Modern parents are constantly on the lookout for new activities and recreational sports for their children in order to help their children get fit, socialize, build confidence and self-esteem, and learn the importance of team work. While most parents opt for traditional sports like basketball, soccer, baseball, football, or softball, training and competing in a martial art like Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu might be the best team sport for teaching important life lessons to your child. At first glance, BJJ appears to be an individual sport and competition, but it takes a team of collaborative coaches and training partners in order for any child in the sport to learn, grow, and reach their potential. Along the way, your child will learn empathy, dealing with both success and failure, how to make the people around them better, and how to support their teammates. Here are 5 quick reasons why training and competing in BJJ is a better team sport for children than the traditional sports.
Training as a team to help each other get better: There are individual sports like golf, tennis, and swimming where your child can just train with a coach and get better. In BJJ, your child will need other children to train and collaborate in order to grow. During the training process of calisthenics, drilling, and rolling, your child will learn what it means to help others, form mutually beneficial bonds, and the importance of teamwork in order to make each other better. In some team sports like basketball, there isn’t the same level of collaboration between teammates at the youth and recreation level. Instead, it is the coaches and parents yelling at the children to pass the ball to the really tall and athletic child as the other children stand around him.
Learning to truly support and cheer for teammates: If you go to a youth BJJ tournament, you will see children genuinely rooting for and supporting teammates as they compete. The children can’t help but form very strong friendships and bonds after weeks or months of helping each other get better during classes in order to prepare for competitions. They are working to make each other better rather than competing against each other for coveted starting positions or playing time.
Everybody gets an equal chance: In many team sports, only the really athletic children get the chance to showcase their skills and shine. Playing time is limited due to the clock and the opportunities to shoot the ball, pitch, or throw the ball are given to the more advanced children. In BJJ, your child will get an equal amount of attention from the coaches during class and also get the same opportunity to step out and compete one-on-one in a safe and controlled environment.
Balance of team and self-reliance: Training in BJJ is the best of both worlds as far as team and individual sports go. Your child will get the chance to form friendships, learn to work with other children during class and then stand on his or her own two feet in competition. Once the match starts, it is solely on your child to perform and execute to the best of his or her abilities. The balance between the two is important in developing social skills and learning to work with others as well as building confidence by completing a challenging on his or her own. These are important lessons and skills that will carry over to a child’s adult life.
Quality of Coaching: Instead of a parent that lacks real and experience in teaching children a sport in a safe, technical, and strategic level, your child will get a trained and qualified BJJ coach who is accustomed to working with many different types of children. The coach has trained for the sport year-round for a number of years and has served an apprenticeship under a more experienced coach. The coach and the academy has an economic incentive to develop a safe and fun learning environment for your child or risk losing your business.