One of the white belts in my kettlebells class mentioned that he really wants to work on upping his mental game. He tapped to a pin (by a more senior white belt).
That was pretty much my entire first 4 years in Jiu Jitsu. I always got squished. Every time I rolled. After a while I felt like I was a piece of human memory foam. Every now and then I still think the outline of Dani’s face is permanently implanted on my torso. It felt like this
I’m sure lots of you can relate. And I thought I would never get good enough to not feel squished all the time. But I did get better, and I got to a place where I enjoyed rolling because I wasn’t getting squished all the time.
It took a long time to get there. And the reason I stayed with it was the mental game. I knew, just knew, that if I stayed with it I would get better. I knew that eventually, I wouldn’t be such easy pickings. Sooner or later I would win.
That’s part of the Mental Game for me. Sure, part of the mental game is not panicking, being willing to endure discomfort but another part of the mental game is pure faith. I had faith that eventually I would get out from under, and I was right. Eventually, I did.
But that’s not just true for me —- it’s true for everyone. Everyone has something they just have to get through during their white belt career. For some it’s passing the guard, for others its learning to stay with a choke long enough to find a way out, and for others — it’s learning that you can endure more than you thought you could.