FOCUS – PAY ATTENTION
There is more to focus than just paying attention though. Paying attention is a generalized term that doesn’t really break down the truth of there being more than one type of focus. Just saying it is paying attention all the time can be confusing to children.
For younger children in particular, such as ages 3-6, I find giving a four part break down of how to focus to be very
- Watch with the eyes
- Listen with the ears
- Think with the mind (consider it and answer so it stays in memory)
- Do the right thing with your body
When I am talking about focus with older kids through adults, I talk about the two main types of focus. First is the sort of hyper focus that happens when you get so invested in a project or thought that you see nothing else. This can be useful for many reasons.
In martial arts it is useful to be able to focus in fully in short moments to see your targets and get through the openings in the split second they are there. In life it can be important to a persons ability to accomplish tasks to the best of their ability. Things such as homework, yard work, or even work on your relationships with your family and friends to develop deep relationships that show you care depend greatly on your ability to focus on them and tune out everything else.
SECOND TYPE OF FOCUS
The second type of focus I speak about to the older classes is awareness. The ability to not be over focused on any particular thing, but to be aware of the bigger picture of what is going on around you. This one is imperative to safety and seeing things coming before they happen or before it is too late.
Awareness is the ability to keep your eyes on the big picture. To be able to register all the smaller motions and twitches of an opponent for a proper read. The ability to see if someone is trying to approach you in a crowd or behind you.
FUN AWARENESS GAME FOR ALL AGES
I have been playing this game with my son Aksel since he could talk. When we go places, such as the park, the store, or wherever else. We may choose an article of clothing or color. It could be anything, maybe gender related, maybe family size related.
We then go through the store seeing who can point out and count all of what we see the fastest. For example, before we go in we settle on looking for everyone wearing nike shoes, (can just be a green shirt or something easier for younger kids) then we compete to see who can notice everyone in the store wearing that article of clothing in the right color range first.
Focus of all kinds is like any muscle and needs to be practiced to be developed. There are tons of fun ways to develop focus. Check out my article on fun games to play with the kids for bonding time to see some videos of more.
FOCUS POWER PHRASES & QUESTIONS
Always be looking to motivate with something new and trade around what you use. These are some common and powerful ways to bring kids around in short chats.
FOCUS DRILLS: Tell the kids you want to play a game. You want to see if they can sit still with their eyes closed thinking about something that makes them happy or feel good, something they love doing ect. Start with 10-20 seconds a day, then move up to 30 seconds, then 45, then a minute, then 2 then 4 ect..
FOCUS POWER PHRASES:
I WILL/CAN LISTEN
I WILL/CAN LOOK/WATCH
I WILL/CAN PAY ATTENTION
LOOK WITH THE EYES, LISTEN WITH THE EARS, DO THE RIGHT THING WITH THE BODY
FOCUS POWER QUESTIONS:
What does focus mean? PAY ATTENTION (x block to attention stance)
Does listening to others show focus? YES SIR
Does jiggling in goofy circles (do funny dance) while someone is talking to you show focus? NO SIR
Does sitting still while someone is talking show focus? YES SIR
How can we show focus? WATCH WITH THE EYES, LISTEN WITH THE EARS, DO THE RIGHT THING WITH THE BODY.
Courtesy of Peaceful Warriors MA
3597 NW 32nd st.
Newcastle OK, 73065