Learn Something More about Yourself by Competing
Roger Gracie is one of the greatest competitors in the history of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. Technique notwithstanding, what really makes a champion is the will and courage to push through the fatigue and nerves out there. As he puts it, self-belief is what really makes you stand out.
‘ Everything in life from martial arts to business; Why are there so many people doing something and very few achieving the best? …Because, they are the ones who really believe.’
Everyone feels something the first time they step out onto a tournament mat, be it excitement, anxiety, fear, triumph, a loss or all of them at the same time. Each of us reacts to excitement in our own way. You’ve probably got your own way. Where someone might be put down by a loss, you might be that much more driven. Whatever the case may be, potent experiences make us who we are, and be assured, you are going to learn something about yourself if you compete. You might find you have done enough in training to win yourself a tournament. Even a loss can be fuel or a lesson for a different match.
If your coach thinks you’re ready, consider the mental aspect of the game. Technique, strength, conditioning will not matter if you do not believe in yourself. Prepare yourself. Envision the mats and the crowd. See yourself shaking hands with the referee and then your opponent. See yourself win, but imagine yourself losing as well. Be ready.
Competition day will be a long one. Have a bottle of water handy. Take small sips of water, and pasta or peanut butter for food. Your match itself will probably be a while. Read a book maybe. Do something, keep yourself busy. Warm ups are best done ten or fifteen minutes before you get called out. Keep track of your match number so you can do your warm up routine when the time comes.