You can think of drills whatever you want, but the matter of fact is that – for most people – they work very well! „Repetition is mother of learning“, as the old Latin saying would go; getting the necessary reps in will make those details ingrained deep in your muscle memory… So much so, that when you need to execute the technique in question, you’ll do it without flinching. Therefore, the advice is obvious: drill whenever you can!
However, that’s sometimes easier said than done. Especially when you have training partners that don’t want to drill.
EVERYONE LOVES TO ROLL
Let’s face it – rolling is everyone’s favorite part of training! From the moment you get on the mats, when you start warming up, you can’t wait to roll. And while this is completely understandable (and relatable), it’s no good when taken to excess; which is done way too often.
But okay, we get it. You, in particular, might be well balanced – with drilling being a huge part of your Brazilian Jiu Jitsu journey. And that’s fantastic, well done! However, it may be the case that not everyone feels like you do.
In other words, what if you’re in a situation where you don’t have anyone to drill with? It might be that you are a part of a smaller team, where there aren’t enough members who treasure the benefits of drilling. Or, you may be training in an academy where your coach – for one reason or another – doesn’t place a lot of emphasis on drilling at all; and gives you a chance to practice techniques for only a few reps at a time. Also, you may have a bit of extra time available after the official training session has finished, and you’d like to use it for drills… But all that your favorite training partner wants to do is roll!
Whatever the case may be, you’re in a place where rolls take time away from drills on a consistent basis and you’re afraid that this will hinder your progress; especially in regards to learning techniques well.
But don’t fret! Here is an approach to turning your rolls into a drilling experience.
TRANSFORM THE ROLL INTO AN ACTIVE DRILL
The approach we’re about to explain will, arguably, be even better than „regular“ drills are in and of themselves. The reason behind this is simple enough; regular drilling is often seen as a „passive“ one, and for good reason. Athletes often shut their brains off after a few reps and just go through the motions – which explains why drilling is ridiculed by some.
However, if you turn a roll into an active drill, then there’s no way to shut your brain off!
This is what you’re supposed to do. When you’re rolling with your training partner, don’t just execute whichever technique comes to mind. Instead, come prepared!
What this means is that, even before the moment you slap and bump, you’ll know which technique you want to practice. You know what the minimum amount of times you want to hit it is, and you’re set towards pursuing that number relentlessly. You won’t let anything else dilute your attention; not a more „accessible“ submission nor an easier escape – the technique you want to drill is what you’re going after, and that’s it.
Furthermore, you won’t focus on this technique for the duration of just one roll or one training session. You’ll try to do it on every training partner, for multiple training sessions in a row.
This way, you’ll be attentively drilling against a resisting opponent… And you’ll learn heaps of techniques as a result!