Apologies to my younger readers, this post is laced with profanity. Sometimes profanity has a special power to describe things in ways other words can’t. The plastic stool underneath me is too far out from the actual corner and my body kind of tips backwards as my cornermen lift my legs into their hands and rub icy cold water on my thighs and shins. I try to balance myself on the ropes but it’s more awkward and I reposition my forearms to the tops of my thighs; the cold water is going over my head now, which feels nice because
CategoryMental Training for Muay Thai
Mental training is one of the most difficult dimensions in becoming a fighter, and probably the most important. So many people worry about neck-down fitness, whereas neck-up fitness will not only bring out your best in your fights, it will make your workouts more efficient, empowering and successful. For a long time I struggled with the idea of mental training. I knew I needed it, but I just had no idea what “visualization” was, or didn’t believe most of the things mental training advice seemed to be asking for me to believe about myself. But I had a breakthrough and finally got it, after several tries I should add. And once I saw what it was talking about I was on the path. The path is not easy. It’s full of realizations, and then forgettings, and then realizations again…but it is actual training, just like situps, runs or padwork. Something you do regularly to get the best out of yourself. These are the mental training articles I’ve written during my discovery.
This is my second informal interview with Dr. John Byron Gassaway, who is a practicing Sport Psychologist and also my brother. John was a Captain America, Superman type athlete growing up, playing multiple sports through every season and maintaining a nearly perfect GPA – the kind of guy who somehow managed to squeeze 25 hours out of every day. His mental toughness seemed to me to always have been there and it only makes sense that he’d help others find their own path toward the same, seemingly inherent, self-esteem. But, you know, what things seem from the outside and how they
There’s a phrase in modern gold mining that I find profoundly poetic: clearing the overburden. Practically speaking, it means moving dirt with giant machines to reveal the gold-rich bedrock underneath. Move the worthless dirt, find the worthy dirt. I’ve adopted this phrase for my own evolution as a fighter and development through mental training. There’s a lot of useless dirt to dig through to get to the meaningful bits, the valuable bits, the core morals of your being. A lot of what we do, for years and years and with great effort, really just amounts to moving dirt. Yesterday was a
This is an expansion on two previous posts: my husband’s guest post Precision – A Basic Motivation Mistake in Some Western Training then my follow up post How to “Train Like a Thai” – Why Many Get it Wrong and then lastly Training with Hippy Singmanee – With Relaxation Comes Power. It’s part of an informal relaxation series. One of the hardest things to learn is how to relax in contact sports. It’s also one of the most important things and something that separates “good” from “great.” This is by no means an exhaustive list and most of these are just
Part of what makes Jaidee such a good companion for me is that he sleeps on an Olympic Gold level. He can nap and laze around for hours and when it’s time for me to nap in the day between sessions he’s a real champ of a partner, curling up with me and stealing my pillow. But what’s really amazing about Jaidee is his running. He’s not a “good” runner by any means, when I try to run with him in the mornings he rarely makes it a few kilometers before starting to drag; distance wise, Jaidee is a sub-par
As the story goes, I was 2 and a half years old and my oldest brother Gabe – then probably about 9 years old – was finishing up his violin lesson. I stood up from whatever wooden blocks or plastic toys were keeping me occupied on the floor of the practice studio and crept up to my mother’s knees. She couldn’t hear my meek, mousy voice (my nickname back then was “Miss Mouse”) and leaned down to hear me better, and I repeated my question, “When do I get my violin?” And that’s how I came to play the violin.
I descend the steep stairs at the front of WKO, holding on to the handrail as the deep drop between each metal platform is designed for someone taller than I am, and feel the hot afternoon air rush into me as I open the glass door and exit the air-con. The metal of the lock I use on my helmet is hot to the touch as I unchain it from my bike and I have to carefully angle the helmet as I pull it over my head, to avoid scraping the stitches that sit in a row of knots at
image credit above: Dimitri Otis, Getty Images I made this Vlog the other day in response to a realization I had. In short, I had a really good sparring session against a young man at the gym who I don’t really know. Because I don’t know him at all – I’ve seen him training for a month or more now but don’t know anything about him and haven’t talked to him or worked with him – I don’t have judgments about how we ought to match up together. When Pi Nu matched us up for sparring, the result was that