by Don Heatrick

When it comes to developing a successful Muay Thai mindset, it all starts with these simple (but not easy) points…


I’m often asked about my psychological approach to Muay Thai training. So today I’m going to start by sharing how to mentally set yourself up for success.

Getting to grips with your mindset is a big player in your performance – and I’m not just talking about fight day. How you psychologically approach every session, every exercise – in fact, everything you do – impacts your performance.

Muay Thai will absolutely push you to the point that you want to give up. And that’s the point. That’s secretly why we’re all attracted to it. We’re the kind of people that want to find their limits, to see how we’ll respond. Because that’s where the magic happens.

We don’t want it easy. Because that doesn’t make us grow, and then what’s the point? Where’s the honour in that? We’d rather come up a little short of a tough test, than ace an easy one.

For us, a tough test is both psychological and physical. In fact it’s one with real physical consequences. And we accept that sometimes we’ll come up short, but strive not to.

Not everyone will understand us, and that’s fine. It doesn’t matter.

We’re not like the majority of folks out there – we’re comfortable with being uncomfortable.


The mindset of a great fighter centres around being ruthlessly honest with yourself – not making excuses, facing your demons head on.

Testing your limits, honestly identifying strengths and weaknesses, and planning training that makes you better – before heading out to test in the ring against an opponent again.

It’s a self-improvement loop. And the psychological side of the equation is often neglected.

A negative mindset dwells on things outside of your control.

As much as you’d like to, you can’t control the judges decision, how your opponent will fight, what the crowd thinks of you. Worrying about these things, or giving attention to them is wasteful and undermines your performance.

A positive mindset remains focused on things you can control.

You can control how you prepared for this fight, how you cut weight, how you rehydrated and fed yourself after the weigh in, and most importantly, how much effort and commitment you fight with. This is a growth mindset.

Sometimes you’ll bite off more than you can chew, and must remember the variables you can’t control are unimportant. But you can control how you react, how deep you can dig, how focused you remain regardless of how far you’re pushed.

It’s the process, not the outcome that’s most important.

If you liked this video, please hit like button below, share with your friends and be sure to subscribe.

And I would love to hear your feedback. So leave me some comments below and let me know what you thought of this episode.

Thank you, and 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:

Want to help us invest even more in providing free content? …You can donate here


The Science of Building Champions video series
The science of building a Muay Thai champion’s strength & conditioning, which results in…
  • Fastest possible short-term progress
  • Maximum long-term progress
  • More efficient movement patterns
  • Better technique
  • Relentless endurance (never gas out)
  • Reaching athletic potential as quickly and efficiently as possible (without wasting time on things that aren’t worth doing)
  • Free up more time for technical training AND life!
  • The Optimum 12-Week Fight Camp