Learning and performing
The learning process differs from performance in that it cannot be directly observed. It is an internal process which
results in relatively permanent changes in behaviour as a result of experience or practice. In order to monitor the learning
process coaches could constantly evaluate performance over a period of time, training sessions could be recorded over an eight
week period and closely looked at a couple of times with constant feedback to the learner to aid his/her improvement and development
in the sport.
It has been established that those involved in learning of motor skills exhibited periods where there was no apparent
improvement in performance. Each period is known as a plateau, for example, when you first learn a new skill such as boxing,
you appear to progress very rapidly before passing through a phase when you no longer improve. This is followed by another
phase of rapid improvement.
Some scientists have suggested that when we learn a motor skill we do so in stages.
The first stage might involve learning basic actions such as how to throw a punch in a stationary position. In the next
stage the boxer may learn how to move with appropriate footwork, while a third stage of the process might see the boxer learn
how to strike an opponent while on the move.
The most important thing to remember when learning how to box is to TAKE THINGS SLOW! Learn the basics and be patient,
you will improve so don't rush into anything that could well be out of your league. Try to remember these three stages of
the learning process:
Learning what is required: Ask your coach for help, make sure you are doing the basics right, i.e keeping
hands up, throwing straight and good footwork.
Practice: This is the stage where you start to iron out any silly mistakes you made while learning the
skill for the first time. You now also begin to build on the basics such as learning how to feint a punch and throwing hooks,
Mastery: This is the stage where you can perform the above without to much help from the coach, now
you do not have to think before you act. It all comes naturally to you from now on so now you can start full contact sparring
and even competing.
I think that when learning to box you don't run before you can walk, in this I mean that you shouldn't bug your coach to
spar when you have only been there a month! You only need to work on basic exercises at first such as normal pressups, situps
and squats as well as doing a bit of road work. But all that is useless if you have'nt mastered the basics of the sport, work
one to one with your coach, ask peers to keep an eye on your stance and hand work. Work on the pads, do plenty of bag work
and shadow boxing (you can do this at home in front of the mirror). When you are new don't just hit the bag for the sake of
it, you need to improve so work on your style and master the basics. Building a strong base like this will give you great
advantage in the future. Give this a try:
Just throw the jab in this round, keeping good form and throwing only good well executed jabs, not hundreds one after the
other. For half the round move around one way and for the last round move around the other way.
Now through the jab and power punch while moving, first jab and power punch, then throw two jabs then the power punch.
This round you do the same as two except now you throw some feints, you could feint the jab then straight away throw the
power punch, do this a couple of times. for the last half of the round just throw hooks, maybe feint the jab then hook.
This round you throw everything together, jabs (single, double, and treble) throw power punches, feint and move. Be inventive,
this is the round to try things out, you could throw the jab, power punch then hook. Anything you like, try.