A champion’s mindset: Train your brain for your next win!

The Covid-19 lockdown and uncertainty about the upcoming face-offs is the best time to work on your mental and physical health. It is high time to work on your boxing mental block and align your entire body and its reflexes and come out as the best version of yourself with a champion’s mindset. No need to make yourself think about all the times when you had boxing mental block as it is the moment to start working on decoding every mental block and know where you lag. The minds of many fighters have been plagues by boxing mental block issues and this lockdown has brought about the silver lining of letting boxers stay in their comfort zone and work on their mental and physical perspective.

Sports psychologist Dr. Peter Olusoga highlights the importance of mental performance and mental toughness in boxing. Every champion has a mindset and this mindset paves way for your win in the ring and outside it in your personal life. No one can overlook the importance of mental toughness in boxing. All the big names in the game know its value and they have expressed their views regarding mental boxing techniques.

“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion’.” -Muhammad Ali

Quitting is not an option in boxing. You need to know that every minute that you spend in the ring and every moment when you are out of breath, you are on your way to build the foundations of success. Training your mind is not as simple as your physical strength. Mind training for fighters allows them to have a feel of their biggest moment and success. Not many boxers realize the vitality of mental toughness in boxing and they remain involved in physical training. Mental training for fighters is the only way to train their brain for tough situations and this will get the edge over their opponents.

90% is mental, 10% is physical, but how many trains for it?

It’s all in the mind. Your success, your failure, and every other emotion and fear are in your mind. Many emphasize the mental toughness in boxing to tackle boxing mental block but very few practices it. The role of psychology in boxing has failed to garner much attention but there are 4 areas that every boxer needs to understand and work on it to enhance mental toughness in boxing and deal with boxing mental block. Mental training to increase mental toughness in boxing is pivotal because when you fall in the ring, it is your mental toughness and motivation that makes you stand up again.

“The hero and the coward both feel the same thing. But the hero uses his fear, projects it onto his opponent, while the coward runs. It’s the same thing, fear, but it’s what you do with it that matters.” -Cus D’amato

Four Areas of Boxing

i) Technical Ability

  • Hand speed
  • Boxing Footwork
  • Defense punching techniques
  • Boxing punch combinations
  • Head movement

ii) Tactical Skill

  • Game strategy
  • Pacing strategies
  • Countering the attack

iii) Physical Strength

  • Speed
  • Strength
  • Physical fitness
  • Agility
  • Reflexes
  • Coordination

iv) Mental Strengths

  • Self-belief
  • Motivation
  • Determination
  • Fearlessness
  • Emotional control
  • Focus

What does it take to become a World champ?

Technical ability. Tactical skills, physical strength, and mental strength. Boxing is a brutal sport and this demands aggression. Aggression at times deviates you from your focused position and you lose the emotional control. You need to train your brain to be emotionally balanced to enhance mental toughness in boxing. Discipline and control and every other thing stem from your mental strength.

Boxing psychology

Factors that ensure mental toughness in boxing

Mental training for fighters must be focused on tactics that ensure mental toughness in boxing. The mentioned mental toughness tactics are going to change your perspective and you can include working on them in your routine workout.

  • Motivation
  • Controlled aggression
  • Emotional control
  • Imagery & Visualization
  • Coping & Preparation
  • Self-belief
  • Awareness
  • Concentration
  • Anxiety control

Mental toughness in boxing can be improved by having a clear mindset and following the mentioned boxing mental techniques:

Controlling your nerves

Every athlete in the world experiences nerves before any game and this is very natural. You might have nagging thoughts and butterflies in your stomach and these are brutal signs of nervousness. It is all about your mindset. You can take these nerves as tension or can take it as the temperament of your body to take your opponent down. Make sure you are working on relaxation, centering, counteracting negative thinking, and applied relaxation.


One thing that every athlete must stick to religiously is concentration and focus. The moment you lose it, you have lost it. Concentrate on the right things and the things that need your attention. Do not waste your time on wrong things as time is the most precious thing in the ring. After two rounds, every boxer gets tired and is usually focused on gaining back his breath. While working on his breathing, he misses out on the important instructions from the coach. They need to have a balanced approach where they can gain their physical strength back while focusing on the instructions. Concentration skills coupled with a focus on the upcoming rounds and its strategies are what every boxer must inculcate. It is highly suggested to work on your concentration styles, centering, concentration training, and imagery.

Involve a sports psychologist

Coaches must be taken on board from the outset. A sports psychologist can help you in bringing clarity to your set goals and make you more disciplined.

A sports psychologist can strengthen the use of relaxation, imagery skills in the sparring setting. The more confident athlete takes control of the ring and his physical strengths coupled with mental control decides the fate of the match. Do not give up because you have got it and you are destined to do so.

“You never lose until you actually give up.” -Mike Tyson