The parents role in Judo

PGS Judo 2008 046
Outside the Class:

Your role as a parent of a child learning Judo is a varied one. The involvement of one or more parents can be very beneficial to your child, although it can also be detrimental if the involvement is the wrong type.

We have all seen a “Pushy Sports Parent”, as have the instructors at the Judo clubs. This type of parent have made involvement by other parents difficult in many situations as club instructors fight to protect their students from their own parents. With this in mind it is important that you get to know the club and the instructor well and they you.

As the parent, you have an opportunity to motivate your child, to assist their technique development and to ensure that their attitude towards the sport and its many aspects is a healthy one.

Children will often start with enthusiasm but slip away from the sport later on. There are many reasons for this, and parents play a key role in preventing children from giving Judo up too soon.

Judo is the classic cliché, “easy to learn, difficult to master”, children often lose their enthusiasm when this becomes apparent. Initially children’s progress is quick, but it will plateau off for a period before noticeable progress is made again. These “plateau” periods are often when kids decide Judo is not as much fun or that they are not “any good”. It is at these stages that parents positive encouragement can keep the child in class until they start enjoying the next period of improvement.

Parents are often essential to the smooth running of clubs and club activities. Parents often help with administration of the club and with events such as attending tournaments and social gatherings. Each club is different and you should speak with the instructor and other parents to find out if you can be (or are expected to be) involved.

Inside the class:

Inside the Judo class, there is one boss, the instructor. This single point of authority is essential to maintaining class discipline and to the learning process. Parents need to be aware of this relationship and should always make it clear to their children that when they are at Judo, the instructor should be listened too.

Some clubs encourage parental encouragement during the classes. Some permit or encourage parents to step on the mat and assist the children, most do not. Before you start helping your child, either with verbal advice or by actually physically coming on the mat; you need to understand the clubs attitude to this and also speak specifically about this to the instructor. Please do not be offended if the instructor asks that you do not give suggestions or come on the mat, they are only trying to maintain a good environment for your kids.

I would encourage all parents to stay and watch their children do Judo. You will be able to see things that your child is doing that after the class you can feedback to them, this all helps them progress. You should always look for and comment on the positive things your child does. Congratulate them on the great throw you saw, ask them what the throw was called, how do you do it, etc. Attending a coaching course or attending an adult class yourself will help you learn the terminology, rules, principles and sensations of Judo which will help you help your child. Do remember of course that the instructor should never be contradicted, so whatever advice the instructor gave your child should be agreed with even if you disagree.

You should not reprimand either your child or any others in the class. This is the instructors responsibility. If the case warrants it, it may be worth catching the instructors attention and having a quiet word with them to ensure they are aware of something they may have missed. Generally however it is best to leave this till after the class when you can mention it privately to the instructor away from the children and other parents.

Accidents and injuries are often situations where parents will involve themselves inadvisably. You should always stay off the mat and out of the situation unless the instructor asks for your assistance.

Later in this book we will cover some of the techniques of Judo. Parents can help ensure that their kids learn correct technique.
However, it is important that you should watch classes carefully and communicate with the instructor. This is important so as not to contradict or confuse the teaching methods of the club.

The Exception to the rule:

Sadly not all Judo instructors are perfect. As the parent of a child your first priority is to protect and nurture your children. If you strongly disagree with what is happening in the class you should say something. Depending on the situation you may leave this till you can speak privately with the instructor or say something immediately.

99% of the time I would suggest waiting until you can talk privately. You should only ever speak out during the class if something seriously wrong is occurring. By this I mean something that will injure one of the students or is illegal.

If your child is seriously at risk or is seriously injured, then of course you should worry first about them and second about etiquette.

The key here is to be able to correctly identify situations where you should interfere and when to allow the instructor to deal with the bad behaviour or injury.

This entry was posted by lancew on Friday, June 20th, 2008 at 1:50 pm and is filed under Uncategorized . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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