Training Tip - It Goes Together Like Peanut Butter & Jelly
As instructors we know martial arts training and hitting the gym go together like Peanut Butter & Jelly, right? Well, for adaptive students it's even more important to make sure that their martial arts training accents their "Home Therapy Route" to maximize the benefits of training.
For for most with a disability a "Home Therapy Route" is been a daily, mandatory way of life since birth. In a perfect world we would like to believe that this routine does get done daily or at least 2 to 3 times a week, but after years of "Having To Do" this routine it's often not the reality.
This is where martial arts and you as an instructor can make a big difference with just your input.
Example: (Instructor) "Hey Tim, how's that exercise route been going?"
(Tim) "I get to it here and there"
(Instructor) "We'll you know your power for those hand techniques we been working would increase if you work on the hip stretching exercise you told me your Physical Therapist gave you"
(Tim) Ok Sensei, if it's going to help my martial arts I'll make sure I get them done"
The above example was to show that you as an instructor have a connection with your adaptive students that no one else does and that connection is martial arts. A loved one, parent or physical therapist could've have had the same conversation with "Tim" and I am 95% sure that the out come would've been much different, probably something like this:
(Tim) "Here we go again, someone else telling me what I have to do".
The martial arts and you as an adaptive instructor get a different reaction because you are giving people with disabilities the opportunity do something they didn't think was possible, they physically want to be able to continue and will do whatever it takes to do it. So your suggestion that by doing something they hate is going to allow them to continue do something they love and make them abetter martial artist will win every time.
The point of this blog post is to make us as instructors realize "The Power of Simple Suggestion" we have and the important difference we can make in our adaptive students lives with it, on and off the mats!