Confidence in Grappling
An article by Jason Scully
Yesterday I was rolling with one of my students in class who has about 3 years experience and when we were rolling I noticed something, and I realized that this is actually an issue with many grapplers out there. As we were rolling I was paying attention to his movements and his facial expressions and it was clear that he was missing something very important. What was he missing? He was missing his confidence. That’s right, it was his confidence that he was missing.
There’s so many times when I train with someone and they don’t seem confident at all in what they’re doing. Even if they know a ton of techniques they hold themselves back because they don’t trust themselves that they’ll execute those techniques properly.
When you’re in practice you should never have to worry about if something is going to work, or if your opponent is going to counter your attack. You should just go for it with 100% confidence that you are going to make something happen. That no matter what, even if your opponent counters your movements you should have 100% confidence in yourself that you can counter right back.
You see many times it’s not the moves you know that makes the difference it’s the trust in yourself that makes a difference. There is so many people who can execute moves perfectly when drilling, but when it comes down to performing them in a live situation they either freeze up, don’t remember them, or they don’t have confidence in what they know.
Have you ever rolled with someone more experienced then you and you were weary of coming forward and you had a technique or plan that you wanted to execute but you weren’t sure if it was going to work? You ended up taking a second to think about what might happen and by the time you’re done thinking your partner or opponent has already made his move, because they were more confident then you were. That’s what can make the difference of being steps ahead of your opponent or not.
The person who is 2, 3, and even 4 steps ahead of their opponent is the same person who is completely confident in their abilities and their techniques. They don’t care if they know what’s going to happen or not, because regardless their going to MAKE THINGS HAPPEN. There is no waiting, pausing, or thinking about what might happen they just go and take that chance knowing that no matter what they trust in themselves that they will be the ones to come out on top every time.
Even if what you tried didn’t work you still believed in yourself and you now know what would have happened because you went for it instead of just sitting back and not taking any chances at all and not even knowing.
This is also a very common when you roll with someone who is much more experienced then you or a much higher rank then you. Let’s say a blue belt in BJJ pairs up with a brown belt. Many times that blue belt is already thinking of ways that the brown belt can beat him before they even started rolling. They beat themselves before the match even started. They never gave themselves a chance and counted themselves out right from the beginning instead of starting with their head high and their confidence in full affect.
When you are confident in yourself regardless of your technical ability you will:
- Think clearer.
- React faster.
- Feel better about yourself.
- Breath better.
- Be less self-conscious.
- Make things happen.
- Be steps ahead of those who aren’t as confident.
- Attack better.
- Defend better.
- Trust that you can deal with any situation in the moment.
As your techniques and strategies get better and better and you mix that in with being confident in yourself you will be much more successful in your rolling sessions.
Before we finish up, I just want to clarify what being confident is not. Being confident IS NOT:
- Being cocky or over confident – just because your confident doesn’t mean you should be cocky. Confidence will help you improve your overall game, but it’s not the only thing that will make you the best.
- Being lazy – being confident doesn’t mean you are lazy and you shouldn’t work hard.
- Being arrogant – A person can be confident in themselves without being arrogant and boastful. Show your confidence with respect and work to help others be confident in their grappling as well. Don’t under mind your partners and look down on those less experienced or even less confident then you may be.
- Comparing yourself to others – Don’t compare your confidence to others, and your abilities to others. Just be confident in what you know and your potential and you’ll be well on your way to a successful and most importantly FUN grappling experience.
- Having an Ego – One can be confident and not have an ego. Always trust in what you do and regardless of what happens whether it is a positive or negative, be humble in your experience and see every opportunity as a learning experience.
To sum things up: The point is to trust yourself and what you know. Trust that even if you don’t know how to do something that you will one day. If you don’t have confidence in yourself, then you don’t trust yourself. If you don’t trust yourself, then who can you trust?
Thanks for reading!