January 30, 2018 Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Mental Preparation 0

If you are like me your love of training will have ups and downs. When you hit one of the downs what can you do about beating your frustration with BJJ?  Here are my top 5 ways for dealing with frustration in your BJJ journey.  

Beating your frustration with BJJ

There can be loads of things that could trigger a down time.  It could be a week of feeling like nothing is working for you. Real life limiting your training. Maybe the worst of all suffering a training injury that affects your mat time. You then question your ability, or even the point of training.  When this resentment hits can feel like a big block that you just can’t over come. No matter how focussed or positive you try and stay, frustration can make its way into your mind. This just makes it all seem worst.

Why do I get frustrated anyway?

The ironic thing is this happens because you enjoy training so much.  Simply because you want to get better so much, these small set backs affect you so much. In psychology terms, frustration is how we emotionally react to opposition. So something stopping us doing what we want to causes us frustration. This wouldn’t be too bad if we could deal with the hiccup quickly.  But if we can’t sort everything out quickly, that’s when we start thinking the issue is massive. Combine that with how much you want to hit the mats.  You then have the foundations for building frustration.

Celebrate and remember the “small” wins!
You don’t have to win every battle, but noticing and valuing each small win is a great way to keep frustration at bay. Mrs Munki and I have discussions about small wins all the time. It allows up to remind each other that there is progress happening, even though sometimes it is hard to see for yourself. When you make it to the mat make the most of it.  Try and find improvements to keep you going during the dark times.  Even when you feel like nothing you do is working.  You might still be getting tapped by that higher belt, but is the number less than before? Are you able to pull off some of the techniques you’ve been drilling in a live roll? Acknowledging each of these small things allows you to know that you are progressing.  Maybe not with some big stuff or at the pace you want.  But forward is still good and makes it hard for frustration to sneak it’s way in.

Give good feedback.
How many times have you been in a roll and your partner has been a real challenge. They have pulled stuff out that you have not seen them play before and it’s really put you on the back foot? Acknowledging this and letting your partner know that the new stuff was hard, can be a positive for you too. Vocalising how good your partner was, allows you to look at the positive side of the roll. Not look at the negative of you thinking how bad you were, which is a sure fire way to start feeling frustrated. This may also prompt then to point out the parts of your game they found hard too.

Ask the right question.
This kind of ties in with the previous points. When situations do not go our way, it is easy to see the negative our brains are wired to focus on the negative! This just throws fuel on the fire of your frustration. Try breaking down what happened.  Try and remember the point it all went wrong.  Was it your technique, if so which bit did you do wrong? Or did your partner use a technique you’ve never seen before?  Then it’s not your guard wasn’t good enough, but you have a to learn a new defence.

This gives you a focus for those times you can’t get to the academy. Some technique research. By asking yourself the question “What can I take from this and how can it help my BJJ?” allows you to zoom in on answering the question and not the negatives of the situation.

Reward yourself.
If you haven’t made it on the mats for a long time, then consider a jiu jitsu focused reward.  Put the money you are saving on petrol or mat fees in a jar.  Once real life calms down as it always eventually does, give yourself a jiu jitsu reward.  Book in a private with your coach.  Catch up on the stuff you have missed.  Get some advice on the You Tube techniques you’ve been watching. Give yourself a chance to re-discover why you enjoy BJJ.

Alternatively blow it all on a brand new gi. I did a review of a great option. Either one is a legitimate option for beating your frustration with BJJ.

Train regularly.
Plan your training.  This might sound like torture, but focussing on a positive can help.  Once you can make it back, commit to training regularly. It sounds simple but, getting on the mat consistently is important. After a bit of a lay off the first few weeks back can feel like hard work.  Everything hurts again or your techniques is less sharp.  You need to stay strong and get past this stage.  Consistent mat time allow you to work and issue and the opportunities to have little wins.   All those things that help overcome frustration. It’s like complaining about never winning the lotto, even though you never buy a ticket. You have to seek out opportunities for success more than avoiding the issues that cause frustration. The more chances you give yourself, the more likely you are to achieve our BJJ goals.

Deal with it.

Frustration is something that comes for us all at one time or another and I have suffered from it a lot in the last year or so. Not only can it affect your training, but it impacts your none BJJ life too. That’s why a few little tricks for beating your frustration with BJJ, can makes everything a lot easier.