3 Ways to Improve Your Mindset Before a Fight

The way I work with athletes is helping them to perform despite having difficult or unhelpful thoughts and emotions; for example using focus techniques to stay in the moment even when you may be anxious. I’ve also found that athletes like having tools to practice, so here are three tips you can use before a fight:


  • I love using visualisation all the time for different things; such as remembering techniques, relaxation, motivation and confidence.
  • In the lead up to a fight you can visualise landing different techniques on your opponent, visualising how you will respond to techniques of your opponent, visualising what you want to do in the first few seconds of a fight or visualising how you will win.
  • Couple this with taking ten minutes for you to focus on visualisation will not only help make you feel confident, but removing yourself from distractions and creating a quiet space can also be relaxing. There will be moments if not hours between your weigh in and the fight to have time to think; so being okay with what your mind is telling you and practicing visualisation can help with nerves and anxiety before a fight.


Developing a pre-fight routine:

  • This is not a ritual like ‘If I wear my lucky boxers I will win’; it’s about creating habits that make you feel and think in a certain way.
  • Start small and build it up- What would you like to do five minutes before you fight and why? For example; focusing on taking five deep breathes to sharpen your focus and help get oxygen to the brain to calm yourself down.

Step 1: Think about- How would I like to feel in this time?

Step 2: Think about- What helps me to feel like that?

Step 3: Plan in and practice the answers you came up with.

  • Your routine will look completely different to someone else’s because we all have our own internal battles before a fight.
  • A routine doesn’t have to be anything fancy or overly complicated. Just taking those five breathes can be enough to get you into the head space you want.
  • Use training as a way to practice different techniques to try out- e.g. using music, breathing, visualisation, talking to yourself or having motivational reminders- Whatever it is practice to make it become a habit.



  • Reminding yourself of your strengths; the work you have put in; why you love the sport are all good ways to improve confidence before a fight.
  • Think about things that make you feel confident, what will you do to win?
  • That is not to say doubt won’t creep in (it’s normal) but focusing on what you bring, what you want to do and what your strengths are will help with confidence.
  • If you sometimes find that the doubts get in the way, have some proof of the work you have put in; for example keeping a training diary to look back at before a fight- that is concrete evidence of the work you have put in.


Just like any skill, training the mind is a skill that takes time. Give it a go and see what you find.

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