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Old 04-02-2009, 12:56 AM   #21
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Well, you guys all impress the heck out of me..... I am having an issue with my 9 year old son and TKD. He started at age 5. We went regularly and he progressed well. Now he is at a definite plateau 4 years later. He is a red belt with a black stripe. The next belt is brown, and he is nowhere near ready to test. With all the sports he is in (basketball, baseball, and football), it is a struggle to balance TKD with all those sports.......
He has lost his love for TKD. I feel I have to make the unfortunate decision to "will him" to finish his black belt (probably another two years or so), or let it go. I am not one of those parents that want to "force anything"....
You're already being told the right answers, and I've seen way too many parents who wouldn't listen to what their kids are telling them. The kids are no fun to be around, let alone train with, and pretty soon everyone's avoiding the parents, too.

Drop it and move on while it's still enjoyable enough to possibly consider coming back to someday. One of my TKD instructors dropped out for a year when he was a young teen and did other activities. When he came back, he found that he'd cross-trained to be much better at spinning and his reaction time was actually faster.

It's far more natural for kids at this age to try something for a season or two and then move on. 3-4 sports may indicate a real talent, but it's also too much to be able to choose something to get really really good at.

I've always been a fan of the book "Double Goal Coach", and I'm also impressed with Malcolm Gladwell's new book "Outliers". One of the points he makes is that the bigger (slightly older) kids have more competitive ability against their smaller (slightly younger) peers and get more coaching, thus developing into outstanding athletes mostly by an accident of birth. The other point he makes is that true mastery of just about any activity requires approximately 10,000 (ten thousand) hours of practice.

Training was fun two days ago on Monday night, but I'm not going tonight-- too much going on and too tired. At the dinner table our kid told me that she'd expect me in the car by 6:30 (she does the driving these days) and I got unbelievable stinkeye when she learned I was going to pass tonight. But she's staying an extra hour for kickboxing and she's happy to be independent instead of having to listen to classic rock on the car radio... she'll get over it.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:50 AM   #22
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Well, my late sister left her 403B to both kids for college, as a legacy, so their college is paid for...
How generous and thoughtful your sister was. That is quite a legacy to leave behind!
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:52 AM   #23
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It's nice to see you guys with good relationships with your great kids. I see too much of the other side in my work.
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Old 04-02-2009, 09:55 AM   #24
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How generous and thoughtful your sister was. That is quite a legacy to leave behind!
Very thoughtful of her, and we appreciate it immensely, she never told me she was going to do that, I found after she died.......
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Old 04-02-2009, 10:08 AM   #25
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It's nice to see you guys with good relationships with your great kids. I see too much of the other side in my work.
DW and I both think its great. Plus, my sons and I are pretty much the only ones outside all the time throwing the ball around or whatever. I have a number of neighbors who keep asking me to teach THEIR sons and daughters how to play various sports. I think that's a little sad because all the kids want is a parent to throw the ball around, they don't care if they're good or not. My neighbor in back is a terrific tennis player but his 7-year old son can't really throw a baseball at all.......I know he can show him the basics........

MY 9 year old son had some interesting comments last night. He told me that he THINKS my KNOWLEDGE of sports is as follows:

1)Football (I know a lot because I played varsity as a freshmen in HS)
2)Baseball (I know "some" because I was in Little League and played tournament softball for many years.
3)Basketball (Since I didn't play after 6th grade, I don't know that much)
4)track and field/cross country (Thinks I am the Man, but doesn't run right now so not important)........

I loved the basketball comment. he thinks that since I didn't play in HS or beyond, I don't know much about the game. Of course, I didn't tell him I played 4 years of intramural basketball in college or anything........
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Old 10-12-2009, 01:26 PM   #26
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So Nords, any updates on this?
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Old 10-12-2009, 02:44 PM   #27
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So Nords, any updates on this?
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Nords, sounds like you do have enough enjoyment to keep going.
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Nords, I think you'll work it out over time.
You guys give good advice.

I've added more aerobics and weights and cut back on the sparring, and I'm seeing the improvements. However I'm still keenly aware that I have a certain amount of daily energy and I need a certain amount of recovery time. If I maintain a balance between them then I'm fine. If I bust those limits then payback is a bitch. If I'm not feeling a minimum level of energy then I skip a class or two until I'm interested in being there.

My ACLs are still torn but my knees are strong enough that I have full rage of motion and no swelling. I realized that my orthopedic braces were no longer necessary for sparring, and they were even hurting my knees under some moves. So I started sparring without them and that's much better. It was fun to spar an entire tournament without them, too. But if I stumbled or took a bad shot then I'd be facing reconstructive surgery with no alternatives, so I decided I had to grow up. I sparred in my final tournament last month (Another question for you geezer martial artists) but I'm pretty sure it's just an intercostal muscle and not a broken floating rib. I'm almost healed.

A few months ago I chatted with a 57-year-old 3rd dan from a Maui dojang. Manny took nationals in his age/weight bracket and will probably go for his 4th dan in a couple of years. He still enjoys competition but he's going to stick to forms instead of sparring. We agreed that it was still worth trying for 2nd dan.

The same week I decided to "retire" from sparring, our dojang started an adult sparring team for next July's nationals. I stayed clear until one of the other black belts asked for a sparring partner. The master agrees that I can help out without obligating myself to any tournaments. So now instead of Friday-night sparring I spend 90 minutes at Saturday-afternoon adult team. Right now it's very little actual sparring and mostly tactics drills. I'm a heavy bag wherever I'm needed but ironically my sparring skills have also improved as that reflex muscle memory gets its groove. What's even better is that my daughter enjoys the team practices too, so we have another 20 or so quality Saturday afternoons together before she starts college.

I've only been a black belt for six months, but I'm the dojang's oldest. At the last tournament the other judges kept implying that I should start hauling my share of the load by being a head forms judge and a sparring referee, so I'll be spending more time on the mat in sneakers instead of a dobok. Everything I need to know is on USAT's website anyway, and apparently the balding gray hairs are more important than actual experience. I can fake the latter!

Our daughter turns 17 in a few weeks and she's grown a lot in the last year. Last summer's government-sponsored workouts at USNA taught her how to push herself harder than she ever believed possible, and she's packed on the muscle. At age 15 she was totally unable to meet the physical criteria for the black belt test, and she barely made it when she was 16, but I think she'll do fine on this year's qualifiers for second dan. She hasn't shared her plans yet but I've been doing my situps/pushups, and we'll probably take the 2nd dan test together next spring. (I think she wants the 2nd dan belt for when she joins her college taekwondo club.) The test will be 6-8 hours of sheer endurance hell but it won't get any easier if I wait any longer...
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Old 10-12-2009, 03:24 PM   #28
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Excellent!!
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Old 10-12-2009, 07:48 PM   #29
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I vote you start training harder in other disciplines, and fully expect to see you taking on Machida by end of next year.
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Old 10-12-2009, 08:43 PM   #30
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I vote you start training harder in other disciplines, and fully expect to see you taking on Machida by end of next year.
That's exactly why I seek the discipline of martial arts yet need to stop sparring competitively.

With all the adrenaline and testosterone poisoning sloshing around in my system, my high tolerance for pain & injuries, and my nuclear persistence, I become my own worst enemy. I may not be the fastest or highest kicker out there, but I know how to apply mass & force and I have a reputation for diminishing my opponent's will to fight...
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