Coaches Corner: The Heart of the Athletic Experience (part two)

Kickboxing Minneapolis MN

Minneapolis Kickboxing

Almost everyone tries to Thai kick with all their power, when they first learn the kick. In trying so hard they flex the wrong muscles, miss time their focus, drop their hands, and twist and torque their bodies the wrong way, all while getting really tired – really fast. You will hear the instructor say “relax, just let the body do the work.” The hardest kickers realize that less effort can create more results. A smart athlete/martial artist trains with a relaxed and naturally progressive approach while working at a high intensity and quality pace. In this way, they can train hard on a consistent basis, achieving a kind of a “runner’s high” not just in rare exceptional training days, but every time they train. They avoid pressure and burnout that accompanies a stressful approach to training.

The Cost and Demand of Training

• Athletics/Martial Arts develops what it demands. Development is precisely commensurate with the demand. “With no demand, there is no development; with small demand, small development; with improper demand, improper development.

• Demand requires motivation. Without continual motivation to get you going, there can be no consistent training.

• Motivation requires meaning. The motivating factor corresponds to your goals; it must offer an improvement or benefit that you want.

• Demand takes the form of progressive overload. By repeatedly and consistently asking yourself a little more than you’re comfortable with, a little more than you are capable of, you improve.

• Progressive overload takes place in small increments within your comfort zone. You need to stretch your comfort zone but not ignore it. By staying near the top end of your comfort zone, but within your comfort zone, you will improve at a nice and progressive rate, and you will be able to continue training and improving for longer. The key here “Don’t just train harder, train smarter.”

• Development (through overload) requires a tolerance for failure. Development means that there will be “little failures” along the way to your ultimate goal.

• Tolerance for failure comes from understanding the natural process of development. If your expectations are too high you will become frustrated; realistic goal setting develops patience. By being realistic in your training demands you will see failures and obstacles as steppingstones not road blocks to your inevitable progress.

Training progressively develops you through gradual increases in your personal demand. If realistic and gradual demands are placed on the body it will develop. Within its natural capacity, the body will adapt to demands made upon it. It is important that you learn and develop a little every day. Realize progress is mechanical: If you practice something over and over with attention and commitment to improve (quality repetition), you will surely improve. Anyone who practices over time can become competent, even expert, in the martial arts.

“Life was never meant to be a struggle;
just a gentle progression from one point to another,
much like walking through a valley on a sunny day.”

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