When Your Training is in a Slump! (Part 1)

When You  Are In a Training Slump

Anyone that has been training for any length of time in martial arts or any sport for that matter has experienced a slump in their training.  For some it feels like a plateau for others it feels like they are going backwards.  First thing you must understand is that this is a natural part of the training process.  Second, you must identify what is causing the slump in your training.  The list can be quite extensive for which training slumps can occur.  For the sake of this article and the next three, we will identify four causes common to many students.  Our first problem that we’ll identify is “Comparing Yourself to Others”.

Comparing Yourself to Others

Comparing yourself to others is a natural human instinct.  We compare ourselves to others in just about every area of our lives including work, school, athletics, social situations, and the list goes on and on.  For many comparing themselves to others provides a measuring stick of improving, growth, and sometimes lack thereof.  This can be a great source of motivation, as well as, nurture a competitive spirit to grow and learn from.  But, for some it can be source of de-motivation.

In Jiu Jitsu we tend to compare ourselves to other students that started around the same time we did, those that are similar in size, and similar in rank.  However, many variables are overlooked when falling into the trap of comparing yourself to others and ultimately leading into a training slump.

First, the amount of training may be different compared to others.  For example you may train 3 times a week and they  may also, but what you don’t know is that they train two sessions each of those days.  Second, just because you are similar in size doesn’t mean you have all the same physical attributes.  Your strength, muscular endurance, cardio, and flexibility may be dramatically different.  Third, you may be comparing yourself to someone that has a different “style”.  In jiu jitsu some guys naturally prefer being on top as opposed to playing guard.   Such differences can result in a much different type of “game” that you play.

So, You are in a Slump!

Ok, so you realize you are in a slump because your are comparing yourself to someone else.  We suggest stepping back and taking a honest look at yourself.  How much can you dedicate to training, are you efficient with the time you do train, can you improve some of your physical attributes, and what type of game do you like to play?  Make small incremental goals for yourself related to these areas.  Having overall short term goals for individual classes (ex. only working guard sweeps) or long term goals for a week or a month will give you direction and purpose for setting and achieving goals.  Also, maybe work on improving your flexibility or increase your training days from 3 to 4 days.  The main goal you should have is to be better than YOU were the day before!

In our next article we will discuss the second common area that people get in a training slump over, Outside Influences.

Have you ever been in a training slump?  What do you do if you find yourself comparing yourself to others?

About Guy Pendergrass

Co-owner and head instructor of Pendergrass Academy of Martial Arts in Wake Forest, NC and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Black Belt under Gustavo Machado.  For more information about classes, check out our website at www.PendergrassAcademy.com or call 919-819-1908 Today and find out how you can learn Brazilian JIu Jitsu (BJJ) for 30 Days ABSOLUTELY FREE

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