Jiu Jitsu is both a physical and mental game. In fact, many refer to jiu jitsu as physical chess! The beauty of this sport is that you can have the most talented physical traits, but it is quite possible to be beat by someone who understands the mental game.
If you go back to the early 90s you can see a great example of this in the UFC fights of Royce Gracie. He was always the smaller and less athletic guy, but he ended up winning UFC 1, 3, and 4. It was amazing and clear that he had skills that other fighters didn't know what to do with.
But what does this mean for you?
The mental game is just as important as the physical. Know your strengths and weaknesses. Know those of your opponent as well. Put together a jiu jitsu plan that'll let you maximize your strengths and take advantage of his weaknesses. Then put it into practice.
If you are a small and fast guy, don't play bottom against someone much stronger. If you are heavy, be sure to utilize your weight when playing top. If your best submissions are arm bars, stick to them and make them even better!
Now don't mistake this tip for making your game one dimensional focusing only on what you are good at. Your jiu jitsu foundation should always be as broad and deep as possible so you understand the full breadth of your art. Instead, use this as a motivator for actually thinking about how you approach competition and live training. If you use your brain you'll be ahead of half of the other guys out there!
I suggest you write the following down on paper: your strengths, your weaknesses, your top two specific techniques you want to work on. Now practice the two you want to work on. And after every roll, see what falls under your strengths and weaknesses. Once these are written down you are committed, so hold yourself responsible for working on them.
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