When the action’s over: The time immediately after a tough match, whether on stage or in the gym, is always instructive and important. Last night at @kasaigrappling 3 Australian grappling star, Craig Jones fought to a tough tactical win over Rousimar Palhares. Initially Mr Jones expressed disappointment in the match – like all true submission grapplers, he greatly values action leading to a decisive finish. He tried hard to make that happen, but the conservative positions both athletes had to maintain due to the danger both presented to the other, combined with a massive size and advantage for Mr Palhares, meant that it would a tactical win rather than decisive one. It’s important in these after match situations to assess what was good and bad. Remember that not every match will be highlight reel of action. The important thing is that every match represents some kind of growth and improvement in the athlete. that improvement comes in many different forms. In the case of Mr Jones last night it was about mental aspects of the game. He took on of the ’s most dangerous and strongest grapplers, giving up a huge size and strength advantage, with total and disarray in the week leading up to the match as to what would happen and all far from home – yet he went out and attacked as best he could to battle to a tight tactical win. This was a win for the young Australian’s athletic maturity. Under tough and intimidating circumstances he showed the improvements in his quiet, understated but impressive mental toughness- that is one of the best kinds of growth an athlete can experience and which will benefit him or her the rest of their career. When you come to judge yourself after your matches – don’t be too kind, but don’t to be too harsh either. Remember that not every match will be fireworks but that EVERY MATCH HAS SOME ELEMENTS OF POSITIVE GROWTH FOR YOU WHICH WILL HELP BRING OUT FIREWORKS FOR FUTURE MATCHES. Focus on those, incorporate them into your training and step forward to your next challenge knowing you are a better athlete

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