Child stars. They have amazing talent, and their parents are the sole responsible party for encouraging that talent. But, what happens when they’re pushed too far? I could name names of figure skaters that go crazy on their competition, or the endless cases of kids that grow up to make questionable life choices, but you all know what I mean. Obviously, this isn’t the case with all kids, or all parents. The reason I bring it up is because oftentimes, these kids are encouraged solely based on their talent.
My point is this: encouraging kids based on talent is not a bad thing, but is it ENOUGH? Encouraging kids happens in three core places in their lives. Home, school, and in extra-curricular activities. At home, as a parent, I try to encourage my kids in all facets of life: manners, tying shoes, bike riding skills, etc. At school, encouragement is mostly based on grades and discipline. In sports and extra-curricular activities, kids are often encouraged based on their talent and strengths. Encouraging kids through their talents gives them a broader range of confidence, and makes them feel good about themselves.
But, what happens if the star football player was never taught instinctual safety, and is constantly getting hurt? What if a swimmer that has 15 practices a week, starts to feel as if he’s just competing because he’s good at it? What good does it do if the catcher on the baseball team can’t run bases? These kids were encouraged based on their strengths, and other areas of learning were overlooked.
The reason that NinjaZone is so successful is because the curriculum is based on more than just defining the talents of strong kids. It’s meant to build kids up, in all areas of themselves, not just physically. Building character is not done overnight, and there’s much more to it than encouraging a runner to keep running.
Let’s say you work in banking. You are SO GOOD at counting money. At the root of your job, that’s a highly valued skill, right? However, what if you constantly make customers happy and close on loans consistently, but all your boss ever tells you is that you are the best darn money counter in the West? Pretty frustrating.
That’s why it is important to not overlook the small stuff, which in reality, is the big stuff. It’s the stuff that builds confidence and discipline. The stuff that motivates.
I’ll leave you with a quote from NZ founder, Casey. It’s a good one, and I think it really pertains to the topic at hand today.
The skill is not the success. We use the skills to build confidence, and the confidence is the success. -Casey Wright