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Sports Psychology Tips For Boxers: How To Get Mentally Tough Before The Bell Sounds

Posted by: Dr. Granat on December 30, 2009


     What does it take to be a great boxer?   What can fighters do to get mentally tougher?  What separates good boxers  from great boxers? And what kind of mental training is helpful for fighters?

      In the past, I have counseled a number of boxers, martial artists and mixed martial artists.  When I work with these athletes, I usually also work closely with their trainers and their managers.  This is essential, since these people are a vital part of the fighter’s team.  Everyone is the fighter’s camp must be on the same page when the bell for the first round sounds.

   For some reason, I have been contacted by a number of fighter recently.  Several of these boxers are competing in The Golden Gloves tournament in New York City.

         Key issues for fighters include learning how to stay relaxed before the fight and once the fight begins. 

         Fighters also need to learn how to remain confident, calm and focused during the course of the fight.

         They also need to know what their strengths and weaknesses are so they can continue to get mentally and physically better as they train.

           Boxers are encouraged to study film of their opponents so they can develop a fight plan for their upcoming fights. This kind of plan helps the fighter to focus more effectively during the course of the bout.

           Fighters also need to flexible enough to change strategy and tactics if things are not going well as they would have hoped as the fight unfolds.  Many fighters fail because they have only one approach or one style to fighting.  A versatile fighter is apt to be more successful against a wide array of opponents than is a one dimensional fighter.

            Boxers need to be able to find the right level aggressiveness and the right energy level for their craft.  I try to teach boxers to fight in mental state which can be described as relaxed aggression.

       Boxers also need to develop mental and physical resiliency so they can weather the physical punishment which is part of boxing.

             Many boxers benefit from a combination of hypnosis, meditation, visualization and guided imagery.

             For more mental toughness tips, visit

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