As a teenager, I enjoyed playing pool. I played almost everyday after school, and as a result, I became half way decent at the game. The only big problem I had, was the bank shot. Because I had such a big problem with it, I would never try. Because I never tried, I never developed the skill. Until a friend of mine changed that. He challenged me to play for a week straight using bank shots only. I accepted the challenge and even went so far as to practice the bank shot by myself. I still lost every game that week. However, I did develop a pretty vicious bank shot. 😉
Maybe there are some techniques in BJJ that you avoid. The few times you tried them resulted in getting your guard passed or getting swept. So you no longer try them.. You continue to rely on the same techniques that have brought you success in the past. That has probably resulted in a stagnation in your development.
I challenge you to focus on one of those techniques next month. Now, you have to realize that you are not rolling to win. You are rolling to develop a technique. Don’t measure your success by your submissions. Measure your success by your progress on the technique you are developing. Also, you will want to find a partner and drill that technique before class, after class, and during open mat.. You don’t want to train with the same person every time. You should practice with different body types. During rolling, every move you make will be devoted to setting up that technique. After rolling, talk to your partner. A lot of times they will tell you how you can improve on the technique. When you’re not in the dojo, find moments where you can analyze the last rolling sessions. Try to remember where your body parts were (hands and feet) as well as where your partner’s body parts were. Try to remember the leverage points and how they felt. Now compare the visualizations of you rolling to visualizations of you drilling. Are there differences? I think you will find that in live rolling you lose some of your technique. Continue practicing, making sure to focus on the parts of the technique that you “mess up” during live rolling. By the end of the month should have a new found confidence in the technique.