Goal setting strategies in combat sports


Training and fighting in mixed martial arts (MMA) requires extraordinary levels of motivation and drive because it’s such a physically and mentally demanding sport. Successful coaches know this and train their fighters to focus on specific outcomes in all areas of their training. This level of planning can improve a fighter’s daily motivation and drive. This is goal setting in a nutshell; but sadly, most fighters and coaches don’t take a formal approach to exploring and setting compelling goals.

The tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals; the tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach

Someone once said that ‘the tragedy of life does not lie in not reaching your goals; the true tragedy lies in not having any goals to reach’. For this reason, setting big goals and objectives is fundamental to your success in MMA. If you don’t find those compelling reasons that drive you to train and fight, you’re probably going to falter the first time you come up against a real challenge. So, if you don’t want to realize your full potential as a fighter, or if you don’t want to optimize your physical and mental preparation and your performance in the cage, just avoid setting goals.

To succeed in MMA, like any other area of your life, you must know what you want. Think about it for a moment: what do you want to achieve in the short, medium and long term of your career? Maybe you’re new to MMA and just want to train hard for the next six months and build to your first amateur fight. Or, maybe you’ve been around for a little while and you want to get a title shot on a local show, or gain a national or international ranking. Maybe you want to be the first fighter from your town or gym to make it to the UFC? Give yourself the time to think about what you really want to achieve.

If you don’t have any idea of what you want to achieve in your career as a fighter, then you may not reach your full potential. Thomas Carlyle said that ‘a person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress even on the smoothest road’.

A person with a clear purpose will make progress on even the roughest road. A person with no purpose will make no progress even on the smoothest road

But of course, it’s not enough to merely think about what you want to achieve in your MMA career. You must systematically explore your current strengths and weaknesses in the areas of psychological skills, technical development, and physical conditioning. For example, maybe you want to be more powerful or have endless endurance. Maybe you’re not very flexible and this limits some of the techniques you can perform. Maybe you come out a little too aggressive when you fight and you need to work on relaxing in the cage; maybe you’re not aggressive enough? No matter what you want or need to work on, you don’t need to worry about the details at the early stage; they will sort themselves out if you have a compelling vision and know exactly what you want.

These simple strategies are just a few examples of a larger process that is presently employed by the MMA Training Bible, the ultimate purpose of which is to build your focus and drive on a daily basis. If you’re interested in learning more about these goal setting strategies, check out The MMA Training Bible’s Online course: Goal Setting for MMA Training. Here is an overview:

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 This course is all about applying science and giving you the tools and systems that will improve your performance on fight day. In this training course, you’ll first explore why you fight. This is not something a lot of fighters think about, but if you can get associated with it, your strength will grow immeasurably. Next, you will use the latest scientific tools from sports psychology to identify your strengths and weaknesses in the area of your technical development, physical conditioning and psychological skills. After this, you will go through a five-step process for creating compelling goals in all of these areas.

In this online training course you will reflect on where you are now in your MMA career, but more importantly, you’ll think about where you want to go. This will give you a compelling reason to jump out of bed every morning and you’ll be pumped to train. This level of motivation and drive is essential in MMA because it’s such a physically and mentally demanding sport. So if you’re looking to get an edge against other fighters, take advantage of this  course now. Get over to the website and start your free training today

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I hope to see you over there,

Dr. Jason Gillis

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