Best Way To Stop Hesitating When Rolling

Best Way To Stop Hesitating When Rolling

You know the feeling. You see the escape, you see the transition, you see the submission, but… But something is simply stopping you in your tracks to just do it.

Usually paired with overthinking and the over-analysis of the situation, the reluctance and hesitation to do a specific move – either during rolling or during a match – are often felt emotions of a jiujiteiro.
This is especially the case with beginner to lower intermediate BJJ practitioners.
It is no wonder that this happens. Due to the physically confrontational nature of BJJ, it is perfectly normal that a person might occasionally „freeze“ when it comes down to performing a desired technique.

Now, given the fact that this is nothing unusual, how should a jiujiteiro deal with this feeling of hesitation?
There are four ways to do this:

  1. Drill more

    : if there is hesitation about pulling some of the moves during the rolling sessions, the easiest thing to do is to simply practice those moves during the drilling part of training.
    If, however, there is no freedom to practice them during the regular training sessions (probably because the instructor already has some of the techniques pre-planned), it is best to find a portion of time for practicing these moves by oneself.

For example, this might be done before or after the regular training class. The extra 10-15 minutes that are put into practicing these techniques will make a world of difference, since repetition will develop self-confidence in engaging into these moves during rolls.

  1. Breathe deeply

    : breathing deeply has repeatedly shown to almost instantly lower anxiety and stress. Therefore, breathing deeply should be practiced whenever one finds himself/herself in a position of not knowing whether or not to do „something“; the breath yields a physiological response that makes making a decision much easier.
    This is especially true in the sport of BJJ. When found in a position of doubt – in this case, whether to engage in a specific move or two – a jiujitero should take a deep breath or two. This will lead to him hitting that submission or escape that much easier.

  2. Don’t be afraid to give up position:

    often times, when being in a dominant position, it is too easy to just choose to keep the achieved position, instead of going for the submission and risking its loss.
    This cannot be further from the truth; but, the fear of losing the position needs to be abandoned for the sake of making progress, which is found in movement.

To move is to make progress, especially in BJJ. Therefore, sometimes the risk of losing position needs to be voluntarily undertaken, in order to become the best jiujitero possible.

  1. Change your mentality:

    this final approach ties neatly into the third one. The jiujitero’s focus should not always be on winning, at least not all the time. It should be based in the everflowing love for this sport – and that means embracing both the good and bad sides, both the good and bad days.

The feeling of winning, but it does not take first place. The first place of every true jiujitero’s heart is taken by the wish to always train and to continuously be making progress.
Enjoy it. Even if that means going for that flying triangle from time to time.

Written by Feđa Malinović