Psychology of Boxing

I’ve been in the ring four times now for sparring practice.  No longer do we get the pleasure of pounding on our coaches without fear of retaliation.  The gloves are on and they are hitting back.  Not as hard or as fast as they could, but we are taking some rather surprising blows to the head.

My first time in the ring was with Coach Steve. Nothing like a 200 lb, 6ft+ target to get you started.  I can’t say my first reaction to getting hit was a great one.  I fought back like I was personally assaulted rather than participating in a sport where we mutually agreed to hit each other.  I flew into a rage, gloves swinging for my life. tasmanian devilThat lasted about a minute and 20 seconds until I was gasping for air like a 2 year old after a temper tantrum.  I had nothing left for the other two rounds.  That is when I realized I had to get my head around this sport.  I am not in mortal danger and I have volunteered to participate in a combative sport so someone will be trying to hit me in the head and chest – and that is ok.  All points are scored with contact above the belt after all.

So I’m learning about pacing and the mental aspects of the sport.   The first part is to know I don’t have to be hitting at all times.  I am to look for my opportunities or make my opportunities (much easier said than done).  I will get hit (easy to do) and it doesn’t hurt (that much) so I will survive.  But it is incredibly frustrating to be hit repeatedly making it really tough to think or stay calm.  Practice helps.  Lately I’ve been a little calmer but I can’t imagine how it is going to feel in front of 300 people.

The other mental skill required is a laser sharp attention span. squirrelHmmm… we’ll see how that goes. {squirrel}  Fortunately one way to get my attention is to hit me in the head so hopefully I’ll learn quickly. If not, it may be a short match.

One week of sparring to go. Hopefully my arm will stay together long enough to get more practice time in before the big day otherwise who knows what that day will bring.

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