*Contributed by Coach Rocky Skrelja
The thrill of victory is what drives us to achieve. The feeling you have when you put a lot of work on a certain goal and succeed is unmatched as an athlete. You’re so focused on winning that the thought of losing is unimaginable. But in a sport where 1 person faces another, someone has to go home the loser. So what do we do about losing? We embrace it. Winning and losing is out of our control.
The only thing you can control is your own effort and your performance. You are not totally in charge of a win or a loss, especially in combat sports where there are judges who decide whether you or the other person wins the round. So why compete in the first place? The act of pushing yourself to do something intimidating like a competition alone will make you grow in ways that one can’t ever reach on the outside. Being in the spotlight, where it’s one versus one you are completely exposed. Everything you do is being watched by a dozen to hundreds of people, even thousands at a certain level. But in doing this, everything else seems less scary and life becomes easier to manage.
The lead up to the competition will show you what you are made of. Your coaches will push you to the point where you hate the ground they walk on. The training camp is supposed to be incredibly difficult compared to the actual event itself. Day in and day out you are focused on one clear goal, everything you do is to guide you to that very moment. What you eat, when you sleep, how you fuel your mind and how hard you train envelope your day. By doing this you grow stronger not only physically but mentally and spiritually. Approaching your competitive journey with complete dedication and discipline will stem into the rest of your life. You will be more selective in what you do because you better understand the ramifications of your decisions. Eating cleaner and fueling your mind becomes something you think about more and more. This alone is worth its weight in gold.