How can you motivate your students to train harder?

Champions are made or born?

 Felipe Costa

I often think about this...what makes one person super motivate to do what it takes to get there and another person give up so easily?, even know sometimes this other person say or think that also want to get "there".

The more I think I conclude that doesn't matter what we (teachers/coaches/training partners) say, we will not make a lazy person become assiduous. Someone who has the give up attitude towards life will only be motivate until the first failure.

Jiu-Jitsu is for everyone, no doubt! BJJ in high level is not.

As a coach/teacher/training partner, you (and me) can make anyone become champion or become the best this person can be, even if it doesn't mean necessarily someone who get the gold medal every time but, I can not make people be in class on time or skip a training session because of a lame excuse and not to give up easily.

It's controversial the subject if champions are made or born. I have for a long time believed they were made, not born. There was two simple reasons for me to believe that, first I choose a sport who give a chance for the not talented person to become good, second I have lost for several years before I actually started to have some success in tournaments. So based on that I knew there are people who are born champions, but could not agree that they could not be made as well and I consider myself  a living proof of that.


As I grow older I started to have a new perspective on that, today my understanding of a champion is not necessarily the person who gets the gold medal, but the person who has a champion attitude towards his life. From that perspective Im highly inclined to believe Champions are indeed born and not made.                                    

   Felipe Costa taking the back of Ivaniel Oliveira

I could get a thousand examples, Im just using myself because it's BJJ related, I have failure a million times in life, both inside and outside the mats, but I always came back and tried again and I did that not because of what my instructor was saying, but because I had the champion's attitude. Im not saying I was never motivated by my friends and teachers, but this kind of motivation last just for a while. It's like a push, it only gets you so far...after that you have to keep walking by yourself, you are not going to far if you depend on a push every time you stop, you need to start to walk on your own at some point.
Does it mean that we can not motivate someone to change his mentality and attitude towards life (and sport, if that is the case)? No, I think is not impossible, but hard...but I could write another article on that.This article you are reading right now is more directed to the instructor or the competitor who is frustrated because he can not get his students or training partners as motivated as him.

Accept some of your students and training partners (actually not some, but most of them) is not willing to do what it takes to get there. They may think they are, but just until the first temptation to stop or the first excuse to stay home. Excuses are excuses, legit or not.

Do what you have to do, the one's with champions mindset will be attract by your example and will follow you. Accept the one's who don't have that same personality, they are not inferior, they just have other priorities. Give those the attention they want and need, but never feel frustrated, remember, you can only push someone so far, after that they need to walk on their own.

Give those the attention they want and need, but never feel frustrated, remember, you can only push someone so far, after that they need to walk on their own.
Felipe Costa passing the guard

Posted by Felipe Costa Mar 15, 2014 Categories: Academia BJJ Felipe Costa Jiu Jitsu