An extremely important factor in being mentally ready to compete is the mental state of preparedness. Self doubt is a factor only appropriate for inside the gym. Once you are at a competition, you are ready and your opponent is not. You must be ready, you must be prepared to do what is necessary to win your match or else ultimately you will find that opponents who are prepared will be able to beat you.
I wrote an article a while back about competition readiness, BJJ: Competition Readiness. the premise and moral of the article is that because we are never truly ready to compete we must push ourselves to compete simply to do that for which we are not ready.
Heres where it gets interesting: if you convince yourself that you are in fact ready, your chances go up. Couple that mental readiness with time on the mat and youll be downright lethal.
A big factor of mental preparedness is having gone through the very worst that your opponent could throw at you. For this reason, I suggest always seeking out the killers in the room. Get pummeled into the ground on a daily basis and eventually youll begin finding your way out. The ability to do this will become your mental strength.
Preparedness is a combination of confidence and focus. You can be super confident but unfocused and fail as a result of a stupid mistake, or you can be super focused but unconfident and miss out on an opportunity to overcome your opponent.
When it comes to readiness your ultimate enemy is yourself. If you can be mentally beaten, chances are you will be. It is however also important to actually BE ready.
Ive seen far too many people go to competition without putting in mat time. Its good that they step out there and they are accomplishing something just by putting it on the line at a competition, but champions are made in the gym/academy, not at competition. All the confidence in the world will not save you from poor timing and technique.
When you go to compete, be confident and be ready. However know that it is as important to be prepared as it is to be confident. Go through the paces, become a warrior, then go to war.
Emil Fischer is an active blue belt competitor under Pablo Angel Castro III training with Strong Style Brasa and is sponsored by Pony Club Grappling Gear and Cruz Combat. For more information, other articles, and competition videos check out his athlete pages at www.facebook.com/emilfischerbjj www.twitter.com/Emil_Fischer and https://instagram.com/emilfischerbjj/