As karate instructors we’re expected to be in control when we’re on the floor.
In control emotionally, mentally and physically.
But sometimes it’s challenging to keep up the high standards we set for ourselves and what our students and families have come to learn and expect.
Being human it’s impossible to be upbeat and positive 100% of the time. And as you well know your class’ enthusiasm and attitude is a reflection yours.
Last week I was physically exhausted due to a lack of sleep. When I hit the floor and started demanding that my students try harder and do better, I noticed I wasn’t my usual up beat positive self.
I noticed that I started to use some old school negative incentives in an attempt to get better results. And from experience I know that this rarely works as the more negative the focus, the more things you’ll find “wrong” with what your class is doing.
I was glad that I caught myself going down the negative path, and immediately interrupted that process. I asked myself, “What’s great about what they’re doing? What positive things are they displaying that I can use to turn my attitude back to being upbeat and positive?”
(And subsequently theirs too)
So that’s what I did…
In what seemed to be a tornado of sloppy technique (which it really wasn’t – it was just that I was focused on the negative), I found one or two good things to compliment my students on and then focus on. This shift in how I was directing my class changed their attitude and their results within a few short minutes.
What I let start out as a negatively focused class was transformed to a positive one that began with a conscious realization of where I was emotionally, mentally and physically.
Next time you find yourself drained, tired or moody when you’re teaching, take note of how this affects your students. Then ask yourself, “What’s great about their technique?”
Find the gem amongst the rocks and use that to create the shift towards positive teaching.