“Someone once told me that the reason the Olympics were originally only scheduled every four years is because it was felt that four years was the minimum time it took to produce a champion of that caliber. Talk to top athletes today you are more likely to hear about preparation periods of more like two Olympiads.” – Randall Strossen, Ironmind
I started wrestling when I was in 8th grade. I spent those first few years learning the basics of body position, control and technique. Every once in awhile, we would run into a team that had been wrestling since they were in diapers. This is usually when we got humbled.
If you wrestle since you’re 5 years old, you have probably spent thousands of hours practicing, drilling and competing. You have many basics grooved, you react without thinking and have developed an arsenal of skills that the new guy hasn’t even thought about. All of that mat time is crucial.
If you are reading this article, I would imagine that you compete at some level.
It doesn’t really matter if its jiujitsu, boxing, wrestling, muay thai or mma.
The same basic rules rules apply.
If you want to improve, you have to practice consistently, learn, adapt, struggle and grow.
There is no shortcut.
If the quote at the beginning of the article is correct and it does take 4-8 years to develop, where does that leave you?
How long have you been training consistently?
A month? 6 months? Year?
Its great to have high expectations but you still have to put in your time.
Think about it this way…
Professional athletes typically practice once or twice per day.
If you workout twice per day, 5 days per week, that’s about 500 workouts per year.
5 years = 2500 workouts 10 years = 5000 workouts
What happens if you miss one workout per week?
After 5 years, you will have 250 LESS practices than your consistent opponent. 500 LESS after 10 years. When you do the math, it becomes obvious why some people develop an edge over the competition. Amazing things can happen in 500 sessions!
The technical expertise of jiujitsu, boxing and other sports take years to develop.
Right when you think you’ve got it, someone comes along and humbles you.
Hopefully, you will continue to learn and study these arts, so you improve over time.
How long have you been training?
A year, 2, 4, 10?
During that time, how consistent were you?
Be honest with yourself.
It takes humility, patience and a consistent effort to develop your skills.
Many people will acknowledge this, then complain or beat themselves up along the way.
If you want to get better, you need to come to grips with something…
Its gonna take a lot of work, sacrifice and patience to reach your goals.
Early mornings, late nights, discipline, overcoming obstacles, dealing with coaches, training partners and more.
A lot is gonna change on your journey.
Its NOT always going to go your way.
The road to the top is a tough one, that is full of challenges., but hopefully you enjoy the journey.
ALL successful athletes have worked their asses off to develop their skills and have had to overcome obstacles.
They ALL have a story.
Think it was easy?
I have talked with a ton of guys over the years and one thing holds true.
You’ve got to show up and work hard consistently, whether you want to or not.
Doctors, lawyers, scientists all spend 4-8 years, after college, learning their craft, interning and gaining experience.
Most business owners work their asses off 12-16 hrs/day, for 4-8 years to get over that hump and make a profit.
Life is a long race, no matter what you do.
You simply must stay focused to be the best.
As you do this, momentum will build, skills will flow, your body will adapt and your confidence will grow.
With consistent effort, you will improve and be able to handle more than you ever thought possible.
Your mind and body will grow strong.
Your experience and ‘fight IQ’ will become a huge asset and will save you during tough competitions.
So where do we start?
- Assess – Sit down with your coaches and assess your skill set, work ethic and ability level. Ask them to be honest and figure out a game plan moving forward. Some are just beginning, while others need to refine to take their game to the next level. Either way, you need a clear plan of attack.
- Focus – Once you’ve developed a plan, its time to cut out everything that will keep you from attaining that goal. Buddies, parties, bad eating habits, drinking, drugs, laziness, etc. We all have habits, but if you want to grow, you’ve got to eliminate the distractions. Focus.
- Effort – Training like a professional takes mental toughness. The day in, day out grind wears most people down mentally. Having a quality game plan and executing that game plan with a champion’s effort is where the magic happens.
You may have the best coaches…
You may have been blessed with physical talent…
But, if you don’t have a deep-rooted reason to do it, its easy to fall off.
- Why do you train?
- Why is it important to you?
- What will motivate you to get up early?
- What will motivate you to rehab after an injury?
- What will motivate you to train after a tough loss?
If it does take 10+ years of training, you better have a SOLID anchor that keeps you focused and fuels your fire.
The majority of people never focus on this stuff.
We see it all the time…
- How has your training been over the last year? 2 years? 5 years?
- Are you making progress?
- Have you been consistent?
- How is your attitude toward the sport? Your coaches?
Remember, being the best takes time, consistency, effort and a well executed plan. Your road to the top will be filled with obstacles, so be prepared. Surround yourself with great people and stay tough. The valleys and challenges are teaching you valuable lessons and when you stay the course, you will be rewarded.
Watching athletes strive for their goals is inspiring, so please keep us posted on your progress.
If you overcome an obstacle, win a fight, do well in a tournament or have any other stories, send em our way.
Don’t miss a practice in April…tag us!
Making gains in the gym…tag us!
Win a match or tournament…tag us!
We want to celebrate your victories…small n large.