I started listening to motivational podcasts a little before the Holiday. One podcast in particular includes a segment on "what is the best advice you have been given?" There is one piece of advice I found extremely powerful and I wanted to share it with all of you!
One of my favorite Olympic Gymnasts, Nastia Liukin, happened to be guest starring on one of the episodes and said that one day, in the midst of training, she had wanted to quit. Her coach (and father) told her something along the lines of, not today. Finish practice strong, sleep on it. And if tomorrow you wake up and still want to quit, then we can discuss it.
I found this statement spoke to me in more ways than one. First, because there have been SO many times throughout my life I have wanted to quit. Whether it was a sport of music, there were many times I wanted to quit but never looked at the deeper reasoning of why. And second, because I see too many students who have such a natural talent and genuine love for music suddenly stop taking lessons/playing.
When I think of all the swim practices I left feeling defeated, the music lessons where I just thought I wasn't good enough, or the competitions I lost of didn't do my best. Those are the times I wanted to quit. All because of a "bad day". Fortunately enough for me, whether my parents knew it or not, I think they lived by the advice I shared above. It's not that they wouldn't let me quit, it's that they didn't want me quitting so irrationally. They could see that the temporary disappointment wasn't because I didn't love what I was doing. They saw it for what it was, a bad day.
I think this way of thinking should be encouraged--not only to students, but parents. Your child might have an "off" lesson and come home wanted to quit. This happens, and sometimes it is in fact because they don't enjoy it. That is completely fine! Not everyone is going to love what they're signed up for. However, it may be worth saying, "Not today. Give yourself time to think about it or to decide after a good night's sleep."