Nervous About Competing In Jiu Jitsu: 3 Tips

Dealing with competition nerves

Some people want to compete but never do because they may have a certain fear of losing or being center stage. Because of this they may feel regret one day.

This goes for any life endeavor (obviously).

Or they compete but underperform because of worries or they simply freeze up. Maybe their parents or girlfriend are watching. Or maybe they feel they will look bad and not get promoted if they get their butt kicked. It could be any number of reasons. We are human so it is normal. Let’s take a look at 3 tips to help with competition nerves.

  1. Fear of losing. It’s normal to lose for some time so be patient and have no fear – it is actually how you succeed long-term. To compete is not easy. If you are new to it you likely will lose at some point early on. I rarely know people who start out dominating ( I still get killed after years, lol). They are all lessons – win or lose. Look at almost any great BJJ competitor of today and they have had their share of losses. You just don’t hear about their losses as much as the wins all over social media. Society does not celebrate losses as much as wins. You will lose so be okay with that – losing does not define who you are, it helps mold who you are becoming.
  2. It’s normal to have anxiety. Anxiety before signing up for a competition or right before your first match is normal – it means it matters to you. Channel that into positive thoughts as you warm up and be okay with negative thoughts creeping in from time to time. Practice how to handle them and be okay with it. It’s part of competing – doubt and belief. They are both natural so you need not be surprised when it’s go time as they pop up.
  3. No one cares. In a good way. I think it was Michale Jordon’s college basketball coach Dean Smith who told him before he had to take the game winning shot that whether he made it or not 300 million people in China didn’t care. Seriously, when you are just starting out competing, you probably do not have critics or haters and the reality is your friends probably want you to succeed but will be equally proud of you for just stepping out there. You can compete on Saturday and within 24-48 hours no one even remembers you did it but you. Life goes on. No one is hyper-focused on whether or not you competed or won or lost. If they are then you may need to check that relationship.

I hope this helps. Offer any insight you have and go have fun!

READ: 5 tips for aging BJJ athletes


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