Team Liddell and Team Ortiz play a game of dodgeball on The Ultimate Fighter.

Let me start my first column by saying thank you to the good people at They were kind enough to give me a medium to relay my likes, dislikes, suggestions and anything in between to you the reader.

I was also informed that I could choose my topics, and be as brash or tactful as I feel fit providing I watch the language… careful Jack (just kidding buddy I’ll be good).

Rather than start things off talking about controversial issues in local or national MMA news, I was thinking I would address something that many in the fight game forget about… having a little bit of fun while training!

Before everyone starts sending me messages along the lines of, “Fun? We have tons of fun punching and choking each other,” or “I don’t have time for fun I am getting ready to fight a gorilla,” I will explain.

Everyone who has ever fought and taken it seriously knows that the month or more leading up to a fight is extremely taxing both physically and mentally.

Just as a fighter must give his body time to rest while preparing for a fight, he must from time to time relieve the mental stress as well. As a coach, it is important to know how to read the signs of mental fatigue, and how those signs may differ between fighters.

That being said, if your guys are dragging during a training session after working hard for several weeks, try playing a game, switch the cardio up, or cut practice a little short. Some of the best mood changers in our gym have been the occasional game of dodge ball, relay races for cardio and tag team grappling.

Besides being a break in the monotony of training, the previously mentioned activities are great for building a team atmosphere in the gym. Obviously the most important thing is to take whatever time is available leading up to a fight and use it as efficiently as possible.

A mentally burnt and fatigued athlete could end up having days of unfocused and unproductive training. A little break here and there could change that. I think we would all trade five days of training with a fighter who is focused and productive than six days of the opposite.

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