By Meire L.L. Pinto from www.naluta.com.br Self-esteem and stress are crucial for a fighter to achieve good results. Being psychologically prepared is essential for a fighter. Take a moment to learn a little bit more about this subject: By Meire L. L. Pinto* After a conversation with a fighter, I got curious about the psychological factors of the fighters when in combat. I found out that there is lack of professionals in the psychology of the sports area focused on a scientific and treatment endeavor in this category. Why? We may have several answers for these questions but one of them is based on the fact that fights don’t appear in the non specialized Brazilian mass communication. Another consideration is that the psychologists don’t know the fight sport enough and sometimes unfairly entitled it as violent. Based on that, the fight sport is usually associated with street fight. This is a totally wrong idea: there is a lot of technique, training and balanced alimentation ..... These are some of the aspects involved in the preparation of the sportsman. It is clear the lack of information behind the fighting world. What about the psychological factors? How do they fit? How important they are? After all, if we have the two fighters in the ring or octagon and both have the physical and technical conditions, what can differentiate one from another? What is the decisive factor for one to win the fight? I watched several fights and I brought up some relevant considerations, e.g.: What makes a fighter in a clear disadvantage to revert the situation and win the fight? How a smaller or lighter fighter can win against a stronger and heavier fighter? Based on these questions, we can start thinking about some important factors like motivation, self-esteem, tactics, concentration, stress and possible emotional blockades. Those aspects will influence the sportsman during a fight and will mean the difference between the winner and the loser. The self-esteem that we all have, e.g.: the fundamental point is to know if it’s in high or low level. For a fighter it would be necessary to have a higher self-esteem level; the fighter must feel that he is in the ring to win and that he is capable of wining because all his hard work, engagement, devotion, ability and determination. If the self-esteem is unbalanced, the fighter may feel threaten by his opponent and put in risk all his technique and training during combat time. Be aware that they are capable to win and “fight” to be the winner is essential. That being said, the fighter should plan his strategy to overcome his opponent by collecting all the week points and failures his adversary may present. The fight is not only physical; the intelligence and perception of the other are really important. The fighter must be concentrated in himself and in the other. The fighter may present a higher technique but if he fails in the perception of the opponent, he will have a lot to lose. Stress is something we all face in the modern society but it can be positive or negative. The positive one will push people to achieve their goals. If we are only easy-going we generally don’t look for many things. A certain portion of stress is what motivate fight, training, self care and desire to win. On the other hands, stress can also be negative where pressure is around. An example is when the audience is pushing hard for a good fight. This is the moment where the self-esteem appears again and the fear of not corresponding with fighter’s own and people expectations happen. This negative stress can also drive the fighter to have contusions since the muscles get tenser in situations named as threatened. These are fears that may create some emotional blockade, implicating all of the fighter’s technique, abilities, perception and consequently the strategy in the moment of the fight. Based on that, years of dedication are lost. We must remember that our body is directly connected with our mind and one interferes in the other. The fundamental thing for a fighter to be a winner is to count on an interdisciplinary team. *Meire L. L. Pinto is psychologist and specialist in stress and psychosomatic. Master graduated in the Federal University of São Paulo.