How can I support my child’s progress in jiu jitsu?  

All Posts, Kids

Congrats on signing up your child for jiu jitsu! It’s an amazing way to build confidence, learn self defence, and gain new friends! Here’s a few ways you can support your child through their time, here at Advantage Jiu Jitsu.

Have everything set aside the day before

As a parent I know it can be a last minute scramble to find the kids gi’s, belts, and water bottle. After struggling with this for a while, and occasionally being late, I found the best solution was to have everything ready the day before. If the kids are old enough you can help them share this responsibility so they can make getting to class on time easier. It makes getting out of the house a lot easier, and reduces stress for all. 

How can I monitor my child’s progress? What should I say to them?

Each day of training can vary greatly. Sometimes your child may perform well, other days they can struggle. The quote ” Sometimes You’re the Hammer, sometimes you’re the nail” comes to mind. Rather than asking how they performed in training, ask they what they learned.

Here are some possible ideas: 

  • What did you learn today?
  • I saw you working on some new techniques today. I am proud of you!
  • What part of class is your favourite?

It can be tempting to compare your kids progress to others in the class. While some healthy competition is good and does serve a purpose, we feel it is best to encourage the kids to do their best to improve every day, rather than worrying about beating their training partners. 

Should I coach my child while sparring?

At Advantage we like to avoid sideline coaching from the parents. We feel this can create an unwanted tension at the school and it is best left to the coaches. The coaches will try to provide technical advice to the kids during sparring to help them with their progression. Parents can offer words of encouragement to the students at the end of the round. It should be noted that if a parent witnesses anything unsafe, please bring it to the attention of one of the coaches immediately. 

My child is resistant to come to class, what can I do? 

Of course there are days where your child will not feel motivated to train. This is completely normal and part of any new skill development. It can be beneficial to understand the reason why they feel this way. Are they not progressing as much as they want? Are they having trouble getting along with other kids in class? Are they tired or hungry? It’s best not to force your child to train, but rather understand what is causing the resistance and work with them to find a solution. We are happy to help you with this process. Your child is always welcome to come to class and watch. Many times after watching for a while they start to feel comfortable and ask to participate. With my own kids I have made the promise that they don’t have to participate, but instead come to class with their uniform on and cheer on other teammates. Within minutes they joined in and enjoyed class. 

My child has a competition coming up, what can I do to support them? 

Unfortunately there are no magic words you can say to your child to ensure they perform well in a competition. Most sports psychologists suggest a good approach is to give them a big hug and say “I love you.”  Resist the urge to say more and rather smile, give a big thumbs up. After any training session, or competition it is important to give positive support and positive feedback by picking out things they did well. A simple “I’m proud of you” or again repeating “I love you” is a great way to support your child. It’s best not to dwell on the performance whether good or bad and instead put your child at ease and say something like “Where do you want to eat?” This helps send a message that you are not overly invested in the performance. You can read more about this in an article here.

Final Thoughts:

Learning Jiu Jitsu has been without a doubt, one of the best decisions of my life. My only regret is that I did not start it earlier in life. I understand is it not for everyone, and if your child is not enjoying it then perhaps take a break and try it again in six months. Training jiu jitsu will help them benefit in many ways, some of which include: 

  • Coordination and Body Awareness
  • Discipline and Focus
  • Confidence
  • Socialization
  • Fitness Level
  • Goal Setting
  • Self Defence

This is your child’s journey and everyone’s path is different. We hope to be a part of that journey of self discovery and constant learning that is jiu jitsu. 

Get Started with Jiu Jitsu

If you’re looking to get into Jiu Jitsu, or you’d like to come try out a class, we’d love to have you! Check out our what to expect page, and book your first class FREE!

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