Felipe Costa never won a major tournament from white belt up to brown belt. He was promoted to black belt right before the world championships (Mundials). He lost in the first round.
The next year, he won the Mundials at the black belt level.
What changed? The guys at Open Mat Radio asked him that in a wide-ranging and excellent interview.
Felipe’s answer is simple, but really inspiring. It sounds cliche, he admits, but many cliches have their roots in truth.
I saw so many people — and I still see so many people — giving up every day. Because they train a little bit, and then they don’t have the result they expect right away — and they already gave up. If I had to give up, I would give up on my yellow belt! I have always had the mentality of trying again and not getting discouraged. …
It’s gonna take time for you to achieve what you want. Very few people do it at the first try … if you’re going to give up on the way, you’re never going to reach what you want.
It’s a great way of saying “just keep training,” from a guy who knows. He lived it.
While they’re training, we’re training. When they’re slacking, we’re training. When they give up, we keep training.