How Should You Train the Week of Your Tournament?

By Danny O’Donnell

The amount of work required to be well prepared for a Jiu Jitsu tournament can be overwhelming, even if you’re a seasoned competitor. Between technical training, strength and conditioning, and other supplementary modalities it often feels like there is not enough time in the day to get all of your training in. Not only is the amount of work you put in important, you also have to be sure to know when to up the intensity and when to dial it back a few notches. The most important time to dial it back is the week prior to your competition. Below are some tips for making the most of the few days leading up to your next competition.

Prioritize Working on Your “A” Game

In Jiu Jitsu and in many other sports, it’s very common to hear the saying “work on your weaknesses until they become your strengths.” This statement has a lot of validity and has worked wonders for many athletes. However, as a competition gets closer it is more important to focus on your strengths and the positions you plan to use during the competition. Once the competition is over, it’s very important to improve on the mistakes you made, but if you’re constantly focusing on the things you need to improve on it’s very difficult to become strong in certain positions. Doing drills that strengthen your “A” game is a great way to make technical improvements while also keeping up with your cardio.

Work on a Strategy

Coming up with a strategy is a great way to spend time that will directly help your competition game while not harming your body. While your strategy should be malleable since you never know what your opponents may bring to the table, you should definitely have certain positions that you want to get to in your match. It is helpful to have options from standing, guard, and top position since it’s likely you’ll have to navigate all of those scenarios during a tournament.

Rest and Recover

The days leading up to a tournament can be very stressful. It’s likely that your body is sore and you may even have some nagging injuries. In order to perform at your best on competition day it’s very important that your body is recovered from all the training you put it through. The week before the tournament is a perfect time to take the intensity of your training down and to take a few rest days. It’s often helpful to engage in less stressful activities during this time as it’s easy to get hyper focused on the tournament and let the stress wear you down before you even step on the mat. If you have relaxing hobbies outside of Jiu Jitsu this is a great time to work on those things and give your mind and body a break.

What is your routine the week of a tournament? Let us know in the comments!