Managing Pre-Competition Nervousness in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Managing Pre-Competition Nervousness in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu

Competition can be a significant source of stress for many athletes. However, it is important to remember that competition serves to help athletes evolve and continuously improve in their chosen sport.

It is very difficult to completely eliminate pre-competition nerves. In fact, some level of nervousness can be a motivating factor to better prepare. As Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu enthusiasts know, it is not easy to perform at one’s best in a competitive event, as there are many variables involved. Therefore, pre-competition anxiety could potentially impact performance on fight day.
As mentioned, this anxiety is unlikely to disappear entirely. Therefore, the best approach is to learn how to effectively manage it and channel it into further motivation to improve skills and seek perfection in the sport.
The BJJFANATICS team provides the following tips to help feel more at ease and comfortable competing, allowing one to experience the most rewarding aspects of the sport:

1. Do not focus solely on the result. An excessive emphasis on winning can create undue pressure. While the objective is to win, focusing energy on self-development and getting better each day is healthier. The result should be an outcome of good work.
2. Do not worry about others or seek their approval. Compete for your own goals and happiness. Others’ opinions do not define success.

3. Reflect on preparation. Last-minute changes often increase anxiety. Trust skills developed through consistent training. This builds confidence.
4. Strengthen the mind through daily practice. Negative thoughts can hinder performance if not addressed. Challenge unhelpful thinking.

5. Consider consulting a mental performance professional. There is no shame in outside help to improve through addressing nerves. Independent resolution is ideal but assistance is also an option.
6. Take time away from Jiu-Jitsu before competing. Obsessive focus on performance leads to overtraining mind and body. Relaxation through preferred activities is important for decompression.
7. Use calming techniques right before fighting, such as visualizing, breathing exercises, or music. This diverts thoughts from nerves.
8. Reflect on motivations for competing and commitment to training. With positive responses, have confidence despite unpredictable results. Actions are within control.
9. Develop a diverse arsenal of techniques through continuous study. A well-rounded skillset breeds assurance and lessens anxiety. Resources like BJJFANATICS support this.