We recently featured an interview with young Kickboxing Champion Connor Neill. At the time, we also caught up with his coach Chris West, to find out how his success has come about.
MAO – Do you remember when Connor started training, was his talent obvious right away?
Chris West (CW) – "Yes, I do remember, when he first came into the gym, he was quite shy, but I noticed he listened to every word I said to him that day, he taken to the sport well as he was naturally athletic after trying out a few different sports first, but we have had to work hard to achieve what he has done so far."
MAO – What makes Connor successful?
CW – "I think the hard work and standards that I demand as coach, plus having the right people around him, which is particularly important especially at the age he is now with so many distractions. Staying focussed when others are not sets him apart."
MAO – What does Connor need to improve on, how can he go about this?
CW – "There’s always things to improve on but I am not going into too much detail, as I would not want our future opponents to know what we are working on, but if I had to pick something it has to be his hairstyle."
MAO – What do you think Connor can achieve in the sport?
CW – "I think he has done pretty well so far don’t you? I think the competition circuit is great to learn your trade and we will keep doing those, but now looking at focussing more on the gala/pro style events, maybe one day looking at turning pro if he continues progressing the way he has, but only when the time is right."
MAO – Which aspect of training do you think is most important in this sport?
CW - "All aspects are important but if I had to pick one it would be the mental / mindset side of training, it does not have to be combat sports, it could be any sport. You can be the fittest, fastest and strongest person in the world but if you are not focussed and mentally strong when it matters on the day, you will lose."
Thank you Chris for taking the time to talk to us, and good luck to you and Connor for the future.