The Mental Game Of Mixed Martial Arts
Smart MMA Competitors Use Mental Coaching
As Their Secret Weapon.
How About You?
Bill Cole, MS, MA
am the mental game coach to mixed martial arts competitors
and other combat sports athletes. I greatly admire their training
ethic, and their competitive fire and passion for their sport.
Recently, one of my former clients, Miriam Nakamoto, won her
fourth world kickboxing championship, and became the first
U.S. woman to hold the WBC Muay Thai World title. Another
MMA client, Jesse Gillespie, fought on TV at the Playboy Mansion,
and later won the California State MMA Championships.
How about you? Do you train your mind as hard as you train
your body? Is your mind an ally or an enemy when you step
into the ring? Old school fighters either ignore the mental
game or take it for granted. They even almost consider it
some kind of voodoo or superstition to even discuss it, in
partial fear of being considered mentally weak.
Modern fighters embrace mental toughness. They know they must
have the mental resiliency and hardiness that comes from mental
training. They know that when they step into the ring, the
octagon or onto the mat, they must be able to answer a major,
critical question. Am I ready mentally, emotionally, physically
and tactically? Confidence is the name of the game in MMA,
and mental training can give you that golden currency.
I want to share with you some of the mental training methods
I use with these combat sport competitors that shows you how
you can be ready, at all levels.
Seven MMA Mental Toughness Training Methods
1. Give Yourself Permission To Win:
You must believe in yourself, and give yourself every chance
to win, before you fight. To win for real, you must first
win in your own mind. If you can't do that, winning for real
is very, very difficult. When you give yourself permission
to win, you open up your belief in yourself and set positive
energy in motion. The mental game of mixed martial arts tells
you to be good to yourself and give yourself permission to
2. Come To Terms With Losing: This does not mean to
give up, or to give in. It means to realize that you no longer
accept the fear of losing, or the fear of failure to hold
any power over you any longer. To do this, you must realize
that the possibility of losing always exists, and that if
it happens, you will still be able to come back another day
and fight again. Life will go on. The mental game of mixed
martial arts tells you to realize that there is life beyond
3. Tremendous Trust Comes From Terrific Training: Most
people don't plan to fail. They simply fail to plan. You earn
confidence by training hard and realizing that if you worked
that hard, you simply are not willing to give up or give it
partial effort when you compete. Your investment is too great.
The mental game of mixed martial arts tells you to invest
4. Surrender To The Moment: This means when you compete,
to trust your training, get out of your own way, and let go
so a fabulous performance can flow out of you. Trying to retain
conscious, effortful control is a blueprint for disaster.
Letting go is key. The mental game of mixed martial arts tells
you to let go and step into the zone.
5. Create A Focus Funnel: You need to bridge from your
normal world to your special world of MMA fighting. This is
called getting your game face on, step by step. You leave
one world behind and you enter the special world of fighting,
where your need for focus and energy is deeper and more pronounced.
To do that, you need a mental readiness plan. The mental game
of mixed martial arts tells you to sharpen focus to your special
6. Be The Calm In The Center Of The Storm: While there
is chaos, turmoil and frenetic energy flying in all directions
at a fight, backstage and walking through the crowd, you are
the calm center of that tornado. You learn this by grounding
and centering yourself. The mental game of mixed martial arts
tells you to find poise and confidence, no matter what is
7. Make A Commitment: When it comes to a successful
career, those who have staying power see things through. Others
who give up easily at the first sign of trouble are never
heard from again. Commitment helps you stay the course when
you have a bad day at the gym or in a fight. You won't pull
the plug or give up in the face of adversity. The mental game
of mixed martial arts tells you to honor your agreement with
The Mental Game Of Mixed Martial Arts Is Your Special Edge
How successful do you want to be in your
sport? How hard are you willing to train? Are you willing
to train ALL of you, including your mind and your emotions?
You must slay your mental dragons before you encounter your
opponent. You do that with the help of a mental training program.
The mental game of mixed martial arts tells you to cover all
I ask all my fighters this question. "When your foot hits
that canvas, can you say with conviction that you prepared
100%?" If you can answer yes, you are ready, no matter what.
You have done all you can do. That is what I want for you,
to be able to say "Yes!" No regrets, just peace of mind that
you did all you could do. Then you let the results take care
The mental game of mixed martial arts tells you to think like
a champion, feel like a champion, and behave like a champion.
See you in the gym! And in the winner's circle!
For a comprehensive overview of your mental abilities you
need an assessment instrument that identifies your complete
mental strengths and weaknesses. Here is a free, easy-to-take
psychology assessment tool you can score right on the
spot. This assessment gives you a quick snapshot of your strengths
and weaknesses in your mental game. You can use this as a
guide in creating your own mental training program, or as
the basis for a program you undertake with mental
coach Bill Cole, MS, MA to improve your mental game. This
assessment would be an excellent first step to help you get
the big picture about your mental game.
Copyright © 2010 Bill Cole, MS, MA. All rights reserved.
Bill Cole, MS, MA, a leading authority on peak performance, mental toughness
and coaching, is founder and President of the International Mental Game Coaching
Bill is also founder and CEO of William B. Cole Consultants, a consulting firm that helps
organizations and professionals achieve more success in business, life and sports.
He is a multiple Hall of Fame honoree, an award-winning scholar-athlete, published
book author and articles author, and has coached at the highest levels of major-league
pro sports, big-time college athletics and corporate America. For a free, extensive
article archive, or for questions and comments visit him at www.MentalGameCoach.com.
Article Source: SportsPsychologyCoaching.com
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