Train Weaknesses, But Display Strengths When It Matters

Image Source: Vinicius Pescador via Flickr Creative Commons

Too often, training and competition get intermingled. We must make clear distinctions in our focus.

When competing or when you’re in a position to display your skills, play to your strengths. When you’re in the comforts of your own training room or weight room — your own laboratory, we can say — this is where you work on your weaknesses.

Focus and Discipline

You must focus when improving new details of your game, physical attributes (strength, cardio, etc.) or in any endeavor. Yes, simply showing up is a lot of the work, but beyond that, diligent focus and discipline is key.

To implement new things when training (a move or a component of fitness) and also taking the time to research, study the film associated with these weak areas, and to then subsequently drill takes uber amounts of discipline. It’s a long process… like the preceding run-on sentence. But you get my point.

For example, we all love rolling. It’s what attracts us to the sport. Every day I go to train, I remind myself what I am focusing on, though, especially when a match isn’t on the horizon. For when that’s the case, it’s all about refining my “A” game.

Of late for me, my focus on that mats has included back attack sequences, front headlock attacks, achilles locks, and guard passing. It would be easy for me to fall into playing my A-game when going against a tough training partner. It takes discipline to continue working on these weaker areas of my game (call them my “B and C” games) in the face of the stress of tough training partner.

Final Thoughts

Challenge yourself in training (be it the weight room, recovery room, or the mats) to build your weaknesses. The closer you get to exhibiting your skills in competition, play to your strengths physically and in terms of your knowledge of the game.

You’ll begin to notice that your B and C game as well as your weaker physical attributes become more present in your “A” skill set. Increased performance and confidence in your abilities should be the likely results. Growth is something always out of our comfort zone, but something we should all seek.

I cover more performance training tidbits at that will help you prepare, recover, and perform better on the mats!


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