Is my child ready for their next belt?

Happy Little Ninja

Photo by themickeyd on Flickr

Is my child ready for their next belt” is a question all Judo coaches hear all the time. It is also a great question to be asking the coach at your child’s Judo club. Why? Because if you ask then the coach can give you an indication of where they think your child’s progression is.

As a parent you are vital in keeping your child in the sport of Judo. Without parents Judo clubs would fade and disappear. One of the reasons for this is that you as the parent are able to help set expectations for your child. By this I mean that you can help ensure that your child is excitedly expecting their green belt at the right time, not the wrong time.

You can help encourage regular attendance and enthusiasm, by sharing with your child that the coach things they are almost ready for their next grade. Of course to do this, you need to speak with your club coach (when your child is not able to hear) and find out if your child is ready to grade to the next colour belt.

Please don’t ask your club coach to discuss when your child will get their next belt, right in front of the class and especially in front of your child. You need to be aware that gradings are a sensitive area and who gets graded when is a matter both of technical ability and of maturity in Judo as well.

Some children will be able to do all the throws but the coach may not want to grade them too quickly as in the long-term this is likely to lead the child to a position where age restrictions prevent them from grading for an excessive time. Which is really discouraging for the child. Equally, the child who is not as physically capable may benefit from being graded earlier to help their confidence and enthusiasm.

It is important to be aware also that there are many other children that the coach is considering, and they need to try and ensure that all those of roughly equal ability are wearing roughly the same Judo belt colour. There is also matters concerning social groups for the coach to consider. They may wish to slow your child’s progression through the belts slightly so they stay in a group of friends, or vice versa.

Mostly the deliberations highlighted above will not be visible to you the parent, so it is really important that you talk with your child’s Judo Coach regularly and when away from others. Then you will be able to gain an understanding for when your child is ready to progress to the next Judo belt.

You will also be able to learn in what areas the coach thinks your child’s Judo needs to be developed. For example, their groundwork may be weak or they might be a little too aggressive. You can help guide your child down the same path as your coach is. This is also a two way thing, if you know that your child needs to work on their spelling for example, the coach might be able to work spelling into games or exercises. If your child is shy, the coach may be able to help them socially through the club.

I have mentioned it several times, but I will say it one more time. The best way to find out if your child is ready for their next Judo belt is to speak with the club coach.

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This entry was posted by LanceW on Monday, April 27th, 2009 at 9:47 am and is filed under Judo . 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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