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Dealing with Overthinking

Updated: May 25, 2023

Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ) is a physically and mentally demanding martial art that requires both technical expertise and strategic thinking. However, sometimes overthinking can lead to paralysis by analysis, which can be detrimental during a competition. In this blog, we will discuss some strategies to deal with overthinking during BJJ competitions.

Trust your training

One of the most common reasons for overthinking during a competition is the fear of making a mistake. This fear can be countered by trusting your training. You have put in countless hours of practice and have developed the skills needed to compete at a high level. Instead of worrying about making mistakes, focus on executing the techniques you have trained for.

Simplify your game plan

It is important to have a game plan going into a competition, but it is equally important to keep it simple. Trying to remember a long list of techniques or strategies can lead to overthinking and confusion. Instead, focus on one or two techniques that you are comfortable with and can execute effectively.

Stay in the moment

BJJ competitions can be overwhelming, with crowds, noise, and adrenaline all contributing to a heightened sense of anxiety. To avoid overthinking, it is important to stay in the present moment. Focus on what is happening right now, rather than worrying about what might happen in the future.


When we are anxious, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid, which can lead to further anxiety. To counteract this, take deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth. This will help slow your heart rate and calm your mind, making it easier to focus on the task at hand.

Visualize success

Visualization is a powerful tool for athletes, and BJJ competitors are no exception. Before a competition, spend some time visualizing yourself executing your techniques effectively and winning your matches. This will help build confidence and reduce anxiety, making it easier to focus on the competition.

Embrace the challenge

Finally, it is important to remember that BJJ competitions are a challenge, and challenges are opportunities for growth. Instead of worrying about winning or losing, focus on learning from each match and using that knowledge to improve your skills. This mindset will help you stay calm and focused, even in the face of adversity.


In conclusion, overthinking can be a major hurdle for BJJ competitors, but there are strategies that can be used to overcome it. By trusting your training, simplifying your game plan, staying in the moment, breathing, visualizing success, and embracing the challenge, you can reduce anxiety and perform at your best during a competition. Good luck, and have fun!

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