Every fight team, every Muay Thai gym, will at some stage encounter a bad attitude fighter  – a destructive member who brings negativity rather than a supportive, positive contribution.

These members gossip, sabotage, create conflict, and strive for ‘them and us’ divisions in your gym.

The problem is, a bad attitude fighter may also be one of your technically best-performing fighters or students

And when they are, they pose the biggest threat to both your fight team and your Muay Thai gym business as a whole.

by Don Heatrick

Bad Attitude Fighter – Problem People

Serial entrepreneur and business coach, Eric Edmeades uses a clever matrix to review his staff and identify problem people in his businesses…

And you can use it in your Muay Thai business too, to shine a light not only on problematic staff, but fighters and clients too.

If you plot two axes, one representing energetic contribution from positive (honest, supportive, friendly, helpful, encouraging, motivating) to negative (unreliable, gossiping, unfriendly, unhelpful, creates divisions, demotivating)…

Along with a vertical axis representing productivity or performance (technical & tactical Muay Thai ability, number of fights, years training, productivity as a coach or staff member).

By dividing the two axes into high or low, you create a matrix with four categories, A, B, C, and D.

  • A= High performance and high energetic contribution
  • B= High performance and low energetic contribution
  • C= Low performance and high energetic contribution
  • D= Low performance and Low energetic contribution
quad pro matrix for Muay Thai

A Bad Attitude Fighter Holds Others Back

As team manager, it’s important not to be blinded by fight performance only…

A negative energy within your team spoils your attempts to raise everyone else to their best ability.

And the greater the performance/ability the negative person has, the greater the negative influence will be on the rest of your team.

Beware of those that fall into box B in the matrix.

It’s a downward spiral.

A cancer in your gym that prevents others with a positive energy contribution from rising to their true performance level.

Ironically, one high-performing, negative-energy member often prevents two or three other medium-performing, positive-energy members from reaching their high-performing potential!

As gym owners and fight team members, we shouldn’t tolerate negative attitudes…

They’re holding everyone back.

Don’t be afraid of ‘firing’ fighters, students, or staff members with bad attitudes.

Make it your focus to shift your C’s (low performance and high energetic contribution) up to A’s (high performance and high energetic contribution).

Create a gym culture of A’s and C’s…

Nothing but supportive, positive, striving energy, regardless of current ability.

Start from a foundation of positive core values, and see your whole team thrive.

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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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