Let it Flow

The reason I was so reluctant to make a decision about competing in a couple weeks is probably because I knew as soon as I decided to do it, I would start planning and preparing, which would bring on the inevitable over-thinking and fear. So to lessen that, I am going to try to approach this upcoming competition with a totally new frame of mind. I want to go into it without any kind of game plan or focus. I believe my biggest obstacle in competing is my own thought process, so I want to keep my mind as free and clear as possible.

Along with no plan, I’m not going to ask anyone to coach me. I want to cut down on my distractions on the mat, and see how well I do on my own. I have a tendency to focus too much on my coach, even to the point where I will talk back to them during the match. I also feel like I always have to listen to my coach, and I take their advice as if it’s orders. I think this tends to stifle my own natural reactions, and I end up waiting for them to tell me what to do.

I have no idea what’s going to happen. I may lose worse than I’ve ever lost before, and then lament “Oh, if I’d only had a game plan, or a coach! Why am I so stupid?” I also might end up with volunteer coaches who yell at me from the sidelines. Hopefully Joe will be able to keep his mouth shut! It’s okay if he just reminds me to breathe every once in awhile.

I am hoping that my no-mind Jiu-Jitsu experiment works out for the best, but even if it doesn’t, I will learn something about myself. How well can I grapple in a tournament when I have no plan or direction? Conan says to just relax, and try to go into a competition match as if it’s open mat. Well, I don’t usually have a game plan or a coach during open mat, and the less I think about it, the better I perform. Of course, people aren’t normally watching during open mat, so that’s where it gets tricky for me.

Since my plan for this competition is largely to not think about it, hopefully that will help with the downward spiral of nerves. I don’t believe anything I do between now and then is really going to make a difference in how I fight anyway, so what’s the point in thinking or worrying about it? The only thing I need to do is…let it flow, let myself go, slow and low, that is the tempo…

Hey, it’s too bad I can’t wear my iPod while I compete! It would be a lot easier to stay in my happy place that way.

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4 comments on “Let it Flow

  1. At this stage I think it would be difficult to make a game plan as I'm still trying to figure out my game. But, also not knowing who I would be competing against I would think it would be wasted effort. I would defer to your experience with competing and what has worked for you.Thinking back to the State Games the only person I could hear while competing was Ray. He just has a distinctive voice, but otherwise I had tunnel vision and tuned everyone out.I've had experiences while being coached in open mat that were really positive in that I tried harder for reversals and passes because I didn't want to let my coach down. However, I've also been coached by people who weren't very good at it or they were telling me things that went against my natural style and that wasn't very fun.Good luck at Best of the Best!

  2. Thank you, Josh! I have definitely benefited from being coached and everyone who's coached me has done a great job, but sometimes I think it's worked against me because of the way I think and react to it. I just obsess too much :)

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