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8 Secrets Behind Sarah Galvao’s Success

Today I’m finally having my knee operation (I should be out of the hospital by the time you get this email.)

I wanted to get this written before I was too woozy from the anesthesia 😅

I wanted to break down the secrets that make my incredible daughter a Champion (Double Gold at Pan IBJJF 2024!)

I’ve been a Champion many times in my life.

I’ve also helped build lots of incredible champions at my gym.

So I have gained some deep insights into what makes a champion.

Of course, Sarah’s work ethic plays a huge part in it.

But I believe there are more factors that make a champion.

So today I want to break down eight qualities that are common among champion athletes:

  • Champions Dream Big

When you have a big dream, you must work for it. A dreamer is a daily doer.

You have to live your dream, and that’s what Sarah does every single day.

  • Champions Are Honest With Themselves

In life you have to be very honest with yourself. Only that way you will be able to fix your mistakes – on and off the mats.

You also have to be super aware of your thoughts, words, and actions (positive or negative).

Every day, you need to make the right choices for you. You must constantly analyze your behavior, making sure that you’re making the right choices for your future and for your life 🧠

  • Champions Are Humble And Hungry

A champion (on or off the mat) is a champion because they are humble and hungry.

By having these two qualities you will learn faster, you will be coachable and you will listen.

Forget about pride and ego – use your ego to be the best version of yourself, and not to be a jerk. Live life with the willingness to grow daily.

  • Champions Never Underestimate Challenges

No matter who you’re facing in battle, no matter what the challenge (on or off the mat), you have to be ready to go full beast mode and be prepared…

You must prepare yourself daily. If you do this, you will have the tools to overcome all challenges. Anything is possible with the right mindset.

  • Champions Smile

Life is tough, but life is also great. Smile and people will smile back to you. When you’re doing what you love, smile ☀️

Sarah smiling

Just by doing this, you will always have the energy to overcome bad days.

  • Champions Trust Themselves

This is a big one.

To trust yourself during big challenges you have to – again – be honest with yourself.

People lie to themselves sometimes and that leads to self-doubt.

If you really want to be a champion, ask yourself these questions (and reply honestly):

-Are you doing your very best in everything you do?
-Are you happy doing what you do?
-Are you helping others while doing it?
-Is there an issue in your life that needs to be solved?
-Are you eating properly?

If you do things right daily, and recognize whenever you make a mistake or start making excuses, you will always get back on the right track.

Not only that, you will believe more in yourself.

You may not lie to people but sometimes you still lie to yourself.

  • Champions Choose Their Friends Carefully

We are the sum of the 5 people we spend the most time with.

If your friends are negative, you will also be negative. If they are positive, you will also be positive. If they are in the LIGHT, you will be in the LIGHT as well ☀️

It’s so important to hang out with the right people, especially those who have the same dreams as yours, or even people who just support you.

Choose the right friends…stay away from toxic people (even if they are from your own household)

For example, parents can sometimes – unintentionally – be toxic in their behavior. If that’s the case, I believe in the power of communication. You need to gently say what kind of conversation you like to have, and the type of conversation you “hate” having.

If people don’t respect what you asked for, you need to walk away and keep your distance from that person.

  • Champions Have Faith

If you believe in something bigger than you, you can overcome anything in this life.

Faith is so important because we all face big challenges in life. We have to believe that no matter what, if God allows something to happen to us, he has equipped us to overcome it 🙏🏽

Exercise your faith and beliefs, this will give you internal strength and you’ll face the battles of life understanding that “Something Bigger” is helping you.

And if things don’t go our way, we know there are better things that will work for us soon. The plan of God is bigger than our plans! 🙌🏽

I hope this email gives you a sense of the “intangible” qualities that make a champion. I believe that Sarah displays all these qualities, and it’s what helps her succeed at such a high level.

If you’re interested in learning directly from myself and my Champion daughter, check out our new Judo for Jiu-Jitsu course we created together.


Andre Galvao
Atos Jiu-Jitsu Head Coach
Jiu-Jitsu Hall Of Fame Member​