People ask me all the time and you know; how would your life be if you didn’t train martial arts? And I want to be honest with you, I would not have a clue. The process of training and the process of personal refinement, the process of personal development is so ingrained in my person. I don’t know exactly who I would be.
I work out to stay in shape, to stay healthy and I also work out with my kids to provide them with an example. What needs to be done if they desire to be athletes. As we move ourselves into the summer months, where kids are usually out of school, especially in the United States, I know that enrichment on a physical level and academic level is super important for your kid.
If your kid has a desire, or if you have the desire to provide your child with the opportunity. I say this, because a lot of parents when I see them come into my dojo sometimes and I to parents, who I coach, who’ll say, well, I want to see it, my kid likes it, I want to see my kid wants to do, you can’t sound more ridiculous as a parent, because you have the tail wagging the dog. As the dog wagging the tail.
Your job is to respect your child’s interests. Yes. But your job and responsibility is also to provide your child with a plethora of avenues, road ways and opportunities so that when they get older, they have options.
Children don’t like eating vegetables all the time, they want to eat cake, they want to eat ice cream, they want to eat fruit, but I’m not asking my child what they want to eat, and then providing them with only what they want to eat. I will ask them what they want to eat in order to see how their decision making process is at this particular level of their lives and then steer them in the right direction, because they need help as they mature.
Your job is to provide your children with excellent opportunities and experiences so that when they get older, when they hit 18, when they leave the house, they can make a true choice about what they want to do not be left with something else. And they say, well, “I got to go here because there’s nothing else that I can do.” Some of us have been charged with that particular choice. We don’t necessarily want to give that to our children.
So, the key especially if your child wants to be an athlete, you have to train in the summer, you have to read in the summer, you have to do the AC T and LSAT prep stuff during the summer, you have to push and grind during the summer, you have to get up early in the morning during the summer, you have to go to bed on time in the summer, the summer time is when the champions are made.
The champions are made in the shade they’re made in the heat. They’re made in the shade. You have to purposely make yourself uncomfortable. If you want to be good, stop looking at the summer as an opportunity to chill and look at this summer as an opportunity to create an un-closable gap that they cannot close and for some of you, you have to use a summer to catch up.
When I became when I became the head coach of the Bahamas Judo Federation a couple of years ago, the first thing that I did is I held a 28-hour practice that I was crazy. 28 hours. Why? Because if we don’t put the reps in the rep bucket, we can’t get any better. Now, I understand that was a little bit extreme, but I was making a point early in my tenure there and everybody got it and then we ended up producing the youth Olympian and we ended up producing people who are winning matches internationally and then we had a program where people used to get the Bahamas Judo Federation confused with Barbados and that didn’t happen anymore.
We created a culture of deliberate practice, a culture of doing the reps, a culture of not only catching up but catching up and then creating a gap. Parents Please do not allow your children to sleep all day in the summer. Get them up, make them read, let them exercise, let them move. Let them go to camps. They can go to camps and have fun. But it also means to go to camps with learning like computer camps, coding camps, intensives in wrestling, intensive in Judo, intensive in jujitsu, intensives in lacrosse, intensives in soccer and other sports.
Where they can get some intense training where they’re going to get exposed to excellence or excellence looks like, and then what excellence feels like. Because excellence doesn’t feel good in the beginning, it feels great at the award ceremony, when you’re picking up your medal or you’re signing your letter of intent, but it doesn’t feel good at 4:45 or 5:30 in the morning, when you get up.
But you have to remove yourself from feelings and get involved in the function. The function that is necessary in order to become a winner. This is for some children listening to it but mainly This is for the parents.
Stop robbing your children of their struggle. This is the number one thing that I see parents do. they try to rob your kid of the struggle. I’m talking to parents inside. Once I was talking to kids inside of the dojo before the kid can answer the question, the parent starts answering, have to tell the parent, be quiet! Let your child answer let them struggle through the answer. Let them get it wrong. Stop rushing every time to stick your titty inside of their model.
They are no longer breastfeeding. They are eating the real and whole meat of the world. They’re eating real and Whole Foods of the world. Let them eat. They are malnourished in terms of their maturity because you’re in the way. Move out of the way. Allow your children to suffer. Because I have said it many times before and I’ll say it again. There is no championship ring without the suffering is Dr. Ferguson. Take care have a super fantastic day remember I love you but God loves you best.