Secret #6: have fun
Let’s end our TIGER discussion with that first image of the class about to start. Problems arise when the instructor gets fearful of either being able to control the kids or is overly concerned with accomplishing certain Taekwondo objectives. They are just 4-year-olds. And Chief Master Clark gave me this very important idea years ago: every instructor’s most important objective is motivating the child and the family to come back to the next class!!!!!
Be loving, but also create structure
To do this you need to be a combination of Mr. Rogers, Superman, Bozo the Clown, and the Blue Power Ranger (thanks go to Mr. MIKE CHAT). It is really important to be loving, but it is also important to be the enforcer of rules and to establish a structure that the kids understand. All this can be done with a little practice and a few ideas for having fun.
- Use growls, facial expression, and exaggerated gestures to help kids stay focused on you.
- Use rhymes, gibberish, and meaningless phrases that sound funny, like: “Songahm 2 I do for you!” “Songahm 1 is fun under the sun with a bun!” “Songahm 3 fills me with glee.” “Songahm 4 is fun galore.” Songahm 5 makes me alive” And each of these is delivered with vigorous, exaggerated gestures and facial expressions.
- Use alliteration, repeating the beginning consonant sound, as in. . . Super, slippery, spectacular side kick — fabulous, fast, frenzied front kick — rambunctious rocket round kick — potential power punch —
- Wear a different removable tattoo each week to show the kids or use a kids Band-Aid if you get a minor cut on your hand. The entire class will be talking about it, and you will build rapport.
- Use different names and sounds for techniques, like atomic knifehand, low (in a low pitch voice) block high (in a high pitch voice) block
- Always make faces!
- Lip-synch the TIGER PLEDGE to help them do it more independently.
- LAUGH OFTEN, LAUGH LOUD and ALWAYS SMILE!
Tigers are the best!
Some might say you could base your entire business on TIGERS. I think they are easier to market to. I think they are easier to enroll (at first on a short term program). I think preschool parents are quick to realize the value you offer. And as a result, they stay longer in your program. And then, you can enroll the parents too!