As Sensei’s you can help your younger teenagers grow socially, athletically, emotionally and academically. Sensei’s have a unique opportunity to teach youth valuable life skills, like how to set goals, character development, role models and as simple as introducing yourself to someone new.
You could ask your more experience students to mentor the younger children. Many are willing to do so. Assure them that you will give them everything they need to help out at practice. For example, you could review the drills you would like assistance with. Many times it is the same drills that they performed in their early learning stage.
Ensure your assistants have the right mindset and provide them the resources they need to effectively help out.
Developmentally, by the time young people reach the age of 13, they have an increased desire for independence. This is an incredibly important time when this need should be supported in a positive way. Research has shown youth mentors have enhanced:
conflict management skills
Kids look up to older kids and pay attention to them. They see a future for themselves in these peer teachers and mentors. They are exposed to possibility – goals and dreams for themselves that are not so far off in the future – they are attainable. Benefits to kids who have a youth mentor can be:
an increased academic achievement
a greater self-efficacy
an improved social skills
a decreased behavioural problems
a lower rate of engaging in risky behaviours
a greater feeling of connection to dojo (or team)