3 Tips on building Mental Toughness

By Eric Center

Mental WarriorsMental Warriors

Is fighting really 90% mental, yes. One of the many things that I have realized over the past year and a half of training mixed martial arts is the huge importance of being mentally strong. Let me explain, training for a mixed martial arts fight is one of the most difficult activities that one would ever put their self through. You always hear stories of extreme weight cutting, intense sparring sessions, and insane amounts of time fighters spend in the gym preparing for battle. It takes a very strong mind to stay motivated and to never give up. It takes a stronger mind to step into the cage, stay cool, calm, and collected with somebody who wants to essentially wants to kill you.

It takes will power to keep fighting after being on the receiving end of a devastating punch. It takes a strong mind to keep running that one extra mile after you feel like your legs are ready to explode. It takes extreme focus and concentration to dodge strikes flying at your head. Here are three tips to help you flex your mental muscle

  1. Relax – The best piece of advice I have received so far is to RELAX. When I first started fighting I was go go go go because this is how I thought the pros fought. It wasn’t until I started to really relax that I noticed there is a method to this madness we call mixed martial arts. A relaxed mind is a focused mind. After I started to relax during my training sessions, I felt as if somebody opened a window that I can clearly see out of. Punches and kicks started to slow down matrix style. I began to see opening and angles that previously didn’t exist in my mind. I was able to become a more technical striker just by simply relaxing my mind and relaxing my body.
  2. Visualize – This is another big one for me. I know you have heard this one before, but it is so true. If you can’t visualize yourself being the best how will you actually be the best in real life? I am constantly thinking about how I want my next fight to play out. I visualize my hand being raised at the end of the fight. Doing my daily visualizations had boosted my confidence in my mind, which in turn has boosted my fighting skills. Trust me on this one, just try it and I guarantee you will see results.
  3. Positive Affirmations – How can you be the best if you don’t believe it yourself? This is one of the few times I will tell you it is ok to lie to yourself. From the second I get into my car I am telling myself I am the best, I tell myself when I walk into Xtreme Couture everybody will be pissed because they know I’m a beast. As I warm up with the rest of the fighters I look each one of them in the eye and tell myself, they don’t want to see me, I the best in here tonight, I am the greatest ever. Now, I know many of the affirmation may not be true but I know one day they will be. My affirmations boost my confidence, they keep me going, and they strengthen me mentally.

Remember, in all professional sports the line that separates the best from the worst is a thin one. What really separates the haves from the have not’s is not their physical skills but their mental skills. Know you are the best and you will become the best.

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I offer hour long personal training sessions at the world famous Xtreme Couture Mixed Martial Arts Gym. You don't have to be a fighter and it doesn't matter what age, skill level, or gender you are. All my workouts are personalized to your individual goals and all my workouts are fun and exciting.The best part about it is I'm cheap! So come and meet your favorite fighters and train like them. Contact me for more details.

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