Well I have been reminded. Recently I attended a Rock and Water course and have felt compelled ever since to put this knowledge into action. What did I learn? Well I didn’t learn too much that I didn’t already know, what I did learn was how to put all that at I have learnt over the years as a self defense student, a boxing student, a Krav Maga student, Monkeybar Australia gym member and HPE teacher. Finding your core both mentally and physically is the key and teaching kids how and why they need to do this is also important. Behaviour is a choice and this is a fantastic thing to teach kids.
So when practicing a few moves and showing my 10 year old daughter some of the games, I was shocked at how well she maintained her core and managed to flow with the moves I was making to try and get her off balance. Then I remembered her 6 months of Karate and asked her about it. Well she said, “I liked the punching and kicking and we learnt about balance but it was just so boring, always the same and Mum, it was just not fun and sport is supposed to be fun”. This is the same child that finds enjoyment in a 10km run and I felt sad that karate had lost a child that could have been awesome.
It made me wonder how many sports had lost kids because it wasn’t fun! Because it was always the same and boring. Come on people! Here we are competing nowadays with computer games for time, so if we are lucky enough to have kids want to engage in sport we have to make it just as engaging, interactive, provide opportunities to problem solve, give kids reason to want to practice a skill and opportunities to then use the skill in a game , give them opportunities to feel real success and above all to have fun.
Watch Will Smith’s video on the Keys to Life which he says are running and reading. Why running? Well Will puts it quite simply by getting you to think about a time when you were running and the voice in your head that tells you to quit, that your lungs are burning, your legs are aching. He says that if you learn to master that voice in your head, to conquer it, to continue when the run gets hard. That you can learn to transfer that to life and learn how to NOT quit when things in your life get hard.
How many children get to have that experience of running until it hurts? Of feeling every muscle in their body and thinking that they can not possibly continue, only to push themselves that little bit further and find out that they can do it, they can go further. What an amazing feeling, and it saddens me that children nowadays are missing out on this essential component in life.
This feeling can not be matched in a video game or a game of chess. This feeling of mind over body is empowering. My children have been running from a very young age with their parents in fun runs as babies in prams and then wanting to run themselves with my daughter finishing her first 10km run at 5 years of age. My son, like myself is a terrible runner but continues to pump out 5km runs, always attempting to improve on his 1km time and 5km overall. Every time he starts running he is a winner because he began and when he completes his run he is a winner also. What fantastic skills in perseverance is he learning? Of finishing what he started, of continuing even though his mind wants him to stop. Are these not great life skills for a young person to have?
I know when I run that there are only a few brief moments when my mind is not asking my body to stop. No matter how loud the music is or how loud I am singing along with it, my mind is hell bent on talking me into stopping. It is me who is the victor when I complete my run and return home, because ultimately I won, I did it and I conquered my own mind. How empowering. How much stronger am I now to take on the other challenges that I face in life.
Check out the video and make sure that you are giving your kids and those that you teach the best start in life http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-08M7JpLpl4