Whenever I start something new, I always have great intentions. But I don’t always achieve the level of success that I envisioned when I started. If I look back honestly, I can always see the seeds of my failure. I can see the things that I should have done (but didn’t) that led to not achieving my goal.
I have been watching martial arts students for a long time, and I have noticed some important differences between those that have great success and those that quit after a few months. Here are some of the things I have seen successful students do.
1. Come to class consistently. I can count on seeing the most successful Taekwondo students in class on specific days. This is because they have established a routine and they follow it religiously. Attending 2-3 days a week is best.
2. Test consistently. When a student skips a testing they can feel like they are now behind their peers. It is difficult to see others moving forward when they are not. This can make them get discouraged and stop trying.
3. Come to special events (tournaments, clinics, special classes, etc.) We offer special classes and clinics and other events periodically. Sometimes there is an added cost and sometimes they are free. Students who attend these feel more engaged and excited about their training.
4. Set short-term and long-term goals. When most students start they have a goal of getting a Black Belt. But this is so far in the future; they need other short-term goal. Good short-term goals would be getting their next stripe or belt.
5. Take private lessons. It is amazing what can be accomplished in a one on one session with an instructor. You will leave with specific things to work on to improve your skills.
6. Persevere during periods of low excitement or disappointment. I guarantee there will be times when a student is no longer motivated. This may be because of a disappointment or something else. Usually if we just persevere through these times the excitement will return and we learn a valuable lesson about perseverance and not giving up when things get tough.
7. Parents of junior students, stay in involved with your child’s training, Practice with them at home, talk to instructors, and keep up with current announcements. Best of all, take classes yourself.
If we want to be successful we need to do what successful people do. Following the example of what successful students do, will lead to our success as well.