Boxing is not only a sport that requires physical strength and stamina, but it also requires discipline and control, and the ability to think tactically and strategically while under pressure.

Common phrases used in boxing when it comes to your mindset are:
“You’ve either got it, or you ain’t”
“It’s all in the mind”

It’s a given that mental toughness is important for boxing performance, but how many of you train to improve your mindset?

Here is a list of what you can achieve with mental toughness and how to work on it:

1. Coping with Demands
Be more consistent and better than your opponents in remaining determined, focused, confident, and in control under pressure. Even the best athletes in the world experience nerves before a competition. But rather those nerves are doing you good or bad for your next fight, all depends on your mindset! For example, you could think of having butterflies as being a sign that you’re really nervous, or you could think of them as a sign that your body is ready for competition.

Work on:
Relaxation, centring the mind, countering negative thoughts, developing a “quiet mind”

2. Concentration/Focus
Boxers need to develop a unique mindset whereby they can produce maximal effort while being able to think calmly and tactically. Developing concentration skills and the ability to “switch” focus from the here and now (needed during rounds) to what’s coming next (needed in-between rounds) is an important mental skill for boxers.

Work on:
Improving concentration (even under fatigue), imagery/mental rehearsal, centring the mind

3. Discipline
What makes one athlete get up and go for their run, while another stays in bed for an extra half an hour? What makes one athlete stick to their diet, while another has just that one day off? What makes one athlete push themselves for that extra minute on the treadmill, while another steps off?

Discipline is obviously important both inside and outside of the ring, and the mentally tough athlete is the one who can motivate themselves to do what it takes to gain that vital edge over their opponent.

Work on:
Performance profiling, goal setting, mindfulness

Take your boxing to the next level and start working on your mindset, relaxation and concentration skills!