Martial Arts vs. Other Sports: How to Keep Students Training

By Kevin

We've all had our share of students who quit because of the demands of participating in another sport. Most tell us that they will be back after the season, but this is rarely the case. When the season has wrapped, it takes a lot of effort to get back into the routine of Martial Arts. Add to this that the students feel like they have forgotten a lot and their friends are a belt ahead of them. As Martial Arts instructors, we know that it is in the best interest of our students and our schools to keep them training through the season.

Here are a few strategies for keeping students training who are involved with other sports:

Find out how happy they are with their training (just asking "how are you enjoying the program?" is a good way to do this). If they're unhappy, they might be using another sport as an excuse to quit. In this case, all your persuasion skills will be for naught. At the very least, you'll be able to get valuable feedback for how to tighten up your program so you won't lose more students in the future.
If they are happy, review the schedule with them to plan out when they'll be able to make it to class. Let them know that it is okay to miss some classes. Emphasize that by continuing to train, even sporadically, they won't fall behind.
If their schedule is difficult to work with, you may consider offering special 15 mintue one-on-one classes with the student to keep them current. Showing your willingness to go the extra mile to support them during the sports season will keep them coming back.
Remember that martial arts training and participation in sports are not necessarily competitors. In fact, many professional athletes are encouraged to train in martial arts to help them in their sport. A few you may know are: Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, Phil Mickelson and

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