What must be said to a BJJ fighter before a match? Gui Mendes’s take

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With Rafa Mendes by his side, Gui instructs his pupil Tainan Dalpra before combat. Courtesy of Gui Mendes

A victorious competitor and successful teacher, Guilherme Mendes — who appears in the photo guiding blue-belt Tainan Dalpra, one of the promising athletes from AOJ — usually tells students just moments before a fight, “Keep your focus and think of the training.” Short, clear and objective. Those qualities are key to efficiently conveying the message at that moment.

“Confidence is acquired through small daily results,” Gui explains. “The athlete who prepares properly for an event suffers the same load of pressure and nerves as any other person in the arena; the difference is in their skill to circumvent those nerves, calmly balancing the feelings — a virtue that the sense of being well prepared provides us.”

And what is it that should not be said to that same fighter? “You should not put even more pressure on the athlete,” Gui answers. “The goal is to bring calm and security. Therefore, it is important not to play up the opponent’s qualities too much; that can be very harmful.”

Guilherme adds: “I believe that feeling the teacher’s confidence in our capacity and skills brings us the necessary calm to have a good performance. Feeling that calm is more important than any words.”

Do you the have your own advice for stimulating a teammate or students? Share it below.

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