It's One Thing For An Athlete, Another For A Coach
Like many things, there will be a time when the decision to stop training in the sport of Brazilian Jiu Jitsu is made.
Athletes will often share the real decision with their teammates or family, but rarely with the coach.
This is hard from a coaches perspective as very few sports foster a bond like ones made between the athlete/coach in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The sport is hard and not everyone can do it, irrespective of what most people will tell you.
Coaches should always be appreciative of their athletes attending training. This is because each session is tough and taxing on the body and mind.
After all it is a combat sport.
It never gets easier. It gets harder and more challenging irrespective of what colour belt you wear.
However, when it's time to hang up the gi almost all athletes never tell their coaches the reason why they stop.
Often when the coach realises the athlete hasn't been training, a few weeks may have gone by. It might be longer if the the academy has in excess of 150 athletes. Keeping tabs on everyone does get hard.
Unless the coach contacts the athlete (or guardian of the athlete) they may or may not get a 'true' answer.
Please note that the word 'true' is used loosely as only the athlete knows why they stopped and have to admit this to themselves first.
If there is something that is affecting the athlete in training, they should feel comfortable enough to approach their coach and tell them.
Reasons could include; difficult teammates, or if one athlete is not comfortable with another. If the problem is with a teammate they should first approach the teammate and ask if their is a 'problem'. If it can't be solved between each other then get the coach involved to try to mediate.
But if the problem relates to the coach, the athlete needs to approach them (even if they need a chaperone) to express their concerns and come to some form of resolution.
If the gripe pertains to things like not getting a stripe, or not getting a belt promotion, they're in the sport for the wrong reasons.
Coaching staff see how you're training and they regularly discuss with each other your ability.
Just remember, stripes tell coaches where you are in your training and use them as a gauge. In saying this though, be proud to get a stripe as you've been working hard.
When an athlete leaves without telling their coach, the coach often questions themselves.
They'll wonder about the relationship they had. If the training provided was good enough or if something negative affected the athlete at training.
I've played a few different sports in my life. But I've been involved in combat sports for most of it.
What I noticed in other sports was that if I wasn't one of the top five athletes, coaching staff wouldn't really pay much attention to me.
I'd go out of my way to work damn hard and try my best so I would get noticed. Unfortunately, the coaches had their favorites and I wasn't going to be one of them.
I realised that I'd never break into the 'cool' group and have coaches pay more attention to me.
So, when I decided to coach Jiu Jitsu, I made it my goal to ensure EVERY athlete received the same amount of attention as the next.
I was going to make EVERY athlete feel that they were important and let EVERY athlete know they had made an improvement or accomplished something in the training session.
Coaches see the highs and lows of their athletes in this sport. They know first hand the ups and downs in this sport. But when the athlete 'quits' without telling the coach, it's bloody hard on the coach.
So when you or your child athlete is thinking of quitting, approach your coach immediately. Let them know what your thinking and what your reasons are. There maybe a way to 'fix' the 'problem'.
Just don't leave without saying goodbye.
2nd Degree Black Belt
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