So, it’s your first Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu competition huh? Maybe it’s your second, third or fourth. Either way, you’re new in the realm of competitions.
Match days can be overwhelming and many times stressful for BJJ white belt athletes. Trust us, it gets better. The tension and anxiety will turn into purely craved confidence.
Below are a few helpful tips on what you, as a white belt should prepare for during competitions.
Focus on the Moment
Forget about the win. Yes, it would be fantastic to take that W, but don’t let it get in your head. Also, don’t let the big L get in your head either. Instead, focus on the moment you are in.
What does it mean to “focus on the moment” exactly?
It’s wise to train the mind to focus on mini victories within the match, you know, in the moment such as: if you are in a hold, how you will get out of it successfully and what will you do there-after. These moments can be simulated within training sessions during class, so be sure to train wisely.
Any great coach will be down near the mat with you talking you through your match and helping with a plan of action. Ultimately, the decision of the next move is yours and solely yours so you need to be decisive.
Not being decisive wastes a ton of energy which can tire the body very quickly. A sporadic and frantic mind will try any and all skills or techniques which will ultimately be physically exhausting. Making quick appropriate decisions of action if you’re in a hold or have an opening for a takedown will assert your knowledge and boost your confidence thereof.
Find and act on positions of power, your greatest skill set, or even your opponents weakness in a strategic, decisive manner.
Remain Calm & Trust Your Jiu-Jitsu
Remain calm? How the heck does one do that when your adrenaline is at 147% ? I know that’s what you’re thinking. Yes, it’s difficult to do, but breath; it can be done.
As a young competitor in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, white belts tend to overthink. A competition is simply grappling, just like you do in class but without having to worry about the other person’s safety or hurting them like you would your sparring partner and peer at the gym. Once on a competition mat, it’s game-on! Work your magic and only worry about your own protection and safety.
Trust your skills. You have learned some fundamental techniques and skills that will allow you to overtake your opponent. Trust these skills but remain calm at the same time because a foggy, stressed out and over-adrenalized mind can many times supersede talent and the mind may forget what to do. Don’t let that happen to you. Stay focused, breath and be confident.
Good luck on your competition! You’ve got this!