Candy First ...
To get around this problem, I have several teaching strategies; one of which I call ‘candy first’. To get a student to start working from a position they dislike – I need to first give them a good reason to want to spend time there. So I give them a move/technique that I feel really suits their style, personality or physical ability. In other words, before I have them learn their way to the ‘store’ I need to give them a but of the ‘candy’ that they can buy there. Once they have the ‘candy’, they then have a reason to learn (and get creative bout ) how to get there.
Beginners for example – first couple of nights training – try telling them that when underneath they should have their opponent in between their legs – or that when they are in someone’s guard, they really need to ‘pass’ or get out. They simply ‘don’t get it’. Teach them a choke from the guard – then they will be coming and asking you how to keep someone in the guard as well as how they should be getting out. Give them the ‘candy first’ – and they will start ‘mapping out’ their game on their own steam.
With the more advanced students, we often see them settle into their own ‘preferred’ positional game – but again, if they get the right bit of candy, they can be motivated to develop new positions and thereby broaden or deepen their game.
Candy First is a basic motivational tool that had worked well for me for years now. Try it with your students – or try it on yourself. You will definitely see results.