My whole life, I have had a confidence in me that whatever I see someone else do, I can do as well. This is a direct result of my involvement in martial arts. Martial arts is a modeled behavior. Every class, the teacher presents a movement, the students observe, then they attempt to interpret with their bodies what they saw with their eyes. I’ve taught for 20 years, and one thing i know is that the ability to see and duplicate is a huge factor in success in any martial art. Its also an important social skill. You see how other people behave, and where appropriate, you conform. The ability to tune your string to the string of others is a life skill fundamental.
One of the biggest challenges to this skill is attention span and persistence. Some kids are naturally observant, most are not. Some kids move through the sport naturally, most do not.
Sometimes, I can see parents fret when their kid isn’t picking things up fast. They try to compensate for the details that their child missed in the drill. I understand this, but I also stress that you have to let them make mistakes. You can drill at home, here on the mats they have to learn that missed details has consequences.
Wanting your kid to be a natural at something is a recipe for disaster. In fact, I would argue that the more your child struggles in the sport, the more satisfying it will be for them when they push through.
Don’t lower the bar, help them to break down the challenge. Help them learn to be better physical interpreters of what they are witnessing.