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Narrowing the Performance Gap

Cheers to the first Monday of the year! Ringing in the New Year is a great opportunity to reflect, hit the reset button, and set an annual focus. We are not referring to a New Year’s resolution.

And while we are a huge fan of goal setting, let’s view our goals from the angle of where we are today, where we want to be, and what it will take to get there; that’s what we call narrowing the performance gap.

This begins with a vision and is finished by a consistent execution of an intentionally crafted routine.


We must become clear on where we are going to gauge progress, make course corrections, celebrate milestones along the journey, and realize when we have arrived. Rather than focusing on what we want to do or have, it is important to be clear on who we want to become. Who we are determines where we are headed.

Knowing what kind of person you feel called to be and understanding your deeper purpose will guide your goals, and help you align your actions and decisions to your values and priorities. Without this vision, you will be directionless and inevitably waste your time, energy, and potential on seemingly “good” activities at best and become totally derailed at worst.

Through this clarity of vision, you will be able to assess where you are now and how to narrow the performance gap to where you would like to be. The performance gap informs your goal setting.

Check out our blog about setting goals in your BJJ training.

Execute an Intentional Routine

Once you’ve identified a goal or three, identify the strategy needed to make it a reality and build a routine that will set you up for achieving it. The key is having a deliberate approach, backed by a solid routine. A healthy and balanced routine provides the structure needed for each of us to develop and be our best. It is your daily, weekly, monthly, and even annual routine that facilitates you to achieve your desired goals and sustains your success. Lacking this will lead to frustration and unfulfilled potential.

High performers stick to the basics. They develop, refine, and execute a fundamental routine that positions them for success. They then commit to walking out of that routine with a level of focus and excellence. Instead of becoming bored with routine and monotony, and subsequently veering off course to chase the next fleeting idea, high performers commit to implementing an intentionally crafted routine to achieve their vision, periodically evaluating for opportunities to adjust and fine-tune.

This is the same approach we take when drilling in class. Even after having learned a new technique, we repeat it over and over. The reason for this goes beyond just developing the skill of applying the technique effectively during a roll. The more we repeat the same technique, the deeper we will understand the position. As the technique becomes second nature to us, we are then able to refine it, explore various angles, and build upon it. This routine of repeating the same drills over and over deepens our understanding of the position and ultimately the art of jiu jitsu. And this is what allows us to progress in our jiu jitsu journey.

Repping a well-crafted routine that is critical to our development and performance so that we can achieve our goals and dreams on and off the mats. Rather than wearing ourselves out by trying to control the outcome, focus on the process. Put into practice what you know to do and commit to consistently walking out your responsibility.

As you build a routine around the person you want to become, pay attention to how you allot your time. Time is our most precious resource. How we invest, or waste, time reveals our priorities. Be intentional with your day by prioritizing your time in a way that builds foundational habits that lead you to become the person you feel called to and to live in your deeper purpose.

Here are some practical tips that lead to higher performance:

  • Designate specific days that you consistently train. If you miss a day, focus on getting back into the rhythm of your set training routine.

  • Make healthy eating and getting adequate sleep non-negotiable. Manage your water intake to be able to perform your best on the mat (and in life). Fun fact, did you know that sleep is most directly tied to vitality?

  • Know who and what empowers you to perform at your highest level and prioritize them.

  • Embrace and honor your human limitations. Design a realistic schedule that keeps your bucket full. Creating rhythms of work, play, and rest. Commit to taking a day off once a week, make space to reflect and process, connect with your teammates, and do things just because you enjoy them.

As we roll into this New Year, let’s focus on narrowing our performance gap between where we are today, and who we want to become. Let’s continue to stretch ourselves outside of our comfort zone and put into practice what we know to do. Start by clarifying your vision, setting goals, and building a routine; a routine where every piece of your day is designed to help you be your best and perform at your highest level. Then, check in with yourself regularly. Take time to reflect, process, and make any adjustments daily, quarterly, and annually.

You will experience exponential growth as you execute a routine that builds upon your cumulated successes from the days and weeks before. Rather than a destination to arrive at or a task to perform, embrace the process, with all its joys, trials, and everything in between. We are here for you at the academy as we walk alongside you on this journey together.

What is one thing you can start doing immediately that will get you further on the path of who you want to become?

And, while we’re at it, choose one thing you should stop doing immediately that would help you perform at your best.


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