Many Thai boxers dream of making it big in Muay Thai, but in reality not many will…

And not because they aren’t physically capable of doing so, but simply because they lack the motivation or the process to do so.

They fail to achieve simply because they don’t know how to succeed. There is indeed a process to success. It of course helps if the fighter understands and buys in to the process, but the fact a process is there is the most important thing. That’s how champions are made!

Check out the podcast video to learn the foundation tools to make it big in Muay Thai!


Hello and welcome to the Heatrick Strength and conditioning podcast… from the leading MuayThai performance coaching company for busy Thai boxers and trainers to achieve total physical confidence for the biggest fights.

In this episode I’m going to look at How to make it big in Muay Thai – at how to motivate yourself to really succeed when most can’t.

And spoiler alert, just work harder… do more than everyone else… well that’s a myth!


Far too many fighters confuse being busy with being productive. Being productive doesn’t mean doing the most things, or to do things the fastest. It means doing the right things. It means having goals and working towards them, step by step every day. Having priorities, and deadlines to keep you on track. To review what’s working and what isn’t and making adjustments. In a nutshell, structure your training!!!

If your doing your own research, implement what you read, take action!

Don’t become a personal development junkie who reads a lot but does very little. It’s much better to read one book and implement it, rather than reading ten books and do nothing other than start that 11th book!

And the internet is a the procrastination drain, drawing you off in all kinds of directions… and I know I’m part of that… but FOCUS is the key.

If reading and learning about training isn’t your thing, find a coach – who’s been there and done it – to structure your training for you, to give you that all important focus. Then just follow the plan together. Carry out the steps, and move toward your goals every day.


If you want to achieve more, you first have to become more. And becoming more is actually
far more important than what you are doing! But ironically, what you’re doing determines who you’re becoming! Yeh, very zen!

You need to build your self-belief in an honest way. By not lying to yourself about who you are and what you are capable off, but at the same time pushing yourself to become uncomfortable. Knowing that although you’ve given it your best effort, that you are capable of more, because you are constantly learning and growing.


Using daily affirmations are a powerful personal tool to keep you focused and moving forward. But they only work if you personalise them and they contain specific actions, with how often or how much and when they’ll be done, and are charged with emotion as you recite them to yourself.

So here are some examples:  

  • Where I am is a result of who I was, but where I go depends entirely on who I choose to be starting today.
  • Everyone wants things, but we don’t get what we want: we get what we are committed to.
  • I am committed to training effectively, eating and sleeping well so I can discover my full potential in the ring, and become a great role model to my kids and others at my Muay Thai gym.
  • To ensure that I discover my full potential, every week I am committed to 2x resistance training sessions, and at least 2x cardio conditioning sessions and 4x Muay Thai sessions – NO MATTER WHAT.
  • Every session I’ll train with a specific purpose in mind, and won’t become distracted with wasteful effort that doesn’t align with this purpose.
  • Every day I’ll drink at least 1.5-litres of water, eat fruit and vegetables, and get 160g of protein. I’ll only snack on chocolate or sweets at the weekend.
  • I’ll see food as fuel first and foremost, over purely taste without nutritional value.
  • I will sleep for at least 7 hours every night, making sure I get to bed by 11pm.


So Taking these affirmations further, next you can amp things up even more by adding visualisation.

Picture yourself with a look and FEELING of supreme confidence as you perform these actions.See and feel yourself smiling as you do the things that you habitually resist, filled with a sense of pride for your self-discipline to follow through.

Feel your determination as you persistently take flawless action to make progress on that training program or nutrition change you’ve been putting off. Visualise your partner, family, and friends responding to your positive demeanour and optimistic outlook.

We all only have a limited amount of mental energy at our disposal each day. Once it’s used up, you’ll lack commitment and may stray from your action steps, or lack the mental focus to be creative, or make great decisions.

Those that structure their training, sleep, and nutrition, free up mental headspace to focus on putting effort into their training. That’s why fighters have coaches – to tap into a resource of knowledge and experience that will lead them to their goals efficiently, with productive, structured training.

If you’re free to focus all your energy on productive training, you’ll not only get there faster, but you’ll go further and stop wasting opportunities.

So let’s just rewind for a moment… A critically important part of your success in Muay Thai is understanding what your goals are, and what your real motivation is to achieve them.

So as a coach, I’d like you to dig deep and really explore the answer to these 3 questions, and write them down!

  1. What are your Muay Thai goals (a fighters body, to keep fit and injury free,
    prepare for a first fight that’s coming up, winning a title etc.)?
    – think about it, what’s true for you?
  2. Why are these goals honestly important to you? Ask yourself why 5-times here, to really get
    to the root of it. You may be surprised by what you find.
  3. How committed are you to achieving these goals on a scale of 1–10? 1 being not bothered, and 10 being flat-out obsessed!

If you can’t honestly say at least an 8-out-of-10 here, then in my experience, you’ll not make it. You’re just not ready or motivated enough to succeed at your goals. I’ve seen it time and time again.

Your greatest success begins by honestly reflecting on these questions, do get them written down. And I’d love to know what you came up with. Hit my contact page at and send me your 3 answers!

I hope you’ve been motivated to really knuckle down and make it big in Muay Thai. It’d be a shame to deprive the Muay Thai community of another inspirational top level fighter!

That’s all we’ve got time for in this episode, but there’s a web page link for a transcript of this podcast, in the text along with this episode. And if you want to send me your 3 self-reflective questions, or if you’ve got any other questions, or want to check out our library of free articles and videos, head over to, where I’d love to help you reach your Muay Thai goals.

Don’t forget to subscribe to the Heatrick Muay Thai Strength and Conditioning podcast on anchor, iTunes, Stitcher, Cast Box… it’s really is available all over the place now – and you can audio message me your questions on anchor too, so you can feature in future episodes. I’ll Catch you next time.

Don Heatrick

Founder of Heatrick Strength and Conditioning

Don Heatrick is a family man from the UK, former mechanical design engineer, European Muay Thai silver medallist, former pro Thai boxer (ranked 4th in UK while aged 40-years), a Muay Thai coach, podcast host, and the go-to expert on Muay Thai performance training with over 25 years of coaching experience.

Don helps ambitious fighters and coaches take their game to the next level by bridging the gap between Strength & Conditioning, Performance Science, and Muay Thai.

Follow Don Heatrick on Instagram:


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