My first time sparring at a tournament, I got absolutely destroyed. I went from LOVING sparring, to having panic attacks every time I had to get my gear on in class.
I almost quit competing.
But then I realized two things:
- I was a beginner at 41 years old. I was going to face this problem of being outranked and out-experienced again. So I had to get a hell of a lot better. And
- That fear wasn’t going to go away. So I had to get it under control.
If YOU are scared to spar, 1) Train your ass off. You’ll feel more confident that you can handle ANYTHING that comes up in the ring.
And 2) Write a letter to your fear. Read it to yourself, or film yourself reading it and watch it before every tournament or match. By acknowledging your fear like this, you take away a lot of its power. And you’ll soon realize that you can be scared—it’s NORMAL to be scared—but that doesn’t have to stop you from fighting your best fight.
Do you have any tips for handling fear in sparring? Please share in the Comments section below!