Martial arts is quite possibly the best and most effective way to teach accountability to children. Learning to be accountable is a valuable life skill that, when understood and grasped by children, will help them to thrive throughout the rest of their lives. Children do not often have many opportunities to show true accountability, and martial arts offers a plethora of chances to practice this valuable skill. Here are three ways that martial arts will teach your child to be accountable.
1) Accountability To Self
Martial arts offers children a sport in which their personal growth is highly dependent on their personal efforts. The ability to show up, work hard, listen, and drill, all result in a growth in skillset. If those things do not happen, there will be no progress. The reward of growth will not be seen if your child is not accountable to themself as they show up to train.
Taking responsibility is a key component of learning accountability. If a child allows themself to be distracted while the coach is instructing, they will miss the concepts and have a more difficult time completing the drills. Learning to hold themselves accountable includes remembering to listen and pay attention, especially when no one is there to remind them to do so, is an incredible step towards learning how to be accountable.
Martial arts will help children learn to be accountable to themselves by ensuring that they:
- Listen And Pay Attention: If these things do not happen, your child will feel lost and unsure of what to do. They will quickly learn to hold themselves accountable for listening and paying attention to the coaches.
- Follow Directions: Not following directions will probably result in them being confused and unable to keep pace with the group. Children will learn accountability by following directions to keep them and their partners safe.
- Work Hard: Working hard is something that requires a great deal of commitment and effort. Children can certainly show up and work poorly, but as they learn to hold themselves accountable, they will discover much greater growth and reward as they work hard each and every day.
From learning to pay attention to learning how to push themselves when no one else is watching, children will learn to hold themselves accountable in martial arts.
2) Accountability To Teammates
Although martial arts is a personal sport, it has the unique aspect of also being a team sport. Martial arts gives children the opportunity to participate in a team within which they play an active role in doing their part to help others succeed. Teammates will hold each other accountable to show up and work together.
Martial arts teaches children that sometimes, you are the best person to help another teammate. Holding pads, drilling, clinching, and even sparring all require a child to do their part in making everything work – that means being a good teammate who was listening to the drill, not hitting a partner too hard, or even helping a newer student understand a concept or move. It even means remembering to show up and be present in the class.
Martial arts will help children learn accountability to their teammates by ensuring that they:
- Show Up: Children will learn that just by being accountable to show up and be present, they are able to be a good partner.
- Work Hard: Children will be accountable to work hard so that their partners can also work hard.
- Spar: Children will find accountability as they begin to work on live drilling or sparring with another child. They will be responsible for taking care of their partner, challenging their partner, and keeping a good attitude throughout the process.
The team aspect of martial arts is guaranteed to help develop a sense of accountability as your child develops new relationships with his teammates and wants to thrive and grow alongside them.
3) Accountability To Coaches And Programs
Martial arts has a deep-rooted history of respect. There is no other sport that places such an emphasis on respect the way the martial arts does. It is an excellent way to help teach accountability to coaches and adults outside of the family unit.
Depending on the particular style of martial arts being practiced, you may see your child bow to their instructor, shake hands, or greet them in another traditional manner required of the particular martial art.
Children will find themselves practicing accountability to their coaches and program each day. They will be expected to do things like:
- Showing Respect On And Off The Mat: Children are held accountable for showing respect for the place in which they train and the people who care for both them and the place.
- Removing Their Shoes: Children, no matter the age, will be held accountable to remove their shoes at the appropriate location. They will need to remember to not step onto the mats with their shoes, and to place them responsibly into the correct storage locations.
- Practicing Good Hygiene: Children are held accountable to maintain the same hygiene standards as adults. This means regular showers, clipped toenails, and clean feet. It also means remembering to wear shoes in the bathrooms, and not coming to class when feeling sick.
- Bringing The Appropriate Gear: Children are required to come to classes with all the appropriate gear. It’s important to ensure that they understand what is required of them, and that they also bring the correct gear for the correct sports on the correct days. A Jiu-Jitsu day will require different gear from a Muay Thai day. Children will be held accountable as they bring the proper gear for themselves each day.
Once in class, your child will be accountable to the coaches as they learn to intently listen to directions and follow through. They will learn to focus their attention while someone is speaking, not only to show respect, but to ensure that they are being accountable for their own learning and for taking what is taught into consideration.
If you are looking for an outlet for your child that will challenge them, help them grow, and teach them accountability, martial arts is the perfect solution. They’ll be immersed in a culture of respect and accountability – for themselves, their teammates, their coaches, and their gyms.
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