There is a type of mindset that some athletes struggle with. I call it Absolute. If they have a “bad” sparring session, they consider themselves to be a “bad” boxer. If they have a “good” sparring session, they consider themselves to be a “good” boxer. Either type of absolute thinking is in my opinion, the death of the athlete. Being good and bad is so fleeting. We are in a constant flux of doing things well and poorly. Tasks do not make us good or bad. It is the pursuit that we should measure ourselves in…….
A certain move might work tremendously against opponent A but be disastrous against opponent B. Do either situations make me a good or bad boxer? I think not.
I work to instill in my boxers an idea that United Parcel Service founder, Jim Casey coined- “Constructively Dissatisfied.” It means that you can recognize what you have accomplished and you can appreciate your accolades from others, but there is always more to do and other ways to go about your tasks. Complacency to me is death and the ability to be Constructively Dissatisfied is a good balance between being too hard on oneself-creating tension vs. being interested in growth and travel and creating an engaged and relaxed existence.
I am fully invested in myself and others to experience a more fulfilling boxing experience via this interest, relaxation and learning mindset. I want the wins and the successes but only if they come via a route of Constructive Dissatisfaction. Only if they come through a tremendous amount of dedication to training the whole self- body, mind, spirit and emotion.
Mental fortitude, mental flexibility, mental focus are all skills that are paramount to being a force in the ring. Absolute thinking lies on the low end of all these mental skills. If a boxer has tremendous athletic ability and an absolute mindset, it’s a crapshoot about how they will do in the ring. It’s also questionable how well they will fare outside the ring in their belief of themselves.
As we head into competition tonight up in Canada, my goal is to have made an impact in the mental skills of my boxers just as much as the physical. I am a no nonsense fundamentals kind of coach in boxing, mental and emotional skills. Tonight I will test my training through the work I see accomplished by my boxers. They will test their belief in themselves as doubts arise, as adrenaline increases, as the punches come in to thwart their progress.
If they go into the ring, doggedly determined to accomplish their will, doggedly determined to implement their physicality and doggedly determined to stay on course no matter what kind of thoughts run through as they are boxing, then our training will have been successful and they will have lived up to their potential.
Tonight, I believe both Jordan and Laura are very capable of being Constructively Dissatisfied and winning their bouts!
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