If you’re interested in sport psychology; email: lenakessler0@gmail.com

Are you ever truly happy with your performance in training or in a fight?

Most athletes will say ‘no’ because they always see something to improve. Our goal as athletes is to maximise our potential; meaning that we always have something new to achieve or new to work on.

Are you an athlete that uses self-criticism as necessary to improve?

I know I am guilty of this but I have also experienced the negative impact it has on my training. Being overly self-critical often leads to perfectionism; which means you have to be perfect or you have ‘failed’- whether that is doing a technique perfectly in training or being ‘perfect’ in a fight.

The problem with this is:

  1. Is that this mind-set can actually be a destructive habit that gets in the way of maximising our potential and can result in anxiety, feeling stressed, pressured and lower confidence.
  2. That we get hung up on mistakes either during training or even in a fight. The more we think about things we shouldn’t be doing or thinking the more we end up thinking about them.
  3. We respond to mistakes much more which leads to more stress and tension, which stops us from performing at our best when it counts.

3 tips to help boost confidence and manage perfectionism and self-criticism:

  1. Move away from the mind-set of ‘perfect’; instead approach fights and training as doing your best. Your best will look different each time- Sometimes you have a shitty fight camp with a lot of life and work stressors; so your best will look different to when you are fully prepared, injury free, easy weight cut and relaxed going into a fight. For training, if you have not eaten enough, slept enough and have been rushed off your feet all day your best will look different to a session after a rest day. Reflect on training and fights as did I do my best? Did I do everything I could in that situation or in the lead up (given work demands, etc.)


  1. There is a time and place for being critical– Warming up before a fight is not that time; before a fight you want to focus on breathing and being clear on what you need and want to do in the fight. Even during sparring being overly critical usually means you get so caught up in your own head resulting in you getting hit and kicked a fair bit; leading to a vicious cycle of frustration. In those moments, take a breath and focus on one thing to bring you back into the present. After training or a fight, try use objective measures that you can control; e.g how many kicks you land. Using videos of training and fights is also a great way to monitor your improvements and areas to focus on.



  1. Remember to celebrate your own personal improvements.

If you are interested in sport psychology either email or message me on instagram: lena.a.k

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