Whether You Like It or Not, Fighting and Grappling is a Team Sport

By Corey Beasley

I've seen a lot of people around the web talking about mma, bjj, wrestling and other combat sports being 'individual' sports.

gustavo fightingSure, I understand that when the cage closes and the bell rings, you are in there by yourself, but every individual that makes it onto the mat or in the cage has a laundry list of people that helped them get there.

Time, money, energy and knowledge...you can't make it very far by yourself.

Whether you fight or grapple, you've probably got a team of people helping you along the way:

  • Family/Friends
  • Coaches
  • Therapists/Doctors
  • Teammates
  • Sponsors
  • Agents
  • and many others

These people want to see you succeed!

Family and Friends

From my experience, family and friends play a huge supporting role in an athlete's life, whether is blood or chosen family.  Hectic schedules require coordination and leaning on others to make sure things are taken care of.  It could be anything from helping with the laundry, providing rides to events, to paying bills and more. Don't let these tasks go unnoticed.

Take care of the people that are closest to you.

Coaches (skill, strength, psych, etc)

Coaches  spend a tremendous amount of time thinking about their athletes, planning, strategizing and making sure that no stone goes unturned.  Countless hours in the gym to help the athlete improve both mentally and physically.  Most coaches love their sport or craft and simply want students that enjoy it as much as they do, take it serious and make an effort to improve.

Show up early, be respectful, and stay consistent.


Without teammates, training would be impossible.  They roll, spar and drill with you every week.  Many times, they work around your odd schedule to help you prepare, cut weight and get to an event without hassle.  If you train for any amount of time, these guys usually become some of your closest friends.

Keep your friends close.

Therapists (massage, PT, chiros, etc)

Therapists are usually a good relationship to have, if you compete in combat sports.  These guys help us navigate the aches, pains and strains that are a common occurrence.  If they help you feel better and improve your situation, let people know about em, spread the word and help them build their business.

A good therapist can prolong your career, so if you find a good one, treat em well. 

jason houseAgents

Agents can take a huge burden off a fighters shoulders.  Stirring up fights, finding sponsors, organizing contracts, appearances and more.  Believe me, a good agent can help open doors that you would never think of or have the time to do.  Find a good one, listen to their advice and don't complain about their percentage.  They are handling a ton of stuff that you don't wanna do yourself.

Focus on being an athlete.


Sponsors are an essential part of every sport.  They fund events, provide gear, pay athletes and more.  If you are fortunate enough to have a corporate sponsor, help them out. Remember, these guys are sponsoring athletes, in hope that they will gain business through that relationship.  They want access to your fans, friends and teammates, so help them out.  Don't be the guy that just gets a bunch of free gear and runs.

Its a small world, treat people well.

Boxing, MMA, wrestling, jiu jitsu, muay thai and others are some of the most exciting sports on earth.  Even though, you may compete one on one, it is still a team sport in many aspects.  Take a look around this week, appreciate the people that surround you and treat them well.  The more they feel valued, the more they will want to see you succeed.