How To Mentally Overcome A Training Plateau In Jiu-Jitsu


The advice you give a child when it gets tough is the same advice you should give yourself.

Very often in class I’ll see a child that is having a tough time with something such as struggling with a certain part of class, warm ups, a technique or maybe they are a little discouraged because they feel as if they aren’t getting any better.

Once a Coach or Parent notices that this child is struggling the Adult is full of encouragement, advice and a great show of support as they begin to tell the child how they can relate and understand. Yet, often when that same Adult student struggles they fail to give themselves a break and take their own advice.

A question I ask my students is “what advice would you give a teammate or child that was struggling a feeling the same way as you are?” Almost always, they perk up, become full of enthusiasm and begin to tell me how they would encourage that child or teammate and that they know how a plateau feels.

It is usually something similar to “Oh, I have been there, it is ok, everyone struggles including me, you are not alone, you know you are getting better every single day even when you don’t feel like it, and other people notice. I am glad to see you training.

So, then, why don’t we have the same dialogue with ourselves. Do you have a positive inner dialogue? If so, good, keep it up. If not, start having one on a regular basis and it will begin to change your entire outlook on life and Jiu Jitsu.

To often all we hear is negativity when all we need is a little encouragement. I have been a Black Belt for a few years now and there are tough days, without a doubt, but there are far more greater days when you begin to understand and acknowledge that your MINDSET is literally up to you to set. So, set it well, feed it positivity and encouragement. Yes, you can “keep it real” and also be positive at the same time.

The environment you create internally will perpetuate itself into the external parts of your life. Be the person that lifts up other people but also be the person that learns how to lift up their own mindset, get over and around obstacles.

Most often, just being patient will allow some of the most difficult moments to pass or reduce in severity, perseverance is taught and sometimes you need to cut yourself some slack and know that tomorrow is another day and you’ll bounce back higher every time you overcome a struggle. Then you will learn to take your own advice and overcoming most challenges will be as automatic breathing.

So, if you have it in you to encourage someone else, you have it in you to encourage yourself. Choose to do so and keep training!


Mark Cukro


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