Behind the scenes
The ‘unseen’ side of coaching, traveling and competing in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu.
The balance of running a business, coaching a team of international competitors (mainly kids), spending the time at the gym on the mats running classes, family time, time with Emma and trying to get my own little piece of ‘my time’.
When we travel, I try to cut the travel dates as close to the tournament as possible so that i can spend as much time working / coaching at AMMA as well as dealing with Jet Lag prior to competing. This has had some ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ results. Our trip to New Zealand to compete in the SJJIF / SJJNZ Oceania Titles was always going to be an adventure. It was Loki’s first international tournament and he was very excited to be competing. He had been talking about it for weeks and counting down the days till we left Perth. The second part of the journey was to catch up with one of my close friends (I would call family) Tyrone Kingi and his family who recently moved to New Zealand. This was a HUGE trip for Loki as he would be able to catch up with his friend Heni. Part #1 What you don’t plan for. As usual, Qantas had delayed flights. Leaving Perth to Melbourne to catch our flight to Auckland. We landed in .... Sydney..... not Melbourne. Unable to leave the plane, we had to wait for it to be re-fueled and fly back to Melbourne to catch our next flight. Interesting that the original flight was scheduled to land at 6:30 pm and our next flight was boarding at 6:10 pm .... we were never going to make the flight ... ever.
At long last we finally land in Auckland at .. 1:30 am Friday - no hire car to be found as the rental company messed up ... a bit of a run around however we are finally on our way to the house. 2:30 am ... arrive at house - our kids go friggin CRAZY for an hour before falling asleep. 3:30 am .... everyone is asleep apart from myself. 6:00 am ... alarm goes off ... it’s fight day!! Time to go to war. The venue was great however - no coaches allowed in the area. You have to coach from upstairs on the mezzanine level. Loki is 4.5 years old competing against 6.5 years old that are heavier then him. it’s his first BIG tournament and he is doing fine - Emma and myself are so nervous for him. We can’t be there for him, he is down on the ground level by himself. - my thoughts - poor kid, is this going to be a good experience for him? I start to look at our kids team and how they sit together, look after each other and most importantly look after my son Loki. They treat him so well. Loki thinks it’s just another day (so he should, he has been around this since before he could walk). I’m so proud of all the kids that come together to form this bond with each other. Loki is called up to compete, it’s just one match however my heart is racing. I’m so nervous for him. They step onto the mat, they shake hands (Loki puts his hand out first) - it begins. Loki grabs the kids head and they scramble with Loki ending up underneath. This is the whole fight - Loki underneath trying to move. His opponent laying on top holding him down. Loki tried to push the opponent off, gets his arm caught and cries. We are upstairs (Emma and myself) I want to run down and see if he is ok, hug him and tell him how proud i am of him. The coach mind set steps in, Emma will go & see our son. I’ll coach the our next competitor. Mentally I want to give our team the best coaching I can. Shut it out, move on and deal with the next battle.
‘I will take the Gold & give it to Loki as he deserves it’ - that’s all the motivation I need. Im
coming to take that GOLD for our son. Loki takes the silver medal. I’m so proud of him, he didn’t stop moving. We talk about this after day 1 of the tournament is over. I tell him how I feel, how proud I am of him for just stepping out there. He wants to be like mummy & daddy. Loki tells me how he felt, what he was trying to do. How he tried his best. I couldn’t be happier with how he is growing. How he deals with the loss. He is going to be just fine. Emma and myself are going to have to get used to this..... Loki competing .... and then there will be Nioh 😳