What are you fighting for?
There are things that drive us, that propel our fight. They can be to prove capability to ourselves, to prove people wrong, to defend from feeling previous experiences again, or a fight to see who you are.
Each interaction with another is influenced by this fight. Whatever drives us is what lens we will perceive all interactions through. Everything must relate to this fighting environment….it must be within the logical confines of the fighting system established.
Why is this important to a boxing coach? Because you will watch your boxer expose their inner workings in training, sparring and matches. They will be vulnerable in your presence and depending upon their willingness to handle the discomfort of this vulnerability, their driving fight will either make them a foe or they will hunker down, give you a space in the corner and they will do the work.
I’ve finally realized that I don’t really teach anyone to fight. The fight is the boxer’s responsibility…….what they fight for, how they embrace it, that’s all theirs. My impact comes from teaching fundamentals and technique in the physical realm. In the mental/emotional medium, my job is to point out patterns, to give an opportunity for awareness.
I must do this with myself first and then earn the respect of the boxer to be able to ask them to do the same.
We all have patterns of defensiveness and they get in the way of our most free flowing form. Just watch how a boxer starts out with skittish flinching, closing eyes, bullying, pushing, running…..and a million other actions. These are all habits for protection. We do them in the ring and we do them in our daily life. We cement these responses in and boxing gives the opportunity for us to parse out and keep or change these responses.
Through the exposure of repeated physical patterns in the ring, a boxer then can relate the gym to their life activities and begin chipping away the tartar coating the surface. It’s why it takes so long to be a competitive boxer. It’s the most complete experience, marrying the physical to the unseen world of psychology and emotion.
We are approaching some significant competitive dates and these boxers have dug in and done their work. All we do now is see what work is still left uncovered!