Friday, March 4, 2011

Goal setting in BJJ...Part 4

Goal Setting in BJJ .....Part 4
Realistic and rewarding goals

The next letter in the acronym is R. There are 2 R’s as far as I’m concerned. The first is REALISTIC. This is similar to Attainable in my mind, as any realistic goal is something that you can achieve. Perhaps with a family and a career it’s unrealistic to put forth the time required to meet certain goals that MAY be attainable in the right circumstances. Some goals that people set may be completely unrealistic at first but as they begin their path towards accomplishing them, they can make the necessary adjustments along the way to permit success. As your skills improve and your knowledge of the sport and conditioning and dietary requirements increase, you may be able to accomplish things that were unrealistic when you first started. One MUST have the will to work, as well as the time and ability to accomplish whatever is required of them to reach their goals. A high goal, such as promotion to black belt can be accomplished with hard work and a good plan that takes into account all aspects required to succeed. In BJJ to be successful, there are multiple areas to work with including psychology, conditioning, technique, time management and financial support as aspects of the sport that we need to study and master. But perhaps the most single important attribute to determine if a goal is realistic and attainable is a personal belief that you CAN accomplish something and that you WILL do what’s needed in order to succeed in achieving your goals. I’ve always liked the old saying, “Shoot for the stars…even if you come up short you may still hit the moon.” There is no reason to strive for mediocrity unless you are the type of personality that will shut down from missing your targeted goals in life. Knowing yourself and some of your weaknesses are important in establishing realistic and attainable goals. Some people cannot handle failure and shut themselves off at the first sign. Others will avoid situations where they feel they may encounter failure. After training a little while in BJJ this is a situation that can slowly be managed. Without perseverance, we’d all have quit after the first week when we were getting tapped left and right!  If you plan on winning worlds and come up short taking 5th place, that’s still a huge accomplishment and something to be very proud of. But by having realistic and attainable goals, you may be able to achieve greater things than if you don’t push yourself at all.
 The other R that I like in this S.M.A.R.T. acronym is REWARDING. If the goals achieved are rewarding, the individual is more likely to attempt to recreate a worthwhile goal and the work and conditions that took them there and ultimately success will be assured. Goals that have no rewards, be it personal or monetary in nature may be pointless and unworthy of further pursuit. If a goal is too easy, there will be no reward in it. Easy goals will require very little effort to accomplish and keep the person unmotivated to excel. A goal of tapping out every white belt in the gym for an experienced BJJ practitioner, for example, is not going to really help you out in pursuit of much loftier goals and will probably cause more harm than good. As silly as that goal may sound, I have heard it before. Where is the reward? What will require you step up and improve your overall game? A more appropriate goal may be to allow every white belt to take your back and escape within a certain amount of time. Afterwards, show them the techniques and teach them how to improve their back attacks, making it harder on you the next time. The value of helping teammates as well as the benefit of having a more technically proficient training partner has greater value for you and the gym and will perhaps prove to be both a greater challenge and benefit in the long run. A higher and more difficult goal will require a higher degree of personal motivation and one that you consider to be of worthy or noble pursuit will make you take greater pleasure and passion in the ultimate successes when reaching certain milestones on your way to reaching these goals. Nothing is more impressive and intimidating than when you see a highly motivated individual working harder than everyone else in the gym as they try to push the limits of what they believe to be possible. The secret is a well thought out plan that pushes the boundaries of what they believe possible. And when you believe what you can do is realistic and attainable…almost anything is possible.

Next post...Part 5. Time

Luis Wilson, Black Belt Tim Bruce and Pat Ryan at the Abu Dhabi Pro Trials in 2011

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