Developing a Major League PMA
In major league baseball, a player could have a long and productive career by maintaining a .300 average, that is, by getting a base hit 30% of the time. This would lead to a lucrative career and fame. Yet the other 70% of the time, this player would have failed. The vast majority of attempts to hit the ball would result in ‘‘making an out’’ and thus pose a potential threat to the player’s sense of personal worth and public perception.
We see this in the martial arts as well. A student will come to us with his or her head hanging low. Instead of focusing on the gains they have made they have instead chosen to focus on their perceived failure to master a technique or techniques in the very short time frame that they imposed upon themselves.
When this happens we have to sit the student down and explain that mastery is not a destination but rather a lifelong process.
Here’s a tip you can use if you ever need to encourage someone you care about. Use FEEL, FELT, FOUND. The conversation might go something like this, “Sam, I understand how you FEEL, when I was a blue belt my confidence was pretty low because I couldn’t remember the techniques I had learned under pressure. So you see, I FELT discouraged just like you. My instructor had a very similar conversation to the one I am having with you. He told me not to try and rush my training. The real secret was just to keep showing up and never give up. I took his advice and what I FOUND was that he was absolutely right. After another 6 months of training the techniques I found so difficult to remember all of a sudden became effortless.”
If you want to improve at any endeavor, if you truly want to reach a new “Altitude”, then know this; it all comes down to staying the course and approaching life with a Positive Mental Attitude!
Mr. Soares began training in the martial arts at the age of 13 and shortly after graduating High School he earned his Black Belt. Mr. Soares opened a small karate club in 1992. In 1999 he went to serve in the Massachusetts Army National Guard for ten years. During that time Mr. Soares was deployed to Bosnia-Herzegovina as a Flight Medic. While there, in addition to his duties, he also taught self-defense to soldiers in his unit as well as soldiers from other countries. In 2011 he opened Lance Soares’ Family Martial Arts Center in New Bedford and has since served as its director and chief instructor. Mr. Soares is currently an 5th Degree Black Belt in the Parker system of Kenpo Karate.