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Getting Tired in Training? Avoid These Pitfalls!

“Fatigue makes cowards of us all”- A quote attributed to a good few people, but probably first said by George Patton in the context of battle.

Oh no, I've started another blog with a quote...

Physical fitness is the one thing that you have total control over. There is no opponent in fitness. You do the work, your fitness improves. There’s little to no skill required.

I’ll tell you a quick story. I used to go to a class in the mornings, and it was great. Great coach, great training and sparring, great times. Except for one guy.

This guy was one of those “talkers”. This is the guy who always finds something to say just as the buzzer is going on during the round. He’ll pop his mouthguard out and suddenly have something really important or funny to say. And in the middle of the round there’s always something to say or chat about.

I know what he’s doing. You know what he’s doing. And of course, he knows what he’s doing. He’s giving himself an extra few seconds rest, and making the round shorter. It is the most frustrating thing to deal with.

So one day he pops out the mouth guard to say something after the buzzer goes for the round start, and I just collar dragged him as hard as I could. He face planted and I just started taking his back while he shouted “Wait Wait!” I looked over to the edge of the mat and my coach was in stitches laughing. I may have got a few nods of approval from a few of the others in the session too.

I’d like to tell you he got the message about chatting, but actually he just did it from further away next time. If anything, I just improved his malingering skills.

I’ve seen it all. The extra few seconds to tie your belt or trousers guy. The fake-confused guy-  “Oh, I didn’t understand the drill, should I start on top or you? Let’s think about this for a while.” Then there’s the coach guy- this is where you’re just about to submit them, and they tell you how to do it better. Oh yes, and the tape guy- we all know one of these, they suddenly remember they needed to tape their fingers just before sparring.

Now we all get tired in training, and when we do, there’s always the temptation to take a round off or to use one of the methods above. But, and I’ve been this soldier on many an occasion, I find that in those moments when you think you need the extra rest, it’s humbling and instructive to take your medicine and try your hardest while in that fatigued state. You’ll get beaten, but it’s your own fault for neglecting your physical conditioning. Take your medicine.

And if you do so, you’ll improve your conditioning on the mat just through doing more, and you’ll improve your mental toughness by just grinding your way through a round when you’re exhausted, and you’ll learn some humility, and work on your conditioning instead of your excuses.

See you on the mat,


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