Jitters Are Normal
Whether you are trying your first class, have been training for several months, or are entering your first competition - getting the "jitters" in jiu-jitsu is normal. Let's face it - even though it is called "the gentle art", jiu-jitsu is a tough sport (especially when you are just starting out), so getting nervous once in a while is simply part of the journey.
If you find yourself getting the jitters before class, try the following to calm your mind:
- Remind yourself that everyone experiences nervousness at some point
- Take a few deep breaths and tell yourself you can do this, that it's no big deal
- Talk to someone you trust in class (the head professor, an instructor, a fellow student) about how you are feeling and see if they have any good advice for you (chances are they have felt the same way)
- Keep a journal of your training, how you felt each day and what you have accomplished
Many of the students in class will tell you that when they had the jitters but ended up going to class anyway - that it was well worth it and was the right choice to make.
When you show up and train consistently, you will gain confidence in your technique. Over time, the jitters will subside. And even if they pop up again, just remind yourself that we are all in class to learn and support each other. Hope this helps!