That awkward feeling you get when you first step into the martial arts gym is something we’ve all experienced. You have no clue what you’re doing, or if what you’re doing is actually correct. A week later, you’ve gotten slightly better. But the awkward feeling remains.
Being a novice isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Everyone goes through it. Even Manny Pacquiao and Georges St-Pierre started from the bottom before they reached the top. They had to power themselves through many days and nights of trying to learn their trade. In the end, they stuck with it long enough to see the other side.
Thankfully, we have the blueprint to increase your comfort.
There are ways to boost your confidence in training, which, in turn, helps you maximize your time in the martial arts gym. It involves some simple tweaks in your routine and small changes in your mindset. And of course, more time in training.
Follow these simple suggestions to build your confidence while you’re in the martial arts gym grinding, and you’ll be striking the pads like a superstar in no time. Today, Evolve Daily shares four tips to boost your confidence in training.
1) Make friends in the gym
On the surface, it might not seem like something that will actually help you get better at martial arts. But making friends at the martial arts gym, we like to stress early, is imperative to success in your martial arts journey.
Martial arts was never meant to be practiced alone. You can go so much further together with a team. Even just a single friend training with you can make the experience infinitely better.
Having a solid support system that will encourage you when you’re down and not feeling particularly motivated, that will push you to your limits when you are feeling strong, and share the same experiences with you, it’s invaluable.
You gain a safe space where you can practice your techniques without fear of failure or judgement. You receive constructive feedback that you can actually use. You begin to draw confidence from each other. All of this combined makes you feel less anxious stepping through the martial arts gym doors.
Coincidentally, the martial arts gym is the perfect place to make new friends, because the people who train there came into the gym for the same reasons as you. That in itself means you already share common goals.
2) Trust in your coaches
The second tip is pretty obvious, and it’s one that you should be doing from day one, and that is to trust in your coaches. Don’t be afraid to ask for help when you need it. No one expects you to master every technique in your first week. People expect you to fail, and that’s okay because failure is a huge part of martial arts.
This is where your coaches come in. They are the ones tasked to guide you through difficult junctures in training. They will fix your mistakes, and correct your techniques. Sometimes, however, they need to hear that you’re interested and that comes by asking questions.
We understand that when you’re new to the martial arts gym, it’s not really easy asking for help, especially asking help from fellow students. But understand that everyone went through the same thing when they first started out, so they know how it feels to be in your position.
When it comes to progress, do what you need to do and don’t let anyone stop you or discourage you from accomplishing your goals.
3) Focus on your strengths
Everyone wants to improve on their weaknesses, and while that’s a great training philosophy down the road, focusing on your strengths as a beginner is the way to go. Put all of your effort into honing the skills you’re good at, especially when you’re just starting out. This will no doubt boost your confidence in training.
Besides, you can’t be good at everything right away. Work on what you’re naturally good at, and master those techniques first before moving onto the techniques you have difficulty with.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s best to focus on the basics and fundamentals first, above all else. This will give you a good skill foundation.
For example, training the basic punches in boxing like the jab, straight, hook, and uppercut before moving onto advanced techniques like the shovel hook, the overhand, and feints is ideal. Once you’ve mastered those techniques, you can then take the next step and try your hand at sparring.
Learning in martial arts is gradual, and it all starts with focusing on your strengths. Conquer one challenge at a time until you’re comfortable enough to take a step up to the next level.
4) Invest time and effort
Last but certainly not least, you have to be willing to invest both time and effort in the martial arts gym. There really is no way around it. The more time you spend working in the gym, the more comfortable and confident you become in training.
You can’t expect to progress your skills if you’re infrequently going to the gym. If you’re training once every other week, there is no way you’ll be able to improve your techniques. Every time you step through the gym doors, you’ll be clueless, and you’ll remain a novice until you decide to take things seriously.
Like all things worth your while, martial arts requires care and attention. Be present in the moment, learn what you can, clear your mind, and train your heart out. This is the only path to greatness.
The more time you spend in the martial arts gym, the more confident you become in your skills.
If you’ve yet to try martial arts yourself, sign up for a trial class today!
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