It is common knowledge that the more time and effort you can put into developing a skill, the faster you can become great and farther you can take it! But after a long day at school or at the Dojo it may be hard to find the motivation to practice.
So, here are three easy steps to teach a proper inner dialogue for when motivation is hard to come by. These steps will also teach you how to use a pseudo “Jedi Mind Trick” and convince them that it was all THEIR idea!
Step 1: Ask about their ONE most important thing they want to achieve in karate.
Start the conversation by asking your ninja to think about their goals in training. When you ask, they may say things like “just have fun”, “to see my friends”, “to get my belt”, or the infamous: “I don’t know”. The goal here is to specifically ask for the ONE thing they want to GET. Don’t forget the key words, “ONE” and “GET”. “ONE” will force them to prioritize and figure out what they really value. “GET” will get them focused on a goal or physical item they can get (i.e. Belt – yes, we know the belt isn’t the most important thing – but motivation is motivation).
Step 2: Ask them to describe how they will feel when they achieve it!
The next step is important. Our goal here is to get them to emotionally connect with their goal. We know they want it, but can they tie in the feeling of achievement, pride, and satisfaction? If we can get them to describe what they will feel, we can trigger the release of “feel good” hormones in the brain that will further enforce decisions that will pull them towards their goal and set them up for the next step!
Step 3: If there was ONE thing you could do today, right now, that could help you get to your goal, what would it be?
This is the closer! We’re going back to asking for one thing they can do that will help them get to their goal. This could be big or small, clear or vague and depending on their age, we may need to guide them or offer suggestions (just suggestions, it’s important that the end result is their idea). Another key point is the fact that we added a time frame to the question “RIGHT NOW”. So, after they decide on which action is most important (hopefully some sort of practice), don’t wait! Ride that wave of momentum and get going!
Use these steps and let us know how the conversation went!
Pro Tip: try using this for homework too!