5 Qualities to Look For In an MMA Coach

Mixed martial arts (MMA) is a demanding sport to master alone. The guidance and support of a coach can make a world of difference in your training and fighting. A team approach for help, practicing, learning and sharing can build confidence and skill level quickly. But what do you look for when choosing a coach? Here are some qualities to consider during your search for a coach.

1. Nutrition

An individual with a degree in or sound knowledge about nutrition can be very advantageous. Performance can be directly affected by diet. It is vital to have the proper guidance for eating well-balanced, nutrient-dense meals that align with your physique goals. If you are trying to reach a specific MMA weight class, it is incredibly beneficial to have someone in your corner who understands nutrition. Vitamins and supplements can be great additions, so a coach who knows how to answer common questions like what is thrive and other health programs can help you consume the nutrients you need for optimal performance. 

2. Accountability

Motivation is typically high with fighters, as success in the sport requires perseverance to get back up and long hours of training. Accountability, or holding yourself responsible for your own success by training as hard as you can even when no one else is watching, is essential to excel. Choosing a coach who will hold you accountable can elevate your training to the next level. Look for someone who will contact you even on days they are not meeting with you to ensure you are powering through your scheduled workouts, sticking to your nutritious diet and taking care of your body as you should.

3. Experience

It is hard to coach skills and techniques for a sport that you have never competed in or had extensive experience around. When searching for a coach, look for expertise in the cage. A fighter has a different mentality than someone who has never fought MMA before. This edge can help guide you, pick you up when you feel defeated and encourage you to keep your head in the match even when the odds are not in your favor. Training can be more efficient with someone who has mastered the techniques and drills, as well.

4. Communication

Communication is an essential part of training. Clear, effective and transparent teaching and feedback help keep both you and your coach on the same page. Constructive feedback is a key part of becoming better. A coach should be respectful, knowledgeable and capable of giving you quality feedback without tearing down your self-esteem.  Your coach will be one of your biggest supporters, so it is crucial that they are capable of expressing themselves clearly, concisely during a fast-paced match and in a way that can motivate you to step it up a notch.

5. Inspirational

There may come a time when you are losing, you feel like giving in, and you have little to no fight left in you. An inspirational coach knows how to draw the fight out of you, inspire you when you need it most and be a reliable source for you to lean on when you need courage. Choose an individual who can inspire you to train hard, fight hard and set high goals for yourself. The more they believe in you and push you, the further you can go.


MMA fighting is challenging. Fighters must dedicate a significant portion of their day to strenuous training. Taking care of your body and mind as you put it to the test with rigorous workouts can help you stay focused and healthy. A great coach knows all of these tips and more. Plus, they can guide, support, motivate and inspire you when you need it the most. There will be days when you want to slack off in training. Choose a coach who will push you and hold you accountable. Every professional fighter you watch has someone they trust in their corner. It’s time for you to choose the right person to be in yours as you strive to reach your MMA fighting goals.

Photo Credit: Dave Mandel/Sherdog.com


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