Colleen Quinn : Athlete of the Month
Achieve a Mindset of a Champion, stay motivated and develop self-confidence for sports performance:
We got a chance to sit down with Colleen Quinn, an up and coming sports jiu jitsu athlete.
What sport do you play? I train Brazillian Jiu Jitsu and recently started training Judo at Pure MMA
What is your favorite quote/movie/TV Show/Dessert? My favorite quote right now is "Everyone thinks training's hard, some think losing's hard". I saw it on a poster at Dick's Sporting Goods and it's really stuck with me ever since. My favorite movie has always been 50 First Dates (I’m a sucker for romantic comedies). Favorite TV is a tough one, right now my favorite show that I’m watching is Orphan Black. My all time favorite dessert is Apple Pie (with ice cream of course).
How long have you been competing? (Do you compete only against girls, and do you practice against boys). How does that help your confidence? I have been competing for a little over a year now. I started doing tournaments when I was a white belt. In tournaments I only compete against girls. But in my training I train with both boys and girls. Training with the boys helps me to learn how to work with different styles of Jiu Jitsu. It teaches me to use more technique instead of relying on my strength. I learn to be more creative with what moves and submissions I go for. I’m very lucky to train with a large group of incredible women. We all really push each other to be better and help each other in every way that we can. It’s definitely important to train with whoever you believe will push you and help you improve the most regardless of their gender.
What are your goals? (do you track by when you need to accomplish them?) Right now my biggest goal is to be a world champion. Last year I competed as a blue belt at the IBJJF No-Gi Worlds in California and lost my first match. I'm not going to let that happen again this year. I'm going to put in harder work and really push myself to achieve this goal. Last year I got nervous being on the big stage. I’m confident this year I won’t let the pressure get to me and will be wearing that gold medal around my neck at the end of the day.
What is the 1 area you have been working on to compete better? The one area that I really need to stay consistent with is my conditioning. I have strength and conditioning coach that helps me a lot with conditioning my muscles and controlling my breathing. Competing is a huge adrenaline dump and is extremely exhausting. It's very important to be able to bring your heart rate down right after a match is over so that you can prepare yourself to step back on the mat and go at it again.
Did you try the level up program / game day checklist? Going into my last tournament the dream cloud played a big role in assisting my mental game. Having the checklist was also a huge help.
Did it help you, if so, how/when? I was having a hard time with my weight-cut and seeing my dream cloud every day and knowing what I wanted to achieve made it that much easier to focus and push past the rough patches. The checklist was perfect for the competition I was in. My favorite part of the list was to “laugh, smile & stay loose”. Instead of getting myself nervous and looking around the room for other opponents, I just stayed calm and had fun. When I stepped on the mat I felt confident and ready.
Do you feel more confident that you will reach your goals? I feel more confident and focused than I ever have. I know that nothing will get in the way of my goals.
Any advice for student athletes out there? The biggest piece of advice that I can give would be to never let someone tell you that you aren’t tough enough or strong enough to do something. If someone doesn’t take you seriously, make them. You will never know what you’re capable of until you really push your limits.
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