Nicholas Meregali is one of the most elite Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu athletes in history – and is one of the most confident ones as well.
However, it may come as a surprise that Meregali didn’t always feel that way. Not even when he was already in the top 1% of athletes.
He shared why this was the case in a recent MMA Hoje podcast episode, as well as why he left his previous gym:
I was a student of Mario Reis. I still consider myself his student.
I left because I had personal problems. Not with anyone at the gym, but with myself.
I was dealing with depression and anxiety. I couldn’t heal myself here.
I stayed in São Paulo for a while I didn’t fit in. I had the opportunity to come here and I moved. I was not feeling well until ADCC.
The move to USA and the New Wave team did him a lot of good:
I felt I took a weight off my back. I focused on my career again. I was a bit messy.
That’s why I lost some matches I shouldn’t have.
My technical level was higher than the guys I lost to. But I lost, it’s a loss.
Ultimately, it’s been John Danaher‘s approach to coaching his students that made the biggest impact on Meregali:
He understands and believes that an athlete, to be a champion needs to have mental aspects that no one knows how to explain.
If the guy is born with a champion’s mind or if he builds it over time. No one has ever been able to explain that.
There’s always a story here and there. But no one knows the truth.
John believes in that too. He thinks it’s important to have this trust.
But he believes more in technical confidence than confidence from birth.