Everyone that trains in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu has the want to compete in it whether they express it or not. A lot of people that want to compete freak themselves out more than anything else can, but what you have to remember is that everyone else is just as freaked out as you, at least at the lower levels. While you can do as much training, conditioning, and outside training as you want to prepare there are some things that will help you compete even if you do not think about them. So, take a look at three things you need to work on and consider before hopping on the mat to compete.
#3 The Nerves
One thing that you need to worry about is the nerves. People do not realize that stepping on the mats to compete, and stepping on the mat to train are two different things. You need to learn how to focus before stepping on there to face off against someone you do not know. Some people like to listen to music, others like to meditate, and me personally I like to talk. Talking to people allows me to take my mind off the match, and when I finally do step onto the mat it will just seem like just another training session.
#2 The Conditioning
While you can condition to train, but the conditioning to compete is completely different. Depending on how many people are in you division you may have to fight at least five times. That can be a long time depending on what belt level you are at as well. So, you need to train your body to get the adrenaline going, but be able to calm down and be able to re-energize as soon as your next match goes on. You can fine tune your cardio or even your competition training to make up for that gap.
#1 The Points
Lastly, and most importantly is points. Sometimes, people allow for their opponent to escape their guard or turn over for their back during a roll to just use their game. Unfortunately, in the game of BJJ and competition you cannot do that, because allowing to give up points is not something you want to do. As soon as you are behind you need to make up the lost points, and if you are behind you are in trouble. So, attack first, be first, and make sure you know how to roll for points in case you cannot win a match by submission.