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Sports Psychology in boxing.

In boxing every boxer needs that personal edge or increased performance to defeat their opponent. One way to achieve that edge or increase performance in boxing is using different aspects of sport psychology. Sports psychology is an interdisciplinary field that draws on psychology and kinesiology (human kinetics).

One way that sports psychology can help a boxer gain that edge is through sharpening the mental toughness of a fighter.

This helps with the psychological edge of a boxer to perform at high levels consistently using mental characteristics.

An example of a mental characteristic a boxer might want to use is confidence or a strong belief that “I will perform to my best ability” Sports psychology also works with increasing motivation or the will to perform a given task with success.

This aspect of personality is key for a boxer to achieve victory or gain the edge over an opponent. Much of motivation is internal and with the right use of sports psychology a boxer could more easily grasp at what motivates themselves and use it to get up before the 10 count and win. Another way sports psychology can help a boxer is through coaching.

Now most people would think this a given or even such a basic need it is not worth mentioning. However, a good boxing coach who understands the proper sports psychology techniques will be far more successful at working with boxers then coaches without these techniques.

A good example of coaches using sports psychology is creating a motivational climate for success. Having a boxing coach who understands the types of motivational climates for success can help a boxer reach his goals far more easily.

Effective coaching practices use the most effective methods for communication, reinforcing desired behaviour and feedback. There is much more than just this, that a coach can do who understands sports psychology and this could give a boxer that edge he needs to win.

Some commonly used techniques that sports psychology employs that are very useful to boxers are arousal regulation, pre-performance routines, goal setting, self-talk, and visualisation. Visualisation and self talk are very good in helping a boxer have bouts with opponents in his head and predict moves and come up with plans for victory.

Pre-performance routines and goal setting help with getting a boxer get into the proper rhythm for optimal performance before a fight. Arousal regulations refer to finding and maintaining the optimal mind frame for a boxer’s best performance.

Overall sports psychology used properly within boxing can give a boxer the proper edge needed to secure victory or overcome walls a fighter may encounter during training. Garry Wasson has a Diploma in sport psychology & has worked with Australian boxing champions.