If you know anything about MMA, it’s that a successful MMA fighter needs more than physical power and skill; the mental aspect of being a fighter is no joke. Any sense of doubt, fear, or even negativity can come between you and a win — no matter your physical training.
Read on for some tips on building up your mental muscles; before you know it, you’ll be reliably managing anything unexpected that comes your way.
1) Get Rid of Negativity
Negative thinking is at the root of self-sabotage when it comes to fighting. Here are some practical ways to get ahead of being down about yourself:
-Adding a few minutes of meditation into your weekly training regimen can go a long way. It’s a practice, just like any other part of your routine! There are even free apps you can download to get you started.
-Removing clutter, getting home maintenance jobs done, and being proactive about cleaning your home free you of obligations and stress. It’s important to have minimal distractions and a comfortable place to unwind in when you’re not training. According to this Spokane Roof Repair company, simple home care has the potential to make a huge impact on your mental health.
-Psychology, traditional talk therapy, and even hypnosis are also great tools for letting go of the past and learning to restructure your thought patterns. You’ll need a trained professional, but these options are well worth the investment.
2) Boost Your Confidence
One of the best ways to feel confident in a fight is to be well-trained and prepared. There’s no mental game in the world that can help you if you haven’t been putting your hours in the gym! But a good mental confidence game is what can truly take you to the next level in a fight.
That little voice of internal dialogue in your head impacts you a lot more than you think, so actively working on positive self-talk is really important.
Here are ways you can boost confidence:
-Come up with a daily self-affirmation speech to give yourself in the mirror while you’re brushing your teeth
-Think of a few words or short phrases that pump you up or motivate you positively, and repeat them in your head throughout a full set of your next workout.
It might sound silly, but the best person to help you boost your confidence is you. And these little ways to boost your confidence will also help you manage your thinking (and your nerves) better overall!
3) Visualize Your Target
This one is exactly what it sounds like: spend time visualizing what you want to happen at your next fight. Think about how you want to feel. Once you have that down, you can even visualize worst-case scenarios.
That might sound counter-intuitive to getting rid of negativity. Still, visualization is less about manifesting an outcome and more about training your brain to expect any possible outcome and keep you (rather than your nerves) in control.
Visualization is something most Olympic athletes report doing at the competition, so no matter how silly it may sound, it really does work!
Mental toughness is just like physical strength; it’s a practice you build up over time, just like any other part of your workout. However, you need to dedicate time to building up positive thinking and focus.
The only one that’s in control of your thoughts during a fight is you. Take your performance to the next level by adding mental training into your routine!
Roberto Villa is the CEO, Executive Writer, Senior Editor of FightBook MMA. Has a passion for Combat Sports and also a podcast host for Sitting Ringside. He’s also a former MMA fighter and Kickboxer.
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