“Doing one tournament is like taking 30 classes. We learn from pressure, we learn from being exposed to consequences, and struggling makes us raise the baseline.” -Fabio Santos (jujitsu master)
I stumbled upon the quote above this morning on social media. And I had to stop and think about it. Is participating in a single meet or single competition worth 30 lessons? I had my opinions, and I was inclined to agree with this. So then I forwarded this question to Coach Penelope, to see if she agreed with the quote or not. And not surprisingly, she did too.
WHY SHOULD YOU COMPETE? And what is the point of competing against other teams and other people anyways? What is the practicality of all this? Do we really need to find out who’s the best or who’s the greatest? Who cares you may ask. An even WORSE thought: What if you do actually decide to compete and you perform poorly or lose! Your coach, family, and friends may think LESS of you right??? You’ll be embarrassed and disgraced right? So it’s just not worth the risk. You’d rather stay happy and stay uncontested.
But maybe….maybe you enter competitions in order to learn your flaws. Maybe in doing so, you unveil some weaknesses that you might not have been able to catch on your own. Perhaps as Fabio Santos states above, the point of competing is to make yourself struggle. Because numerous struggles could eventually lead to numerous increases in your skill and composure. Imagine if every competition was truly worth 30 classes, that would equate to almost 2 months of lessons! Thus, in a short Season, you may advance an entire year’s worth ahead of your friends who do not compete. Maybe this is why some of our athletes who have only been training for 2 years, perform like they’ve been training for 4 years! Maybe the purpose of competing, is solely to help you get better!
Now knowing this, let me ask the same question above but in a different way. Now what is more risky?: To compete or not too compete?
As a coach let me tell you that no matter what happens when you are competing, your coaches are proud of you for representing them. Even if you fall and lose one hundred times in a row, you are making them proud each of those 100 times. You will always be their student, and your family and your coaches will always think you as The Real Champion the their eyes. You don’t need to be wearing gold. Actually, a secret is that we want our athletes to fail at competitions every now and then. Because if the student is not failing every now and then, then we’re not doing our job correctly. You need to fail in order to grow. The purpose of competing, is to force you to struggle inside an atmosphere that we cannot replicate by ourselves in the gym.