Disclaimer: This blog is written with the competitor, someone who has goals to be achieve a high level of success in the combat sports in mind. I understand that people train for many different reasons and competition isn't always one. With that being said, that doesn't mean that the lessons in this blog can't be applied to other areas of your life
"is that really fun?"
That’s a common question I get when I tell people that I train Judo and Jiu-jitsu and the answer that I give them is "oh yeah, it’s a blast" because the majority of the time, it is. However, if I was being completely honest, the real answer would be "not always". Some people would read that and automatically think, "well then, quit" and therein lies the problem of why so many people fail to reach their goals, not everything can be about "fun" is learning takedowns fun? Not always. When I was coming up in judo, there were only but a few takedowns I could actually do. So, every practice, I would do double legs and firemen's carries over and over. I've probably done hundreds of thousands of reps of both of those techniques. Was it fun? Nope, not always. There were days I wanted to cry from boredom and I would look over at my training partners with such jealousy because they had this seemingly endless toolbox of technique to switch to if they got bored while I was stuck with a hammer and a chisel, but if I wanted to compete in judo, it's what I had to do. Doing nothing but reps of an arm triangle for a month straight isn't my idea of a good time, but it was decided that if I wanted to win at jiu-jitsu, that would be my best course of action and it worked. Getting my master's degree in a year's time was not fun, at the end of it all, I was very very burnt out, but I learned a ton about how to be an effective coach, how to run a practice, how to manage different personality types and situations that could come up, and how to help athletes develop the mindset to reach excellence and be the best they can be.
None of these experiences were what most people would call "fun" but what they were, was necessary. I needed to do them if I wanted to accomplish what I wanted to accomplish. That is why focusing soley on fun can be dangerous to a competitors development. Doing numerous reps of technique, sometimes missing out on events because you're cutting weight, breaking toes, getting bruises, if given the choice no one would say "yeah, sign me up" but they are all a necessary part of a larger hole.
Even today, I don't always "love" watching instructional DVDS or reading sport psych books and things like that but I have a goal to be the best coach I can be and to train champion grapplers or fighters. Why is that so important to me? because I want to make that impact on someone's life, to show them that through hard work they can accomplish whatever they want, and to help them develop that mindset for success in all avenues of their life.
Having clarity in WHY you're doing something, knowing what your purpose is, helps to propel you past those moments that aren't as enjoyable as others.
We all like to have fun and there always needs to be a certain level of enjoyment in whatever you do. If you're showing up to train absolutely miserable everyday or that big goal that you once had no longer seems important, well, then maybe you need to have a serious heart to heart with your coaches and yourself to see if this is all worth it, but just remember the higher the goal, the more you're going to need to focus on the things that are necessary over those that are fun