Competition can be a big part of the grappling experience for practitioners who are so inclined. The conventional wisdom is that competition helps expedite progress and enables practitioners to test what they think they know in a more realistic environment, under duress. For the first-time competitor, the experience can be daunting. The stimuli fly fast and furiously; the noise of the audience, the referee’s instructions, your coach’s voice, and your own nerves are all elements to deal with over and above the matter at hand, which is trying to grapple well, at a heightened intensity level, against a likely unknown adversary.
I’ve heard it said the ability to compete well is a skill in itself, and as with grappling technique, it’s a skill we can work at. For those of us at the beginning of our competition journey, here is a non-exhaustive list of suggestions that might help the novice competitor have a more enjoyable experience.
Keep it business as usual:
Right before a competition is probably not the best time to alter your usual training routine radically. On game day, try to do what you normally do before you train. Stretch, warm up, eat, listen to music, etc,
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