There are a wide range of mental components in the sport of Muay Thai that require training. In much the same way that the sport requires a great deal of physical training, the mental aspect of training is just as, if not even more important.
One of the most important parts of mentally training for Muay Thai is training your mind to maintain composure. If you haven’t started mentally training to have composure, consider making it a priority to help take your Muay Thai game to the next level.
Why Do Muay Thai Athletes Need Composure?
Composure is “the state or feeling of being calm and in control of oneself.” Stepping onto the mats to spar or into the ring to fight often comes with a host of emotions. Fear, anxiety, excitement, anticipation, and eagerness are some of the many emotions athletes will feel in these situations. Even a friendly sparring round can bring out a wide variety of feelings and emotions in athletes.
Each of these feelings has a unique impact on your game. They can cause mental distractions, leading you to miss opportunities for striking, or they can leave you feeling emotional and angry after getting hit with a hard kick or punch. The second you allow your emotions to take over your mind, you will begin to see a decline in your success in Muay Thai. Further, you may find that these types of emotions can steal the joy and fun out of your Muay Thai game, too.
Composure for Muay Thai athletes is key in staying focused on the task at hand, as well as accepting what’s happening in the match without an emotional reaction. Having composure also tends to mean your body language communicates that you are in control of yourself, your opponent, and the ring.
That might mean that you are maintaining good posture or that you get right back up quickly after being swept. Composure means being in control of your own emotions and of your own Muay Thai game. This is something every athlete should strive to accomplish.
How To Develop Composure
1) Accept That You Will Not Always Win Every Exchange
Accepting that you will not always win every exchange during a sparring round will help you to develop mental clarity for composure. Understanding that your main goal is to learn during sparring will help you to keep your emotions in check, remain playful, and stay composed throughout your round.
As you transition into a competitive match, you will have had enough practice at not responding emotionally when getting hit that you should be able to carry your composure over into a fight as well.
2) Don’t Let Your Opponent Know What You’re Feeling
A great way to keep composure is by aiming to avoid letting your opponent know what you’re feeling. If you get hit, don’t let them know whether it fazed you. If you get swept to the ground, get back up and be ready to keep going. If you are losing the round, don’t let your opponent know that you are frustrated or losing hope in yourself.
Put on your very best game face and work hard at keeping your feelings hidden from your opponent. Your body language and facial expressions will exude confidence and composure.
There are many forms of meditation. Meditation helps you to calm your mind and get in touch with yourself on a deeper level. Meditative practices will enhance your Muay Thai game by helping you learn ways to calm yourself before, during, and after a match or round. Consider adding a meditative practice to your Muay Thai game to help you to channel your composure when you feel it dwindling.
4) Check Your Mindset
Composure begins with your mindset. If you allow yourself to feel frustrated, you will lose your composure and your game will inevitably slip, as well. Choosing to have a positive, growth-focused mindset will go a long way in maintaining composure in the ring.
If (and when) you get hit, take a split second to make a mental note of what happened to allow yourself to get hit, and then allow yourself to move forward in the round with a positive, clear head. Revisit your mental notes later and work to fix them.
If you find yourself struggling to maintain composure, check your mindset. Are you frustrated or are you looking to grow? Are you angry that you got hit or are you accepting of the fact that getting hit is part of the game? A positive, growth-focused mindset will lead to better composure and a more enjoyable Muay Thai experience overall.
5) Train, Train, Train
The more you train in Muay Thai, the more confident you will become in your physical skill set. Naturally, the more confident you become in your physical skills, the easier it will be to stay composed in the ring. You will begin to trust yourself and what you know, and that will translate to having better composure.
Training physically will help you to better understand yourself, your skills, how you like to utilize various strikes, and even the type of Muay Thai practitioner you want to be. Training is key to developing yourself into an athlete that has confidence and composure.
An athlete who trains both the body and the mind will come out far ahead of an opponent who only focuses on one of those aspects. Train your body regularly, and continue adding to your physical skill set. This is one of the best ways to maintain composure in the ring.
Gaining And Maintaining Composure In Muay Thai
Whether you are training in Muay Thai simply for fun or because you want to hop into the ring to fight, composure is a mental skill that should be high on your list for acquisition. By focussing on various mental aspects, choosing to be growth-minded, and training your physical body, you can learn to be composed and in control of yourself under pressure.
Learning composure in Muay Thai will translate to better composure in life, too. Whether you are feeling the stresses of work, family life, or school, you will be able to use the composure you’ve learned on the mats to help you stay composed in your daily life, as well.
Train this valuable skill, and watch your Muay Thai game improve by leaps and bounds.
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