No matter how much competition experience a fighter has in whatever circuit he or she is in, it’s not entirely unheard of for one to still have the usual pre-match jitters and butterflies. The task ahead, the idea of performing at full strength and capacity, firing on all cylinders, can be daunting and anxiety-inducing, especially when one mistake can cost you the bout. Here are a few tips on how to battle those pre-match nerves.

The first step to dispelling the pre-fight jitters starts long before you walk through the curtain and enter the ring. You, as a fighter, have to make sure you’ve done all your preparations for the fight, learning your techniques, studying your opponent, sticking to your conditioning program, and mastering your particular game plan for the match. Making all the mental preparations for the fight makes up half the confidence you need to perform well; not even experienced fighters choose to wing a competition.

One other thing you need to remember as a fighter, also as a matter of preparation long before the fight, is a clear focus. Life has many distractions to offer you, simply because that’s how life goes. You will need to deal with the other things that require your attention, such as your job, your friends, and your loved ones and balance them with your preparations for the fight. This is also a form of mental and psychological training because once you can manage all the “noise” in your life, it goes a long way to sharpen your focus during the actual bout.

When you are about to step into the ring, it’s best to reinforce your confidence and self-esteem with some positive thinking. Positive affirmations will only be good for your psyche and will translate to a confident and sure performance.

Your body will also respond in two different ways before your fight begins. Either it will start hyping itself up in a “fight” response, or start shutting itself down in a “flight” response. Whatever that is, acknowledge its existence and take actions to deal with it, such as preoccupying your mind and keeping yourself busy. It’s but essential so you can be the best fighter out there.

What tips do you have for dealing with pre-fight jitters? How do you calm your mind?