Effective Planning

Written by: Cristiano Del Giacco

Early in December of 2012 I entered a private eye surgery clinic and underwent a procedure to correct a detachment of the retina in my left eye. This had been my eighth operation in a little over ten years. During my down time and recovery I had a lot to think about, as now this was pretty much all I could do. My regular day to day busy schedule of work, teaching, training, studying and writing had come to a halt. The following series of articles will be based on my thoughts and contain paraphrases of the conversations I had with myself during this time. And no I do not think am not crazy for talking to my self…

Effective Planning

Through training Jiu Jitsu I have found, via practical experience, that many of the principles integral to success in Jiu Jitsu can be adapted to other facets of life and life it self in general. Principles such as the strength of perseverance and the will to survive, effective decision making within life choices and the understanding of human intelligence both instinctive and premeditated and many more. In fact, too many to mention and describe with depth in this article. But one concept, the focus of this article, contains within itself many other virtues beneficial to everyday life. This concept is the idea of effective planning.

Through my life I have noticed through everyday observations and study of those through history that the majority of successful people earned and attained their success through effective planning. Sure, there are those who have become successful via spontaneous lifestyles and personal mission statements. But, the majority of people I have observed with this type of mentality fair greater in the non successful to successful ratio compared to that of those who choose the effective planning approach. Planning can be implemented into many of life’s activities with the goal of reaching success. Planning will help to “trim the fat” in regards to the existence of redundant activities. But to do this, the plan, once designed and acted upon, must be reviewed constantly. A plan must be as dynamic and adaptable as it is stable. We can plan our actions and our futures but we cannot plan totally for the unexpected. We can only prepare options and strategies for the unexpected and if they fail to provide adequate actions, the experience must be noted as reference towards future planning.

As an example of an effective planning regimen, I will draw excerpts from my own plan for achievement of 2013 Jiu Jitsu goals. To begin I thought about all of the goals I wanted to reach this year. These goals now create an end point for my plan. Now I must workout the steps to be taken in this journey. I will brainstorm the activities that may assist me along the way. For example; If I have a goal to take gold in a competition during the year I would write down activities that would help me, activities such as strength and conditioning training, proper diet, adequate recovery periods, study of new techniques for implementation in my own game and or to recognise in others games as not to be caught unawares within a match and of course, most importantly, training Jiu Jitsu.

After these ideas had been realised I would then break them down. Training Jiu Jitsu, for example, would be further dissected to be defined as; the areas of training I should concentrate my focus and what I should focus on the least.

“How is my guard compared to my top game?”

If I know who will more than likely be in my division I need to plan to fight against their game, plan how I will defend their game and plan how to initiate and execute my game. Breaking down my own Jiu Jitsu sessions and training efforts will help me to do this.

Breaking down my diet and adopting a dynamic plan will help me to realise my reactions to certain foods and eating regimes. For example, in the past I have found that I have a high sensitivity to carbohydrate intake. This has nothing to do with a medical condition or poor metabolism, but more to do with the storage of energy and water as a product of my bodies ability to process carbohydrate. This is an important concept for those looking to effectively eat and schedule a diet plan (I suggest researching carbohydrate sensitivity in your free time). Due to this high sensitivity I must schedule my intake of starchy carbohydrates within one to three hours post workout, and my higher GI intake of carbohydrates during workouts. Some days it will benefit me to have another portion of starchy carb early in the mornings. This way of eating has allowed me to drop weight, maintain energy and recover better than other forms of eating I have undertaken in the past.  All of this information I have gained through effective planning. I was able to learn more about myself through planning my eating schedules, planning a process for control and monitoring and dynamic planning to change to what would prove to be more effective.

After breaking down these ideas I will think what daily decisions must I make to ensure I stick to these plans. Daily decisions are very important and should not be viewed as insignificant no matter how small. Decisions like; should I pack my gym bag tonight or tomorrow? Should I organise my meals for the week now? Or just buy whatever is convenient when I am out? All decisions, no matter how small, are what build a plan and are what build success.

Earlier in 2012 I was fortunate enough to have a private lesson with Guilherme Mendes. After this lesson he enlightened me to the methods he and Rafael took in planning their training sessions, in regards to technique selection and drilling structure. This lesson stuck in my mind, as it was my first exposure to the thoughts of a world champion towards his own training. This idea made total sense to me. From what I could see this plan Guilherme had illustrated effectively focused on the techniques that worked for him. He could practice them and hone his skills towards his own game within a fight, without distraction and with total confidence.

Planning in Jiu Jitsu, and in life, helps an individual to make better life choices in the pursuit of their goals. Though plans are important they must be adaptable and dynamic to produce effective and desirable results.

Written by: Cristiano Del Giacco

Photo was kindly provided by Bevan French from Bevpix Photography.

BevPix Photography

About The Author

Cristiano Del Giacco
Co-Founder & Lead Editor

Co-Founder of howweroll.com.au. BJJ enthusiast based on the Gold Coast and collector of Kimonos, travelling the world training with some of the worlds best.

One Response

  1. Jeff

    Good post. I had the full retina detachment surgery last week and am also now looking at some downtime… I wanted to know if you could give me some insight on how long your recovery was and your timeline from the surgery to actually rolling again. I’ve read everything from 2 weeks to 3 months, but not from any reliable BJJ sources… Any insight you have on your recovery and return to BJJ is greatly appreciated (as I lay here in bed…). Please email me if possible. Ps – I’m a purple belt from New York City.


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