Back to School

Today I ran into a college professor slash Dad I know on a walk around the neighborhood. He has a daughter heading to middle school this month. I do too.

“How’s [Deborah] feel about heading back to school?” I said.

“She can’t wait,” he said. “She went today with Mom to get all her school supplies.”

Now i’m not exactly a procrastinator. But I’m generally not weeks (or months) ahead of the game, either. I often like to think (and act) on the fly.

“You’ve already got all your school shopping done?” I said.

“Yeah,” said the professor. “We like staying ahead of the game.”

Black Belts know how to guide because they’ve prepared.

It got me thinking. In martial arts, the instructors who teach the curriculum and the master instructors who design it have to be weeks, months, years ahead of the game. They see your potential for Black Belt during your first white belt class. And they have that vision because they’ve prepared the four-year course they’re about to take you on.

They’ve been through it themselves. They know you’ve gotta have what you need when you come into class, from a clean mat to the right number of pads and jump ropes to the advancement of combinations and forms that calcify the martial arts disciplines in your flesh and bones.

Pencils, pens, paper supplies, packed and ready to go for that first trip down the middle school hallway. Weeks in advance. Combinations and forms, sidekicks and pushups, prepared and confident weeks before your next belt test.

Coaches, don’t you want the same for you kids as they get back into school? I do, and I’m gonna start by getting into more karate classes with my daughters before the fall semester commences.

Stay ahead of the game.

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