I am back training! After my two month injury, I am finally ready to restart my cycle for the next World Championships. 🙂 I am MORE than excited to get back into things and for the experiences ahead. It’s all about the training for me, so this year I want to make sure I do it right. I learned so much from my training leading up to New Zealand. Now I know what I would like to do again and what I would like to to do differently. This is my starting point. Finding my MAGIC FORMULA. The focus for today, is sparring.
Everyone has their own definition or perception of ‘training hard’. The more I talk with other competitors the more I realize there is a huge difference. Some train less but there are always some who will train more. There is also a huge difference in the way people train. Some train hard – some train smart. I always want to know how they train, who they train with, and how they mentally prepare when they compete. Seeing how people react to their wins and losses is also very valuable. There is always going to be a winner and loser in a sparring match. It’s what you do when the match is over that is just as important as what you did before the match.
There are several important factors to consider other than if you win a medal or not.
After you’ve sparred, you can ask yourself:
- was I fast/light enough on my feet?
- did I use all the tools I had to their full potential?
- did I use the ring properlyt?
- was I in good enough shape?
- did I listen to my coach?
- did I take advantage of every opportunity?
- did I have a good enough warm-up?
- was I strong enough mentally?
- were my points clean?
- did I leave it all on the mat?
Even though the ‘winner’ of the match is decided by the judges, that doesn’t mean that you can’t feel incredibly proud of the way you sparred. It’s what you take away from it that’s important.
Getting into the ring takes a lot of courage. If you don’t believe me….try it yourself!
You know what you are capable of but most of the time you don’t have a clue what your opponent can do. You might have competed against them before but you have to look at each match like you’ve never seen them before since you have no idea what they’ve been concentrating on during their own training. They might be a completely different fighter now. I know from personal experience being a teenager myself, I’m still growing and things change all the time! I remember Grand Master Lan said to me right before a match ‘never under-estimate your opponent’. Words of wisdom!
You have to be able to think clearly, quickly and be able to adapt to all different situations. That is why your own preparation is so important. Your movements have to be automatic. They have to be instinctive. You don’t have time to question your own abilities. The more you spar, the more things become easier.
Since I compete in sparring AND patterns, I always question what percentage of my time should I be cross training and how much time should I be sparring or how much time should I be perfecting patterns? I have talked to so many competitors, Instructors and Masters about this and everyone has their own opinion so who do I listen to? Is it different for everyone? Why is it usually the same group of people on the podium year after year? What do they do that is different from the masses?
Is there a Magic Formula?
My goal this year is to find the perfect balance between training (cross training, sparring, patterns), mental preparation, proper nutrition and rest that works for my body. If I can do that, then the desired results will follow 🙂
If anyone knows the Magic Formula…..Please let me know!!!!