How to Mentally Prepare for an Mma Fight
Here are some tips on how to get your head together for an MMA fight.
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The most neglected area in mixed martial arts (MMA) training is mental preparation. A fighter who enters the cage with anything less than total confidence, who doesn’t believe in his ability to win, will render himself vulnerable to his own insecurities. The demons of self-doubt could defeat him before the fight begins. This article will offer pointers to help the rookie or more experienced fighter build the confidence he needs to focus on victory and perform to his potential.
Find a Good School
The first step in preparing for the cage is to find a good martial arts school. Volumes could be written on this subject, but the main attribute to search for is a supportive environment. The trainers should be concerned about your development, not your potential as a mindless punching bag. Your sparring partners should be friendly and willing to help, not intent on breaking you in half to feed their insatiable egos. Too many times, I’ve entered a dungeon dojo and felt the eager eyes staring – “new guy, fresh meat.”
A good martial arts school is an extended family. Your comrades in combat should build up your confidence, not tear it down. A support group that believes in you will inspire you to believe in yourself.
Competence Breeds Confidence
Although you rely on your trainers to teach you vital skills, your education is ultimately your responsibility. MMA is an immensely complex sport with countless skills to master and scenarios to rehearse. Be ready to deal with any situation.
How should you react if your opponent rushes you after the horn? How do you get up from your back when your head is crammed against the fence? How do you handle a superior boxer who has excellent takedown defense? How do you escape a triangle choke? How do you finish from the mount when your opponent stalls with a tight body lock?
Make a list of every imaginable situation then formulate techniques or strategies to deal with each of them. Seek advice from your trainers and sparring partners to improve your weak areas. Pick their brains, get the information you need and most importantly, drill obsessively.
When you’ve covered all the bases, you won’t feel as anxious when the cage door locks. You’ll be able to say “There’s nothing this guy can do to me that I haven’t survived in training.”
Train Like a Madman