by walking and running with his son. The dad lost 60 pounds. He was so thankful he even bought as a gift a scale for my school, hoping other dads would do the same thing. Wow in only two years, he forgot, it takes effort and time, he needed to be part of the equation and encourage his child not to make a silly decision. The problem is we didn’t continue to reinforce the benefits with him and his child, so that success was easily forgotten.
Again, the goal is to build a team, to hold the parents accountable, to explain fully how they are responsible as well. It is not just our job at the martial arts school, it is the parents job as well. It is the same analogy – when a parent blames a public school teacher because their child is failing. Truly a teacher can be part of the equation, but if the teacher is failing do we sit back and allow our children to become failures? Of course not! It is our duty to always oversee the progress of our children, the bottom line is they are our children. I know my daughter is my sole responsibility, if she fails, I have no one to blame but myself. So isn’t it important for us to impart this wisdom on the parents in our school. Do your best to educate and communicate if a child succeeds, it is a Team effort, you as the instructor, the child as the student and the parent as the motivating force behind the child’s growth.
For more information on this you can easily email me and I will share with you more tips. Kyoshi@lininja.com or you canbecomea member of www.takingitothenextlevel.com.Also,don't forget to pick up a copy of my book - Martial Art Business101 -Hooyah Living the Dream - www.atouchofzen.com