No sport is harsher than boxing. Boxing embodies the best of who we are as people. Those who have played the sport at any level may use what they have learned in many parts of their lives, from business to politics to personal relationships. People who watch the sport may apply the knowledge they get in various aspects of their lives. Below, we look at several life lessons we may learn from the sport of boxing.
1. Nerves can be beneficial.
Several boxers have informed Probellum that they feel apprehensive before matches and sometimes even during practice. They’d be intense at times and linger for a long time, but they’d also be ephemeral. If you’re nervous, it’s a good thing since it indicates that you care. However, whether or not they cause you to act like a coward is up to you and how you choose to channel them. The trick is to figure out how to handle it. You may take long, measured, deep breaths (like my coach taught me!) to stabilize your heartbeat and return to a state of mind where you can think logically, then channel that energy into fuel for your fire.
And nerves aren’t always synonymous with uneasiness and anxiety; some nerves are just a form of anticipation. Consider it motivation. If you care about the outcome of a battle, a job interview, or a date, it indicates you care enough to give it your all. Allow it to motivate you. Mental toughness is a big part of winning at everything in life, and keep in mind that your opponent is likely to be just as scared as you are.
2. Never, ever give up
If you ever feel like you’re pushed into a corner, don’t just give up and stand there taking it forever; otherwise, you’ll get pummeled and have nowhere else to go. Take notice of the situation, respond as swiftly and calmly as possible, and then take a sideways stride to get out as soon as possible. Sure, you can attempt to battle your way out of it and succeed, but it’s a lot tougher – not to mention it uses a lot more energy than necessary, which might weary you for when you need to fight again later. It makes far more sense to choose a lateral motion that will get you out of that corner as fast, cleanly, and pleasantly as possible, allowing you to get a new perspective.
3. Respect your adversaries.
Suppose you don’t respect the fact that your adversaries may have their own skills and qualities. These skills may or may not be better than yours but are certainly different. In that case, you’re more likely to underestimate them, giving them a better chance of succeeding.
4. Work intelligently rather than harder.
Working hard is always good, and if you can hit more enormous blows, by all means, do so. However, simply pushing forward to bash someone senseless will not get you as far as moving around a little more cleverly. Work in a way that results in more effective moves that will not waste energy. This will ensure that you can save that energy and use it elsewhere, keeping going for longer.
5. It’s a good idea to learn how to take a blow.
Yes, it will be unpleasant, it will sting, and it can hurt quite a bit. But whether it’s a physical blow or an emotional or symbolic hit, learning how to deal with let-downs, rejections, and similar scenarios is integral to character development. It will teach you how to come back stronger and armed with the knowledge to hone your skills. Hopefully, it will show you how to find the strength within yourself to do so, rather than just sitting around sobbing and giving up.
6. Pay attention to your surroundings.
Support is essential regardless of how independent, powerful, confident, talented, or self-sufficient you are. When you’re feeling weak, broken, or questioning yourself, it’s what will give you that final push you need to keep going or stand back up. It will help you see things from a fresh perspective and keep you grounded when you may otherwise lose that capacity due to fear or focus.
7. It’s okay to fall; what matters is that you get back up.
And as fast as possible, lest you get battered down any further or knocked unconscious! Rocky Balboa stated it like way: “Allow me to remind you of something you already know. The world isn’t all rainbows and sunshine. It’s a harsh and ugly place, and no matter how tough you are, if you let it, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there forever. Nobody, not you, not me, is going to be hit as hard as life. However, it is not about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can be hit and keep going; how much you can take and keep going. That’s how it’s done when you’re a winner!”
8. Champions are made, not born.
Everyone has to begin somewhere. One thing to note about boxing gyms is that they’re generally gritty, without all of the fancy bells and whistles, and people are simply there to train, learn, and improve, no matter what level you’re at. And to develop, everyone, no matter how excellent or awful they are, must continually push themselves and put some muscle into their hustle.
9. Keep your issues internal if you want to battle with elegance.
If you’re going to speak trash about your opponents before you ever confront them and talk big when you don’t know what you’re in for, the only thing you’ll win is feeling like a prize fool if you get slapped down in front of those audiences you tried so hard to impress beforehand. The more public you make your drama, the brighter the spotlight on you if you fall center stage.
Love it or loathe it, there are life lessons for all of us in boxing: unleash every ounce of aggression you have in you, but do so in a controlled and conscious manner. No matter what life throws at you, be calm and composed. When your battles are over, hug your adversaries, forgive and forget, and then go on.