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Confidence in Your Jiu-jitsu : Wise Advice from Coach John Wooden

You would be surprised to discover that many of your bjj training partners often lack confidence in their jiu-jitsu.

Here are some examples:
1) Following a new belt promotion, many a new blue or purple belt has expressed privately that they didn’t feel that they deserved their belt.

2) We have also seen students who compare themselves unfavourably with other talented members of the club. “I’m a blue belt also but that other blue belt submits me every time!”

3) We have seen it when students feel intimidated by the blue or purple belts from other gyms at tournament. Somehow ascribing magical bjj skills to those unknown competitors.

read also: The Blue Belt Blues

4) We can feel discouraged with your own learning of bjj when we attend a seminar with a world class athlete who demonstrates a level of skill that we know is not possible for us.

5) We can feel our own skills diminished when we see a naturally talented athlete come into the academy and quickly surpass those who have been training much longer.

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All of these stem from one mental outlook: unfairly comparing ourselves with others. Measuring our own worth with the abilities of others who themsleves are equipped with a different set of talents and potentials.

A few years ago, a fresh new black belt, I took a training trip to the original Gracie Barra in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. To say I experienced some stress and self doubt about stepping on the mats is an understatement! This is one of the best academies in the entire WORLD.

How am I going to do in training in an academy that had produced so many talented champions?

Before the trip, I read a book by famous basketball coach John Wooden and looked at my own place in bjj differently. Now I know less about basketball than I do about speaking Japanese, but the words of the coach made a difference in how I approached confidence rattling situations.

Here are the words of coach Wooden:
“Success comes from knowing that you did your best to become the best that you are capable of becoming.”
Never try to be better than someone else.

This is another lesson Wooden learned from his Dad – “You should never try to be better than someone else. Always learn from others and never cease trying to be the best you can be. That’s under your control.  If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control.”

And I recalled – I was raised on a small farm in Southern Indiana, and Dad tried to teach me and my brothers that you should never try to be better than someone else.

things-turn-out-best-john-wooden

Pic from: quotesgram.com

Always learn from others.
Never cease trying to be the best you can be – that’s under your control. If you get too engrossed and involved and concerned in regard to the things over which you have no control, it will adversely affect the things over which you have control.

That’s what really matters: if you make an effort to do the best you can regularly, the results will be about what they should be. Not necessarily what you’d want them to be but they “’Will be about what they should; only you will know whether you can do that.”

The wisdom that I pulled from those words were that I could not control how good or talented others were going to be. Some would be far better than me, some would be less experienced. I would only harm my own jiu-jitsu by comparing myself with Braulio Estima .

What I COULD control was:
~ Am I sticking to my nutrition plan?
~ Am I being consistent with my own attendance at training sessions?
~ Am I putting forward my best efforts in my physical conditioning?

The results are what they are. There will always be others better than we are. We can’t allow negatively comparing ourselves with others to subtract from us being the best that we possibly can.

Remember the words of coach Wooden “You should never try to be better than someone else. Never cease trying to be the best you can be — that’s under your control.”

read also: [LINK]http://www.graciebarra.com/2015/02/new-stripe-belt/[LINK]

Credits: Mark Mullen
Gracie Barra Black belt based in Asia
Twitter: @MarkMullenBJJ

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