Fighters are given unwanted advice all the time, so much so that it could disrupt training and shake your self-confidence. . .
“BRO, YOU WANT MY ADVICE?” – NOT REALLY, NO.
“So, when’s your next fight? Do you know when you’re fighting next? When do you fight again?”
People just love asking fighters this question. Unknown to them, though, is the pressure they’re putting on the fighter! When you’re lucky enough to have been put on an upcoming card, that’s when you let people know. Usually, what follows after are pieces of advice, especially during training.
While most of it is coming from a good place, a lot of advice is pretty unfounded – and unnecessary, especially if you didn’t ask for it. Here are the top three (or maybe it should be “bottom three”) pieces of unwanted advice that fighters receive.
UNWANTED ADVICE #1: “Knock ’em out!”
KO’s are inevitable, but they don’t happen in every fight – not even close. This is usually advice that brawlers or people with little knowledge of the sport will offer, usually followed by “… in the first round!” Thanks for the tip, fella!
While knockouts will help you secure a victory and, as they say, take it out of hands of the judges, it’s not something to singularly focus on (read: don’t headhunt). Solely looking for knockouts makes you tired, makes you look sloppy, and in turn, sets you up to get knocked out yourself when you gas out.
If the KO is there, go for it. If it’s not, do what you trained for and trust in your coaches.
UNWANTED ADVICE #2: “Don’t worry. You’ll win for sure.”
While their confidence in you is a surefire ego-booster, you absolutely do not want to get too confident or let your guard down. When this happens, you start taking shortcuts in training, both consciously and subconsciously.
“If I’m going to win for sure, then I can skip my run” usually ends up snowballing into missing more than just runs (which, by the way, are one of the best ways to develop your cardio).
You should worry about the fight; it’s the whole reason why you train. You train to get better. You fight to get better. If you truly didn’t have to worry about it, then why do it at all?
Fighting is a challenge… and it’s a challenge many love to take on. Enjoy the challenge and train hard.
UNWANTED ADVICE #3: “Do X instead of Y.”
Everyone has a different style, even people from the same gym. Some people have a go-to move that they love to use, while others use their eyes to see what shots are the best to take.
It’s always frustrating when people tell you to do things in your fight that you’ve never done before in your life – things that you either don’t do well or just aren’t, well…you. They’re telling you to fight the way they would fight which, again, comes from a good place but doesn’t help you in any way. You have to fight the way you fight.
People who give fight advice are a dime a dozen. Moral of the story – only take advice from your coaches! Other people may have good intentions, but it should be background noise. The only advice that truly matters are the people you trust the most in your corner.
- Plant-based fighter, foodie, and aspiring physical therapist. Angela is currently living in Bangkok and training full time.