In part one, we saw some of the reasons why children will want to quit training BJJ. We know from a coaching perspective how hard once a child has made their mind up to not train any longer it can be to get them back on the mat.
Here are some strategies for you to try to get them back on track if you see the value in the training.
Firstly you should try to communicate with the coaching staff to let them know what is happening. This is important because the athlete may be close to being recognised for their time on the mat and their skill set by being awarded a stripe or belt. This may assist in correcting the course of the child. Communicating with the coaching staff may also give the coaches the opportunity to communicate directly with the athlete, find out what the challenges are and help them find their place again.
Forcing children to do something they don’t want to do is always a fine line to walk as you can make them resent what it is you are trying to achieve, so take that out of the equation straight away.
Depending on the age of the child teaching them about commitment and seeing things through until they are completed is the best way about change their attitude. ‘Quitters never win, and winners never quit!’ If we allow our children to just quit a sport because it is not cool, or because they want to try something new doesn’t teach the child about commitment. It also won’t teach them the importance of dealing with hardships either.
If they have the opportunity to quit when they want to then they will never understand what it is like to truly achieve a long-term goal.
Teaching children about consequences is very important. As the parent you will know your child better than any Brazilian Jiu Jitsu coach and if you have paid for a 12 month training schedule the child needs to understand that there is a cost involved should they quit. Remember earlier when I asked the question of who lets their child make the financial decisions for the family? Well if the child quits before the end of the obligation that they were committed to the parent still has to pay, it might not be on the remainder of the Jiu Jitsu membership but it will be in other forms.
Giving the child athlete some time off is not a dumb idea. The sport is very hard on the body and different to a normal fitness routine. The body is pushed and pulled, put in awkward positions and squashed. Everyone that participates in the sport get sore and it does not get easier. Taking a week off can be a good thing especially if the child is having a negative attitude towards the sport. In this time off take the time to sit and watch a Jiu Jitsu match on YouTube or show the child the clubs Facebook or Instagram page and see if they can find themselves in it. These things will enable the child to reconnect and keep the fire inside burning.
Meeting the child halfway can work in that you may suggest that they train once or twice a week as opposed to four or five. After one of the training sessions it may be an opportunity to take the child to their favourite restaurant or do something fun. This too will enable you to connect with the child and they understand that there is a ‘reward’ post training.
At the end of the day we all want to have strong, confident and resilient children that understand that quitting is never the best option. It is our job as parents to help them make the right decisions and understand consequences.
Reg is a first degree black belt that has travelled and trained extensively around Australia. He is a competitive black belt competing at the national and international level.
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