Attitude is all about developing the right mind-set and outlook to play in a competitive game. Attitude actually comprises three distinct traits:

a) Professional approach to competition

b) Determination and grit

c) Passion for the game

a) Professional approach to competition

At a psychological level, the thoughts and feelings that you have toward your rivals define whether or not you have a healthy attitude and professional approach to competition. Attitude toward an opponent is a composite of the following:

  • How you perceive your opponent on skills or capability
  • The manner in which you behave toward your opponent
  • Likes and dislikes also sometimes come into play

Your approach to competition could fall into four broad types. These approaches are elaborated below:

  • Arrogant – You have a certain misdirected aggression and  superior attitude toward competition. You believe that only you can win; the competition is not a match for you. This is an extreme form of having a winning attitude.
  • Assertive – Your attitude toward competition is a little more balanced. Your approach is one that has you thinking:

“You are good, but so am I. I’m sure I can win this game.”

  • Hostile – Your approach toward competition is confrontational and

the game is played in an atmosphere of friction and underlying tension.

  • Diffident – You are unsure and insecure about your capabilities; your approach toward your opponent is hesitant and unassertive. You lack confidence and will be unable to focus on your game, and there will be no significant power in your delivery.

The Assertive approach is without doubt the most professional approach to competition, and it is the best way to develop a winning attitude.

A grappler or combat athlete should try to maintain a constant winning attitude without falling prey to intense antagonistic behavior toward the opponent. It is important to keep in mind at all times that this is a contest, and things cannot always go your way. When things go wrong, you can retain a positive attitude if you focus on ways to get out of the situation you are in and remain alert.

b) Determination and grit

For a winning attitude a grappler or combat athlete also needs to have a deep-down commitment to play the game to the best of his or her abilities, no laid back behavior or short-cuts, a never-say-die manner, and the willpower and determination to triumph. Determination and grit at a very basic level is the need to survive and the will to win. If you have determination and grit, then you will be able to:

  • Put in long hours in practice
  • Work hard for control over tough situations through persistence
  • Can operate at optimal levels of your mental and physical capabilities

c) Passion for the game

Here’s a simple test to see if you have a real passion for grappling and/or combat athletics. Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you have enthusiasm for each match in which you participate?
  • Do you go out of your way to perfect your technique?
  • Do you think you are in the right sports profession?

If you answered “no” to any of these questions then you may not be as passionate about grappling or combat athletics as you think you are. Passion for the game and a high physical competence level can be a potent combination to create an impact in your grappling or combat athletics bouts. If you have passion for grappling or combat athletics, then you will be interested in technique and honing your skills. And it is this attitude – your interest in the pure aspects of the sport – that will bring about focus and enhance your performance.

“Activated” enthusiasm to play:

High mental energy and the desire to be out there playing no matter what, is the characteristic of someone with passion for the game. A passion for the game translates into a constant state of enthusiasm, and you are able to push yourself to greater heights since your endurance levels go up and you have a certain eagerness and readiness to take on the challenge. A passion for the game and the resultant enthusiasm results in a greater involvement in all aspects of the sport. It is an “activated” state where you can deliver a truly controlled performance and start off from the word go.

Lloyd Irvin is a martial arts coach. He holds the rank of 7th degree black belt in Thai Jitsu, 2nd degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, 1st degree black belt in judo. In 2002 he was named The United States Judo Federation International Coach of the year. Lloyd’s coaching experience includes having taught Secret Service, FBI & SWAT. Read more on:

Article Source: