Nothing gives me more pleasure than coaching a student who really wants to learn. Fritz is an 8 year old red belt who is also competing at Nationals next month. I’ve coached Fritz over the years and there is just something extremely special about him. It’s called “passion”. He has such an old soul and really wants to be the best he can be.
When I heard that he had registered for Nationals I wanted to help him out since I know how seriously he takes his training. I asked him to come today when the dojang was closed so we could just work alone and critique every movement of his pattern. We went over it several times and filmed it so he could see what he was doing right and what needed correcting. I love how he actually does what I ask him to do. You could see that he was concentrating so hard. When I was Fritz’s age there were two teenage boys (Jonathon Martel and Max Riopelle) who coached me the same way that I’m coaching Fritz. I will always be thankful for the time that the put into my training and now I get to know what it’s like from the coaches point of view. It’s very rewarding.
I didn’t want to overwhelm him with too many details today so after about an hour and a half we called it quits. I would have loved to continue on for hours but I have remember that he is still 8 years old 🙂 It’s better to keep him wanting to come back to train more and feeling proud of his accomplishment than being discouraged. I will continue to spend time with him after each class for the next few weeks. Every night we will work on correcting one more element and reviewing what we have already covered. Hopefully the video tape will be a good review for him on his own time.
I told Fritz he had to cut his hair to compete since he kept flicking his hair after every movement and it was too distracting. Judges like to be able to see the competitors face and eyes. As a good sport he actually let me take the first cut of hair and he is getting the rest cut tomorrow. Now, that’s trust and dedication 🙂
Fritz and I have a lot in common and when I learned that he played the guitar I knew we had to have a little jamming session after the training for some fun. I brought my guitar and we both played and sang a few of our favourite songs. It was a great way to end off a fun training session!
Great job today Fritz!