DiscoverTaekwondo PassionTim Thackrey: The first thing we have to train is mindset
Tim Thackrey: The first thing we have to train is mindset

Tim Thackrey: The first thing we have to train is mindset

Update: 2021-04-08


Hello Taekwondo lovers.

New episode of taekwondo passion UP.

Our guest today is 9x USA National Team member and world medalist Tim Thackrey. Now is an expert in sports performance and strength & conditioning.

Creator of The Juice Compound @juicecompound he has coached Olympians, National Team Members, Games Athletes and people who want to improve their lives through exercise.

Tim talked with us about his beginnings in taekwondo, being part of a family completely involved in taekwondo. @martialartfresno

Tim was a child who used to win every competition he attended, until he was 15, when he lost every fight for two years.

With the support of his family, he decided to stop going to high school to focus on improve his taekwondo skills and to dedicate full time to training.

The strategy worked for him as soon he started to win and gain confidence and skills, first at national level and after it internationally.

Years later he was able to finish his college degree in UCLA.

Some of the things you can learn listening the interview are:

Why is Tim's father, having an academic background and being professor in a prestigious university allowed him to drop out of school?
How Tim prepared to get a medal at the World Championships?
How should we program training when our athletes have to face multiple competitions in a year?
Why do we have to learn about sprinting and weightlifting?
How can we promote mental strengthening and toughness in our students?

You can find the full interview on YouTube, Spotify and Apple Podcasts.

Please enjoy and let us know your thoughts.

Should everyone drop out of high school and pursue their dreams?

One of the first things that I found interesting about Tim is that he dropped out of school to focus on taekwondo.

The normal way we hear we should make things is to focus on our academic career and then after finishing it we should start to gain experience in our field.

Tim made things in a different way.

He was at a point where he was losing all of his fights. And he thought the solution was to train more and better.

His father proposed the idea of stopping attending school.

It could seem counterintuitive, being his father a successful academic we would think that he wanted his son to follow the same way.

But his father’s academic experience was in psychology. He was an expert in human behaviour and development and he knew that the best thing for Tim at that moment was to try and put all of his effort in his taekwondo career.

Later he could study at the university as he did.

I was very interested in knowing if Tim would recommend the same to others, and the answer kind of surprised me.

I was expecting a straight yes but it was not that way.

When Tim studied high school there were less options to study and train.

Nowadays, and especially after the pandemia, it is easier than before to study an academic career while training, we have a lot of distance learning programs.

So, I’m pretty sure you can always find good options that allow you to train and compete.

How to program training for taekwondo?

One of the most important things we should do as coaches is to organize our training.

With the number of people training and competing in taekwondo nowadays details make a big difference.

According to Tim, before programming it is very important to consider the sports age of the athlete, which is apart from the biological age.

We can have an athlete that is 21 year old but has only been training seriously for two years. Or we can have an athlete that is 16 but has been training for 5 years.

The younger the sports age we should focus more on training than competitions.

With an excess of competitions in the calendar we can be tempted to aim for performance peaks all the year round.

The danger of this is that in order to perform better at competitions, we’ll take out important time from training. Which should be the main goal with young athletes.

Tim recommends just one or two fundamental competitions during the year for these athletes.

How to choose the fundamental competition?

In some cases we can be worried that if our athlete doesn't win a certain competition he won’t be able to go for the more important one.

For example, in some countries, to access a national competition you should win first your spot in the state or province championships.

Another example is that to win a world medal, you should first win at a national level.

So, which competition is more important?

Shall we program for nationals or program for worlds?

Tim mentons that if you are thinking in a world medal, you should program for that as you might be able to manage with all your experience the nationals stage

But if you still have troubles at the national level, you should program for the national trials.

It depends on any case and the experience of the athlete.

How high can a virtually trained athlete should point?
Tim has trained athletes virtually even before the pandemic.

He coached and qualified athletes from different sports to Rio 2016 and he continues doing it.

In ideal circumstances we should have a great team, with a lot of training partners that help us to achieve our best in each training.

But this is not true for many athletes. Life is different for everyone.

So, if you just have the opportunity to train alone. How high can your goals be?

Tim is clear that as high as you want.

Of course for certain stages you’ll need camps and competitions.

But with the right advice and program, distance or the lack of a nearby team is not a valid reason to limit yourself.

As you will notice in the interview, Tim completely dominates the trainign and performance field, in theory and in practice.

So, if you want to improve your performance in sports or your life through sports. You should contact.

If you have a taekwondo team or a sports team, he is also launching a new service to help teams to achieve their goals, so, don’t hesitate to contact him at

I hope you’ll like the interview, I’m grateful for having the opportunity to interview Tim. For me it was a world class consultancy and I hope it helps you too.

You can find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts and YouTube.

Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section.
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Tim Thackrey: The first thing we have to train is mindset

Tim Thackrey: The first thing we have to train is mindset

Luis Arroyo