I used to be incredibly clumsy and awkward, especially in my youth. I was uncoordinated, and in poor physical condition. Even though I eventually played some sports in high school and became decently fit, I never became what I would call a good athlete. In my day, I eventually became the strongest member of our football team. Yet somehow, people not nearly as strong as I, would routinely outperform me on the field.
Why were the other athletes outperforming me? I always just figured that I didn't inherit the proper genes to be a good athlete. During college, I finally got to fulfill one of my biggest dreams and started training with the United Kempo and Gung Fu Academies. This was where I would eventually find the answer.
The answer was this: even though I had the body of an athlete, I didn't have the coordination. I didn't have the mind/body connection the other guys on the football team had. I didn't know how to use my own body, and to make it worse, I was completely oblivious to this fact. The good news is that the mind/body connection can be developed and was being taught to me through my martial arts training. In just a couple of years of training, my overall athleticism nearly doubled.
Martial arts training helps to develop our mind/body coordination to a very high level. What I mean by mind/body coordination is simple. Mind/body coordination is simply the ability of your mind to make your body perform tasks. I have had many students come to classes that have had a very underdeveloped mind/body connection. Just like myself, they could understand a technique, but couldn't make their bodies do what their mind was telling it to do. Students with this problem often have feelings of being awkward or even clumsy. These feelings can be very discouraging and even push some to quit before they bloom so-to-speak. Being patient and encouraging for the student is the best remedy the problem.
Through encouragement and proper training, the student begins to move much more fluidly. As their confidence grows, so does their mind/body connection. I have seen the clumsiest of students transform themselves into extremely coordinated individuals and extremely successful athletes. Students find that not only their academic pursuits improve, but their performance in sports overall as student-athletes have been greatly enhanced.
Training Advice: Even if you feel awkward or clumsy at first, be patient and trust the training. Over time everything will become smooth. Every black belt you will ever meet has went through the same process of going from awkward to excellent.