Vestavia Hills / Mountain Brook Kids Life Skill: Focus

Have you ever wished your child had better focus? That they concentrated more? That they paid more attention to what was going on? Because you just KNEW that if they did, their grades and performance in sports would improve? Let’s talk a little about this thing called focus!

The word focus has an interesting basis in Latin. It referred to the hearth in a dwelling, around which parents and kids would gather. The family physically centered itself around the focus in the home.

In modern terms, focus is the idea or object on which our eyes, our thoughts, or our efforts are centered. With our eyes being focused, we see the object more clearly. When our mind is focused, we better understand of our environment and control of our thoughts and decisions. Whether we are swinging at a baseball, figuring out a math problem, or learning a new skill, focus increases the quality of our decisions and our actions.

The Human Brain Is Extraordinary!

With its enormous cerebrum, the human brain has an unmatched capacity for creativity and imagination. From birth, it craves input. The gathered information is used to decipher its environment and to formulate a mental model of it. The brain then devises ways to navigate and alter its environment. Where it really shines though is when it starts to grasp things that are abstract and not actually in the environment. Only then can a human begin to truly express itself and to imagine new things. And all of this navigation, alteration, abstraction, expression, and imagination creates a feedback loop of input to itself.

But Our Brain Does Have Short-comings!

With all the input coming in, it must decide what is important (hopefully what is being taught in math class). It also has to filter out what is not (the cars in the parking lot). Sometimes, it chooses poorly. It also is not good at consciously working on multiple things at once. While you can have a whole garage full of ideas and tasks, you can only drive one vehicle at a time!

But one of its biggest issues is its addiction to input. A problem occurs when this addiction runs into the reality of the input available to it. Too much input, not enough input or not the type of input the brain is used to? PROBLEMS!

This phenomenon is readily apparent in our modern society. How many times have you been stumped at a restaurant with an expansive menu? Or you turned on the TV and, despite having dozens upon dozens of channels, you still can’t find something to watch? Or your kids complained of being bored despite being in a house full of things to do? 

It also explains why video games and social media are so popular. Video games are the ultimate interactive input machine with a constant assault of visual, auditory and tactile stimuli. Social media gives us access to a seemingly infinite stream of short, ever-changing content to digest and regurgitate. No need to deep dive into anything!

So What Is The Root Of The Focus Problem?

When the brain is inundated with input but rarely practices the deep processing of any input, it develops a rather shallow ability to understand, grasp and imagine. It creates a habit to not focus on any one thing too long but to search for another input. When the world comes to you in 140 character bursts or 10 second videos, it’s hard to read this article all the way to this sentence. (Congratulations if you did!) 

Focus allows our brains to fully immerse and therefore extract more information, be more creative and make better decisions at any one moment. Whether we are focused on what is happening on the field of play, in the classroom or on the job, our brains are most productive in this state.

As a species, we could not have built the pyramids, harnessed the power of the atom, put astronauts on the moon, or written a symphony (or a video game for that matter) without somebody willing to focus their attention and their energies on that ONE endeavor. 

What Can We Do To Help Improve Focus?

In martial arts, we practice techniques in a manner that also builds better focus. From doing a whole form to breaking a board to sitting still, we learn to focus our minds and our bodies on a single task at a time.

At home, assist your child in building better focus by:

  • Intentionally removing distractions. When they need to focus on school work, rid the room of phones, tablets, toys, pets, friends and sometimes even YOU! This ensures there are fewer things in the environment to pull their minds off the task at hand.
  • Break “big” projects into “bite size” pieces. When overwhelmed, a person is more easily distracted and lost. Instead, tell your child something like this: “I want you to finish just this first part and then come find me for a snack. After that, we’ll look at the next part”. Here is an article from PBS with some more tips for you: How to Help Kids Focus | Parenting Tips &… | PBS KIDS for Parents

Summary

No matter what you focus your mind on, your understanding and performance increases! And just like with any skill, you enhance focus through practice. We emphasize focus in our drills for the same reason.

Hey Parents in Vestavia Hills, Mountain Brook, Cahaba Heights, or Liberty Park! If you would like more information about life skill and leadership lessons for your children, please check out one of our age appropriate programs!

SHARE THIS POST

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on google
Share on pinterest
Share on tumblr

About our programs

Preschool Martial Arts
in Vestavia Hills

Discover why parents love our Preschool Martial Arts Program in Vestavia Hills. It's the perfect blend of gross motor skills, personal development, and character enrichment, and gives your little one an edge when they enter a busy school setting.


- DISCOVER -

Kids Martial Arts
in Vestavia Hills

Parents LOVE our Vestavia Hills Kids Martial Arts program because it teaches not only self defense, but also vital life skills like focus, discipline, respect, and more! Watch your child's confidence flourish and their grades improve with this awesome Child Greatness program.

- DISCOVER -

Teen Martial Arts
in Vestavia Hills

Combining confidence-raising fitness and life-changing self defense, our Vestavia Hills Teen Martial Arts program keeps your teen's wellness and happiness in mind. It's time to get your teenager active, making new friends and bettering themselves.

- DISCOVER -

Adult Martial Arts
in Vestavia Hills

Our Vestavia Hills Adult Martial Arts program combines next-level fitness with next-level FUN- no more boring workouts! It's time to switch up your routine and get the results you've been looking for in an awesome community of like-minded people.

- DISCOVER -

Hyper Martial Arts
in Vestavia Hills

Discover why parents in Vestavia Hills love our Hyper Martial Arts. Give your child an experience they won't forget. Martial arts changes lives.

- DISCOVER -

Birthday Parties
in Vestavia Hills

When we say we have the best birthday parties in Vestavia Hills, we mean it. Give your child the perfect party, while you enjoy a stress free day. Your child will thank you later, we guarantee it!

- DISCOVER -

TEST COPY

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

 

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.


Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.

Fill out the form below to

Get Your Spot Now!

HOME

ABOUT US

PROGRAMS