Competition is an excellent learning tool for kids who are ready to take on the challenge. However, it’s important to know when a child is ready to compete, so that the tournament can be a positive experience for them. There are a few criteria to consider when trying to decide if your kid is ready, and you can always talk to the child’s Professor/Coach as well to get their opinion. It’s important to remember not to pressure them into it. You want your child to be excited to compete, and use it as a fun learning experience rather then putting needless pressure on them to perform well. Brazilian Jiu Jitsu offers a plethora of benefits for your child, but they won’t reap any of them if they aren’t having fun and enjoying their training.
Being consistent in training is a must when considering registering your child for a competition. If they aren’t showing up to class 2 or more times a week they probably aren’t ready to compete. You want your child to feel confident when they go compete, and if they aren’t training consistently they may not feel ready. Kid’s have a lot on their plate with school and other activities, so it’s understandable if they miss a class here and there, but if they want to get the most out of a competition they need to be showing up to class.
It’s easy to see which kids have the most heart in training. They are the kids who don’t give up even when the fight gets tough, and they enjoy the challenge. These are the kids who are ready to compete. If a kid is not showing this in training they probably aren’t prepared. They may not have the metal toughness it takes yet, and you don’t want to discourage them from competing in the future. Heart is not something that can be taught, but it is something that can be brought out of a good student.
Technical proficiency is essential when deciding if the child should compete. They must know a couple of take downs, a couple of sweeps, and a few submissions in order to be considered proficient. If they only have a couple go to spots, and get easily lost in the roll they probably shouldn’t compete yet. It’s not going to benefit the child or the parents to throw them into a tournament before they have some techniques under their belt. When the child jumps the gun on competing it can bring them to a bad place mentally, parents get upset, and injury is also a risk. If they want to compete they must put in the time, learn as much as they can, and start showing it on the mat. Once they do all these things they should by all means compete. It’s a fantastic way for them to learn, gain mental toughness, and have fun showing off their Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
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