Being Coachable

Back to training, finally. Drilling after getting back was exhausting, I took up the rip 60 / tabata class before Bjj to get some extra conditioning in, and though overall I’d been feeling better and better, today I just felt drained. I wanted to put my all into every technique, to be completely focused, but though the spirit was willing the flesh was spongy and bruised.


I know it’s okay to have those days, the body does need its rest, and it needs to recover. It didn’t help that I’d been sick the last week or so, recovering from a head cold, only to fall prey to a throat infection. I was sick for a long time, took a longer time to recover and now I’m passed it, it’s taking a long time to build my strength back up. It can be a real mood killer. I can go from super excited to extremely down in minutes, and all I want to do is crawl into my comfortable cocoon, where I can hide, sleep and eat junk.

Last class was genuinely disheartening, something as simple as light drilling was incredibly draining. When it came to rolls I was used to only tapping occasionally. But this time I was tapped left right and centre, too weak to fight out of anything. The whole of the last few weeks just piled on top of me, and I was destroyed. My self-esteem took a real smashing, as did my body, I could have really done without that day.

I know it’s not forever and I just need to get back into the swing of things, but these are the days I need more of, because I have a problem. I’m susceptible to this little thing called ego, this horrible little gremlin that likes to whisper and sneer at you when you do even the simplest things wrong, it can be the most detrimental thing to anyone’s game. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t have delusions of grandeur thinking I’m great then getting pissed when I realise I’m not, it’s more the opposite, I know I’m not and I’m pissed I’m not getting better.


No shoes No Shirt No Ego… oops

I would have given up the last day if it wasn’t for my coach, I was becoming more and more frustrated with my performance, I couldn’t get a thing right and I think he noticed. He came over during one of my failed attempts and talked both me and my partner through the technique again, simplifying where he needed, watching and fixing any mistakes we made, as you do. Then he told me something I should have already known this whole time. “Just have fun with it”.

I’m not sure if it’s the previous weeks that drove my frustration, or the perfectionist in me that’s completely unwilling to have my technique marred by poor form, all I know is I wasn’t having fun and I’d been feeling that way for a while. That made me take a step back, and I sat talking with my partner for a few moments to try to gather my thoughts. Having fun with Bjj was my main reason for staying. Was it possible? had I’d lost the thing I’d fallen in love with when I first joined, because I was unwilling to let myself fail at something?

That day made me realise the though I want to be the best, I never will be, and I need to accept that. I need to accept that my future isn’t always going to be filled with great success and I need to admit my failures, and just roll with them. I need to become more… coachable. It’s a must to be able to accept the help of my peers, to learn from my mistakes and not blame being weak, or my partner’s lack of skill on my own stupidity or ignorance. I just need to get out of my own head.

I just wish I was able to say this stuff out loud. My team mates are some of the best guys going, I think the world of them. My coach is one of the nicest guys in existence, this guy who had spent the night in hospital before coming to bash out a day’s training with us, on an hours sleep, this guy had been sick like me the whole week and didn’t let it stop him coming to class and helping us when we needed it. He works two jobs, has a family to take care of and classes every day to teach and all he wants to do is see us excel, yet here I am complaining because I can’t get this technique right after what 10 minutes of trying. Boo flipping Hoo.

I’m sure there are others out there like this (at least I hope there are, god if I was the only one…), people who become frustrated by their own mistakes, angry at the things they cannot change. It’s not and good way to be and it’s not an easy thing to get over, seeing yourself in such a harsh light, it can be quite jarring. I’m trying though and I’m confident it’s something I can accomplish. I can’t change the way I acted yesterday, but if can catch myself and ask my partners (Nicely) to help me keep it in check too, hopefully with a little time and effort I can become better.



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