4 Knock-out Lessons You Can Learn From Boxing
The Sweet Science represents the importance of a winning process, staying engaged, being resilient, and finding support for success.
1: Physical and Mental Readiness is a result of a Conditioning Process
So the process is sound. What about the mindset of the boxer? If a boxer is going to reach the limit of their potential they must be fully committed to the process. Floyd Mayweather, Jr. said it simply, “I always put my boxing first.” As the fight approaches, there is no room for excess, caprice, self-doubt, or pretense- these must all fall away.
2: Pain is part of the process.
Amateurs quit. Professionals continue despite external forces pushing them around. If you are a professional you’ve learned to dig deep when everything is hitting the fan, and to regain control. We must see challenge as a necessary part of the process of winning. Get hit, find your feet, slip the next punch, jab and close the distance.
“Taking a punch” means staying relaxed and being resilient.
Taking a hit is part of a broader commitment to success. It is the realization that “Plan A” will likely fail in some way, and that you must react and respond, growing from the failure but never giving up. By accepting the mistakes help us zero in on success, we win big by losing small.
3: Performance is a product of character
choosing to be in the line of fire;
refusing to succumb to panic and not be a victim;
these are the characteristics of a winner.
Take risks, be fully accountable, and choose to remain in control.
According to Manny Pacquiao, “Boxing is not about your feelings. It’s about performance,” and the ability to perform in the face of adversity is all about character.
In the middle of the fight, as condition, commitment and character are pushed to the limit, there is one more defining factor of the boxing culture: The Corner.
4: A boxer never enters the ring alone
A Cut Man: As one boxer put it to me, “He stops the life leaking out of my face.” He is an expert at staunching the flow of blood and reducing swelling so a fighter can see to perform. A cut man limits damage and makes short-term repairs that enables a boxer to exert his will beyond the limits of his body.
The Manager: While not always in the corner during a single fight, the Manager helps the boxer capitalize on the finite number of years they have to become a contender. The Manager ensure the boxer’s career reflects the arc of his or her potential. While the boxer is focused on winning the battle, they focus on the war.
The Trainer: The trainer knows the fighter’s physical and mental limits (sometimes better than the fighter knows themselves). They know the boxer’s style, strengths, and weapons they can unleash; but they also understand their weaknesses, bad habits and doubts. The Trainer works with the boxer to capitalize on his or her strengths and minimize any weakness.
The Corner Man: It’s not always easy to maintain your focus – especially when being punched repeatedly in the face. During a fight it’s the corner man’s voice that rings loudest in the boxer’s ears. The corner man watches the fight from the outside– he observes every nuance of the boxer’s performance. He helps the boxer see a way through the his opponent’s tactics.
Between rounds, a corner man holds the boxer true to the game plan, when adrenaline, trauma, exhaustion or fear has sapped the boxer of his focus. He is the priest that must deliver the chastising sermon when the boxer shows sloth or vanity, and it is he who hears a confession of self-doubt and provides absolution before the next round.
Find people who believe in you
It’s easy to discount boxing as a brutish sport. It’s easy to assume that we have little to learn from those that liquidate their body for money. But look beyond the spectacle and you’ll find the fundamental culture of the boxer – the boxing way of life. It has elevated countless numbers to success, many more than just those who have been declared champions.
Business is tough, especially when you’re trying to rise to the top of your game. Have you taken a few good hits lately? Consider your conditioning, commitment, character and corner – then find your feet, slip the next punch and jab.
Want to let someone know you’re in their corner? Please share this article.
Besides being a full time coach and speaker focused on developing high-performance leaders, teams and organizations, Tim Sweet has been a ring-announcer since 2005. You can find out more at TeamWorkExcellence.com
All photos courtesy of Tyler Klinkhammer and ©Tyler Klinkhammer, 2015
Steve “The Dragon” Claggett vs. “The Mighty” Tebor Brosch
“Roxie “The Ram” Lam vs. “The Newfie Bullet” Wayne Smith
Coach: Eric DeGuzman of Teofista Boxing, Calgary, Canada.
Referee: Len Koivisto, Calgary Combative Sports Commission