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Ann710

Loss of self confidence before a fight

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 I have a dear friend and training partner who has her 3d fight coming up in about a week. Two days ago i realized she lost all her confidence, is hurt/a bit injured , scared, sad and in panic. We tried to calm her down but she's having a real hard time with herself. Talking to the trainer is not an option for her and she has some trust issues that the trainer wouldn't care enough. What can we do to be the best support? 

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2 hours ago, Ann710 said:

What can we do to be the best support? 

I can't speak to this as a fighter, but maybe as someone who offers support, and who is close to these kinds of swings. There is nothing wrong, first off. The reason why people fight, I mean the real reason, is that they are processing, and at many times expressing something deeply personal to them. And with that comes real risk. If it is going to mean something, that also means that it involves real risk. And the risk isn't "losing" or getting hurt. It's that whole bundle of things that are involved in why she is fighting in the first place. What likely is happening is that she's just coming up against, and facing the shadow side of what that is all about. So, how you support her would be the same as supporting anyone facing their demons, or shadow beliefs. First of all, probably just letting her know you are there is a big deal. She might know you are there, in a practical sense, but hearing "I'm here" can make a difference. Something that I think is also important, is to get the fighter to see through the fight, which means that what the fighter is after isn't "in" the fight. It's not going to occur there. The fight itself is part of a larger process. Just like in Karate you punch "through" the wooden board, in fighting you punch through the fight. It's very hard to advise about this because I don't know your relationship to her, or the level of the kinds of things you discuss, but even making plans for progress that will happen beyond the fight, like "After the fight let's start working on body punches together, I really want to get my body shots going!" or, "Maybe it would be cool to book a private with [whatever trainer x that is respected] after the fight", anything that gets the gaze going past the fight, to the larger project of self-cultivation that is what fighting can be about.

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Thank you kevin, that's really a big help! Since we're definitely close enough that we speak a lot on more metaphysical matters, the way to see through the fight might be a very sustainable way that I really didn't have in mind so far...

 

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 I still get nervous in the last training sessions before any fight, because I think that how I "perform" there should be a copy of how I will perform in the ring. And I'm very often tired, sore, mentally fatigued, and hurt somewhere or many places. All of that comes with you into the ring, but you don't have to give it importance. To have doubt os very, VERY normal. You can fight against it, or you can fight with it there but it's not significant. Physical pain is the same. You can't "leave it at the door," as it will be in the ring with you, but you don't have to give it significance. "It hurts, but that doesn't MEAN anything."

Remind her that she's already done the work. There's nothing more that needs to be done. Confidence is not first a feeling, it is first an action. If she's not feeling confident, fine - just ACT confident, whatever her version is, days and hours before climbing into the ring. Like putting on a coat. Those thoughts are just as real as her doubts; doubts, also, are only thoughts. They are no more real than self-belief. She has both, both can be real, but you have to breathe life into the one you want.

Also, fights don't mean anything more than what happens during the minutes they are taking place. They do not determine ability, or worth. They determine if you like fighting or not.

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3 hours ago, Sylvie von Duuglas-Ittu said:

Also, fights don't mean anything more than what happens during the minutes they are taking place. They do not determine ability, or worth. They determine if you like fighting or not.

I think this is an important thing to realise both before and after the fight. A lot of fighters I know feel fear before the fight not so much about being hurt but not performing in front of friends and family as well as they should. Thats a lot of pressure to take with you in there. Why did she start to compete, what was the motivation? That is the part that needs to still have importance, but not as pressure, as motivation. Fear cant be ignored but it can be used. Losses suck, no way around it, but they dont define and they also can be used (in fact often times they can be of more use than wins). The idea for me as a coach is to reduce pressure before a fight, to get them to harness what fears they have. Everything is a matter of perspective, its how you choose to see it. 

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10 hours ago, Ann710 said:

Talking to the trainer is not an option for her and she has some trust issues that the trainer wouldn't care enough.

This part bothers me. Can I ask why? Did something happen? The reason it bothers me is the bond between a fighter and coach is serious, especially going into a fight. It shouldnt be on shaky ground. People have fought and won with their relationship with their coach on shaky terms, but its not ideal, ya? 

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