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Mind Over Matter: Mental Strategies From Pro Boxers | Sports Psychology Today

Being a great boxer involves more than a great left hook. Sure, being in shape is important, however, many people underestimate arguably the greatest asset in boxing: mental strength.

Many people, both boxers and spectators alike, downplay the importance of mental strength because it’s harder to quantify than physical ability. Psychologists would agree, however, that both mental and physical strength provide the edge necessary to be a champion fighter.

Psychologists believe despite the battle being physical, they attribute up to 90 percent of the battle to mental preparation. In fact, most boxing matches begin way before a fighter even lands a punch. Think back a couple of years to the Anthony Joshua fight against Joseph Parker. Joseph’s camp’s antics began prior to even stepping in the ring. Let’s take a look at some of the strategies believed to get ahead mentally in a boxing match.

The Importance of a Boxing Foundation

Boxing without building mental strength is the equivalent of building a house on a shaky foundation. Boxing experts separate boxing success into four categories: technical ability, tactical awareness, physical strength, and mental strength. Three of these four categories involve using discernment and discipline to win the match. Therefore, make an effort to master your mind as well as your body.

Mental Training Techniques for Premium Boxers

Get in the zone.

The phrase “get your head in the game” applies when someone, especially in competition, isn’t focused. When an athlete is in the zone, it makes it nearly impossible to defeat them. When you enter the zone, all fear and anxiety melts away and everything becomes almost effortless. Being in the zone also raises your confidence, which can intimidate your opponent and lead to victory.

Utilize Visualization

One of the greatest ways to tap into your subconscious mind and perform at a peak level is visualization. Visualization is a technique where you imagine yourself as the highest version of yourself. When done consistently, you actually wire your brain to improve your performance and win more fights. When paired with emotional strength and physical stamina, you become unstoppable.

Practice Like You Compete

A common mistake boxers make is failing to simulate the day of the match in advance. In the infamous bout between MMA fighter Conor McGregor and professional boxer Floyd Mayweather, McGregor visited the arena several times leading up to the fight.

McGregor’s coaches and training partners helped him recreate exactly what was going to happen on the day of the fight, which helped ease his nerves when the time came. While Mayweather did cruise to victory, McGregor performed much better than most experts predicted.

With advanced modern day training tools for boxers like FightCamp, there are endless ways for athletes to train at a high intensity in preparation for the big day.

Work on your Pre-Match Mentality

Never underestimate the benefits of getting under your opponent’s skin. When you appear mentally sound prior to the fight, you can actually take them off their square. Avoiding smiling, constantly switching positions, and making intense eye contact can make an opponent sweat knowing you mean business.

Being a prime-time fighter requires more than a muscular physique. As the saying goes, train your mind and the body will follow. Always striving to reach your mental peak will make you a championship fighter.

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