Sharpening The Competition Mindset (3 Tips)

In BJJ we tend to train our bodies very well. We eat great and hit the gym and academy regularly. We end up being true martial artists and athletes.

However, sometimes when we hit the mats at the competition we just can’t seem to bring our best game.

What we do in the academy can seem completely different from our competition. Sometimes this can be due to being ill-prepared on the mental side.

Recently, there has been a lot recognition of the mental preparation, mostly due to Gustavo Dantas and the BJJ Mental coach movement. If you haven’t checked out his site and videos, I would highly recommend them.

I am a firm believer in the mental side of training and I wanted to talk about some of the top ways to make sure you are mentally prepared for your next competition.

  1. Leave No Stone Upturned– Make sure that you know you did everything possible in your diet and training. This is big because, if you are unsure of your preparedness, then you will begin to question yourself. And questioning yourself leads to doubt, which leads to failure.
  2. Don’t Google Your Opponent– While in some cases this can be helpful, most often it only leads to doubt. Think about it? Most of any footage online (at least at the lower belts) will only show your opponents good sides and not their weaknesses. So, if we only see how good our opponent is, we may begin to doubt our own abilities.
  3. Create Self Affirmations– By self-affirmation I don’t necessarily mean just a few words (although a few words can be enough), sometimes a small speech that you repeat to yourself can be very helpful. The more you tell yourself how well-prepared you are and how much you believe in a cause, the more likely you will achieve it.

These are a few of the main strategies I have used to combat my own self-doubt and they have really have helped me. I’d like to end with a powerful quote from the great William Shakespeare:

“Our doubts are traitors, And make us lose the good we oft might win.  By fearing to attempt.”


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