“If the people knew how hard I had worked to gain my mastery it wouldn't seem wonderful at all.”-Michelangelo
The willingness to push yourself in training as well as that in competition are two totally different things but if you ever hope to achieve a high level in anything you need to have both. One thing my old trainer used to always say was, “you need to be 100% in the gym so you can be 80% in a fight.” What he meant by that is you need to do everything to the best of your ability while you have the opportunity to really work on it, once it's fight time it's a wrap. There are so many things that are out of our control when it comes to the actual competition that we should be doing everything in our power to push ourselves and be perfect in our preparation.
There are always exceptions, I've seen people that are just awful in the gym but come fight time they turn it on but that's not to say they don't put the work in cause they definitely do. It's just that in the gym they seem slow, uncoordinated, etc but then you put them in an actual fight and they become a completely different person. Then there are those that just smash everyone in the gym, crush every session but put them in a real situation and they turn into babies.
You see it all the time, people taking short cuts in their training, not giving it 100% and then after they don't perform well they have all kinds of excuses. What it all boils down to is that if you aren't willing to kill yourself in preparation then you will never perform when it matters, at least at the level you could.
Things will start getting tough in training and people will stop pushing themselves and say, “I'll turn it on come fight time.” It can be so easy to not give it your all in the gym, there's no one really watching, there's nothing on the line at that moment, no pressure, but if you can't push yourself in training what makes you think you will be able to when it really matters? Do you think you will magically be able to perform when the time comes? What you do in the gym is what you will do in the ring.
I don't think many people actually realize how much of a mental impact pushing themselves through hard training actually has on them. If you can't push yourselves through a few sprints or lifting some freaking weights how the hell do you think you are going to do it in a fight? Try being just as tired, if not more but now you have your entire face split open, legs smashed in and someone is literally trying to end you, not to mention that all of your friends, family, fans and everyone else is there watching it.
Next time you're training and things start getting tough and you start to ease back, ask yourself “Is this all you got, can you go harder or are you acting like a bitch?” Just remember your opponent, or the people who you are competing against, aren't taking any short cuts and they are doing everything in their power to crush you! At the end of every session you should know without no question that you gave it everything that you had. That way, come fight time or whatever it is you do, you know there's nothing more you could have done to be ready. No excuses! Don't act like a bitch!!!