The Fighter's Mind

Inside the Mental Game by Sam Sheridan

What makes a fighter great? Why are some mentally tougher than others? Where does that mental toughness come from and is it the same for all great fighters? How do the great fighters think about the game?

These are the questions that Sam Sheridan set out to answer for himself in his second book, The Fighter’s Mind. Sheridan interviews fighters from different sports and different backgrounds and begins to weave together some insight into what goes on inside the mind of a great fighter.

The book is essentially a series of interviews and observations of fighters including Dan Gable, Marcelo Garcia, Randy Couture, and Josh Waitzkin among many others. For BJJ students the section on Marcelo Garcia alone is worth the price of the book.

I enjoyed the book immensely and was sorry to see each chapter end because I wanted to learn more about the fighter Sheridan was interviewing. Did Sheridan uncover a common thread that makes good fighters great? I’ll leave that to the reader to decide but I can tell you that every fighter’s library should have a copy of The Fighter’s Mind. It is a very enjoyable read.

 - Bill Thomas