When it comes to motivating one of the top fighters in the world, Conor McGregor, John Kavanagh had his work cut out for him.
McGregor is a strong-willed individual and if he doesn’t want to do something, it’s probably not going to get done.
Luckily, Conor McGregor is usually motivated as hell when it comes to training, but having the World MMA Awards “Coach of the Year” in his camp probably didn’t hurt.
The 43-year-old Irish MMA coach recently spoke to Inside Hook about motivation and working with McGregor and gave some advice on focusing on those days when your head just isn’t in the game.
His advice is to start small.
I think it’s important to take it in bite sizes.
If you come from a more sedentary lifestyle, it can feel overwhelming to get started. We have a program at Straight Blast Gym here in Ireland where we coach people who typically work full time and are getting into fitness for 100 sessions over 20 weeks with a competitive fight at the end of the program.
These athletes go from zero to hero, and it’s really cool to be a part of their journey and coach them through it.
With those guys, I’m not going to give them a full lifestyle change on day one, because it will seem overwhelming.
Kavanaugh discusses his approach to motivating top-level athletes and the advice applies to even regular Joes.
One thing I always hammer home with the athletes I’m training is by the end of the session I’ll turn off any background noise or music playing and tell them, “be mindful on how you are feeling right now, how you are breathing” — because the endorphins you feel after working out are like a stimulant you can’t buy.
It’s an incredible feeling you can get for free but it does require you to put a lot of energy in. I like to always reinforce that amazing post-workout feeling.
Sometimes your toughest opponent is the couch, but if you can remind yourself what that amazing feeling is like at the end of the workout, it’s going to push you to become more active.
No one regrets working out once they’ve completed a session, so I remind our athletes to use that feeling as motivation, as fuel to beat the couch, get up and get active.
To read the entire interview, head over to Inside Hook.