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Mind Game

Jarrod Boyle

Kurt Finlayson, World WMC Thai Boxing champion at 61.8kg, once told me that essentially, fighting is ninety-nine percent between the ears. 

“Muay Thai is a mind game. Everyone has fear of the unknown; I like to use that to my advantage. Put pressure on the person. If you can make them feel within themselves that you’re winning the fight, it breaks their spirit.”

Here are the top five ways to prepare yourself for the mental side of training.

1. Ensure you have enough fuel for your session

The body is extremely sensitive to deprivation of water, food and sleep; it isn’t simply a machine like a car which will come to a halt once it has exhausted its supply of fuel. You will find, and are probably aware, that if you haven’t had enough to eat – sometimes, it can be as simple as missing your morning coffee – that your entire attitude to the day can be less than positive. 

Sleep is just as important. A lack of rest means your body won’t be able to repair itself after exercise and a fatigued body is more prone to injury. This is especially true in any activity where precision is necessary. A quarter-inch the wrong way can be the difference between a sprained ankle and saving yourself from falling.