The secret to winning in BJJ competition stems not only from your knowledge of technique but also your mindset. You can develop this mental preparedness through small habits that will serve as a strong foundation as you face your opponents on the mat.
No matter the sport, all professional athletes prepare for success before the game in their own ways. Practicing throughout the week, eating right, and getting enough sleep is essential for preparation leading up to the match, but being mentally ready is just as important. Have you ever gone into a match feeling a little hazy, unsteady, or maybe even like you forgot or are missing something? These tips should help you prepare for success before you even step out to compete!
Everybody has their own level of excitement going into competition and it is important to find a balanced level that works for you. If you go into a match to hyped or excited it could turn to nervous energy and lead you to take more chances or wear out faster due to an increased respiration rate. If you go into competition with your energy too low, then you will have a slower reaction time and are at a greater risk of injury by not matching the opponent’s intensity. The level you want to achieve is a confident, and sharp mentality while feeling loose and limber.
When warming up before your match, visualize the moves and tactics you want to perform successfully. If you have had a chance to watch your opponent beforehand, make sure you review your game plan and have confidence in that plan. To win and be successful you have to believe you will be successful going into the match. That’s why all the top-tier athletes in professional sports all believe they are the best as it provides a level of success they have come to expect from themselves. Any doubts will manifest themselves when in a vulnerable situation and sabotage success. However, if in the moment things do go south, it is important to have a short memory. After a stoppage or next match, tell yourself “That didn’t go my way, but this round is mine to win.” After every setback, it is paramount that you let it go, get ready and prepare for what is next.
Develop a strict routine and stick with it. Be as meticulous as you can with every detail, so you perform the same steps every time giving you a sense that you’re prepared for what is ahead. Even the little details can count. This includes developing a routine on how you put on you rashguard over your gi or taking off a jacket in the same order every time. If you find a song that helps get you to the level of arousal that works for you then always listen to that same song before going into competition. Anything you can do that works for you and can be repeated should be. For instance, try eating the same meal that makes you feel good before competing. The more you feel in control of yourself and the elements that have an influence on you the better!
Along with this information remember the basics of what to do and not do before competition. You shouldn’t eat within 30 minutes of competition and don’t overhydrate as it will slow you down during the match. Try to get plenty of sleep (7-9 hours) while not oversleeping and becoming lethargic. Finally, practices should taper off the closer it gets to competition to give your body rest.