Psyching up or Being A Monster?
Listening to the Jocko Willink podcast last night, a very interesting question was asked: “How did you psych yourself up and get in the zone before a mission?”.
Jocko’s answer was that, although there are many SOP’s that masquerade as a ritual before each mission, what got him in the zone was the physical, mental and emotional changes that 10 years of hard goddamn work had wrought upon him. Once he dropped his night vision goggles into place, it was go time. That was that. He spent the last 24 hours before each mission sprinting around organising and doing final checks. No time for bullshit or shortcuts. Nothing he did in those last 3 minutes would matter one bit.
I remember watching Rousset joke around with teammates just before a war of a match with Kim. I was amazed he could be so loose and then fence so incisively from the word ‘go’.
I felt a little bit of this at the weekend — my training was leading to me taking the right actions at the right time, so I didn’t have to be straining from beginning to end. I was never out of breath once all day. My muscles never complained. I walked into matches knowing I could act without fear, pull off tricky techniques and yet rely on my basics.
I’ve been told this a million times but feeling it in your bones is different.
The Spartans had it right: Train so hard that War is a holiday.