Two weeks ago I gave you part 1 of my guide to preparing for your first bout. If you haven’t had a chance to read that yet, you can find the post here. Otherwise, read on for the rest of my advice on making that leap from training room warrior to application in the ring.
Understand that everyday is different
The sweet science can be brutal. Not everything works exactly as you would expect. Sometimes what seemed easy yesterday doesn’t click today. Different styles, opponents and conditions, mean different tactics. Frustration at not performing should be channeled into learning how to adapt and adjust. The key to getting better is being able to take emotion out of a setbacks and working on the problem at hand.
The importance of conditioning
I cannot emphasise enough the importance of being well conditioned. Regardless of whether it’s a bout of 3, 6, or 12 rounds, a more conditioned fighter is always a better fighter. In a contest of equal skill, the athlete with greater conditioning will come out on top. Boxing is a contest of strength, power, stamina, and speed, that bases itself on how much trauma you can inflict while taking a minimum amount on yourself. Conditioning not only helps you last through the rounds, it minimises the impact of strikes from your opponent. Having a base of great conditioning also gives you the confidence to go into a fight without worrying about how much you have left in the tank. As a fighter that feeling is priceless and removes a burden you have complete control over.
Accepting a loss
Boxing is one of the sports where the mental side of a loss is more painful than the physical. Well-wishers will always try to pick you up after a defeat with kind words but they will be hard to swallow. It’s a zero sum game – there must be a winner and a loser (barring the rare scenario of a draw) and very few are prepared for the loss. It’s not uncommon for people to give up fighting after that first loss. Some will quit, some fall out of love with the sport and some will choose to use that as fuel to drive themselves to never have to experience it again (it’s a bitter chalky taste in your mouth). Whatever your decision only you can decide how much you want to give to boxing and I guarantee you that is how much you will receive back!
Till next time! – AJ