Saturday, June 19, 2010

Talking with Caley Lewis, Muay Thai fighter

Western Australia doesn’t exactly loom large for people in Europe or the States but one of my favourite Muay Thai fighters lives in Perth. Caley Lewis successfully defended her WMC Intercontintenal title this weekend and also holds the WPMF World title and WMC Australian title. Lewis has an inspiring mental attitude towards her sport which has helped her get over some terrible injuries – including a badly dislocated shoulder which could have been the kiss of death for someone doing an extreme sport.

When I talked to her for International Kickboxer she was positive and really focused on how mental power gets you through training and fighting at an elite level. She says: “I think any athlete that knows that mental preparation is just as important as the physical. You can be as fit as a fiddle going into a fight but it can go pear shaped if you aren’t there mentally. Your body goes into autopilot in the ring as you have trained for it. Going over the fight before you enter the ring is crucial to your prep. Knowing that you can do your best and knowing that you are the best you can be is the way you have to think. Any negative thoughts leading up to a fight can really alter the way you perform.”

She’s trains at Riddler’s Gym in Perth and of course over in Thailand. This is the handy benefit of training in a sport which is the national sport in another country – lots of justified time on holidays. Not that you get much time to rest over there. Lewis says: “The training is good and you become so much fitter and better from only having your training to worry about. Because Darren (trainer in Aus) lived there for so long our training is very similar but because you train twice a day for hours at a time, you improve so much.”

She praises her sports psychologist as much as her actual trainers which is probably the biggest different between training Muay Thai in western countries and doing it in purely in Thailand. The mix of knowledge from western and eastern approaches is what brings on the belts and titles.

What mental techniques do you use in training or fitness work?



Tina C said...

Most interesting!

It's along the lines of what the lad always says about playing golf well, too. "Empty your mind of everything else."

real girl sport said...

Exactly;Focus, focus, focus! Some day I'll make it work for rock-climbing too but haven't worked out how to subdue that fear yet!