For the complete development of an athlete or a person, the right mentors are of supreme importance. Without the right coach, a fighter's arsenal becomes awfully inadequate, equally in his ability to study the techniques and trust his instincts.
While the external environment and circumstances play a more than essential role in shaping the person into the next best version of himself, reality is not as simple a matter, to be left merely on what happens in the outside world.
How a person perceives his life to be and the meaning he ascribes to it, is equally, if not more important than just trotting drills and putting in the hours. Our own subjective experience, though, by its very nature, is tainted with our past experiences and the monologues we have with ourselves on a daily basis.
Reality then becomes an intricate but astonishing dance between what is presented to us and what we bring to the table.
Wherever you go. There you are. - Zen Saying
This is a delicate chemistry to get right and often times; it doesn't exactly work out the way the fighters and the coaches intend it to. Here are five fighters who've been struggling to balance this sensitive equation and might benefit by a thorough re-evaluation of their strategy before moving forward.
Honourable mention: Chuck Lidell
The Former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Chuck Lidell had a legendary career but as the sport grew in notoriety and popularity, the Iceman found himself in a dilemma that was different when compared to most fighters of his time.
Being at the peak of his career, he observed that he was attending more dinners and meeting more new people than the hours he was putting into his training. As the disproportionate amount of time, he was already investing in partying grew, even more, he noted that he was struggling to even find motivation to show up at the gym.
A problem he suppressed for far too long.
After a fight of the year against Wanderlei Silva, Chuck confessed he had become too complacent. He ended up paying the price for it as he took Rashad Evans’ striking ability too lightly. Consequently, through what was one of the most shocking upsets of the year, a punch that landed flush on Lidell's chin, knocking him out instantly.
A feat that veteran Shogun Rua would then replicate in his next fight in a similar fashion.
A confused and extremely distraught Lidell then sought the services of high-performance mental coach Anthony Robbins to remove the cobwebs of self-doubt that always creep up on an individual in moments of frustration and agony.
However, after a long and pioneering run, perhaps, it was only fitting that a very stubborn but also perseverant Lidell, would go out against his own wishes by being knocked out for the third consecutive time, this time by Rich Franklin.
Chuck kept an open minded and benefitted greatly in his personal life from Tony's teachings but professionally, a man can only go on with an unsustainable practice for so long. One that no camp change can even begin to address.