by Don Heatrick

Last October, I was privileged to speak with FSC Muay Thai’s Jake Purdy and head coach Sonny Perez, ahead of Jake’s battle with Bad Company’s Joe Craven for the UK #1 spot on the Yokkao 32 show in Bolton…

What with computer hardware failure and a hectic personal schedule recently, it’s taken me way too long to get this out there. But it’s worth the wait!

In this episode you learn what goes into competing on one of, if not the biggest stage in Muay Thai.

The fight itself was close… split decision close.

And it’s in fights like these that marginal gains made in training can ultimately mean a win or a loss.

Thai boxers need to be tough, not just physically, but also psychologically.

And coaches need to be supportive – and to grow themselves, to continue to serve their fighters well.

Jake and Sonny candidly share the journey beyond the fight camp. And there are some great learning points.

Let me throw some thoughts your way…

Each fight camp is different.

It should evolve, both embracing what went well during the last camp, and honestly accepting, then adjusting what didn’t work.

It’s a refinement process… steered by a fighter’s current ability, and who the next opponent will be.

By thoroughly understanding the gap between a fighter’s current ability, and the level required (long-term), then training can be designed to close this gap.

Training to stay in the game is the primary focus of strength and conditioning. Performance enhancement is a secondary objective to injury reduction.

Personalities matter, and learning how to best communicate and motivate each individual fighter is paramount to successful coaching.

Good coaching is not just about knowledge, it’s about relationships.

Fighters should be able to depend on their coaches, but not be dependent on them…

It’s the responsibility of the fighter to commit to their goals, and be disciplined enough in the many hours outside of training to reach those goals.

Fighters must learn about themselves – truly understand their motivations to fight. Coaches should know this about their fighters too.

So tell me…

Why do you fight?

…Whatever answer you just gave, honestly ask yourself “why?” again.

…Now ask yourself “why?” to that last answer too.

Asking “why” 3–5 times will help you discover what truly motivates you – and you may be surprised by what comes up.

Whatever it was for you, tap into that.

It will light your true passion and fuel your commitment to your goals.

Write it down, it makes it more solid and real.

I’d love to hear what came up for you. Get in touch and let me know.

P.S. If you’ve not seen the Optimal 12-Week Fight Camp Blueprint, to download it click here.

And If you’ve not seen the video series “The Science of Building Champions”, to get that click here.

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.

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