Recently there was a report about an UFC fighter who was arrested on charges of aggravated assault. According to the report, the fighter is accused of striking a strip club employee in the face with the butt of a handgun.
Allegedly the fighter got into an argument with someone in the strip club and then after leaving the club and returning he was refused entry back into the club. The fighter left a second time and returned with a handgun. He reportedly pointed the gun at a patron and hit an employee with it.
This type of behavior should never be condoned for any reason in any place. However, I can’t help but wonder if the aggressive behavior needed and encouraged in the ring played a part in his behavior outside the ring. There’s a time and place for everything and a fighter must put themselves at a certain place mentally to compete at an elite level.
Athletes’ don’t just wakeup and compete; they spend countless hours behind closed doors preparing both mentally and physically for their specific competition. I’m an avid believer in, “As a man thinkieth, so is he.” The average UFC fighter trains about 30hrs per week on their specific trade. All things considered, that’s roughly 30hrs per week spent in one train of thought. If the average person sleeps 42 hrs per week, then that means a typical fighter only has 96hrs left in the week to focus on a different train of thought! I’m willing to go out on a limb and state that most fighters and other athletes’ spend time outside of their specific practice thinking about their sport.
I am not and would never make excuses for someone who engages in the above-mentioned behavior. I would however like to propose a theory that it is extremely difficult to fluctuate between two frames of mind. All too often we hear about athletes’ in varies different sports who allow their aggressive behavior to fall outside the lines of their sport. Unfortunately, I don’t believe that most athletes’ even realize that the thoughts they persist in will inevitably lead to behavior they may or may not want to occur.
This blog is in no way intended to bash UFC fighting or any other aggressive sports. I however believe coaches and parents need to help our young athletes’ learn how to establish a healthy balance between the aggression needed for certain sports and the compassion needed to be healthy productive citizens in our community. A healthy life is a balanced life. We can’t wait until our young athletes’ are adults to teach them balance; we must start now so that it becomes a way of life for them.
What are your thoughts?