Tips for First Time Rollers
1. Just keep moving. If you get in a bad position, don’t settle. Bridge, Shrimp, until you get out to a neutral position or get a dominant position.
2. But don’t flail. Do be somewhat aware of your body. It can be difficult at first, but the more you drill & roll, the better you understand your body. You will recognize scramble positions and where to go from such chaotic positions the more you roll. And be aware of walls, concrete, & other people rolling.
3. If you have a question, take a mental note during the roll and ask later. You should be able to replay your roll after it ends. If you can’t, you are moving too fast. Asking questions during a roll can lead to 5 minute conversations. Ask afterwards.
4. Don’t second guess yourself. Just do it. If you end up in a bad spot, learn from it. Don’t be afraid to try something new you’ve never done before. You can always tap and reset.
5. Training is training. If you are rolling with a higher belt, don’t belittle yourself and think they aren’t getting anything out of it. Example: If you are getting armbarred repeatedly, they maybe working something, so next time don’t let them get the armbar.
6. Get to a position you are familiar with. Don’t wait for the other person. If you feel comfortable and know a submission in mount, then get to mount. If you have an aggressive guard game then play it.
7. Don’t come into a roll with the mindset of “I don’t know what I am doing.” You have been around enough now to know something or the instructors would not let you roll. Focus on what you do know. Positions you have seen before. Make little goals like I will get mount. I will work scissor sweep.
8. Roll with everyone. Guys & gals. Roll with the less experienced. Roll with the more experienced. You will learn something from each one.
9. Tap early, tap often. Lose the ego & don’t be stubborn about letting a submission go too far. You will only hurt yourself.
10. Lose the ego. Don’t hurt your training partner. Let go when they tap. You do not get a gold medal for tapping out your teammate. We are all here to learn.