Less Than One Month Until the CompNet Missouri Summer Championship 2022!
5 Tips for Your First Competition:
Are you a first time competitor? Then don’t worry if you are having pre-competition jitters, it is completely normal! Even the highest level competitors still get nervous before competition, and it is often said to be something that never truly goes away. There’s a little more to competing than just getting on the mat and trying to beat your opponent. For instance, you must be aware of what to expect upon entering the competition venue! Where do you go first? Where do I weigh in? Is there a warm up mat? There can be so many questions! Here are 5 tips of advice to help you stay cool, calm, and collected when it’s your turn to run to the referee and shake your opponents hand.
#1: What to Bring: What should be in your bag the day of your matches? Here is a short list of the main essentials!
● Your Gracie Barra Team Uniform including your gi (or two if you have an extra one in case it gets torn during your match), rashguard (ranked if you are an adult competitor), and belt.
● Plenty of water to drink before, during, and after your matches to stay hydrated.
This could also include drinks with electrolytes or electrolyte powder added to water.
● Healthy snacks. Most competitions will recommend that you arrive at least an hour before your match is set to begin, so it is important to bring healthy snacks, especially if you plan on sticking around to watch your teammates. (Just make sure you are on weight!)
#2: Be Prepared: As previously said, it is hard to be 100% prepared for a competition, but there are a few things you can be sure of beforehand!
● Make sure you are on weight. This is super important! At the CompNet,
competitors will be required to weigh in with the gi on. So make sure to weigh yourself at home or on the practice scale so that you aren’t overweight. This includes making sure your diet and exercise routine are in check as well if you are cutting weight.
● Make sure your team uniform fits you correctly! Uniforms are often checked to make sure there are no holes, patches out of place, and if they are too long or too short. If you aren’t sure, make sure to ask an instructor to check for you before the competition!
● Visualize how you want the match to go. Whether you prefer takedowns or pulling guard, those competing should have an idea about how they want to begin and end their match! “What grips do I want?”, “What sweeps and submissions do I excel at?,” “How do I want to win my match?”
#3 Train as much as you can!: Training is the most important part of being prepared.
Keep drilling technique,work out of difficult positions, and get those extra rounds in even if you’re tired! By the time the competition comes, you can trust that you have put in the work and you will feel much more confident! Extra rounds also help keep you conditioned during training.
#4 Ask Questions: If you’ve never competed, it is important to know that there are two ways to win a match; by submission or by points. Also ask about what grips and techniques are legal and illegal for your division! Answers to those questions can also be found in the IBJJF Rule Book. If you are unsure of how to keep track of points or when points are scored, be sure to ask your instructor to clear up any confusion. And be prepared to ask more questions after competing as well!
#5 Have the Right Mindset: For those who want to compete, it is important that they go into their matches with the right attitude. Everyone should want to win, however, competitors should remember that this is a friendly tournament between Gracie Barra schools in the region, and we are all their to see everyone try their hardest and put their best self on the mat at the end of the day, even if that means you didn’t achieve a gold medal.
● Win like you’ve won before, and lose like you’ve lost before. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t celebrate your success, but always be respectful of your opponent. They just gave you a great match! You couldn’t have done it without them to push you.
● You win or you learn. You will hear many instructors say this about competition. Either you win, or you lose and get the chance to go back to your jiu-jitsu school and continue practicing on what went wrong. This will only help you to grow your jiu jitsu game.
● Mistakes don’t equal failure! Mistakes are the best way to learn. Especially if you’ve never competed, mistakes are almost bound to happen. Take them as a great opportunity to learn a new technique or concept!
● Have fun! Competitions are full of adrenaline and it is a high energy atmosphere.
Once you learn how to reign in the nerves and love the feeling of getting out there and putting your jiu-jitsu to the test, it can be super fun! No matter the outcome of your match, try to keep a good attitude and just make the most of your match.