Mental Training Techniques To Help Prepare For Your Muay Thai Fight
Want some muay thai mental training techniques and tips to lessen the anxiety and nervousness you get before you step into the ring?
If you’re like me you feel the whole spectrum of emotions leading up to a fight. Nervousness, excitement, fear, calmness and a whole variety of other feelings are bound to spring up at some point of your training camp. The key to being successful in the ring and winning a fight is being able to control your emotions and the first step is being aware of them!
Make sure you check out episode 13 of the Muay Thai Guy podcast where I go into more detail about mental preparation for a Muay Thai fight.
Here are a few of my favorite muay thai mental training tips and techniques I use to prepare my mind for an upcoming muay thai fight:
How To Mentally Prepare For Your Muay Thai Fight
Picturing the whole fight event in your head is a great way to relieve some of the anxiety you get before the fight. If you take the time to visualize in detail I guarantee that the level of anxiety you normally feel will be taken down a notch.
Many professional fighters and sports psychologists recommend this mental training strategy because it works. It might take a little getting used to but once you’re able to clearly picture your upcoming fight you’ll notice a major drop in your anxiety levels.
This is what I would recommend trying (because this is what I do and it works for me);
- Put yourself in quiet surroundings, away from noise and distraction
- Choose to visualize yourself in either 1st or 3rd person (I usually do 1st)
- Start picturing how the whole event will unfold and visualize from there – the rules meeting, getting your hands wrapped, warming up, walking to the ring, going through your pre-fight ritual, getting your name announced etc.
- Visualize the fight itself! Think about what techniques you’d like to throw, how you’ll go about defending, what kind of pace you’d like to set etc.
- Be as detailed as you can in every area of the visualization process. What shorts are you wearing? What does the arena look like? Are there a lot of fans in the stand?
Every time you visualize the fight chances are it will be different than the last time you visualized… but this is a good thing! The more situations you put in your head the more comfortable you’ll feel when one of those particular situations arise.
Here’s in important preparation tip:
Visualize in detail! Do it numerous times so when fight night comes you’ve already warmed up, you’ve already walked to the ring and you’ve already won the fight.
Also don’t forget to visualize conflict and being in tough positions too. If you picture yourself walking through your opponent, you’re going to be in a world of hurt! This muay thai mental training
Check out this great video below that really walks you through how to prepare and visualize for an upcoming muay thai fight
Another great type of muay thai mental training is meditation. Meditation is different than visualization because when you meditate you are trying to clear your mind completely of any thoughts.
When you first start meditating it will feel like you have a million different thoughts going through your head that you can’t settle or organize in any way. But as you become more capable of calming your thoughts and focusing on your breathing, the less stressed, anxious and worried you will become.
Try out these few basic steps to begin the meditation side of your muay thai mental training;
- Put yourself in quiet surroundings, away from noise and distractions.
- Start by focusing on your breathing. Take deep breaths and feel the breaths go in and out (I prefer just to breathe in and out of my nose).
- Your mind will begin to drift to random thoughts (this is where it gets difficult). Acknowledge and observe whatever thoughts come into your mind, but then go straight back to your breathing.
In the beginning your mind will be coming up with tons of random thoughts that will distract you from your breathing. When that happens try to be aware of your thoughts and then go straight back to focusing on your breathing. As you progress in your meditation practice you will have longer periods of time between thoughts and your mind will become much more clear and aware.
This muay thai mental training exercise will probably be frustrating at first and you won’t be as enlightened as a buddhist monk who’s been practicing it for years in complete solitude. However, if you have the patience, dedication and perseverance to practice meditation, in time you will see a major difference in your thought process and overall outlook on life.
3. Be Okay With The Worst Outcome
You might get knocked out. You might break your leg. You might wake up in an ambulance. Regardless of the outcome, you have to learn to be okay with whatever happens in the ring.
I go into my fights with the mindset of “I’m either knocking this guy out or getting knocked out trying.” Ironically this mindset gives me a sense of comfort because I know that the worst thing that could happen is I happen to lose by getting knocked out unconscious.
Some of the best fighters have gotten knocked out, injured or scarred from their fights, what makes me any different?
If I lose badly I’ll still have my friends, family and girlfriend the next day to support me and help me get past it. I’ll still have a home to go back to where I can reflect on what I did wrong and how I can improve the next time I fight. And I’ll still have my awesome dog to greet me when I come home. So everything will be okay.
Final Words Of Advice
The guy (or girl) you’re fighting is going through the same shit as you are. He is running through the same string of emotions you are. He is just as nervous, anxious and excited as you are to get into the ring. Every one is human.
If you train hard and work your ass off you will feel more comfortable and less worried when you fight. The more time you put into training the higher chance you will come out the victor in your next fight.
Share your thoughts and own muay thai mental training techniques with other nak muay and join muay thai forums! Be a part of the growing community of passionate muay thai fighters and fans who share the same love for the sport as you do.
- Sean "Muay Thai Guy" Fagan owns & operates the largest online Muay Thai community and the #1 training resource for nak muay of all levels.