Training schedules vary greatly from person to person. Some people may train full-time and attend two or more classes every day. Some may only be able to take two classes a week. I know some moms who work full time, take care of their kids, and still manage to train and compete. It's not easy, but it can be done. Whatever your availability, there are some key ways you can get the most out of your time on the mats.
-Come to training with a specific goal in mind. Sometimes it's good to just enjoy the training and let Jiu-Jitsu happen. However, if you have limited time, you can maximize your training by picking a specific move or concept to focus on. Sometimes, my goal in training is to hit the sweep I've been working on. Sometimes, I'm just focusing on controlling the distance. Be very intentional about the way you approach every opportunity to drill or roll, and you will see results.
-Ask questions. Your instructors have a wealth of knowledge. Take advantage of this. If you're struggling with a technique, ask. Pinpoint an area in which you are consistently struggling, and ask about it. Some of the biggest breakthroughs can come from gaining a tiny detail. You pick up these details when you ask questions. Focus on learning something new every day, even if it's small. These little learning moments will add up quickly.
-Take away concepts. There are thousands of moves to learn in Jiu-Jitsu, and sometimes it can feel overwhelming to keep track of them all, especially early on in your journey. However, if you can understand basic concepts, such as posture and tightness, you can take them and apply them to every area of your game. When learning a new move, try to pinpoint the concepts that make it effective. See if you can take these concepts and apply them to other situations.
-Take notes. It can be difficult to retain all of the information you learn every day. Taking a few notes after class will allow you to go back and remember details otherwise forgotten. Even if you never look at the notes again, the simple act of writing them will help solidify the techniques in your memory.
-Choose training partners who will push you to be your best. Sometimes it’s good to have "easy" rounds where you can try new moves and sharpen your attacks. However, it's important to seek out tough rounds with people who will expose your weaknesses and drive you to improve. Iron sharpens iron. Push yourself to choose rounds that will challenge you.
-Wait to socialize until after class. I’m not knocking being social or saying you shouldn’t have friends at the gym. However, if you want to maximize your time at the gym, you need to focus on the training. You need to get in as many reps as possible. Don’t waste anyone’s time. Have fun and be nice, but save the conversations for later.
-Leave your cares behind. We all have stressors in our life. Let training be that one hour when you can forget about your worries and just focus on choking the crap out of your training partners. Leave it at the door for just an hour. Your to-do list will still be there when you get done.