In the Karate Kid universe we all know that Miyagi Do is framed as the “good” side of the karate spectrum while Cobra Kai is the “bad”. In the real world we know the the lines between good and evil are never really that clear cut and easy to see. Whether something is “good” or “bad” is almost always framed by the perspective of the person you are talking to, and that has never been more clear than in the world of Karate Kid.
I recently wrote about lessons that we can learn from Karate Kid and Mr. Miyagi that apply to softball. All of the things we highlighted in that blog are true but it does raise one very important question. Daniel and his Miyagi Do students are still constantly being harassed by the “evil” Cobra Kai. And if you are keeping score, Miyagi Do seems to lose an awful lot of the battles before coming up with the Hail Mary to win in the end.
So, while Karate Kid Coaching is a great place to start your understanding of some very sound coaching strategies it is clear that there are also some valuable lessons to be learned from their arch nemesis, Cobra Kai. And in a sort of ironic and funny way, from Johnny Lawrence and his Eagle Fang teachings too!
Strike First – we all know that scoring first is a great way to increase the likelihood of winning any game. If we can get a run or two on the board early, it greatly increases our chances of winning.
Strike Hard – coming out of the gate with a sense of urgency and aggressiveness is a great strategy. If you can knock your opponent back onto their heels, make them wonder what hit them, you have taken the upper hand.
No Mercy – if you are keeping score you should do everything you can to win. If you are playing a team that is supposed to match your level of play taking your foot off the gas is a bad idea. Keep playing hard, no matter what the score is.
Fear Does Not Exist in this Dojo – when you get intimidated or frightened by your opponent you are already beaten. Working on your confidence, developing your mental game and learning to walk the walk will go a long way to make your team a winner.
Pain Does Not Exist in this Dojo – the greatest ability is availability. Softball is a game where something seems to always hurt. Now if a player has a serious injury that is a different story but playing though minor aches and pains is what great players do.
Cobra Kai Never Dies – staying in the fight, coming back from a setback, overcoming challenges and bouncing back from disappointment are all keys to being a successful team and player.
Sweep the Leg – exploiting your opponents weaknesses is all part of playing the game. If a team struggles with bunt defense you are going to bunt more. If your opponent gives you an opening you should take it.
We often hear about teams that lack a killer instinct or shy away from the big games and big moments. Some players appear to be timid or weak or scared when they are faced with the big moment of the game. Now I have to admit, some of these coaching points are a little more edgy than those from Mr. Miyagi that we discussed in the previous blog but that doesn’t diminish their value. Many teams would benefit from applying some of the Cobra Kai teachings to their game plans.
Remember, Defeat Does Not Exist In this Dojo, Does It? No sensei!!
Comments? Questions? Suggestions?