A Smooth Sea never made a skilled sailorFranklin D. Roosevelt
This is indeed our situation right now. The entire world is going through a challenging time as the COVID-19 virus situation has forced us to postpone our plans, cancel events, limit our movement, practice social distancing, reduce our activities outside of home and made us stay at home, maybe more than we want to.
What I’m going to be touching on is not a major concern compared to the health care professionals who have been giving their all day and night, saving lives especially at a time like this.
But boxing to me has always been about strength and hope and it surely means the same for many others. COVID-19 might have forced gyms to close down and for extra precaution, training at home may be the best option. With the luxury of training at the gym being taken away, it can be disheartening.
But this is a test. This will weed out the posers, pretenders, talkers and only those who are truly dedicated to their goals will find a way despite the circumstances right now. There are many ways to do your boxing training at home.
Fighters have had their fights cancelled after months of preparation and in most cases, it’s not known when the next fight will be. It takes a whole lot of disciple and dedication to be training with no clear fight date.
The first step is to recognise that the fight isn’t your main goal. The goal is to always get better, improve your skills, add more skills to your skill set, be a better overall fighter than yesterday, and this goal should be met every single day whether there is a fight coming or not. Challenge yourself.
Staying at home don’t mean you should get lazy. Get moving! So what can you do?
Do some bodyweight exercises like push ups, burpees, sit ups, the different kind of core exercises, tuck jumps, split jumps, jumping jacks with weights, mountain climbers, do squats while carrying a sack of rice or your baby….something!
In fact many things can be done and in the sport of boxing, you don’t need much to be a better boxer. For now, you can train at home!
Shadowboxing is essential and you will be relying on this mostly during this time. In terms of skill work, decide on a punch combination everyday and repeat it. The dedicated will do this as many times as they must to get it right. Maybe up to 500 times! Once you sort of get it, add some variations to it and think on how you can apply this combination in a fight situation. Reverse the role and think how you are going to defend against this combination you are working on. Think like your opponent and then outsmart him/ her.
Another thing you can do is improve your boxing IQ. This involves film study. Don’t just watch fights from the perspective of a boxing fan. Be a student. Try and notice and learn what different fighters like to do and how they punch, move, set up their moves or act in the ring. Learn boxing history and not just be obsessed with one fighter. In fact, there are plenty of fight breakdowns on YouTube. Below are some of my favourites.
Don’t skip the books! Read biographies of fighters and learn about their training regime, lifestyle, mistakes etc. Find books relating to mental strength as we all know that success in boxing depends on your mental toughness.
With this, I encourage you to not stop the hard work you’ve been putting on. It’s always easy to make excuses, and that’s the habit of the ordinary. Why be ordinary when you can be special? In the mean time, stay safe, be responsible, and help each other out. We are all in this together.