As well as being a BJJ brown belt, my instructor also holds down a full time job, and part of his role is doing SWOT evaluations.What is a SWOT evaluation you may ask?
- Strengths: Characteristics that give you an advantage over others
- Weaknesses: Characteristics that place you at a disadvantage to others
- Opportunities: Elements that you can exploit to use to your advantage
- Threats: Elements in the environment that could cause trouble
When the club started growing and as we gained more blue belts our instructor decided to help us improve our game through a different measure, the SWOT test. We were all given print outs that our instructor had made specifically for members of the club and asked to fill it out in our spare time, he would then spend some time with our answers, roll with us and write out a personalised analysis about our game and how we can improve.
How does a piece of paper help me improve my jiu jitsu?
Now you maybe asking this question, and the answer is that it forces you to sit down and analyse your game in very fine detail and helps you pick out holes in your game that you might have not first thought you had. Your SWOTs can be anything to do with jiu-jitsu, so try to have a bit of a brain dump on the paper. Here is an example of what I wrote for my SWOT…
- I rely on technique over strength
- My guard game is a strength of mine
- I have a good triangle
- I have a poor guard passing game
- I’m not physically very strong
- Mentally I’m quite weak
- I have good training partners who help me with any issues
- I am willing to learn
- Train for more competitions to push me through my paces
- Can only train three times a week
- Not enough money to go to the gym
- I don’t have a “killer instinct” attitude towards jiu jitsu, which limits me in competition
Those are a few examples what I put on my SWOT evaluation, for me the hardest part of the whole evaluation was figuring out my strengths. It’s quite easy to dwell on your weaknesses, so to actually think and write about what you’re actually good at is quite difficult.
I would highly recommend that you do a SWOT test a number of times while you do jiu jitsu, I would even go as far as recommending that you do it atleast once a year. Ask you instructor and see what they think because it’s a great tool that can be used again and again.