How do you prepare for a fight?
Typically, as athletes, regardless of level, we aim to be the best fighter we can be in the ring. That means hard training, hard sparring, running, lifting, sprinting & dieting; whilst balancing full-time work for most athletes in martial arts.
Even though we smash it in fight camp, we still get some of those nasty doubts creeping in for a moment or more before a fight.
This is where keeping a training diary can be so helpful. This isn’t about writing about your feelings or some magical tool that is going to make you a super athlete; but it will help you maximise your training.
Some of us might know about the 10000 hour rule (the amount of time needed to ‘master’ a skill). But those 10000 hours are not just going through the motions, it’s focused and purposeful practices that focus on developing weaknesses and strengthening strengths.
Everyone’s training diaries will be different, so you need to figure out how you will make it work for you.
TIP: What challenging thoughts come up for you before a fight? (You can use your diary to help reduce these thoughts).
Do you ever worry you aren’t fit enough? Ever have doubts you won’t be skilled or technical enough? Or worried you will get burnout or injured before your fight?
Fitness: Monitor all your training sessions by writing them down (or on phone) and giving yourself regular fitness tests. Simply even looking back on your week encourages you to reflect on how much you have done in the lead up to this fight. By monitoring your fitness test results you have clear evidence that you are getting fitter and can help you to take action if you notice numbers not changing.
Skill/Technique: Write down what you have been working on, what you improved on in the training session and what you will focus on for the rest of the week. Each week or each training session you can change it, the point is to keep focused on what you want to develop and what you have developed over this time. Working closely with your coach can be really helpful to make it easier of what you’re focus should be. Finally, remember to include your improvements after each session because naturally our brains are wired to be negative so we need to spend extra to acknowledge the improvements.
Recovery: It’s easy to forget about recovery but even monitoring how much effort you felt you put in a session can help you monitor whether you are on the verge of pushing it too far where fatigue might be too high and so increasing your risk of injury. Recovery is becoming much more spoken about and the training diary can help you stay accountable to that.
These are just some ways you can use a training diary to help you quieten some of those doubts and increase your confidence before a fight; as well as maximising each training session. I encourage you to try out the diary and personalise it to you and your camp. Sport psychology tools aren’t complex, they are simple and effective tools that can be easily used during the crazy schedule of work and fight preparation.
If you have any questions send me a message on insta: Lena.a.k