This is often used with relaxation techniques in order to reduce arousal. The boxer imagines the cicumstances and feelings
associated with being relaxed.
Imagery can also be used to practice something, this is known as mental reheasal. The boxer can 'run throug' his performance
in his mind, deciding how to cope wtih tactics, what shots he will throw, earing the crowd, smelling the atmosphere and feeling
the fear and handling them confidently. By doing this he is working on some possible sources of stress - uncertainty, pressure,
low self - confidence - to minimise their effect. This type of training is thought to enhance performance to a great degree
if used correctly. Ten minutes a day is good, lay in a dark room and imagine your at the fight, you feel scared, you can hear
the crowd. Imagine your getting gloved up then walking to the ring and getting in, imagine yourself performing well and handling
the far. Try this before training, imagine sparring etc, its no good doing it on fight night. You need to practice, thats
the only way you get good at it. Did you know the brain struggles to tell the difference between reality and imagery (if done
properly). Give it a go, I think you be surprised by the results, what have you got to lose?.
You can use tapes and such to wind down after training, one widely used method is progressive muscular relaxation (PMR).
This involves tensing and then relaxing groups of muscles in turn over the whole body. Boxers can devise their own techniques
along these lines, and practice usually enables the athlete to relax effectively in a very short space of time.
Other types of relaxation:
You can listen to music, this is a good relaxation method used alot, whatever feels good for you.
Goal setting can help the boxer focus away from the source of stress and on something achievable. It should focus on
performance related goals rather than on outcome related goals. Boxers can be helped to focus on a particular, achievable,
goal during performance which can switch attention from external factors which may create arousal and worry.
One way to do this is to give yourself buzz words, or a quote of some sort you read every time you go training or to
a fight. This type is effective because it releases self confidence and give you that something extra in training/fighting.
An example coild be a note hand written on a piece of paper that you keep with your training gear and read when using it.
It could say something like "today i will train like a champion, so tommorow i may become one"
The ability to perceive arousal and to maintain a problem focused attitude before and during performance has a positive
effect on performance. Self - talk helps the boxer to see arousal as positive. Self - talk can be used to change your perspective
of the situation. You could tell yourself "ive trained so hard for this fight that no one can stop me".
The quotes on the card i mentioned is also a good form of self - talk. During the fight when things are getting tough
have a statement that you would tell yourself to give you that extra something.
Boxing is a draining sport, both mentally and physically. Don't underestimate the power of the mind, it is a powerful
tool that can make or brake you. If you use these suggestions I am certain you will see some improvement in your performance,
but you don't have to believe me. Try them out for a while and see how you get on, but not just in the ring, it has to become
part of your mindset. If you have a presentation at school/work then stand up and speak clearly, be proud of your work. You
can achieve whatever you believe (you know what I mean, don't try and fly). Think positvely all the time, have positive quotes
on your bedroom door, or in the office, don't watch the news as soon as you get up in the morning because watching bad news
does nothing for positive thinking. Most importantly of, believe and reach for the stars, you never know where you might get.