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Tortoise or Hare?

As part of our clubs high performance program we look at a lot of factors. These range from the athletes themselves: how old are they?  Weight, height, bmi, current conditioning, current ability etc… and also what their goals are for the coming year. Are they realistic? Or are they wanting to be world champion by the end of next week?

From this we look at what they need to do themselves, and what we as instructors need to do to help them achieve their goals.

We’ve started this process this year already for our competitive athletes. Some have shown an interest in attending Wadokai England squad training sessions with the aim of being selected to the team that competes in Venice in November.

We’ve looked at which competitions we as a club will be attending this year, and which ones each competitor should be entering in order to gain the most experience. We’ll be sitting down with each of them over the next week or so and agree which events they will be attending, and how often they are going to train each week. The athletes, instructors and parents will then agree and sign a contract based on this commitment.

This might seem a little excessive and not all clubs will be this strict but we will be investing a lot of time effort (and money) into each of our elite athletes to help them achieve their goals so we want to make sure everyone knows what they’re signing up for before hand.

This brings me to the title of this post. Tortoise or Hare? A few of the instructors were talking about this the other day and it has stuck in my head.

Which is better?

Those students who peak early and achieve a lot of things very young (e.g. under 16yrs) but then tend to drop out of the sport altogether? (Hare group)

Or…

Those who don’t peak so fast and maybe don’t achieve as much in the same period of time but are in Karate for the long term? (Tortoise group)

I personally believe that the latter is better for the sport/martial art in the long term. It is from this group that our future instructors will come from, not the first group.

It would also be interesting to see why the majority of athletes from the first group don’t stay in the sport… but that’s for another time.

NOTE: this post has been written whilst on an exercise bike at the gym so their might be typos…

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