A few weeks ago, one of my students made a comment as to why class
attendance had been so light lately.
I told him that it was due to the holiday season drop-off that
occurs every year and that things will be back to normal in
He thought that made a lot of sense to wind down at the end of the
year, but I disagreed with him by saying this was the BEST time to
be on the mat.
And after he asked me why, I gave him what I thought to be the four
main reasons why he needed to be here instead of at home waiting
for January, like many of his classmates:
1. December is the time to do your year-end inventory on your
training gameplan. Now’s the time to figure out all the things
that worked for you on the mat, didn’t work for you on the mat,
and what needs to tossed out of your constantly evolving
2. This is also the opportunity to evaluate the quality of other
items that contribute to your mat success (e.g. training partners,
training schedule, training equipment, etc.) and if they bring more
value or headache. And if change is needed for a productive 2010,
start planning those changes now.
3. Now’s the time to develop your 2010 mat goals. The best time to
figure out what you’re going to do in 2010 is 2009. Besides, why
wait until January to start thinking about what you want to do next
year. You’ll already be behind schedule!
4. Since the mats aren’t packed for the rest of the year, NOW is
the time to get all the extra 1-on-1 attention from your
instructors and coaches that’s hard to get when training with 20+
grapplers on the mat. And since there are fewer people on the mat,
there should be more time for working on strategy, drilling,
positional sparring and less banging.
After I finished explaining my opinion to the young gun that it was
to his benefit to show up at the end of the year, it made sense to
him and he wondered why more people didn’t take advantage of it.
That’s simple: Talkers take end of the year off while Doers take
advantage of it!
Since having that discussion, the young gun’s been taking advantage
of the holiday training time. And with his new attitude, I have
no doubt that he’ll reach them all his 2010 training goals.