Habits for Winning: 48 Hour Performance Countdown

Competing involves a series of performance periods, and none are more important than the time leading up to a fight. This article details the extended pre-performance period, or what I refer to as the 48 Hour Performance Countdown. Heightening your focus and self-awareness within 48 hours of the fight can strengthen areas of motivation, adversity management, and self-confidence. This culminates in an enhanced sense of self and purpose during fights.


The fight is decided before it begins

Too often, fighters manage to sabotage their ability to perform through flawed pre-performance planning and preparation. Countless hours of grueling and intense training is wasted, and fighters are left pondering the inexplicable cause for their showing. If this sounds familiar to you, the good news is that there are a number of solutions to help. One performance tool involves careful monitoring and execution of efficient use of time and planning up to 48 hours prior to fights.

The mind-body connection which serves as the governing factor in performance can operate on a delayed timer, meaning that what you eat, how you sleep, and the behaviors you demonstrate long before you compete can greatly impact the quality of your performance. To gain awareness of what you do and what you consume before your next fight complete a mock performance countdown.

Mock 48 Hour Performance Countdown
By designing and completing a mock performance countdown you can identify the areas needing attention and those which support your performance. Begin by creating a blank hourly schedule for you to log your data. Allow for enough space to write simple statements about your actions and nutrition habits for each hour.

Next, designate a day to compete in a simulated fight with a training partner. Ensure that it begins around the same time of day your next fight might occur, and that it includes the exact amount of time and rounds.

Lastly, jot down everything you do and consume on an hourly basis, up to 48 hours prior to the simulated fight. Proceed as you would normally before a fight, but simply keep an accurate and very honest log of what’s occurring for you.

After the simulated fight, review your performance countdown while also reflecting on how you performed. Examine areas affecting how you felt (relaxed, strong) your thinking (positive, clear focus), and your actions (energetic, fluid). Vital areas to consider include your rest, nutrition, and training preparation. Other areas of importance include daily habits and routines, and down time. With this collected data you can move forward with greater awareness in preparing for your next fight.

48 Hour Performance Countdown
You’re a few days away from your next fight, and you’ve spent the last several weeks training your mind and body for this opportunity. You are determined to ensure that your hard work pays off and you’re willing to do anything to see it through to the end. The last 48 hours are crucial. Make them work for you, not against you.

No less than three days prior to your fight begin laying the blueprint for the final 48. Using a blank 48 hour schedule, work backwards in your mind from the time immediately following your fight. Planning backwards is a technique used in periodization training methods. It allows us to foresee what happens in advance without getting ahead of ourselves, while minimizing miscalculation, and strengthening time budgeting. Referring to the mock countdown you performed earlier, write your ideal key actions, behaviors, and nutrition guidelines for each hour, from the finish all the way to the start of the final 48. Use simple directives, not drawn out descriptions. Identify only realistic objectives that will strengthen your confidence and your focus heading into the fight. Most crucial is that you have a scripted plan with no room for mental wandering and uncertainty.

Now that you’ve set the intention for your final 48, have the conviction to commit yourself to this scripted plan. This is the key for the last door to walk through in your preparation. Believe.

I have over ten years of performance training through my experiences in coaching, mental conditioning and edutaining of groups and individual clients. My diverse athletic experiences as a college football player, triathlete, mixed martial artist, and coach, have helped intensify my awareness for cultivating elite-level success across various sport, performance, and tactical disciplines. I regularly consult with professional athletes and organizational leadership, including, NFL, UFC, MLB, NBA, NHL, WTA, and PGA, as well as CrossFit, and NCAA competitors and staffs. I served as the Mental Performance Specialist with the US Army Special Forces, Director of Mental Conditioning with the Evert Tennis Academy, and I direct in-house consultation and leadership development with public and private sector organizations. I’m available to provide dynamic and interactive workshops for your organization and large-scale symposiums.

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