It is common knowledge that the more time and effort you can put into developing a skill the faster and farther you can become great at that skill. But after a long day at school or it may be hard for the kiddos to find the motivation to practice.
Below are 3 easy steps to teach a proper inner dialogue for when motivation is hard to come by. These steps will also teach you how to use a pseudo “Jedi Mind Trick” to convince them that practicing is THEIR idea.
Step 1: Ask about their ONE most important thing they want to achieve with their karate training. Start the conversation by asking your young martial artist to think about the goals they would like to accomplish. They may say things like “to have fun”, “to see my friends”, “to get my belt”, or the infamous “I don’t know”. The goal here is to specifically ask for the ONE thing they want to GET. Don’t forget the key words “ONE” and ” GET”. “ONE” will force them to prioritize and figure out what they really value. “GET” will have them focused on a goal or physical reward for their effort (ie. the belt).
Step 2: Ask them to describe how they will FEEL when they achieve their goal.
This step is important. The goal here is to get them to emotionally connect with their goal. We know they want it, but can they tie in the feeling of achievement, pride and satisfaction? If we can get them to describe what they feel; we can trigger the release of “feel good” hormones in the brain that will further enforce decisions that will pull them towards their goal and set them up for the next step.
Step 3: If there was ONE thing you could do today, right now, that could help you get closer to your goal what would it be? This is the closer!!! We are going back to asking for ONE thing they can do that will help them achieve their goal. This could be big or small, clear or vague and depending on their age, we may need to guide them or offer suggestions. Another key point is the fact that we added a time frame to the question…RIGHT NOW. So after they decide on what to do (hopefully some sort of practice) then don’t wait…ride that momentum and get after it.
Pro Tip: Try using this for homework too!!!