How to stay motivated for training?

How to stay on track with training bjj when you’re tired, sore and life starts getting in the way?

Depending on your priorities in life your incentives to train will be different. If jiu jitsu is a fun way to spend your free time, regular training is probably not at the top of your priority list. But anyone who wants to stand on a podium with a shiny piece of metal hanging around their neck, knows that this can’t be achieved without regularly pushing yourself on the mats. 

Training hard once, twice or even more almost every day takes a toll on the body and the mind. Even if you’ve got a big comp coming up, it can still be hard to stay focused when you wake up tired, your whole body is hurting and all your strength seems to be gone. You can’t focus, easily get annoyed and training isn’t highly enjoyable anymore. 

Whenever my morale is low, there are a two things which never fail to give me that motivation boost I desperately need. (Of course, if you are ill, injured or otherwise genuinely feel unwell, get the rest you need rather than worsening your condition.)

  1. Watching highlights of my favourite athletes or top-level tournaments 

Display of mind-blowing jiu jitsu in action always reminds me why I do this in the first place. These guys have dedicated their lives to the sport. They must have felt the way I feel many, many times, but that didn’t stop them. 

Watching them do amazing stuff in matches awakes my inner bjj nerd. The exhaustion doesn’t disappear, but is now accompanied by excitement for training and possibly pulling off some cool submissions in sparring. 

2. Rereading this short piece of text 

Many things can be said about Tim Ferris. Whether you hate or love the guy, there are three pages in his book, Tools of Titans, which are worth reading even if you decide to ignore the rest of it. 

This part of the book features the coach’s Christopher Sommer’s (former competitive gymnast and the USA National Team gymnastics coach) response to the author’s complaints. He feels he’s not making any progress with his stretching in spite of having put in the work for a few weeks now. What follows is a beautiful piece of advice applicable to any kind of goal jiu jitsu related or not.

“(…)Dealing with the temporary frustration of not making progress is an integral part of the path towards excellence. In fact, it is essential and something that every single elite athlete has had to learn to deal with. If the pursuit of excellence was easy, everyone would do it. In fact, this impatience in dealing with frustration is the primary reason that most people fail to achieve their goals. Unreasonable expectations timewise, resulting in unnecessary frustration, due to a perceived feeling of failure. Achieving the extraordinary is not a linear process.

The secret is to show up, do the work, and go home.

A blue collar work ethic married to indomitable will. It is literally that simple. Nothing interferes. Nothing can sway you from your purpose. Once the decision is made, “simply refuse to budge. Refuse to compromise.

And accept that quality long-term results require quality long-term focus. No emotion. No drama. No beating yourself up over small bumps in the road. Learn to enjoy and appreciate the process. This is especially important because you are going to spend far more time on the actual journey than with those all too brief moments of triumph at the end.

Certainly celebrate the moments of triumph when they occur. More importantly, learn from defeats when they happen. In fact, if you are not encountering defeat on a fairly regular basis, you are not trying hard enough. And absolutely refuse to accept less than your best.

Throw out a timeline. It will take what it takes.

If the commitment is to a long-term goal and not to a series of smaller intermediate goals, then only one decision needs to be made and adhered to. Clear, simple, straightforward. Much easier to maintain than having to make small decision after small decision to stay the course when dealing with each step along the way. This provides far too many opportunities to inadvertently drift from your chosen goal. The single decision is one is one of the most powerful tools in the toolbox.”

Excerpt From: Timothy Ferriss. “Tools of Titans.”

What do you do to stay on track? 

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