September Word of the Month

September Word of the Month
10 Sep 2017

COMPETITION

“I’M NOT IN COMPETITION WITH ANYBODY BUT MYSELF. MY

GOAL IS TO BEAT MY LAST PERFORMANCE.” – CELENE DION –

Developing a HEALTHY HABIT of COMPETING with yourself is important to pushing through to the NEXT PERFORMANCE LEVEL. Becoming stagnant is a surefire way of burning out or becoming bored with your training or with life itself. Take small CHALLENGES, whether against yourself or others, to ENCOURAGE and MOTIVATE yourself to step up and want to become better. The MARTIAL ARTS have a great BUILT-IN SYSTEM  of CHECKING PROGRESS. Every belt test should be an OPPORTUNITY to see GROWTH within your TRAINING.

Ask Your Child(ren):

  1. How do you feel about competition?
  2. Why can healthy competition be good for you?
  3. How can you challenge yourself to become better every day?

WINNERS BUILD ON MISTAKES. LOSERS DWELL ON THEM.” – ARNOLD MORI –

What happens when you are doing your best and you make a mistake? Do you fall apart and want to quit, or do you try your hardest to do better the next time? When you make being a winner a habit, you learn that mistakes and set backs will happen. It’s what you do and how you handle them that will make all the difference. Choosing to dwell on your mistakes or obstacles takes your mind off the PRIZE. Being a good competitor means you move past challenges and obstacles and use them to improve your outcomes.

Ask Your Child(ren):

  1. How do you feel when you’re trying your best and you don’t succeed right away?
  2. What does it mean to make winning a habit?
  3. What is a winning attitude?

“WINNING ISN’T EVERYTHING, BUT WANTING TO IS.” – VINCE LOMBARDI –

Having the DESIRE TO WIN is an essential quality for any competitor. When you walk into “battle,” you have to decide you want victory more than your opponent. However, desire is not enough. You have to TRAIN with this ATTITUDE and PREPARE with it, too. You can’t just walk into a competition, wish to be the best, and win. Practice and preparation are a necessity!

Ask Your Child(ren):

  1. What does a “wanting to win” attitude mean?
  2. How should you prepare for any competition?
  3. What is something you want to achieve or win? How can you prepare for it?

“A GOOD ATHLETE ALWAYS MENTALLY REPLAYS A COMPETITION OVER AND OVER, EVEN IN VICTORY, TO SEE WHAT MIGHT BE DONE TO IMPROVE THE PERFORMANCE THE NEXT TIME.” – FRANK SHORTER –

CONTINUALLY IMPROVING is an IMPORTANT QUALITY for any competitor. Even during winning streaks, winners still strive to improve and CHALLENGE themselves to reach the next level. Imagine earning your first belt and deciding you have done your best and don’t need to improve any more. Would you ever be able to reach your GOALS of becoming a BLACK BELT or, possibly, an INSTRUCTOR one day? SUCCESS in any competition should not mean the end of training or improvement. It should be a sign you’re doing well and be used as a STEPPING STONE to continue reaching higher and higher to reach your goals.

Ask Your Child(ren):

  1. Why is it important to improve, even when you win?
  2. What are some goals you may not have achieved if you had quit working hard after a victory?
  3. How does continuous improvement help you?

Dear PARENTS and/or GUARDIANS …

This month’s topic or LIFE SKILL is an exceptionally important one: COMPETITION. The reason it’s so important is because it has a direct and immediate impact on how your children view life. Now, it’s true you have a direct impact on everything your children learn and do, but, in this case, you’re so actively involved that the positive, or negative, impact can be life changing. So, in addition to some teaching drills for you to practice at home, here are some ways you can reinforce this month’s life lessons. Discuss with your children various situations that may occur in martial arts class, school, or even at home. Below are two examples.

The KEY TO LEARNING these life skills at home is in the DIALOGUE you and your children have. For example: “Johnny, I have a question. If you had been working really hard for months to compete in a TOURNAMENT and you got all the way to the final match, but another green belt won, what would you do? Would you shake his hand and congratulate him, or would you just nod your head and walk away?” This is when you, as a parent, need to explain that the proper response is to congratulate the other participant. Then ask, “How does it make you feel, knowing you worked so hard but didn’t get first place?” Again, the key is how you direct the answer, as there is no real “wrong” answer. Explain how competition is meant to help us grow in a particular event and only determines who is best at a particular point in time. WINNING OR LOSING should only help MOTIVATE us to work to get better or to stay strong/smart, etc.

Story number two is an example of being on a team in physical education class. Ask, “If you were on a softball, baseball, or soccer team and your team won the game, what would you do after the game?” Ask, “If your team didn’t win, what could you do to get better?” Remind them that getting better starts with them, not the team.

As a parent, how do you behave as a spectator? Do you boo or get in the coaches’/instructors’ faces? Remember, there are appropriate times and places to discuss questions and concerns, but rarely is it right then and there.

Competition is good and the pressure that comes from it also can be good, as long as we don’t take things too seriously and realize that competition is not meant to be a long-term judgment, but a short term tool to improvement.

 


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