It is always exciting to embark on something new. The input of new knowledge, the elation when you manage to nail something makes you think about it day and night. You decide that you have found something you like to pursue for a long time to come. You attend classes 5 times a week, sometimes 2x a day, and even does practice yourself. Then you start looking at the gears and accessories related to your discipline and soon, you dedicated a portion of your cabinet for those equipment.
Then the novelty wears off, ‘life’ starts to take over again. First, you make a detour around the facility, to avoid seeing the coaches whom you used to see every day. Then, you face reality and make some excuses on why you cannot attend class anymore. Lastly, you chanced upon another discipline and the cycle starts again, with a cabinet full of gears from your previous love, and the current obsession.
Everyone deviates from our goals and objective from time to time or get burnout. Simply put, we just need to pick ourselves up, and continue from where we left off. This is the common encouragements coaches will tell those who have fallen off the path. But what if I tell you there is a way to minimise the drop out right from the beginning?
Here are 3 guidelines to help you have longevity in your journey!
1. Attend fewer classes.
WHAT! Attend fewer classes! Wouldn’t what I learned last week be forgotten?You have not been able to do this certain movement for your whole life, so a couple of days will not take away anything significantly. Do give yourself some time to ease into the routine, attending 2-3 times a week, so you still have a ‘life’, and minimise burnout and injuries in time to come.
*Of course once you have ease into the routine, and becomes better, do attend more classes. By then your body will not protest as much.
2. Upgrade your gears only when needed.
It is common to go overzealous on gears in the initial stage but resist that urge. What your classmate is using might not be suitable for you. Purchase them one by one as you become more experienced, and understand which suit you better. In the meantime, try out gears from your classmates, and ask around. That way, you will not fall into the trap of buying expensive gears which do not serve your purpose.
3. Do your conditioning (with purpose)!
How we all wish we are the most talented person in the world, and able to nail a move within a class. Sometimes, our body just couldn’t comprehend it (yet). Many people rush through the conditioning component of the class, so they can quickly get to the skill portion, but if you are reading this, you are not most people (right?). By being aware of the WHY when doing conditioning, allows you to develop a strong connection to the work you are going to work on. When we want to ace a test, we do not simply do our homework just to complete it, right? We will understand it, do it diligently, and when it comes to the test, we are able to do it well!
Remember, the beginning is always the easiest because, with our new found motivation and burning passion, coupled with the accessibility of entry-level skills, we start to have ‘fantasies’ of what we can achieve. But when reality kicks in, and we progress to an intermediate level, where more details comes into play, progress slow down drastically, sometimes even regressing one step with every 2 steps you take. This is the stage where many people dropped out, because progress is just so slow. I encourage you to keep at it, study it in detail, and I assure you that you will achieve great results moving forward.