James “The Colossus & Megapunk” Thompson @JColossus is an English professional mixed martial artist. He fights as a heavyweight and has appeared in such promotions as Elite Xtreme Combat, Pride Fighting Championship, KSW, Super Fight League @TheFightLeague and Cage Rage.
The Colossus is known for his superior strength, muscular physique, intensity, and rushing his opponents with strikes at the start of the fight. He has beat legends including @UFC Hall of Famer Dan “The Beast” Severn and @JColossus defeated legend Don Frye in one of greatest MMA fights of all time.
Watch the Epic #PRIDE Fight:
The Colossus has recently been putting together awesome Blogs on his website:
Q: What is the importance of mental preparation in your sport?
A: Mental preparation is very important. If you’re not mentally prepared to fight
your opponent in the cage, I don’t think there is any point in getting in there.
Dr Steve:The Colossus considers Mental Preparation vital to MMA performance. The ultimate goal of mental preparation training is for athletes to learn how to consistently create ideal performance in thought, feeling, and bodily response, which will help create their optimal mental state at competition time. As you may know, you do not attain peak performance by having good luck and hoping for the best. Training is not just about how strong you are and how hard you work, but how well you prepare for the scene on competition day. Although all athletes prepare for competition in some way, most neglect to follow a consistent pattern in mental training. Elite athletes support and research suggests that athletes are likely to enhance their performance if their mental preparation becomes systematic.
Q: What motivates you to do what you do?
A: I’m not very good at singing nor dancing, so fighting for a living was all that was left. Joking aside, I like the challenge. Learning new styles and getting better as time goes on. It also goes without saying that working in sport, keeps the body active and keeping fit makes my mind feel good.
Dr Steve: The Colossus takes pride in being physically and mentally fit. Sports are a wonderful Mind-Body activity and as a professional the individual is able to make a living doing what they enjoy.
Q: What role does music and or video play in your training?
A: Very little really other than my ‘walk out song’ (Rob Dougan-Clubbed to death) which sets the right tone for me mentally before I fight.
Dr Steve: Music and video provide all sorts of mental training uses. The Colossus prefers using music to set the stage for his professional events. Music helps his mental focus leading right up to his fight.
Q: Do you practice any type of meditation or spiritual activities?
A: I went to a Jumble sale at a church once… does that count?
Dr Steve: The Colossus utilizes humor as a way to stay connected to the higher powers. Remember, even if you believe in nothing, you are believing in something…
Q: Do you have any pre-competition routines or rituals?
A: Apart from ‘banging my hands together’ and doing ‘the point’ that I do at the start of my matchups the only other thing I do is, when I get into the cage or ring, I circle the mat as I take my T Shirt off, I’m not sure if it’s just habit or an actual ritual as I don’t think about doing it for luck or anything, it’s just something I do.
Dr Steve: Routines are critical in sports and everyday life in general. We often engage in daily rituals without even being aware of them. Some plan and carry out their chosen rituals religiously. Others just ‘go with the flow’ but often find themself carrying out many of the same behavior patterns. The Colossus has found a system that works for him and this helps his pre-fight mindset while producing a secondary gain of intimidating opponents and entertaining fans.
Q: Do you use any specific types of mental preparation techniques?
A: I’ve learned to not over think things. If you’re not careful you can start thinking of every possible move, situation or outcome before the fight and it can throw you off your game. So I focus on a simple version of the game plan and try to relax my mind.
Dr Steve: Managing emotions, controlling one’s thought process, and game planning are keys of the successful athlete. To perform at the top level in any sport and to be successful in life one must self-regulate, think effectively, and goal set. Before competitions The Colossus works to stay cool and master is mindset by focusing on his short-term goals.
Q: Do you have an organized or planned mental training routine?
A: Not really. I know that if I’ve done the hard work in the gym and I’m physically ready, all I need to do is not ‘get in my own way, by mentally tripping myself up by over thinking.
Dr Steve: Many athletes do not consider their pre-competition training to include ‘mental training.’ However, most athletes are utilizing some sort of mental training (e.g., goal setting or game planning, imagery or visualization, breathing techniques, self-talk, cognitive restructuring, relaxation, etc.) without actually planning or scheduling exercises like they do their physical training and conditioning.
Throughout the Q&A The Colossus discussed varies types of mental training tactics that help him succeed in his profession. He may not engage in a set mental training program but you can see his use of mental skills and the emphasis he places on mental preparation such as relaxation, routines, and correct “thinking.” Therefore, you can bet that his physical training in the gym and cage involves a mind-body combination that leads to his confidence and feeling ready to fight.