Robert Drysdale recently gave a Ted Talk looking at the purpose of winning and as one of the few men on the planet to hold and ADCC World Championship, he knows a thing or two about what it takes to win. While that might be the crowning achievement in his career, the American grappler has long been regarded as one of the most successful competitors to come out of the country. Now, he spends his time serving as the head coach of the Zenith BJJ team and has a number of talented young grapplers and MMA fighters making their journey in the sport under his watchful eye. Here’s what he had to say on the subject:
“People tend to focus a lot on physical and mental talents. Those are unquestionable, of course… However, they are non-idealistic and cynical – in ways that they reinforce that some of us have superior physical and mental traits compared to others.
I mean, sure, we aren’t clones and we differ dramatically psychologically and physically between each other. But there is something more important that both sides of this argument often ignore.
Namely, that is the “why”. Why do you do BJJ and what does it mean for you? It is an important question, but most competitors can’t give you a straight answer. And the reason for that is because they’ve never given it enough thought.
I only came to understand my own reasons after retirement, by looking back on my career. Many competitors want to win because they have their eyes on the reward – whether it is prestige, money, notoriety… But those are the same athletes whose motivation is short-lived because they are feeding off of external motives. Having pure motivations will drive you longer in my opinion, because your motives are now internal. The best competitors compete because they have something to prove to themselves. Sure, some may disagree on this, but it is just my opinion.”
The below video of Robert Drysdale giving his Ted Talk was uploaded to the official YouTube channel of Tedx Talks: