Thursday, February 3, 2011

I Will vs. I Have To

I've been getting ready for a tournament coming up at the end of the month and I have been doing only two things to get ready for it:

1. In at least one grapple every class, I am deliberately getting myself into bad positions and working my way out of them. The reason for this is because, in my last tournament, I freaked out a little bit when one girl passed my guard and got side control. Then I spent the last part of one grapple frozen in bottom half guard. I was defeating myself because I let the fact that I was in a bad position distract me. I was too busy thinking, "Oh no! I'm in a bad position! I'm down on points!" instead of thinking about what I needed to do to go after the girl.

2. I am forcing myself to change the way I approach every grapple. Instead of thinking, "I need to do well," I tell myself, "I'm going to give them hell." I decided I would not put pressure on myself to win. But I would come into the grapple knowing that I was going to give it all I had. Even if the person ends up out-moving me or out-muscling me or whatever the situation may be, I know that by the end of the grapple that person is going to be tired because I will not stop until time is called.

This approach has changed SO much for me. I don't feel like I HAVE to do well in any of my grapples anymore. With the pressure gone, I can focus on moving and on technique and planning ahead while I'm grappling. It also enables me to relax, which in turn helps me move better in itself.

Last week, I lost that focus and started thinking about the tournament and letting myself start freaking out. The result was that I sucked on the mat. I was stiff and hasty and many times desperate. This week, on the way to BJJ every time, I told myself, "I will give it everything," and I forced myself not to worry about whether or not I was "doing" well. It was not a matter of me NEEDING to win. It was a matter of me deciding that I was coming after whoever I grappled.

This has worked even when I am not "going hard". In fact, it works even better when I am relaxed. I am always on the offensive, even when I am in a bad position. I have my mind made up that I am going to sweep. Or I am going to pass. Or I am going to catch. Not I need to. But I am GOING to. It has taken so much pressure off of me.

I wish I could say that I am owning everyone I grapple. I wish I could tell you that this new philosophy has made me an unstoppable beast woman. But that is not the case. I still get schooled a lot. If I get swept or caught, oh well. I will try not to make that mistake again next time. It doesn't bother me because I know that I did what I could do.

That's enough for me.


Georgette said...

Oh Allie, I needed to read that so much :) I entered the Houston Open a weightclass up from mine, for the challenge. And the lady I will grapple (there's ONLY TWO OF US!) is big and tall! So that's a great mantra for me to repeat to myself too :) thank you!

Anonymous said...

I'll be cheering both of you on!

A.D. McClish said...

Wow, Georgette, you have more guts than I do! Bring that woman-beast down!! lol

And thanks, Julia! I need all the moral support I can get! ;)

Triin said...

Georgette, are you going against Kelly the Beast?

Anonymous said...

Allie - I also try to have a positive mantra running through my head when I grapple. It keeps me focused on my goals.

Georgette - If I'm not working, I will be at the Houston open to be a spectator. I hope to see you there!

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