Anxiety in sports is a very common occurrence for many people. To be fair, most matches in most sports are friendlies – amateur bouts. However, there are some sportspeople that compete with higher stakes. One of the most competitive sports in existence is Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu. If you have ever been on a BJJ tournament, then you know how the nerves can get to you. But what is there to do? Can you beat the pre-tournament anxiety? Read this article and find out.
How to Deal with Anxiety Before Jiu-Jitsu Tournament?
Competing often is a very good thing to do if you want to increase your skills in BJJ – or in any other sport for that matter. Only time itself will help turn you into a complete fighter – the more you go and compete, the better you will become at every particular aspect of competition. And this will translate to other areas of your life, too. But at the core, this process begins with learning the techniques that you can use for managing your anxiety.
Techniques for busting through anxiety
The first thing that you can do in order to put your anxiety under firm control is to meditate. Meditation is very important – and if you do a bit of research, then you will find out that many of the high-level athletes follow a meditation practice.
Meditation means that you will tame your mind for a set period of time – and only focus on one thing. It could be your breathing patterns or the sensations of your body. The point is to restrain your mind from wandering and thinking about random things. If you let your mind completely loose before the competition – then chances are that you will be overwhelmed by anxiety-provoking thoughts. If you meditate, you will be able to put this under control.
Visualization is another powerful technique that many of the world-class competitors use. But there are a lot of misconceptions about visualization. You shouldn’t just daydream about getting the gold medal. You will have to focus on the actual process that you will need to go through in order to get to the gold medal. So, visualize your entire competition day. What will you do in the morning? What will you eat? How will you prepare? How will you go to the competition grounds? Once there, how will you prepare your body for battle? What game plan will you implement? All of these questions are very important and you need to see the answers in your mind’s eye. In this way, you will stop a big part of your anxiety.
Anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing
The thing that you must realize though is that anxiety is not necessarily a bad thing. If you’re feeling anxious, then it means that your body is preparing itself for a fight. With time, you can learn to even enjoy this feeling. Imagine the opposite – that you go and compete and you’re feeling lighter than a feather and at complete ease.
In most cases, this will only hinder the application of your skill as you really need that anxiety to put your focus in place. It’s a delicate balance. Too little anxiety and you will go in soft and unprepared. Too much anxiety, on the other hand, and you will feel drained and exhausted even before the match begins. Learn how to find the optimal level of anxiety that will help you out the most.
But arguably the best way to deal with anxiety is to prepare yourself. By preparing yourself we mean that you should hone your skill down. The more you train, the more you will feel confident on competition day. You will know exactly what to do in many different scenarios – so chances are that you won’t feel frightened.
And in either way, you will desensitize your anxiety with time. The first match may be nerve-wrecking – most competitors will report that this is the truth. However, from the second match onward – competing may even become a fun thing to look forward to. There are people that get dependent on this feeling of pre-match excitement. Don’t think that these people are somehow above you, or even braver than you. If you put yourself into it, then you will develop your skills and you will restrain your anxiety. You will come to love every moment leading up to competition day.
More competition you do easier it will get
So, now you’re armed with some techniques that will set you straight when it comes to competition day. You should feel all right in knowing the fact that anxiety is bad per se. In fact, it can be rather useful at preparing your body for the strain that lies ahead. You will see that you can put in a lot of effort into the match if you’re in a real competition – it’s completely different than what you do in sparing.
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