Are you preparing for an upcoming boxing match? Are you feeling nervous? Every fighter – be they novice or pro – gets some form of pre-fight nerves. The adrenaline rushes you get in anticipation of confrontation are normal.
But they can have a corrosive effect on your body and mind that impacts your performance. So, be prepared to fight them in addition to your opponent!
In this post we discuss practical advice to prepare your mind before your next fight, as recommended by experts at our boxing gym in Brampton.
Mentally Prepare Yourself for Your Next Boxing Match
Do you know what makes a great boxer? The ability to control your mental struggle so you can perform.
Every boxer wants to step into the ring with the confidence that they did everything they could to make sure they were physically prepared.
But the difference between winning and losing is mental preparation. If you are not mentally prepared, you have set yourself up for failure.
So if you also want to be a winner and a great boxer, you have to train yourself psychologically as well as physically.
Here, we provide a guide on how to get your mind right before your next match.
Choose a Goal
Setting your goal is essential for any task. Otherwise, your hard work will prove meaningless.
It could be a short-term, temporary goal, such as performing well in your next boxing match or winning a local boxing championship. Or it could be a long-term goal, like establishing a boxing career.
You can even set smaller goals, or devise an action plan that will eventually help you get closer to your long-term goal. It does not always have to be performance outcome-oriented; you could make it skills-oriented as well.
But your goals need to be specific, measurable, realistic, and achievable. This way, you will see your improvement immediately, and that will keep you motivated. For example, you can set your goals like this: do 50 jabs a day for the next 30 days, or throw 30 jabs in 30 seconds. This will help you become sharper, faster, and stronger.
Practice Calmness with Vagus Nerve Stimulation
Pre-fight anxiety is common among boxers. Often, it comes in the form of not believing in your ability and doubting you can win. But, to be able to push through these challenges, you have to believe in yourself.
In this, vagus nerve stimulation can help. The vagus nerve controls many processes in your body, like heart rate and indigestion. By stimulating this nerve, you can calm and relax yourself. You can do this by massaging your ear lobe or pulling it outwards and down.
Have you ever visualized a successful fight or even a training session before attempting it? You are already training which involves learning intricate techniques. Now you have to learn to visualize yourself within that. Use all of your senses to imagine an emotion that goes with your performance.
You can practice it before your training, perhaps after waking up or after a practice session. This helps you reflect on how your session went and what you can do better next time. This way, when you face your opponent, you will be able to visualize the outcome and emotions that go with success. You can also visualize a skill that you may have been practicing for a long time. Start small by practicing between 3 and 5 minutes.
This can be a powerful tool to improve performance and lower anxiety in order to achieve your goals. A more professional term for this process is multi-sensory imagination or mental rehearsal. Practice imagining and understanding different senses during the performance and try to hold them all in your mind. For example, visit the venue before a match. Then try to visualise the walk to the ring, the stare-down, the bell, and the actual fight, including different scenarios. Practice this regularly. Shorter quality sessions are valuable for you as an athlete.
It is okay to feel that adrenaline rush and pre-fight fear. But don’t let it overpower you. Trust in your training, techniques, and the entire process. This will help you become more competent during the match. If you need help, don’t hesitate to reach out to trainers at our facility.