Boxing Builds Confidence.
I have been in competitive sports most of my life. Since I was 12 years old. I did national level competitive swimming for 5 years, North American Kickboxing for 3years, Olympic Style Boxing for 10years and now the last 8 months; Professional Boxing. In addition, I have competed in a number of other fun weekend warrior and athletic type competitions.
I gave a speech at my toastmasters meeting last week. The speech was titled “The Highs and Lows of Competition”. After I gave my speech, I fully realized that, because of boxing, I am the disciplined person I am today. Of course, becoming a soul support parent, had a lot to do with my discipline as well. However, becoming a competitive boxer and reaching for the highest level possible in this sport, taught me a new level of discipline. Discipline in: patience, persistence, attention to detail, dedication, commitment, communication and belief in myself. Why? Because Boxing is the hardest sport out there. If there are other sport enthusiasts reading this, they may argue, yeah well this sport does this and that sport does that, and so on. However, here is my argument: Boxing, is called the sweet science, because you are “To Hit and Not Get Hit”.
What does hitting and not getting hit, involve?
3 Things: The Body, The Mind and Your Emotions.
I will break down the 3 things involved in order to train to box and therefore reach the possible goal of competition.
To be simple, it is only your two feet and two hands. Thats it, nothing else to fall back onto. As I say to people that I teach and train. You had better condition yourself to move. Move your feet, your head and hands. Because, you’re screwed if you don’t. For physical tools, thats all you have in there. You have to stay on your feet, with your hands up, for the fight to continue. So, what does that involve? A great deal of conditioning. You use both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems in your body. Thats the equivalent to running a marathon, sprint and olympic lifting over and over again. That being said, conditioning for boxing is HARD!!! Then, there’s technique. You can be a brawler all you want, but as soon as you face a boxer who has more skill than you, things can go extremely wrong. One finely placed body shot, will stop you in your tracks, essentially shut you down. Your internal organs can’t take the shock. So skill wise, you need to work technique over and over again. Take Mayweather, the biggest name in boxing for our generation X’s out there. A lot of people may not like “him”, however no one can take away that he is the most skilled and well know boxer out there. My point, is the man can win fights based on extreme skill alone. He can take some of the hardest hitting boxers and make them look like amateur’s. This is based on his skill and ability to put defence and offence together. For those that are not familiar with boxing, he knows how to use his footwork and head movement to avoid punches (I could get into so many other technical details, but that could take another 10yrs 😉 ) and therefore capitalize on his defence to create offensive openings. Offensive openings means, he then lands punches effectively to able to beat his opponents. That is the simplicity of boxing; defence in moving out of the way of punches and offence in hitting your opponent or sparring partner.
You have your thoughts, your beliefs, and whatever has been programmed during your lifetime and coaching. The mind is a funny thing. When you are under stress, whatever you have come to believe about yourself, it will come out. Nothing shows this more than during sparring or competition. People who have regularly trained with other fighters know exactly what I am talking about, you can see it in how they look in the ring. A person who has a weak belief, you can see it in their eyes and body language during training and competition. Challenging yourself in the sport of boxing, will teach you things about your mind and self-beliefs that you never knew before.
Emotions are what can drive you forward or hold you captive. This past weekend I met an awesome woman during a weightlifting certification course. She had done some previous kickboxing training and sparring. She goes how do you do it? Fighting is so emotional! I chuckled and said after so many fights, you get to learn how to deal with yourself. You get to know your emotions; during training and fighting. Then, you learn how they can impact you and how to deal with them constructively. For example take anger and frustration, these can be your best friends or your worst enemies, it is all how you channel these emotions, that makes them your friends or your enemies. For me, it was my emotions that brought me to boxing in the first place. I was angry about life and what I was given to deal with. I was at the point of wanting to kill people, and for those of you who deal with anger issues, you know that kind of anger is never a good thing. It can cause serious destruction in your life. So, emotionally, with self-reflection and good coaching, you learn how to channel these emotions into the sport of boxing.
In conclusion, boxing is not only about competition and beating other people, but it is a self-discovery sport. Discovery in how to discipline yourself, with your body, mind and emotions. It is an amazing thing to watch how these three areas of discipline transfer over to the rest of your life!
If you want to learn about yourself, get in the best shape you have ever been in and build your confidence, boxing is one of the best ways to do this.