When we first began the journey at Richmond Hill Muay Thai, one of the classes I was actually quite hesitant to teach was Kid's and Teenagers. I had become quite familiar and accustomed to teaching adults. Kid's and teenagers were a totally different beast to me. I was not particularly confident in my skills yet to bring value to kids and teens.
However, I am not the type of person to simply not try and tackle something because I am not familiar or good at it. Anyways the stage was set and I would have my first batch of kids and teenagers to teach the following day. I had everything prepared including a lesson plan complete and I was super excited to teach these young people.
IT WAS A DISASTER
It was chaos, I had kids running around as if they just downed a red-bull, older kids whining and complaining. It simply felt like when I put one fire out, another 3 would be raging somewhere else. The class was only an hour, but it felt like an eternity. I could feel every painful second pass by and I hated every moment of it.
Then I had the teenagers class to teach right after the kids class. Although not as disastrous as the kids class that I had just taught, I still felt that I had missed the mark with the teenagers. I wasn't able to connect with them in any meaningful way.
That drive home was probably one of the worst drives I've experienced after teaching. I felt defeated and demoralized. Before I arrived home I decided to stop by my instructors place and share my experiences of what my first day with kids was like. I Remember walking into the gym and saying:
Man I Suck
My instructor laughed and then gave me some advice on what I could try and do next. It was a slow process, but over the weeks, months and eventually year I got better.
Fast forward roughly a year from my first class and I had just finished my classes with my Kids and Teenagers for the Spring, and I started to receive letters of appreciation for all the work I've been putting in with the kids and teenagers:
My name is _______, I'm ________mother. She was participating in your kickboxing for teens during winter and spring sessions at Oak Ridges Community Centre.
I'm sending this email to thank you for all your hard work and enthusiasm. ____ has enjoyed your classes and we'll like to know if you're having teen classes in your private practice.
Please let me know!
This was a very proud moment for myself as an Instructor. It is literally only a couple of sentences, but the impression validated everything I had been working on improving over that year. It was a long process, and I stuck with it, and after time I became quite proficient at it. I began to see improvements over time, and those improvements were small things at a time.
It's going to take however long it takes!
Here is the Truth, you going to suck or be weak at something you first start.But give yourself enough time to practice and eventually you will be good at something. To consider yourself an expert requires a vast amount of time and energy. Patience is the key. Be patient, it's going to take however long it will take. Do not rush the process. Just enjoy the journey to mastery.
Everyone's journey within Martial Art's and within Muay Thai more specifically, begins at the beginner phase. Everything is new. Most often there is this uneasiness about not being good at something at first, but it is something to be embraced! Your starting a new journey for yourself. Why your learning Muay Thai is for you and you alone, irregardless if your reason is to:
- Lose Weight
- Try Something New
- Curiousity About Muay Thai
- Develop Self-Confidence
You should celebrate the fact that you have simply started in your journey.
Push Past The Suck
With all journey's there is going to be apart of the process where it is not as fun as the beginning and it simply is just a grind to get through. You just have to push past it. For the year that I was practicing and learning how to teach these kids classes most often then not, I went home demoralized.
But I knew with each time I went in I was learning something, I was improving. Even though it might not be the best feeling or experience at the moment, have the resolve and know that you are learning every single time you go and practice your craft or skill.
At the Other Side is What you Want!