Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World | West Omaha Martial Arts
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Lilly in Omaha

Top notch martial arts for any age. Very structured and professional. I purchased classes for my son who is 6, and when the class was over, he was so upset he didnt want to leave. Never taken martial arts prior, and the instructor led him into the group as if he had been in the class for weeks.

D Fago reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

I'm not joking when I tell you that she's a completely different person since starting. The constant bullying had almost crumbled her to bits. Now she's getting stronger and more confident each and every day. It's been a true blessing to get to watch her grow like this. #proudmom

Sami Broyles reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My son Eli was having a hard time in school with behavior and respecting himself and others. He was always fighting, mouthing off, and just being super aggressive. I did my homework and made the choice to enroll him in Mr.G's class for a year!!. We are 3 months in and Mr.G has personally taken Eli under his wing and has made a huge positive impact in my son's life! Eli has had 95% or above days for the last 2 months in school and at home. he is a totally different kid now, he is happier and healthier!! thank you for all of your help shaping Eli into a respectful young man.

Neil Weide reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Instruction is made simple enough for the kids to understand and yet kept at a fun/energetic pace to keep interest. They learn a lot and have fun. Students are taught in group setting, but regularly receive one-on-one teaching and interaction. Great experience for kids and fun for parents to watch progress and excitement.

Amber Lynne Nordstrom reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

My son has been in taekwondo almost a full year and absolutely loves it :) Mr and Mrs G are very kind and understanding instructors who offer a multitude of solutions to help children of all age ranges master the art of taekwondo. The older students that help the younger classes are always super friendly and up beat. The thing about this facility is it doesn't feel like you're in school cramming before a big test. Your kid is having fun and at the same time learning a beautiful and ancient form of self defense!

Olive Ann Brown reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

We love this program for our 5yo son. In addition to the great exercise, my child is being taught self responsibility and appreciation. At home we talk about his actions and whether or not it’s something a black belt leader would do (would Mr. G be proud of you for doing this?). There are lots of helping hands and instructors on the mats helping to teach the class which means that every student gets attention and instruction. It’s a 25minute drive for us but I wouldn’t switch my son to another program because this one is perfect for our son!

Skyler Archer reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Love what my son has learned here. Amazing staff that keeps the kids on task and accountable. Great ratio of instructors to students and always learning new things while having fun!

Adrian De Silva reviewed West Omaha Martial Arts
5
via Facebook

Noel is an awesome Instructor who really cares about each student that walks into the doors here. this is the best school in the area!

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Developing a Growth Mindset in a Competitive World

In today’s world competition is everywhere and it often starts at a very young age. It begins as a fun, skill-developing event but can quickly become time-consuming and competitive. While some parents want their children pushed to help them learn the hard lessons of life, others want to protect their children from the disappointment that can come with competition. Both sides have pros and cons, but a balanced approach is what will truly help a child develop a competitive nature in a healthy way.

Competition can be fun and exhilarating, especially if you are on the winning side. This drive to compete and win is very strong in our society in every age group and industry. When children are involved in competitive events, it can teach them goal setting techniques as well as how to deal with the frustrations that can come along with losing. Competition also helps children learn to take turns and support their teammates.

On the flip side, some parents are often concerned that competition will lead to more stress and anxiety in their children because the push to win is so strong. When loss comes along, it can develop lower self-esteem in children and can make them feel that they don’t have what it takes. Therefore, parents often feel that competition is more destructive to their child then beneficial.

While both views of competition are valid, it is important that we find a balance for children where they can develop a healthy competitive spirit while maintaining a strong self-image. While this can sound like a difficult balance, it is actually very easy to attain. The key is to work with children on developing a growth mindset versus a fixed mindset. Carol Dweck, first introduced this concept in her book “Mindset: The New Psychology of Success.” Dweck stated that when people feel they have traits that cannot be changed, they have a fixed mindset and have a need to prove themselves continuously through competition. People with a growth mindset believe that they can improve on their current abilities and add new skills through time and effort.

So how do we teach children this? One of the best ways is by creating an environment that develops both extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. Extrinsic motivation is a reward driven behavior. A child can earn a reward or trophy by exhibiting certain actions. Intrinsic motivation comes from a wanting achieve a goal and feeling satisfied with yourself for attaining it. Both of these are important in developing a healthy competitive mindset.

Martial arts is a great way for children to learn a balance of extrinsic and intrinsic motivation. They can earn new belt levels by exhibiting certain techniques with accuracy but since it is more of an individualized sport, they learn to set goals for themselves and feel proud for improving their skill set. The instructors in the SKILLZ program utilize both types of motivation as teaching skills for each class. That way students are motivated to earn external rewards such as stripes and belts but they also learn to feel internally proud for getting better than they were before.

As children develop it is important that we maximize their potential by helping them set different types of goals and learn important lessons along the way. While competing against others is a great way for children to evaluate their skills against another person, the ultimate goal should be to improve their personal skill level. Success isn’t always about winning. Helping children become better than they were before will help them become internally driven and create a growth mindset.

West Omaha Martial Arts is here to help parents develop kids into the best versions possible. Let us help you get started today!