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#134556 - 03/02/05 10:40 AM Problematic kid


First be aware that I'm from non-english speaking area, so forgive me if my english is bad. I'll try to describe the problem as better I can.

I'm teaching karate to kids 8-14 years old. Recently I have a problem with one kid (11 y.o.). He is higly talented and had won several medals in past months. It seams that this sucess had given him "sense of importance" and he doesn't put much effort in durring training sessions like he did before. I've tryed to motivate him by constatly encuranging him to do better, and telling him that without workout he can not become beter karateka. Then I decided to let it go. If he did not workout like the others I did not pay much attention, I've told him couple of times but not such much like before. That did not work either. One time last week he camed to training hall and sited on the bench saying that he has headake and canot train. (I know that he was laying, but ok, I let it go). Yesteray he did the same thing (came with his bag with full equipment, and sit down on the bench). He is not depressed or anything, and when it comes to games he is allways ready. We offten do basketball or other games in begining of training session, and in this games he is allways giving his best, but when it comes to techinque practice, or learning some kata he loses all his lust (while other kids do not).

Can you suggest how should I aproach to this problem?
I've trayed to talk to him and explainin why he must to do a little better on trainig, that I'm not happy how is he currently progressin, but It did not work. I also told him that I would not let him compeet until he do not better on training. I dont know what to do any more, how to motivate him. I'm thinking of speaking with his parent about this problem.
Any suggestions ?


#134557 - 03/02/05 10:54 AM Re: Problematic kid

This can be a HUGE problem with highly talented kids.

They pick things up quickly, win a few tournaments, and start to get lazy or apathetic as a result.

This youngster has been shown that he is better than the rest.

What he needs is to be shown that he is not better than everyone.

Kids, like everyone, need to be challenged. They need to be shown that they do not know everything, especially when they think they do.

And to be fair, if that kid is better than the others, asking them to take part in a class where they will not be challenged is only going to bore them, and does a disservice to them as students.

Maybe you could take him aside and show him some more advanced techniques, or kata, or whatever. Show him that there is more out there to learn, and give him the want to learn it.

You can also show him that he needs work on the things he thinks he is good at. If his skill level is higher, then he should be judged on a higher level. Be extra picky about his technique. Donít let him believe that he is as good as he thinks he is.

Everyone has areas that they need to improve. Show him where his areas are, and be hard on him. Judge him on a level equal to his level of skill.

And as for sitting on the bench during training, I would make it clear that sitting it out is not what the dojo is for. If he doesnít want to train, then why show up? If it were me, I would talk to his parents. If he isnít going to train, then I would show him the door. I have better things to do with my training and teaching time than to waste it with someone who doesnít want to train.


#134558 - 03/02/05 11:31 AM Re: Problematic kid

Galen makes some good points. I only have one suggestino to offer....

humility...a valuable lesson for us all.

Instead of forbidding the tornument, why not encourage him to go and compete? then he can experience first hand the shock that comes with overconfidence when some of his peers from other dojos that are now better (due to his lack of practice) beat him.

alternatively, maybe have someone slighlty better than him spar him to gently communicate the need for improvement.

other than that i think galen hit nail on head.


#134559 - 03/02/05 03:46 PM Re: Problematic kid

Thanks Galen, MrEd,

I agree with you bouth. You confirmed my thougst. I decided to give it one more try and speak to him alone. I'll try to explain it all one more time to him, and if that doesnt work I'll call his parent and explain the situation.
I really don't want to lose him, but, like you said, I have better things to do with my training, and dont want to put behind other kids because of him.


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