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Aggression in competition

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    Aggression in competition

    One of my favorite quotes from a wrestling coach: Be Hungry.
    Then at match time: Don't play with your food...

    I was wondering specifically how do you train the 'predator' mindset and even if this translates to your prematch rituals for those of you who regularly compete?

    The reason I ask is I see many of my students (highschool kids) being passive and waiting for pristine opportunities before acting. The majority have the skills to get out of less than desirable situations even on failed takedown attempts, but instead wait for their opponent to take the initiative and end up playing defense.

    My current ideas: drill takedowns without counters, or with recounters so they gain confidence the majority of the time.

    This is specifically for my wrestlers at a rookie level, but may/may not apply to beginners in bjj/judo/sambo (not sure).
    Last edited by tiltpoint; 1/16/2008 11:27pm, .

    Scream at them in practice to GO FOR THE FUCKING TAKEDOWN RIGHT FUCKING NOW. That seemed to work at the wrestling practice I just got home from.


      Hello, my name is Uri Shatil. I am a high school wrestler for Brookline High.

      Everyone on our team says things like, "Get angry, get physical." Pep-talk can only do so much. Sometimes I get really angry at my opponent, sometimes I don't. I'd like to get angry every match. I guess as a coach, the most you can do is give a good pep-talk.

      I'd say the biggest source of anger is when your opponent really hurts you. Case and point, bed-bite. The other day I turned someone with an armbar (wrestling armbar, not straight armbar, just so all you BJJers don't get the wrong idea), and I had him nearly pinned. I was suffocating him in my tit, and, needless to say, I'm still nursing the bed bite. But once his teeth clamped down, I pinned him quickly enough.

      Sometimes I like to punch the shit out of something before getting on the mat.

      I actually saw some good anger recently at an elementary school tournament. I think they were fourth graders or something. Really tiny kids. There was this one kid who got hurt, spent about forty five seconds crying on the mat, loudly. He got up, got back in, and he was absolutely furious! The other kid didn't stand a chance! It was insane.

      Recently, I saw a kid get called on striking. Striking. I guess he was trying to grind heads, but instead he just headbutted the other guy. So you gotta be angry, but you gotta be smart.

      Again, as a coach, I think the most you can do is give a good pep-talk. But, you know, try things out, and find what works. So long as they're pissed.


        That sounds fucking retarded to me.


          Which part?


            Getting angry for competition. The only time I ever did that, I was a gotarded wanker and blew my wad half way through the 1st round of the match. I think there's a happy medium. Being overly angry is dumb and leads to over aggression, but you don't want to be too relaxed either.

            I think the main thing is to emphasize to the students that they have a gameplan, to stick to it, and to be focused on it. Not angry, not relaxed, focused on the gameplan, and that gameplan should be to go for the takedown first and go for it aggressively, just not stupidly.


              I agree. I don't want anyone to be suicidal in their takedown attempts (although this would be better for now) but I do want initiation.

              The whole yelling at them before/during a match: I always found it easier to access this frame of mind by having plenty of alone time before a match as opposed to having it imposed by a third party (coaches, parents, peers, etc)... it may have been natural or may have come from training that I don't even remember its been so long.

              That's why I ask... how do I impose it, or is it all natural instinct?

              Edit: And I'm not really talking about anger. It's more a knowledge that you WILL eat your opponent, regardless. No real sense of feeling to it...
              Last edited by tiltpoint; 1/17/2008 12:10am, .


                Oh, we're talking about different things. You're talking about getting your head in the game, so to speak.

                It's important to keep a sweat going. I'm 119, and I usually start jumping rope before 103. That way, when I step on the mat, I'm already working.

                I was talking about being angry at your opponent. Don't give him a pussy crossface and then say "I'm sorry." Don't be afraid to hurt him. He is not your friend.


                  Oh, that's visualization. You tell them to sit there and visualize how the match is going to go, and once it's time, they believe (whether or not it's the case) that they WILL get that takedown and they WILL get the pin. Just make sure what they're visualizing is what you want them to visualize and not them imagining a failed takedown attempt from the other guy. :)


                    shit's inborn. some kids have it and some kids don't.

                    you can only train the willingness to be aggressive so much, especially as a coach. i remember in wrestling that it wasn't ever the coach who took folks to task for being a bitch, it was always the team captain. peer pressure from a team captain, especially one who is looked up to, can often force kids to break out of their 'bitch' mode and engage.

                    but at the end of the day, some kids are just mroe aggrressive.


                      Originally posted by Uri Shatil
                      Hello, my name is Uri Shatil. I am a high school wrestler for Brookline High.

                      LOL! Hardly Toughtown, USA!

                      Getting 'angry' is kinda stupid. Some emotional numbskull who hasn't got much else going for him is just about the easiest mark to humiliate. Aggressive yes, intense yes, ruthless yes, unsportmanlike even ok, but 'angry'? No.
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                        I did find it pretty funny that he identified himself by high school, but give him a break, he's just a kid.


                          I never start out mad, but the truth is, I don't really start to fight until I get hit/thrown/nearly subbed.

                          Then I get very aggressive and focussed. But I'm never really angry at the guy. Just super-aggressive and very "insistent" with my opponent. I've never had the killer instinct.
                          And lo, Kano looked down upon the field and saw the multitudes. Amongst them were the disciples of Uesheba who were greatly vexed at his sayings. And Kano spake: "Do not be concerned with the mote in thy neighbor's eye, when verily thou hast a massive stick in thine ass".

                          --Scrolls of Bujutsu: Chapter 5 vs 10-14.


                            Have the kids do a drill where they have to go for a takedown with intent every ten seconds, or one where they have to go for one every time they stand up from the last takedown.
                            Shut the hell up and train.


                              The problem with that is that you don't want to train them to have shitty/nonexistent set ups. Better to have them go takedowns for say two minutes and set a goal of 7-10 good attempts at least per every two minute go.
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