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Updated: Jan 24

A great performance by a boxer during competition is highly crucial and important. But most times, boxers get to a point in their sporting career which is known as their lowest ebb. This could be as a result of an injury, depression, peer pressure, low self-esteem, etc. At a time like this, sport psychology is what such athletes need to keep going.

What Is Sport Psychology ?

Sport Psychology is the study of the methodology and techniques involve in enhancing mental health and well-being of athletes, which helps them achieve maximum potential in their athletic career.

For boxing coaches, sport psychology will help them get the best out of their athletes, which in turn will make them a better boxing coach more than they have been.

Sport Psychology has helped boxers to set high and realistic goals, which has enhanced their Performance in a lot of ways.

Accelerates Focus:

A boxer’s ability to focus is fundamental and important in boxing competition and events. But some boxers at times are confused about what and what not to focus on. If a boxer doesn’t know his/her priorities or goals such a boxer may end up disillusioned, confused and frustrated. A boxer who is not confident may start over thinking things and as a result lose focus. Sport Psychology helps boxers to be mentally disciplined, to concentrate on things that are crucial to developing skills for great performance.

Builds Self-Confidence:

Boxers with boosted Self-confidence perform better when they get to the toughest point in their fight. To take your performance to the next peak, you need to use sport psychology to improve your self-confidence. As a boxer, you can choose to believe in yourself or doubt yourself. But believing in yourself is important. Take note of moments you are most confident and less confident. What caused your reaction in both situations? Incorporate positive mental imagery into your daily training.

Use positive self-talk to boost your confidence. You can write it on index cards and go through it daily, preferably in the morning before starting your day-to-day routine. Study your opponent's major weakness(es) and strategize how you will use his/her weakness to your own advantage. Only pay attention to praise and compliments from teammates and coach(es). Filter out the negative and pessimistic opinion of others.

Ability To Deal With People:

Sport Psychology helps boxers to be able to deal with people generally, both within and outside sport. It also helps to look out for the general well-being of the team by using stress-reducing methods which will enable the boxers to gain more support morally and otherwise from family and friends.

Increases Quick Recovery:

Sport Psychology increases quick recovery for a boxer who is suffering from an injury. Physical and mental motivation prevent an injured athlete from losing his/her self-confidence and going into a depressive state. Especially someone who has a long-term injury that has prevented the person from participating in various competitions. At this stage, a boxer tends to start feeling down and sad. This may lead to mood swings, anger management issues, low self-esteem,etc. Constantly motivating a boxer using psychological techniques will help such a boxer to think of setting goals to achieve speedy recovery, and it also enable them to discover other ways of being useful even while injured instead of feeling sad.

Overcoming Peer Pressure:

Sport Psychology helps to overcome peer pressure and other forms of pressure. While boxers may be under the pressure of their peers, scoreboard, family members, boxing coaches and even spectators who might probably judge them based on their performance, sport psychology will help that boxer to stay focus, give support in the face of defeat, look beyond the outcome of the fight and not react based on the numerous pressure from all angles.

Enhances Good Communication Skills:

Communication is the expression of thoughts, ideas, knowledge, feelings, etc. In sport, there are two types of communication; Verbal Communication and Non Verbal Communication. Verbal Communication involves speaking or talking or expression with words while Non Verbal Communication involves body language, facial expressions, and gestures. Good interpretation of communication, especially Non-Verbal Communication between boxing coaches and boxers is very crucial and important in any boxing tournament.

Boxers needs to be able to express what their frustrations, fears, anxiety, hopes, feelings, etc at any point in time. This is where a good boxing coach uses psychology to motivate such athletes effectively and positively.

Boxing coaches also need to learn how to communicate in a such a way that the effect of their communication will enhance the performance of a boxer and not decrease it. As a boxing coach, smiling and giving encouragement even when a boxer is losing may motivate him/her to do better. While shouting and frowning may distract the boxer and he/she may lose focus of the game entirely out of fear or anxiety.

Enables Boxers To Develop Pre Fight Routine:

Boxers are able to focus on using mental skills to prepare for some specific complex motor skills like a catch and counter, etc. and also concentrate on the procedure of the game instead of results.

Identifies Irrational Thoughts:

Sport Psychology helps boxer to identify and tackle irrational thoughts which would have decrease their performance.

Coping With Performance Fear:

Sport Psychology enables boxer to overcome fear of failure, fear of embarrassment and anxiety. Especially boxers who want perfection in everything, this will motivate them to deal with all these unnecessary distractions.

Enjoy Sport:

Sport Psychology helps boxers to relax and enjoy sport during and after every competition or event, especially when they are properly and positively motivated.

Using Sport Psychology to improve a boxers performance is very crucial, but knowing how to use it effectively on boxing coaches and boxers to attain a Peak Performance is most important.

Garry Wasson has a Diploma in sport Psychology & has worked as a sports motivator with Australian amateur boxing champions. 2018 copyright.

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