Creating A Positive Mindset During Training
I have been dabbling in Jiu Jitsu now for around eight years, had the opportunities to compete all over the world, and on the biggest stages the sport has to offer. I have been able to stand at the top of the podium and claim victory as the champion, but also experienced having to witness the medals being handed out to my opponents, from the spectators point of view, after losing my first fight.
Changing perspectives slightly, I have had five MMA fights, tasting both success and defeat. I am currently in training camp and about to partake in my sixth at the end of this month.
In the end what I have realized is that training for a world championship in Jiu Jitsu, or a title shot in MMA, feels the same in many ways. It's daunting, beyond hard work, and almost always uncomfortable.
Many people say that if you do what you love, you will never work a day in your life. I absolutely love what I do and I agree to a degree with that expression. I am all for positivity and accomplishing goals to build confidence, but it gets tough under the lights. Fighting is easy, but training with the wrong attitude feels like the end of the world at times. Since we train more than we fight, that's when it counts the most.
What I have learned is that it's so much deeper than what I initially thought. It was beaten into me that I had to be tough and just train hard so when it's time to fight I know I worked harder than this guy. I would know that I had better training partners with harder rounds. It was all basically creating the formula which was physical hard work equaled confidence and confidence equaled success.
No one ever really spoke about the other aspects of mental training. Instead I'm walking around thinking that if my mindset wasn't what I was told it had to be, I would lose. I've put in an entire training camp with the "wrong mindset" and showed up knowing I'd lose.
Here is what I was never really told that I had to find out the hard way and now I preach this to my students, and to myself, on a daily basis.
"Training will be as hard or as easy as you make it, mentally." Good days and bad days will happen regardless, but it's crucial to make sure every training session has the result of being positive. At times I'm getting smashed, can't do anything correctly, and feel incredibly disappointed in myself, but I then have to look at the situation and end with a positive outlook. That can take five minutes, sometimes five hours, once in a while it may even take five days, but it will never be a negative training session. I'm never questioning my decisions or happiness. Only thing I ask myself is "What did I get out of today?"
That type of question will supply the answers I need in order to be a champion. Those answers will give me insight on where I am weak and what I need to work on. Those answers put me in a position of responsibility, so I know when it comes time to put in on the line, I gave 100%. To me that is confidence.