My background: I wrestled for a year in high school, and despite having zero experience going into the season, towards the end of the year everything really clicked for me. To give a comparison, I now feel more comfortable wrestling than I ever felt at the plate in a baseball game, despite playing baseball for over a decade. I think I just have a natural aptitude for it, and I can roll with guys that have a lot more experience than me and hold my own really well.
After high school, I played football in college. The offseason before my senior year, I trained BJJ and kickboxing for about 5 months to get in shape for football. I ended up fighting twice in MMA towards the end of the summer, and ended up 1-1. The only reason I lost the second fight was my conditioning; I severely underestimated the demands of a full 15 minute fight, and I was actually gassed out about a minute into the second round.
Since then I haven't really done much of anything except lift weights. Competed in powerlifting for a few years, then had to stop that due to a hip injury. The hip hasn't bothered me at all in the first few weeks of training, which is awesome.
So, I recently started training at Fight Club Pittsburgh a few days a week. I go to an MMA class that changes focus quite often. We haven't done much in the way of ground work to this point, but I've only been there a couple weeks. I'm told they focused on ground stuff the month before I joined.
The lack of rolling is both good and bad for me. It's good because my stand-up is far and away the weakest part of my game. I'm about as uncomfortable fighting on my feet as anyone could possibly be. My footwork is a mess. If I'm working for takedowns or in the clinch, I'm good to go. But as soon as I'm in space everything goes to shit. I have poor head movement, so I take a lot of punches, and since my footwork is so bad I usually end up off-balance when I try to throw anything.
It's bad because rolling, to me, is the fun part. So it's been taking a lot of discipline to get my ass to the gym. I have found the training rewarding, but I'm really feeling like a fish out of water most of the time.
So I'm looking for ways to improve my standup so I don't feel so lost all the time during training. What can I do at home, what things do I need to focus on in the gym, etc.
My goal, for now, is to really enjoy this training. The way I generally enjoy things is if I'm really good at them, and for me to feel like I'm "good" I need to be able to be able to basically compete with, if not dominate, everyone in the school. The MMA classes really don't have that stiff of competition, so I think this is a realistic goal with a few months of dedicated practice. I guess that depends how well the training "takes" though, so I don't really have a set timeline.
Any comments are appreciated.