Every mixed martial artist faces many battles before stepping into the ring. From conditioning to be in the best physical shape possible to pushing hard through training, the life of a fighter demands a warrior’s discipline and attitude. However, one of the most important fights a fighter deals with before battle is the one against their own mind. Pre-fight anxiety and fear can plague any warrior. Often, they come in the shape of not believing in your ability and doubting you can win. But to be able to push through these challenges, mixed martial arts fighters develop methods and techniques to overcome them. Here are some ways you can control pre-fight anxiety.
How to Overcome Pre-Fight Nerves
Mixed martial artists generally use visualization to improve performance, manage anxiety, and develop confidence. Also referred to as mental rehearsal or imagery, it involves the fighter imagining himself/herself winning.
To make the process work, the fighter closes their eyes and imagines the movements they will perform to win. They need to imagine themselves moving just as they would in real life. It’s important to imagine the fight from their perspective and not from an observer. You should do everything you can to make your imagination feel as real as possible. If going to an empty ring helps you concentrate, by all means do that. If the crowd may distract you during the fight, find an audio recording of a cheering crowd to listen to while visualizing.
2. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Image Courtesy: thrivetalk.com
Intense fear can result in muscle tension which can lead to physical and mental fatigue that can wear you out before the fight even starts. However, you can learn to control this feeling by practicing relaxation techniques like progressive muscle relaxation and diaphragmatic breathing. They are easy to practice, yield quick results, and, with regular practice, you can train your muscles to relax at will. Although it may sound difficult, with dedication and hard work you can achieve it. These techniques also aid in falling asleep.
3. Implement Mental Triggers
This is one of the most powerful anxiety management methods and has worked for many world-renowned fighters However, you need to be careful, because if you are programmed in the wrong kind of responses, you might end up turning into the worst version of yourself. Essentially how the method works is you break off pieces of your mind, piece them back together, and lock them in a box. Next, you install an on/off switch, i.e. the trigger. Right before the referee gives the command to fight, you need to flip the switch which will basically turn you into a different version of yourself: a fierce fighter with cat-like reflexes and an indomitable will to beat the opponent using perfect techniques. It is an advanced method of “psyching” oneself up and is a lot more effective than puffing out your chest and shouting, as many fighters do. However, remember to be careful with the technique and seek help from a professional therapist in order to implement them.
Image Courtesy: powerthoughtsmeditationclub.com
Just as you incorporate various breathing techniques into your routine, there are many meditation methods you can use to manage pre -fight stress and anxiety, so it may take a while to find one that works for you. The main aim of meditation is to discipline your mind and gain mastery over it. This will take just as much training to perfect as mastering a choke hold.
Most MMA practitioners take a long time to conquer their fear of fighting. It takes much blood, sweat, tears, and time to get there, so do not expect immediate results. But, remember, no matter how much you prepare and train, there is a good chance you will never overcome your anxiety altogether, which is fine.
Hopefully, after reading this post, you will know how to control with pre-fight anxiety and be more confident while dealing with the jitters. Keep following our page for more tips from experienced MMA trainers in Brampton.