by Kurt Klingenmeyer
As all school owners know, it’s easy to get caught up in the day-to-day operations of running a martial arts academy. The hours pass quickly when they revolve around teaching great classes and helping students reach their potential. Unfortunately, while that’s happening, some things can slide to the side and get forgotten.
Listed below are five things that you, as a martial arts instructor, should incorporate into your daily routine.
“Great Job” Calls
Make it a point to speak with five families every day to tell them what a great job their children are doing in class. Giving families individualized attention and letting them know about their children’s progress are key to the development of martial arts students. In addition to talking about a child’s martial arts progress, ask how the whole family is doing. Oftentimes, parents come to the martial arts for support — maybe the child needs more focus or self-discipline. This is a great opportunity to touch base and see how things are going.
“Miss You” Calls
It’s easy to focus on the kids who are always in class, but what about the ones who are missing? Take the time to reach out to students who have been absent. Call to check in with their parents. Let them know that you miss seeing their kids in class and ask if everything is OK. Ask when you’ll see the students again. If the children are struggling with motivation to come to class, schedule complimentary private lessons to renew motivation. A little effort goes a long way and will be appreciated by the families.
Show your members and your local community all the great things that are happening in your classes and at your school. This might be a technique of the day, pictures and videos of students in action, a lesson of the month or information about an upcoming event. Taking five minutes to post online and communicate with your community keeps families engaged and aware of all the awesome things you do and why your dojo stands apart from the rest.
Whether you’re a veteran instructor or one who’s just getting started, lesson planning can make the difference between a good martial arts class and the best class a student has ever taken. When mapping out your plan for the day, include new and exciting drills in every session. Incorporate disguised repetition of basics to reinforce fundamentals, as well as techniques that are part of the new curriculum to ensure that students progress at a steady pace. You may have the ability to jump onto the floor and teach an exciting class, but taking the time to plan ahead will push your instruction to even higher levels.
Plan for Tomorrow
It’s easy to turn off the lights and lock the door after a busy evening of classes. However, it’s important to set yourself up for success the next day. Map out what you’d like to accomplish tomorrow so you have a plan of attack and can hit the ground running.
As most experienced instructors know, running a successful martial arts school involves much more than teaching great classes. It requires the investment of time to set yourself up for success each day, and that starts with these five tips.
Kurt Klingenmeyer is a MAIA consultant and owner of Black Belt Karate Studio and two Championship Martial Arts locations in Wisconsin. To contact him, send an email to [email protected].
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