Falling off the training “wagon” happens to everyone at least once over the course of their training career. The realty about what we do is that it’s not always easy on your body. Throughout my BJJ career I’ve sustained many injuries; some more serious than others. I’ve torn my ACL, MCL and LCL; torn cartilage in my rib cage; dislocated my shoulder and pinky finger in two places; torn ligaments in my big toe; and, had more black eyes and bruises and scratches then I can count or remember. Only a few of these have actually kept me off the mat, however.
Unfortunately, it seems that lethargy keeps most BJJ competitors from reaching their true potential. Every athlete hits “walls” or “humps” at some point in their quest to make black belt (or win the worlds/pan ams/both). The question is, what pushes some to over come those hurdles and press on towards the goal ahead?
Shear determination; an absolute refusal to quit. For a coach, nothing is more frustrating than seeing someone with god-given athletic talent but refuses to work hard. This sport is a difficult one. At some point, defeat WILL come. How you handle that defeat ultimately is a statement to your true character.
Will you quit at the first sign adversity? Maybe not. Will you quit at the 100th, or 1000th sign of adversity, however? This is where your drive and true determination are put to the test.
It took Thomas Edison over 1000 attempts before he found the cotton filament for the light bulb. Would you have blamed him if he quit after the first attempt…probably. But, what about after the 800th attempt? I think most would agree that they probably would have thrown in the towel and thought they were crazy for even trying.
Adversity didn’t stop Edison, or Einstein, or Jordan (who admittedly missed WAY more shots than he made in his career).
My challenge for you in 2011 is to pick a BJJ goal (get your blue/purple/brown/black belt, win a local tournament, win/place at the Pan Ams/Worlds, etc) and stick to it. Let it be the driving force for your classroom training.
I’ll go first: my goal for 2011 is to place as a brown belt in the World’s this year. My 2010 goal was to place at the Pan Ams as a purple belt…and I did it, taking home a silver medal.
I’d love to hear what some of your goals are. Please feel free to reply back and share with me so I can help keep you accountable!
And remember, if you need a little help and you live in the Louisville, KY area feel free to contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org for info on private lessons. If I’m not easily accessible, sign up for our online BJJ program at http://www.bjjschool.com and get your first 30 days FREE!
See you on the mat!