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Patience is a LEARNED SKILL, which is often forgotten by new and even experienced coaches. Kids are hungry little data hounds! They scavenge their surroundings for stimulation and activity, and unless they are given clear and direct guidance on what they are expected to be doing at every moment, then they will absolutely create their own rules and goals and start exploring. Every. Time.

Acknowledging this as NORMAL BEHAVIOR is the first step for coaches. Then, we are able to apply a practice for patience with their students.

Food for thought: attention deficit or discipline issues (excepting very real, medically diagnosed examples) can be recharacterized into the teachable phrase "undeveloped patience skills".

Having patience is a necessary part of being a human being! We wait for things all the time as adults, and controlling our feelings and developing patience is an important life skill. Here are some things coaches can do to be PATIENCE MINDFUL and teach patience skills in classes:

  • LABEL IT: In class, tell your students - "Patience means we wait". By doing this you are giving them an action for patience; they should be actively waiting. If they know the meaning, and WHY patience is important, then they will better understand the expectations of them and participate in the activity of waiting. Also, engage with them on their understanding of the concept of patience. Ask them "what does patience mean?" and have them respond with "patience means we wait", then ask them where else they practice their patience (in line at Disneyland, in school, at a restaurant...etc.).

  • PRACTICE IT: So often classes are spent trying to keep kids active the entirety of class. While many parents hope to have their kids thoroughly exhausted when they come out of their lessons, I can personally vouch that every time I started a conversation with a parent with the phrase "we practiced our patience today" I have always received a huge thank you, sometimes with the response "thanks coach, we've been trying to work on that at home." For a list of ideas for actively practicing patience, email me at

  • CARE ABOUT IT: In order to make improvements on anything in class, it has to be made important in every class, every week. If you want to see your students improve their patience skills then find ways to make your practice of it a repeatable habit. Don't let it go. Hold kids accountable by continuing to label it and talk about its importance without letting students get distracted into wayward behavior.

  • BE PAITENT WITH IT: Oddly enough, the biggest challenge with teaching patience is remaining patient! Remember that developing any behavioral habits, like resilience, "good manners", respect, and patience all require repetition and time. You will have to say and do the same things 1000 times with students before they get it 90% right... and even then, even your "best" students will make mistakes! So be patient, and remember they are still learning this skill.

Everything in class can be a game, even learning patience! Learn more about how the NINJA MONKEY GYM program is all about "finding the fun" in every class by clicking HERE!

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