... Builds Confidence and Character
One method we use to build self-confidence in kids is competition. Leveraging the benefits of team sports and individual performance we help kids build self-esteem, learn how to handle adversity and develop teamwork skills... CHARACTER. Ultimately we are helping kids develop character that will help them succeed in all areas of life. Kids learn these skills as a member of the REV team since they are training with partners in every class and helping each other learn. REV kids experience the benefits of iron sharpening iron as they drill new techniques and spar with each other, produce their best efforts and encourage their teammates.
REV kids are taught to learn how to stand on their own and develop independence. When a child enters into a tournament they are choosing to test their skills against a fully resistant opponent that they have never met before. When their match begins their mind accepts that they are on their own and the results will be unknown until the match is completed so they must try their hardest regardless of how challenging a match becomes or how tired they feel. This level of competition teaches them personal responsibility, the necessity to prepare, mental fortitude and the ability to manage fears and pressure. Handling this pressure has a direct affect on their ability to withstand peer pressure and make wise decisions. This character development helps them understand that the decisions they make today play a large role in whom they become in the future.
Our team of coaches spend a great deal of time and energy training and preparing our team to compete by teaching them respect for every opponent, referee and professor/coach present at a tournament. During training professors also explain the point system and rules used in competition along with personal strategies to win. We closely monitor each childs development and when we see that they are ready to compete we invite them to join our team in tournaments.
National Tournament Circuits, Step-Up Tournaments and In-House Tournaments
Our kids competition team compete in the largest and most competitve national tournament circuits with podium finishes. Although the size of our team is small and growing they regularly place among the top three at world championships. The individual attention our kids receive in our classes from coaching staff as well as private lessons from our head coach advance their skillsets to their highest potential. However we don't spring new competitors into highly competitive national circuit tournaments in the beginning. We either take them to local "step-up tournaments" or they participate in one of our in-house tournaments. Step-up tournaments help them gain competition experience in a smaller setting, often in an academy as opposed to The Pyramind at CSULB. REV also hosts in-house tournaments for all of our students which allows them to explore the competition experience in a small and familiar environment. In-house tournaments are great for kids that have never competed or develop skills more slowly because they can still experience the benefits of competition while competing in a friendly and familiar atmosphere against their teammates. For some kids this might be the only place they compete which is great! They will still gain the critcial experience of standing on their own and laying their skills on the line against a fully resistant opponent. All three levels of competiton help kids build a strong base of self-confidence.
Winning and Learning
Kids learn how to win and lose while maintaining good sportsmanship in EVERY class. Even in losing they learn how to improve so that they don’t fear losing but rather view it as an essential key to improvement. Losing is often a catalyst to change and growth. Our coaching staff is most concerned that kids try their best regardless of the results. This is the key to successfully setting expectations for a child preparing to enter competition. The kids will never hear us tell them that they must earn a gold medal but they will hear us tell them that we expect their absolute best effort. We never know how the opponent will be so all they can do is prepare to give their best effort and accept the result with good sportsmanship. Parents go a long way in the wrong direction when they place heavy expectations on their child of winning a gold medal. Jiu-jitsu competition is an dividual performance so the kids often times place too much pressure on themselves. As parents and coaches we need to release them from the expectations of results and help them focus on what they control - EFFORT. Not all kids earn first, second or third place but all kids can walk away feeling great about the effort they produced in their matches. Medals are icing on the cake. Stepping foot on a competition surface requires courage and should be rewarded everytime. This builds trust between parents, kids and coaches and this helps to build self-confidence in kids. When a child loses in a competition match, parents and coaches must play an active role in helping them process the loss, reward their effort and courage and refocus them on the learning opportunities. They return to class and train with a new vigor to overcome the cause(s) of their loss. If they win, they train with a new vigor to further their skill sets. The key is to set the expectations correctly at home and in training. In jiu-jitsu there is only winning or learning.