The night before the fight
We all know that last night before tournament when you are overthinking about your opponents and situations that can happen. So let’s first start with night before the fight. Going into competition you probably had long preparations where you went true all kinds of situations and positions and that’s why in the last night there is not much more to do! You can’t make a big difference in one night! You spent weeks in different positions so what is done is done! What you can do that day is to relax, go for a walk with your team, do maybe a light training just to sweat a little bit and then once you go to bed put head phones in your ears and listen to your favourite music or listen to a podcast. I personally like listening to podcasts because they are interesting and they help you think on some other topic and fall asleep.
Once you wake up and it’s finally fight day. I recommend you check your weight so you know where you are and how much you can eat. Than take a nice shower and prepare breakfast. Breakfast you usually eat before trainings so you are already used to it and your body gets the signal that it’s time for BJJ.
Arriving to the tournament
I always like to arrive to the tournament few hours before my fights start. So let’s say I fight around 12:00 that means I will try to be there at least at 10:30. So I have time to find the stadium, get in and find place to sit with the team and get used to the place. It’s good to have some time to sit down and watch how the fights are going, look up for the warm up area, how to get there...
So we are getting close to the fight. I usually like to start preparing around 45 minutes before my fight. I slowly change my clothes and put on head phones with my favourite music. If you feel you need to go to the toilet go! Later you can probably still feel like you need to pee in the middle of warm up…don’t worry it’s just your nerves talking because your blather doesn’t make urine during stress! And then I move to one place where I will do the warm up. Music can help you a lot, it keeps you from overthinking and can even motivate you and add some pump! If you steel feel cold or nervous just try warming up slowly, take deep breaths and then slowly raise your warm up intensity till last 10 minutes before the fight. Last 10 minutes you can calm down and lower your heart rate and relax muscles with shaking. If you still feel extra tension you can make a very strong fist and hold it for few minutes and then completely relax your hand and repeat it few times. This helps me a lot to control my level of anxiety.
So this are few tips how to relax before the fight. Remember that routine and stick to it don’t complicate too much! Try to simulate this routine to your regular trainings.
Author: Nejc Hodnik