Distractions come in many forms, especially when training Brazilian jiu-jitsu. We all face the internal distractions like, “Why didn’t I see that coming? What am I going to make for dinner? I really need to work on my guard retention. Did I start the laundry?” If you’re anything like me, you try to focus on the here and now, but my head is usually running through 35 different thoughts at any given moment. How do you quiet the noise?
Of course, there are also external distractions like the guy picking his toenails on the mat or the kids screaming for their parent who is training. We carve out time for our training, but we often don’t get the most out of it because we’re bouncing between the distractions and the techniques. Before you know it, the instructor has moved on from showing a technique to drilling it, and you’re missing vital information.
The mental distractions are ours alone to to quiet, but how can we ensure that our training environments are as distraction free as possible?
Depending on your environment, kids may or may not be hanging around on the side of the mat. They can be the cutest, but biggest distraction! I train in a family friendly gym, so on any given night, there are at least ten kids anywhere from two years old to twelve years old. We rely on the older kids to help out with the little ones, but as our gym grows, so do the number of interruptions.
Fewer interruptions are possible, but it all stems from the way we show respect to our teammates. My daughter knows that when I step on the mat, I’m not to be interrupted unless there is blood or a broken bone. I’ve explained that it’s disrespectful to my training partners who are paying for their training. The few times she’s had to be reminded of this, it’s a quick conversation, and I make sure that she understands that it’s wasteful of people’s time and money to come to a class when they’re constantly being interrupted. Giving her the empathy to consider my training partners removes me (the parent who should be available 24/7) from her thought pattern when she feels she needs to interrupt. This same empathy helps her in other areas of her life as well.
No, we can’t always tell someone else’s kid that they’re a distraction to our training, but the gym culture can certainly encourage kids around the mat to be respectful of their parents training and the time and money that others have invested in their training.
What distracts you the most while training? How does your gym handle those external distractions?