Pinched from a thread over on NHBGear.com-- a Q&A directed at Robert Drysdale....
What goes through your head before a competition? From the night before too the second before your match?
Do you stay calm? do you pump yourself up? do you clear your head? or are you thinking about positions?...ect
Good question and one that I've (and every fighter I know) been struggling with for years. Doubt of your victory is the biggest problem. Try to learn how to control your thoughts. Push the ones related to defeat out of your head and try to picture yourself in winning situations. Doubt is something that will always "try" to trouble you. It's just a matter of you being able to control your own thoughts. It's something you perfect over the years and something everyone who fights struggles with, TRUST ME, everyone, no matter how calm he may seem. This is what's helped me a lot: I try to think of my brain as a computer that's programmed before a fight. Now the key is, what will you program it to do? To win? or to lose? I remember having this incredibly talented student in Brazil that always lost in competition. After talking to him about his thoughts prior to his fights, he told me that he always pictured himself getting tired, finished, his opponent passing his guard or taking him down, etc. So that told me all I needed to know about his problem. His "computer" was being "programmed" the wrong way! It's not as easy as it sounds but, like I said before, you get better at it with time. Call me crazy, but I remember some fights where I've pictured myself winning the match in a certain way and the match going that exact same way I wanted it to go. Before you guys think I'm nuts, I must say I'm the most skeptical person on the planet and believe in none of that "The secret" best-seller book. My explanation for it is that your reactions in the fight will happen in accordance with your thoughts. It is as if you would not hesitate when that moment came, because you've already done it a million times in your head before. I'm not sure the brain really knows the difference between "visualizing" and "executing".