In working with the children’s class over the last few months, I have encouraged them to focus on quality over quantity. What triggered this concerned their push-ups. Many of them could not do push-ups correctly. 

Instead of focusing on the number of push-ups that they can do, I am, instead, focusing on the quality of their push-ups. In other words, the emphasis is more on performing the push-ups correctly instead of cranking out a high number of sloppy pushups.  I regularly have each student perform 3 to 5 push-ups in front of the class. This way, I can monitor their progress and focus on their form and effort. Sometimes, they have sloppy form and I work on fixing them. I also have sneaky ways of finding out if it’s due to laziness or not having enough strength.

Occasionally, I’ll have a “push-up” contest and tell them that the winner would be the one who had the best form. Lo and behold, some of them suddenly clean up their act and perform great push-ups! 🙂 They are surely motivated to win this contest. I point this out to them and ask “why didn’t you do your push-ups with good form earlier in tonight’s class?” Many of them can now perform 5 good push-ups and I will incrementally increase the reps so long as they maintain form.

Ditto with jumping jacks and everything else that I teach in class. Make no mistake, I make the class as fun as possible for them.  However, I’m passing along a life lesson, along with the martial skills that they are learning, and that is “do your best!” They are learning that I can spot laziness and that they are quite capable of doing better than they think they’re capable of. On the flip side, I’m learning a lot from teaching these 6 and 7 year olds and figuring out how to teach them. It’s been quite the ride so far! 

Over to you, do you have experience teaching children? Any tips that you’d like to share?

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