5 Annoying Things Coaches Say at Tournaments

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In most cases, BJJ coaches provide great motivational and emotional support and technical expertise for their students at Jiu Jitsu tournaments. Then there are other times, when the advice and coaching some students receive really is just stating the obvious or saying a whole lot of nothing. Here are 5 lines that I have heard a few times at Jiu Jitsu tournaments that makes me wonder if the coaches just mailed in in for the day.

“Breathe”- I have heard this used to help competitors calm down, regain their composure and catch their breath while their adrenaline is pumping. Telling your competitor to take a few deep breaths while he or she might be panicking can help them calm down and gain awareness for the task at hand. When it is used by a coach while his/her competitor is trapped in a full-on choke is when it gets annoying. During nogi worlds I heard a coach yell “breathe” while his competitor was caught in a full-on rear naked choke. I am pretty sure if breathing at that point was a viable option, the competitor would be inhaling and exhaling rather than letting his face turn purple. At that point, any advice, including “bite’em” might be better than “breathe.”

“You gotta go/You can’t stay there”– When you are mounted, have somebody stuck on your back with hooks locked in, you already know you can’t stay there. If you had your way, you would never have been put in this position. You already know you shouldn’t be there and you can’t stay there since you are likely down on points or in danger of getting submitted. If the best advice you can get at that point is “you gotta go” or “you can’t stay there,” then you might need to start plotting your own escape minus the coaching.

“Break It” – I personally don’t like coaches screaming “break it.” While the objective is to make your opponent submit, screaming “break it” is in poor taste, since most competitors want to compete and win without wishing any ill will or injury on their opponents. Whenever I hear a coach scream “break it,” I have flashbacks to Sensai Kreese telling Johnny Lawrence to “sweep the leg.”

“Finish It” – Of course we all want to finish the submission. Nobody is squeezing a choke or pulling back on an arm bar just to stall out. Instead of just yelling “finish it,” some advice like “lift your hips”, “squeeze your knees” or “pull down the head” would be much more helpful.

“Pass the Guard”- If you are in top position in someone’s closed, half, or open guard, there is a really high chance you will want to pass that guard to score points and set up submissions. At the same time, the person who’s guard you  are trying to pass, really wants to sweep or submit you. When your coach is just repeating “pass the guard” and maybe throwing in a “now” every few times, chances are he won’t eventually say “x pass”, “leg drag”, or “knee through the middle.” You know and want to pass the guard, but sometimes a bit more technical coaching rather than “pass the guard” could come in handy during a match.



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