by Don Heatrick
For a Muay Thai newbie, gains are quick, and therefore motivation is high. But inevitably, progress slows and only those that continue to feel progress will keep at it.
In this video I show you practical strategies to remain “on it” even if you don’t have a fight coming up…
For many fighters in Thailand, their next fight is their only motivation… in reality, for Thais the money they earn for themselves and their family is the primary motivation…
The basic needs according to Maslow’s hierarchy of needs.
But Western fighter’s needs can afford to be higher up this pyramid.
To remain motivated, Western fighters need something else. Something more.
Understanding this, and speaking to your needs will motivate you to keep getting better – when others fall by the wayside.
Anyone who’s trained in Thailand for extended periods will have experienced training monotony.
A long run of unchanging days ahead, with little variation in activities, and usually, little in the way of progressive, structured training intensity.
In this situation, the next fight date serves as a fighter’s main motivation.
But when a fight isn’t planned, motivation, along with progress can slip.
It’s often said that where motivation fails, discipline must take over. And although this is true… It’s possible to be motivated by your training, not just an imminent fight date.
This kind of intrinsic motivation separates the truly successful from the moderately successful… regardless of competitive level.
“Success” is improving yourself, getting better – not just winning championship titles.
Personal growth is success, and that’s relative.
I train many “Thai boxers” that haven’t fought yet – some never intend too. And others are now done fighting and just want to remain active and move better in their Muay Thai training – to either keep up with, or better the youngsters coming into the sport.
Personal progress is motivation.
In fact, Harvard’s Teresa Amabile‘s research found that nothing is more motivating than progress.
You don’t always need a fight date to achieve progress…
I’d go as far as to say that unless you’re relatively new to Muay Thai, too many fights, packed too closely together will hamper athletic progress…
You can be in a constant state of licking your wounds, and heading out to repeat your next fight with the same physical foundation as last time, rather than improving it.
In fact, many find their physical foundation deteriorates rather than improves!
This isn’t sustainable, and many Thai boxers find this out the hard way.
Sustainable training is the key to not only realising your potential in Muay Thai, but also your long-term enjoyment of it.
When you’re training is sustainable, you get real long-term results and genuine motivation.
HOW TO DO “SUSTAINABLE TRAINING”!
You enjoy things you’re getting better at, even if it’s hard task. We’re addicted to progress.
The more difficult something is to do, and the better you become at it, the more you tend to enjoy it! Muay Thai attracts characters like this – we love the buzz!
But progress over the long-term doesn’t happen by accident…
Rule 1 – Choose to work on things that matter
Set meaningful monthly training goals that progress with you.
Get help from your coaches to do this if you need to… the quality of your goals hugely affects your progress.
As well as technical and tactical Muay Thai goals (such as getting 15 mins of clinch practice with larger training partners every session…
Or finish two sessions per week with 5 rounds of counter kicking drills with an aggressive medium range Muay Mat style training partner) …
Also break down your athletic goals, such as mobility, stability, strength, power, speed or endurance…
For example, adding an adductors-muscle release, open and anchor exercise routine to your warm up at least three times per week to open up your groin & hips for better kicking…
Or performing 3 sets of 5 reps of barbell loaded squat jumps with appropriate load every week, to improve explosive power.
Rule 2 – Get together everything you need
You must give yourself the resources to get these tasks done!
Make sure you have access to training partners, coaching expertise, and to the training facilities and the equipment you need too.
And this also includes investing the time needed for these priority tasks as well.
Making do will choke your progress… Be realistic, but if you can, go all in.
Rule 3 – Form a team
Work with encouraging individuals and teams to support you.
Sharing your goals with a support team will help you really get stuck in and complete them. This support team can also help remove any obstacles so you can work at your peak level.
Genuine encouragement and enthusiasm is infectious. Surround yourself with the right people and you’ll go further, faster.
Rule 4 – Stick to the plan
Remain focused on your goals and be careful not to become distracted, wasting time and effort heading in the wrong direction.
Don’t change or re-prioritise your goals part way through. Finish what you started each month.
Rule 5 – Show progress
If you and your coach set good goals, you should be able to quantify if you completed them or not, and they should improve your Muay Thai performance.
Don’t focus on negatives. Instead remove obstacles, design out any struggles to produce more consistent progress in the future.
However small, celebrate successfully completing all milestone tasks along the way to a bigger target. Each and every step in the right direction really adds up when you remain consistent.
When you approach your training in this way, progress goes up, motivation goes up, enjoyment goes up!
When fighters are well supported and finally structure their training in a meaningful way, you begin to hear comments like, “I now look forward to getting to the gym.” and “I’m having the most fun right now.”
For training to be sustainable you must enjoy the journey…
Swerve monotony. Have fun developing that fight engine along with drilling the skills.
And to help you understand what goes into developing an effective fight engine, whatever your level of training or competition, I’ve put together a free Optimal Fight Camp Blueprint for you to download – and a supporting video series “The Science of Building Champions”.
There’s a link with this video.
And 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 these tips and if you are going to use them.
Thank you, and I’ll catch you next time.
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: https://www.instagram.com/donheatrick/
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