Coach John Kavanagh is one of the best at what he does. Having been at the helm with the sport’s biggest star in Conor McGregor, he has a pretty good idea about being in tense situations and environments. However, he still finds a way to get his message across fighters who are extremely tired in between the rounds.
The sport of mixed martial arts is often a very high octane one. When two men step inside the Octagon and aim to knock each other one out, they usually get a rush of emotions flowing through them. Amidst such tense moments, the coach gets a chance to get his message across his fighters in between the rounds.
Therefore, it is necessary to have a strategy in place for the coaches so that they can effectively pass on their messages to the fighters. For the same, Coach Kavanagh aims to familiarise his fighters with the actual fight environment while they are training at the gym.
“I’m a great believer in familiarity. If you’re familiar with that feeling, the lungs on fire, and then you’re also being forced to think. I’ll do stupid things like when I’m in the gym and I’m putting them through a simulation contest. They’ll come out of the third round and you know their vision’s starting to go because they are so tired. I’ll ask them what’s your niece’s name again. When is your birthday?”
“It’s basically because sometimes they say that MMA is like playing chess while being punched repeatedly in your face. You’re trying to think of a move but someone is smacking it,” coach John Kavanagh said while speaking on the latest episode of The Hop Ball.
Coach of Conor McGregor explains how he talks to fighters in between the rounds
With the UFC continuing its business even without a crowd, a number of things have changed. The one which is most noticeable is that the fighters can hear what the coaches or even the commentators are speaking.
However, under usual circumstances, that is not the case. When you’re in the corner of Conor McGregor, who has been roped in massive audiences, you better have a game plan that makes you clear enough to your fighters. For this, John Kavanagh uses the same technique of familiarity.
“When the fighters are doing five-minute rounds, I put on loud annoying music – African drums, techno, or whatever it is. That’s what they are going to hear during the five minutes of the contest. They don’t have the luxury of hearing me speak to them during the rounds. Although that’s kind of happening at the moment. The UFC with no audience is a very weird set of circumstances.”
“In general, let’s be ready for the final day when you can’t even hear yourself think,” coach Kavanagh said.
With the crowds going crazy more often than not, even giving instructions while you are few feet away from you fighter becomes a tedious task.
John Kavanagh highlights the mistake of novice coaches
The SBG Ireland supremo has been around the game for a long time. From sold-out arenas to not so big venues, he has seen all the facets of the game. Therefore, when he has to talk to his fighters in between rounds, he makes sure he holds on to his own tempo rather than being carried away by the crowd.
“I’m gonna ask you to calm your mind. I’m gonna ask you to breathe a few times. You know I’m gonna get you to calm your mind. I’m going to start speaking in a way you will hear me over the crowd going nuts. I’m not gonna match the energy of the crowd because that was already too much for you,” he said.
According to Coach Kavanagh, this is the most common mistake that novice coaches make in between the rounds.
While Kavanagh is slowly getting back to business with the reopening of his gym, his most accomplished protege is still in retirement. Conor McGregor is staying on the sidelines. However, that doesn’t mean he isn’t dropping hints every now and then. Just a while back, he wrote “I accept” on Twitter. Regardless, there has been no official confirmation of his return as of yet.
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