One of the reasons partaking in boxing training helped me to turn my life around was the way in which it developed my character. What I mean by the term character is things such as mental toughness, courage, confidence, discipline, delayed gratification and determination to name a few. These were quite a few qualities that I lacked in my younger teenage years. These I feel also tend to be qualities that are not promoted or developed in the younger people of today. The emphasis is very much now on instant gratification, blaming others for your problems and shying away from difficulties in search of ‘quick fixes’.
How does boxing training develop your character then?
The thing about boxing is that there simply is NO easy method to become successful at it! From the moment you first walk into a boxing gym you are surrounded by lots of physically strong, fit and healthy looking people. That in itself is enough to make you evaluate and wander how fit and strong you actually are yourself. As soon as the training begins often the warm up is no easy feat and you soon find yourself sweating, wanting to put a good effort in so as not to be seen to be to weak by the rest of the group. It is this element of competition and not wanting to fall behind your peers that I think provides a lot of the motivation to work hard in boxing.
For those that get introduced to boxing in a more softly softly approach, for example just going through some of the basic footwork and punching drills, it does not take long to become tired. At this point even holding your hands up to your face becomes tiring. This advocated the importance of the fitness side of the sport, it is soon learnt that no matter how skilled you are, the moment your fitness goes even the simplest of movements become difficult.
For me personally I think the biggest development of character comes during the participation of sparring. You have to get in the ring and fight it out with someone who is just as determined not to lose as you are. You are exposed in the ring, there is nowhere to hide, which means that you become aware of your weak points very quickly. This leads to a lot of self reflection and analysis about where you can improve, no gains are made by being dishonest with yourself.
The effect of sparring is more extreme when the participant has become fatigued. Next time you have done an intense workout, (for example some sprinting where you are feeling out of breath) I want you to imagine that you are not allowed to lie down on the floor and get your energy back, instead you have someone in front of you, trying to knock you out. You have to keep moving, keep your concentration on what they are doing and keep the will to keep fighting on. Everything in your body and mind is screaming at you to just give up, to lie down, to just get some rest. Yet the only thing keeping you going is your determination.
For me this is where these character traits are developed and forged. Only by being in these situations do we realise how important it is to push ourselves in the fitness training that we do outside of the ring. We gradually learn to appreciate the ‘burn’ and are not satisfied with our training unless we feel we have been pushed. We know we cannot succeed unless we do the necessary training, so discipline is developed in order to make sure we do the training.
The beauty about the development of these traits, is that they can be carried over from the boxing world into the everyday world. Mental toughness enables you to deal with everyday stresses and strains that life throws at us. Delayed gratification enables us to work hard to achieve greater goals overtime. The determination enables us to do things such as quit smoking or doing drugs. Courage and Confidence enables us to stand up for ourselves against bullies, and to step outside our comfort zones, making our personal worlds bigger.
The amount of benefits that come from boxing training are endless. This is why I think it is such a good sport to use to work with young people and why it forms the basis behind Boxing Evolution.
How Boxing Evolution can help you.
If you enjoyed what you have read and would like to get more actively involved please check out the great range of services available at the Boxing Evolution gym in Maidenhead. The gym has been designed to create an environment perfect for physical training and psychological development, helping you develop much needed life skills such as discipline.
Not only that taking up a sport such as boxing is perfect for developing all the facets required to be successful. Boxing gives a person real time feedback about how their lifestyle and actions affect their performance.
If you are not in the area to come to the gym you can also see more from Boxing Evolution by subscribing to our email list.
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