Athletes work hard but still have a lot of time and the combination of gaming and doing judo has a lot of similarities.
At first glance, gamers and Judo athletes have little in common, with one a physical specimen ready for battle and the other more attuned to having lightning-fast hand-eye coordination. However getting your ideal grip requires fast hand coordination as well.
The physical demands have common grounds but the demands of the two sports are different. In this article, we look at how the mindset techniques used by pro gamers can benefit Judo athletes, no matter their ability or experience level. At the highest levels of Judo, the mental game is as important as the physical one especially when it comes to Olympic level which we are approaching with the continuation of the IJF World Judo Tour.
Visualizing success often directly leads to big wins
Being successful at judo at the very highest level becomes less about your decision-making and reaction speeds and more about the mental side of our sport. Same with gaming with the pressure of clutch situations getting to Esports pros every bit as much as a big Judo final or grudge match for a Judoka.
One technique that more and more top poker pros are using to alleviate the distracting pressures that such intense situations create, is visualization. Elliot Roe, who is a leading mindset coach for the world’s best Texas Hold’em players, encourages his clients to visualize potentially tricky situations they may be placed in during a high stakes game and forces them to replay the imagined scenario over and over in their head. Then, by the time the real thing comes around, there is no chance of their poker face flinching as they run a daring bluff or make a hero call.
There is no doubt that this is something judoka of all levels can bring to the tatami so that the next time they’re in danger of being thrown to the floor, they can remember visualizing how to counter the throw of your opponent, and take over the compete transition and score.
Visualize on the podium and it might just happen for you, as long as you train hard enough in the first place. As Americans such as successful Olympian Jimmy Pedro always says, believe in yourself as a champion, train hard and imagine yourself that champion and things will happen.
Patience is Key to Success
Often times in Judo, an athlete can have all the skills of the trade at their disposal and yet still fall short, usually due to being too eager to prove themselves, revealing their intentions too readily to their opponents.
The same is absolutely true in online gaming, where a trigger-happy battle royale player can blow their cover too soon, leaving them exposed to attack.
Similarly, in online chess, going for checkmate too early in a clash of blitz or regular chess can sometimes lead to a player leaving themselves vulnerable to a counterattack. At the IJF World Masters in Doha we have seen some ‘chess games’ even in the semi-finals and final phase, but depending on the athletes some finals had all the action a judofans wants to see.
There is no doubt that learning to strike at the perfect moment is something that only comes with practice and a disciplined mindset, both of which can be worked on at the Judo mats, or in online gaming lobbies.
Defeat teaches us to learn and adapt
Progression in Judo usually comes down to a whole mixture of aspects, but one of the most important is adopting the mindset that setbacks and defeats are there to be learned from and not just complained about.
Pro gamers know this all too well, aware that wallowing in defeat and blaming one’s shortcomings on a faulty controller or a game’s glitches is usually just a form of denial. The best gamers go back and analyze where they went wrong, so they can eliminate the weaknesses that left them susceptible to defeat in the first place.
Anyone serious about Judo should be ready and willing to do exactly the same. There’s no excuse, now that it’s so easy to garner video footage of yourself in action and become much more proficient on the mat, by doing your homework with the use of technology combined with serious amounts of patience and self-discipline, some of our important judo values.