Hey Elite Fam! Coach Rob from Baytown here again going over some tips on what you should do if you are thinking of competing! I think doing tournaments is great for anyone’s Jiu Jitsu journey! Just make sure you are keeping the right mindset when you are competing. It is just another day on the mats doing BJJ. I have seen a lot of students including myself put a tournament up on a pedestal and if you don’t come out on top, you think that you should quit. My coach Frost told me something that I always keep in mind when competing: 50% of the people that sign up for that tournament lose their first match. Not winning is not unique to you! Someone always wins and someone always loses. But as long as you go back to the mats and learn from your mistakes, did you really lose or did your opponents inadvertently show you a hole in your game that will make you better? Always have fun because there are more serious things to worry about at the end of the day than a $5 medal!
Now let’s breakdown how to set yourself up with a great tournament experience whether you win or lose:
- Communicate to your coach as far in advance that you want to compete or that you signed up for a tournament. We are here to support you and make sure you are ready. We want you to feel like you did everything you could do to be prepared. You don’t want to think if you could have a drilled a bit more or you could have gone to one more class. Talk with your coaches, come up with a gameplan and then go to class and put it into action. Ask your teammates for feedback if they beat your game that day. Thank your teammates for putting you through the ringer. I’ve never had a tournament that has ever been more grueling than competition training in the gym. We may stand on the podium alone to receive the medal but it’s because of the support of your team that helps you get there.
- The day of the tournament make sure you make weight! That’s the only thing you can control that day. Don’t take yourself out early for getting disqualified for not making weight. Once you make weight, make sure you eat! You’ll shoot yourself in the foot if you don’t have any energy once you get on the mats. Make sure you bring at least 2 gi’s in case one gets damaged while competing. Also have something to keep your mind occupied while you are waiting between matches. Some people listen to music, read a book or try to nap. Whatever you can do to keep the nerves at bay.
- You are going to be nervous every time you step on the mats to compete. Be with it. Embrace it! When the ref says go, try to make the match just like you practiced in the gym in every class. Like I said, someone wins and someone loses at the end. Regardless of the outcome, thank your opponent for the match, shake their coaches hand and go to coach and ask for what they saw you did right and wrong. It will stick better when it’s fresh!
- Make sure you have fun! Enjoy the team, cheer on your team mates! We are all happy for a win and bummed for a loss. But there are always more tournaments and more opportunities to get out there to make your Jiu Jitsu better!
If you have any questions about competing, feel free to hit me or any of the Elite coaches up! We are one team and we are all here to see every student reach their goals!! I look forward to seeing everyone on the mats!!