Whether you’ve been training Jiu Jitsu for only a few months or have been studying it for years, everyone has the occasional doubt in their abilities when it comes to participating in tournaments or even just simply some light rolling. It’s only natural to feel some fear when your skill is being put to the test. Here are 6 Secrets to becoming CONFIDENT on and off the mat!
It is absolutely critical to maintain full confidence on the mat. Our bodies are only as powerful as our minds, and if victory is the goal, then there is no room for self-doubt.
That’s REAL Jiu-Jitsu!
1. Positive Thinking: Instead of thinking about the mistakes you’ve made in past tournaments or rolling sessions, think about the successes, the victories, and what you’ve done correctly up to this point. You’re where you are in your martial art not because of your failures, but because of your successes! When you focus on what you did well, not only will this help you feel more confident in yourself, but it will also help you learn from past victories so you can repeat them in the future!
2. Weakness? More Like Future Strength: Make a list of your strong points and your weak points. Once you understand what you are good at and what you need to work on, you will be able to create a game plan on how you want to get better! After finishing your list, start working on whatever you think needs to be worked on.
Soon, you’ll find that your weaknesses are no longer your weaknesses, but rather your strengths! Not only will you become a better fighter, but you will also feel MORE confident on the mat!
3. Set Small Goals: Whether it be increasing your bench press, improving your takedowns, or simply cleaning your room, set small goals that you can work towards. Once this is done, you can be to achieve every goal you set. This is going to allow you start feeling more confident in your ability. Then you will realize that you can do ANYTHING that you put your mind to! When it comes time to test your skill on the mat, your confidence in obtaining victory will be stronger than you ever imagined! When that day comes, you will be prepared to meet any challenge that comes your way.
You will have arrived!
4. Details, details, details: It is extremely important to believe that your technique works and will help you win a tournament. To boost your confidence in the techniques you use, research famous wrestlers, MMA fighters, and other martial artists who use the same techniques you do. When you see how successful they were in their careers, naturally you’ll become more confident in the same techniques. When you find yourself facing an opponent, you’ll know that the techniques you’re about to use have helped famous fighters win, not lose.
Think about it, practice makes perfect. When we drill on the mats, the coaches are always talking about details, details, and wait some more details. What makes your technique so important is that when you are sloppy with your technique on the mats, you will be sloppy in your technique life. Who you are on the mats shows who you are in life. So, when you make sure that your mat life is as strong as your personal life the details are going to be your best friend!
5. SEE Who You Are: The power of visualization is AMAZING! Don’t think about yourself losing to your next opponent. Instead, imagine yourself winning! Think about doing your technique without any problems. Imagine that you are going to WIN! Visualize yourself perfectly defending every takedown, kick, and hold. If you imagine yourself winning over and over again, you’ll begin to realize that victory is completely POSSIBLE. When you imagined yourself succeeding, you weren’t worrying about your insecurities or potential mistakes, you were focusing on your strengths and your skill, all of which you have!
6. Want confidence? Be Confident: Studies show that confidence and mood actually follows body language not the other way around. Work on creating posture and body language in which you feel more confident. Yes, you read that right. 😉 Stand up straight, give your coaches eye contact, and speak in a sure voice! The more confident you feel before you enter the mat the confident you’ll feel on the mat! Victory is only a mindset, and with the correct mindset, any challenge can be overcome.
Whenever we are faced with an struggle, it is only natural to doubt ourselves, thinking only about how we have failed and how we will fail. But do not let the tricks your mind plays stop you from achieving success. Focus on your strengths, as well as the other obstacles you’ve overcome, and in time, confidence will follow. In the words of T. Harv Eker, “Successful people have fear, successful people have doubts, and successful people have worries. They just don’t let these feelings stop them.”
Let’s start with confidence in you and watch how quickly that becomes confidence on the mats!
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Professor Mikal Abdullah is a 2nd Degree BJJ Black Belt, veteran, father, philanthropist, and founder of Aces Jiu Jitsu Club. You can find her personal Instagram account with the handle @cerebralbjj or just stop by one of our locations and get a session in!