In amateur boxing, what matters most is gaining round experiences. Your win and loss record doesn’t matter. The only time winning or losing really matters is at tournaments and other qualifying venues.
But, tell that to the person experiencing the loss. Losses are hard on the soul. They make you question your efficacy, your worth, your skill and abilities. Losses make you feel exposed to the world. The world doesn’t know how to talk to you about them. Making matters more difficult, people are ready and willing to approach you after a win.
There are of course the usual sayings:
It’s not if you win or lose, it’s how you play the game- Winning isn’t everything- Be number 1-
So many different takes on winning and losing. Everyone has their opinion about it and it’s easy to talk about until the actual loss happens.
One of my boxers is a teacher and he said one of the hardest things to do was to talk to his students after he experiences a loss. The repetition he has to go through explaining the loss and how he feels about it in an honest way is incredibly brave and challenging. He learns how to “stay in the pocket” rather than pop out and get out of perceived danger—a very valuable training experience for the ring and life in general.
“Mental strength is really important because you either win or lose in your mind. And I’m not solely talking about sporting matches, boxing events – anything you do, you do it first with your mental strength. And you can actually train and develop it, and I am responsible for what I’m saying because I have experience with that.”–Wladimir Klitschko
This is the truest lesson from boxing training and matches-The knowing how to develop mental strength. This to me is crucial for all of my boxers. They learn where their mental strengths and where their mental openings are through each win and loss- through every day they train. They experience what it takes to endure discomfort and stay in a learning state. Boxers learn how to use experiences in daily life to train for the ring and how to use boxing to train for life. Boxers acquire a holistic state of being and are able to respond with more confidence, discipline and exactness because of their ability to experience wins and losses equally well.
I am extremely proud of my boxers when they win and when they lose, because they are all being beacons for their community. They are telling all of you that we experience all the same things in our own ways. They are being leaders by being on stage and sharing their personal experience in a very public way.
Thank you to all of the Arcaro competitive boxers and thank you to our Arcaro boxing gym community that supports our endeavors through and through sharing your own stories.