To become a better competitor, one must practice competitiveness.
The Best Powerlifting Gym in the World (Westside Barbell) on Mental Toughness:
“At Westside, we have many in-house contests…They can happen without notice, and most often, that’s the case…If someone refuses to engage in a spontaneous contest, we will throw challenges at him when he least expects it. If someone regularly backs out, we boot him out of the club. We know by experience that if a lifter will not take a challenge in friendly surroundings, he will fall apart in a real meet.”
-Louie Simmons (legendary strength coach at Westside Barbell)
Challenge a partner to a best 2 out of 3 in takedowns after practice. Set up competitive situations with coaches and teammates on the mat- 30 second double overtime ride out scenario. Accept all challenges issued to you on the mat. If you can’t respond to a challenge in the practice room, you will almost surely crumble in competition. Learn through practice (repeated exposure) how to turn it on into a competitive mindset. Your attitude to competition should be- no big deal, Let’s Go!