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Coaching Butterflies

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Monarch butterflies

Get those butterflies in formation!

I’ll admit it … I get butterflies in my stomach whenever my students compete.  I know what the people that I train are capable of.  I know they can do well.  I know they can win.  They show it in practice and they go out and prove it every weekend.

I still get anxious though.  It’s not because my reputation as a trainer is on the line.  It’s not because having successful competitors is good for business.  It’s because I want them to do well.  I want them to prove all the doubters wrong.  They way I know they can.  I want them to erase all the failures in their life with this one victory.  Even if it’s only erased for one night.

So what do I do about these butterflies?  Nervousness doesn’t go away.  You can’t try to block it out or forget about it.  It’s still there.  What I do, and coach my competitors to do as well, is focus that nervous energy, channel it towards a positive outcome.   That energy can be controlled and directed.

I have to perform as a coach.  I have to be aware and focused.  I have to “read” what’s going on with my competitor and make sure they are focused on the task at hand.  There’s an old saying that goes something like, “It’s ok to have butterflies in your stomach however to be effective you have to get them to fly in formation.”

My butterflies are in formation.  Time to roll!

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About erikcharles

As a Martial Artist: At age 12, I began training in the martial art of my childhood hero Bruce Lee. My Mom was broke so in order to pay for my lessons, I delivered newspapers around my neighborhood and sold gum at my school. (Martial Arts comes in handy when you’re hustling at school.) Now, I am one of only two Full Instructors in Bruce Lee’s Jun Fan/JKD under Sifu Kevin Seaman and an instructor in Muay Thai under both Kevin Seaman and Ajarn Surachai Sirisute. 24 years in and I’m still practicing and training. As a Teacher: I have experience in working with numerous organizations as a mentor for at risk youth and teach numerous classes and hundreds of students at all three of the CNY MMA locations. I also taught a Boxing and a Muay Thai class at Cornell University for many years. In addition, I was certified as a Domestic Violence and Rape Crisis counselor in 1998. I’m raising two kids and multiple grown ups. As a Fighter: I won my first National Full Contact Championship at age 15. I went on to win numerous awards and titles since that time including the prestigious 1999 New York State Golden Gloves Heavyweight Boxing Championship. In 2008, I was selected from thousands of fighters, from all over the world, to be a contestant on Season 7 of Spike’s hit TV show ‘The Ultimate Fighter’. Even had a knockout of mine in Atlantic City, NJ featured on Knockout Sportsworld on Spike TV in 2010. Pretty sick. As an Entrepreneur: I started with nothing and now I have something. I’ve busted my ass to get here. I’m never satisfied when it comes to business. It’s a blessing and curse. I create products, produce ideas, make payroll, help people be more, defend my territory, and lose my mind numerous times throughout the week. I eat PowerBars.

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