The Reason You Suck in Jiu-Jitsu is your Mindset

The Reason you suck in Jiu-Jitsu is your Mindset

First off you don’t suck, it’s the story you make up in your mind that tells you that you suck.

Comparison is the thief of joy. Have you ever heard that before? Read it again.

The truth is, on this Journey, it’s all about self-development. To be better than you were yesterday.

When you compare how you did to your opponent it’s not always fair to you or your development. Fair means an honest assessment. Life isn’t fair so I hate using the word ‘Fair’.

If you’re a competitor this is just as true, though it doesn’t seem like it.

If you could measure by percentages, if it were possible, though you lose to someone you could still have gotten better by percentage points.

For example, I have rolled with several World Champions during a private lesson or Open mat setting. Gui Mendes was someone I rolled with. After getting destroyed by him I immediately got a ton better. I had lightbulbs go off for me all over. How his top pressure felt, his smoothness into submissions. It was as if he taught me so much without saying a word.

I definitely Got Better!

James O'Connor 3rd degree bjj black belt
James O’Connor 3rd Degree Black Belt

I walked away with clear direction on what my next training session should Be like and what I should FEEL like. How I should FEEL Attacking my opponent. Small details on how to grab the lapel tighter. I had the same happen with Marcelo Garcia. So invaluable.

This was because I felt them destroying me and I internalized the feeling as something positive. I didn’t spin a story in my head about how I would never be as good as them. I took the experience as valuable proprioceptive feedback.

The next time you lose, don’t get the submission you wanted, or just get smashed, walk away with a lesson on how you can do that to someone else. Reverse what happened to you in your head. Remember the feeling where you felt pressure from your opponent. Maybe where they slipped around your pressure and then start doing it to others. How were they smashing into your head and chin from side control? How they may have been subtly controlling your far knee with a pants grip. The Devil is in the Details.

Not all lessons need to be spoken. What one person perceives as a loss another may find as a Eureka moment.

Become a Master of reframing stories in your head to make you a stronger JiuJitsu athlete. Careful, this may also bleed into other parts of your life. You may have less misery because you are making up new stories in your head about events that happen ‘to you. Retelling an event in a positive way.

Mindset is everything, look for ways you can improve in the midst of what looks like a loss.

Keep Moving Forward

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