- Posted by Cody Maltias
- On May 31, 2016
- 0 Comments
Consider a scenario: 2 similar athletes come in to the gym ready to train. The first athlete states that their goal is to be a world champion in 8 years, the second has already agreed to a fight in 8 weeks and wants you to get them ready. Obviously the next 8 weeks of training for them would look completely different.
For the person fighting in 8 weeks I would run a quick assessment find what I thought to be their strengths and then build a training schedule around maximizing those strengths while masking any glaring deficiencies. I would practice a bare minimum of techniques to achieve the best result possible in a short time. A large portion of our training would center around conditioning, and specifically their ability to improve overall cardio and repeatable short burst strength.
The 8 year athlete would take a completely different approach. We can start with fundamentals, build a base, establish systems and terminology. We can take the longer road that will bear more fruits in the long term. Conditioning would take a backseat to skill acquisition. As a result we could really dive deep in identifying and eliminating weak spots and building a truly well rounded athlete, fighter and martial artist.
With our two similar athletes there is no doubt that after the first 8 weeks the one in “camp” mode would be victorious. The problem is that many athletes get bogged down in this mindset. They consistently repeat the pattern of an eight week camp without taking the time to dive deep into skill acquisition. They constantly work on honing their A game without ever delving deeply into a new skill tree to make them better in the long run.
The long view is the most important. When you start with the end goal in mind (to borrow a turn of phrase from Steven Covey) you can effectively work backwards. If you want to fight at a world champion level then you must go about developing more than a limited set of skills and your cardio. In the case of MMA a champion’s striking and defense, takedowns and ability to remain standing, and ground game must all be at a world champion level because they will be tested.
Camps serve a purpose but especially early in an athlete’s development they must not obscure the longer view towards overall mastery.