How to Train Mentally for a Fight – Part I

April 10, 2014 in Dragons Pulse, Sanshou - Tip of the Month

Train the body so that certain actions become instinctual. Fighters that have to determine if a kick or punch has been thrown from too far away to land, for example, are wasting their mental focus. It is imperative to train so that blocks and certain counters are performed without thinking.

Purchase equipment such as gloves and trunks that appeal to the fighter. A fighter should not borrow equipment. They must be as comfortable in the ring as an executive would be in their office. Encourage fighters to inspect any new ring before a fight so they are familiar with the rope tension, size and even any loose spots in the flooring.

Establish that pain is merely a message. Fighters must train mentally to accept that pain is a warning from the body, acknowledge the message and then disregard it.

Create a mental comfort zone by selecting music that inspires the fighter. It is best if the music is associated with a movie character they admire or has some other secondary meaning attached to it. Play the music at the beginning of every training session and periodically while training. By playing it before an actual fight, they will associate the music with not only the original inspiration but also the relative comfort of training. This will also reinforce the long hours of preparation they have endured and reassure them that they are ready to compete.

Spending time every day visualizing victory will help the fighter train mentally for a fight by making them accustomed to the idea of victory. A fighter must believe they can win before they are able to win. However, it is even better if the fighter trains to believe that they will win after extreme effort.

Choose a motto for the fighter to repeat to himself while training. This mental slogan should reinforce the idea that they will emerge victorious and should be used as a rallying cry during training. It should be extremely simple, yet hold meaning for the fighter. “I am the champion” or “You cannot beat me” are good examples of this type of phrase.

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