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Friday, April 25, 2008

Mastery vs. Jack-Of-All-Trades – Mastery of None

Here’s just an observation and I want your opinions whether you agree or disagree with me. More and more, it seems that we overbook our children for activities these days. The prevailing attitude is that we want our children to try everything – even if they find an activity that they love. We still enroll them in other activities.

The question I have is…

Are we (parents) raising children that are Jack-Of-All-Trades and Master of None?

When I was growing up, my parents set up a few rules for extra activities.
Rule One – Only one sport activity at a time.
Rule Two – Once we join a sport, we finished the season. No questions asked!
Rule Three – Once you find something you love, stick with it.

For me, I tried baseball and football. Once I found karate, I quit ever other sport and focused my attention fully on karate. Obviously, I continued until this day.

These days, I see the exact opposite trend. The conversation is like this…
“Let’s try a little of this sport.”
“Oh you like it!”
“Okay, we’re going to try a little of that sport anyway!”

It’s almost like we want to drive ourselves crazy running from one activity to another. I think that we may be afraid that our children are going to miss out on something. The problem is that they never truly get good at any of the activities.

I tell parents to give themselves a break and to keep them in one activity as long as they love it. The child will start to build an identity through the activity like “I am a black belt”. This will start them on the path towards mastery.

Okay, now it’s our turn to vote.

If you answered Yes, please comment on how we can fight this rising issue.

If you answered No, please comment on ways that you feel we promote mastery in our children.

Sensei Tim Rosanelli
Maximum Impact Karate
(215) 249-3532

Sensei Talks: Tim Rosanelli

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