During a recent BJJ training session, I was struggling with a particular sweep and the series following it.  Seeing my frustration, my instructor looked at what I was doing and said the following:

” First of all, you have to believe in the technique for it to work.”

The phrase itself struck me like a kick to the head.  I realized that my lack of belief and visualization of the technique was preventing me from being able to successfully drill the technique.

On my next attempt, I forced myself to visualize the mechanics of the technique.  I forced myself to visualize the success of my attempt and I was able to then drill the technique.  Granted, it was not perfect, but I did complete the drill.

I kept thinking about what my instructor had said the entire drive home, and then on into the next day.  This hadn’t been the first time I had experienced issues in “technique confidence”.  After much thought, I realized my inital failure with the technique stemmed from a larger confidence issue that has dogged me most of my life.

My BJJ career has been carthatic in many ways, and helped me to develop into the person I’ve always wanted to be.  And while I’ve trained hard, and paid full attention to detail when drilling and learning; I realize that I’ve not always given the techniques and instruction I’ve received my full faith.

Seeing this as an opportunity to develop myself, and potentially rid myself of the spectre of doubt, I have begun to visualize techniques in my head before and during my training sessions.  While I am still novice at the visualization, there is something to be said for it.  It has helped me to be more successful with my techniques and significantly less frustrated.  I’ve even begun to “trust” techniques and because of that I feel closer to owning/personalizing my BJJ Journey.

It has helped me to be less trepidatious when I am rolling as well.  I’m trying things I never would have attempted before.  While they are not always successful, by and large I am having more success than before.

If you find yourself in a similar rut, try visualizing your techniques.  Trust your instructor and believe the techniques will work.

 Evan Essig is a white belt at Revolution BJJ