The Decision Making Process

In all sports there is generally one aspect of an athletes capabilities that sets them apart from the rest. Most people would believe that to be mainly physical attributes such as strength, size, explosive power, even natural ability. Ordinarily those listed factors are a major contributor and definitive reason why a champion is created. But one attribute stands out over all others before it, this helps segregate the “Best” from “The Rest”, that is your decision making.

Sport Science has become such a huge market in this day of age that anyone with an Instagram account and a cell phone can access the best new exercises offered to any athlete. It’s as simple as a click and watch to create a new wealth of information to make you stronger and more durable in the ring. The question then becomes what truly is the difference between myself and my opponent? How can I definitively have an edge over the person that I am about to wage war on? The answer is, what makes you different is your decision making processes under duress.

Decision making processes under duress means the decisions you make when your ability to think and make the proper processes is hindered by your cardio vascular capacity being at, or close to its peak, or your body physically starting to shut down due to the lactic acid build up in your muscles. This is when the decisions really matter. In football one pass that is thrown the wrong way, or a tackle that isn’t executed properly could mean multiple points against your team, in the fight game, one bad decision could mean “lights out.”

The more work where yourself and your training team focus on these processes is only helping build you make the right decisions when it matters most, in the midst of the battle. Exercises to practise could be something such as responsive communication during a sprint interval or in a rest sequence of the interval. Numeracy questions, geographical questions or even something as simple as the colour of the wall, each of these help your fighter think while in the physical state of duress.

Like anything else this can only assist there overall decision making processes with regular training and repetitive drilling. As long as the fighter is giving accurate responses to your questions when they are at, or close to their anaerobic peak, then you know the right work is being done. Generally everyone is built the same, they weigh the same, eat the same, take the same supplements, they punch extremely hard and more than likely follow the same physical routine when they are preparing for a World class fight.

Your sacrifice will ultimately be determined by your decision making in that fight, something as simple as keeping your hands up or picking the right punch could be the definitive reason why you get your hand lifted at the end in victory, or carried out on the shoulders of your team asking “is mum serving spaghetti bolognese tonight?”

Everyone looks great at the start of the fight, it’s how you finish the fight that matters most…

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