If your child has been taking Martial Arts classes for any length of time, there’s a good chance you’ve picked up and learned a thing or two while watching them, too. You are probably familiar with the names of the moves or some BJJ positions, as well as able to recognize when your child is the one in the dominate position or not. This is the point at which most parents want to jump in and help coach or give instructions to their child from the sideline. Unfortunately, this almost always has negative side effects.
Here are five reasons why your child’s Martial Arts Instructors want you to enjoy watching your child and leave the coaching to the coaches!
1) Focus. Sideline coaching often interrupts your child’s focus. From the sidelines, it’s difficult to know exactly what the drill is supposed to accomplish or specifically what the Instructor has asked your child to focus on. You might even give the “right” instructions for a move, but they could be very wrong in the context of the current drill. As your child wrestles with wanting to listen to their parent vs. what their Instructor told them to do, they will quickly and easily lose focus on the tasks at hand. Give your child a gift of fewer distractions by trusting that they have a set of instructions they are supposed to currently focus on and letting them train while you simply watch from the sideline.
2) Safety. Children can easily be distracted. They can lose their focus simply by seeing a friend walk in the building or by watching a bug fly by. Add in the directions being given by a parent to the already limitless factors that can distract your child and they will certainly lose their focus. Focus in martial arts is incredibly important for their safety. There are a lot of moving parts in training martial art techniques, and a lack of focus can quickly lead to a safety issue. While great kids’ coaches always keep a watchful eye, especially in sparring in Muay Thai or rolling in BJJ, your child has a duty to also keep themselves and their partner safe. Allow them to do so with one less distraction from the sidelines.
3) Roles. An instructor’s role is to be the instructor, and a parent’s role is to be the parent. This is vital to keep martial arts as a fun, physical outlet that is separate from their home life. A martial arts parent’s job is to get kids to class on time, encourage them, and give them positive reinforcement. During class sessions, allow the coaches to take care of the coaching duties while you support and encourage from the sidelines. It is also a great idea to practice with them at home. You get to reinforcement the lessons they learned and it is great quality time with your child!
4) Goals. Instructors often have specific goals in mind for each child. Coaching your child might detract from what the instructors are currently working on with your child. Rather than stifle the learning opportunity at hand by adding in extra coaching that may not be pertinent, allow and trust that the instructors have tabs on your child’s martial arts journey and development, and that with their coaching, your child will thrive and succeed.
5) Easier Said Than Done. While you’ve likely accumulated some decent knowledge of let’s say Brazilin Jiu Jitsu just by watching or being a fan of UFC, escaping is easier said than done when someone is actively trying to hold you down. One of the best ways to encourage your children along their Martial arts journey is by trying out a class yourself. Everybody, especially children can and are willing to be led when they see an individual lead by example. Sign up for a class and show your child that you are coachable, looking to learn, and ready to work hard-just like you are expecting them to do. Then you will realize how much energy and effort it takes to escape a bad position or what it’s like to defend yourself correctly whether you are getting out of a submission or trying to deter your partners kicks and punches. (Check out our Online Special 14 Days For $14!)
Support Your Child By Letting The Coach Coach
Wanting to support your child is always a good thing. In martial arts, one of the absolute best ways to support your child is by allowing the instructor to do all of the teaching while you sit and enjoy watching from the sidelines. Recognize their efforts in class and encouragement them to practice at home. The next time you feel like shouting out a direction, remember that you just might be taking away a learning experience from your child that their instructor was trying to provide for them. Let the coach do the coaching. 😊