Though sparring is a great way to hone your skills, martial arts competitions are where you can really test everything you’ve learned in class thus far. They provide students with new challenges, as they are forced to be in combat with new competitors and potentially daunting atmospheres, while getting their skills tested. Competitions can also help build a student’s confidence.
With all this said, it’s important that while training for a competition, a student doesn’t burn out from training. Here are some tips on how to stay energized before the big fight.
Train, But Rest
While training is clearly one of the best ways to do well in a competition, there is such thing as overtraining. Resting can be almost equally as important as training. Without proper rest, you may burn your body out, which may result in an injury. When you train or put your body through any sort of physical exertion, you are actually breaking down muscles. Proper sleep, rest, and nutrition helps build your body back up stronger than before, which is when you should begin training again. Muscle memory also needs some time and space to develop in your body.
You should still train, of course, but you should train smarter as opposed to harder. Training with a partner can help you understand how your body should respond during a competition. Focusing on technique and improving your form can also help you perform better, come competition time.
Set Up a Schedule
With everything else that may be going in your life, it can be hard to train efficiently. Even though you don’t want to over-train, you should ensure that you’re training enough so that your body is competition-ready.
One of the best ways to plan ahead is to set up a training schedule. Mark down all of your training days—as well as your rest days—so that you can make sure you are taking care of your body, in addition to preparing for the competition properly. Not only will you be able to avoid burnout, you’ll also have enough time to hone your skills.
Get Into the Right Mindset
In addition to getting into a competitive mindset, it’s natural for students to get the pre-competition jitters. By recognizing that these feelings are normal, it can help your body understand that what you’re experiencing is not fear and embrace this energy. Channeling those feelings can help you better your focus during training, ahead of your competition. Moments before the competition, give yourself enough time that you can relax, ease into competition mode, warm up and stretch, and visualize. Visualization can help your mind stay focused and maintain a positive and energetic attitude.
As mentioned previously, avoiding burnout and staying energized can help prevent potential injuries. By making sure that you are making your health a main priority, you can then focus on having fun at your competition. While competitions are great opportunities for you to see how you stack up against other martial arts practitioners, they should, first and foremost, be enjoyable.
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