Monday, October 21, 2013

Why I Am Doing More Circuits

I've written about circuits a few times previously and the longer my career in coaching, the more of a fan of the concept I am.

In brief, in a circuit, an athlete does a set of one exercise after another, without stopping. For example, we do 20 jumping jacks, 10 sit-ups and 5 push-ups. Then, we do it again. And again. We do this for three minutes, take a two-minute break and do it for another three minutes.

We often start practice with these circuits, for a few reasons:
  1. It gets everyone on the mat and doing something at the same time. That makes it an easy way to get the whole class organized and paying attention.
  2. After a few weeks, it is easy for kids to see progress compared to when they started. They get in better shape and can do all of the exercises with little effort.
  3. In a very short period of time, there is a difference between the kids who have been coming, say for a month or two, and brand new beginners. It is clear that the experienced kids "know what they are doing" and they can generally do the exercises better than those who just walked in the door.
Reasons #2 and #3 make the class reinforcing for students who have been attending - they see their improvement compared to themselves and others - and are helpful in recruiting new students who see that their friends who have only been coming for a few months are ahead of them.

[Subliminal advertising - buy Winning on the Ground - the matwork book by me and Jim Pedro, Sr. ]

So ... I have decided to expand on circuits we do at the beginning of practice and do a "circuits day" when I get back in town in a couple of weeks. After we go through our usual exercise circuit, I'm going to have them do 10 turnovers (5 right and 5 left), then 10 throws, then 10 chokes and 10 arm bars. We'll do that whole circuit, then take a few minutes break and do it again.

I think doing this a couple of times a month will improve their matwork just like the exercise circuits improve their conditioning.

No, I'm not concerned about the fact that this circuit has very little in the way of throwing. Blinky (the other instructor who is there when I am traveling), focuses more on standing technique, so I focus more on matwork and it all averages out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Maybe you and Ronda can circuit train in an etiquette class. It will teach you both proper behavior and how to communicate without being vulgar and acting like children. By the way, profanity is never warranted, it's a manner of choice.