4 Ways to Keep Martial Arts Students on Track During the Winter

The holiday season is officially here, which means that people will be breaking out the drinks, treats and oversized family dinners.

It also means they will be less likely to hit the gym. This goes for everyone: MMA/martial arts students and yogis alike.

Whether it is because of the harsh weather, cold or pure laziness, many people are just less inclined to leave their home until the spring, which means that trainers and gym owners need to come up with new ways to get their students excited about continuing their practice.

This winter, don’t let your gym become a ghost town. Invigorate your students with renewed energy by:

Turning Training Into a Game

Gamification is a term that has been thrown around in everything from school to corporate offices. The basic concept of the idea is that people are more motivated to work not only when they have a long-term goal to reach, but when there are mini-rewards that are dispersed along the way.

You can turn your training regime into a game by incorporating a point system, encouraging competition and offering prizes to “winners”. Hang a chart up in your gym that keeps track of all your students, then develop a point system that tracks their progress. Everything from days attended to hitting milestones in lifting, fighting or training can be turned into points that will rank your students. You can then offer small prizes (branded gear, free lessons, etc.) as incentive for athletes to keep accumulating points.

Encouraging the Buddy System

Encouraging your students to take on training partners brings accountability into their training. If someone is having a lazy day, there will always be another athlete there to motivate them to hit the gym. It will also help your students get to know one another and build a community at your facility.

Encouraging Event Participation

Nothing gets people more motivated to keep practicing than knowing that a competition is coming. When athletes know that they will be putting their training into practice, and there is something to lose, they train harder and longer.

If your athletes don’t have the money to enter a competition, or are not quite at a competitive level yet, create one of your own. Set aside a weekend day and hold a mini-tournament right in your own MMA cage. Not only will it be a serious way to motivate your students, holding your own events is a great way to build a strong team environment.

Giving Your Gym a Face Lift

If things are really becoming stagnant at your facility, give it a fresh new look by investing in some new equipment. Your students will be excited to keep coming back if you add a few more bags, mats or a whole new training ring into the mix.