5 COMMON MISTAKES WHEN STARTING OUT
The most common fault I see when a Boxer starts out is with their STANCE, it can be a difficult problem to break/overcome if not corrected in the very beginning. The novice will have their shoulders positioned inaccurately & their feet are all over the map.
Shoulder offense — Squaring the shoulders up with their opponent, making themselves a wide open target to hit.
How to Fix: Lead with your non-dominate hip & shoulder, this will put the body at a slight angle, the body will then be less exposed/open.
Feet offense — Feet are far too wide, which will cause one to be off balance. Being off balance will not allow you to get off an effective punch. Think about it, if your feet are off balance & you get hit, you’ll go down much easier.
How to Fix: Feet should be slightly wider than shoulder width. Important; be sure to never cross over your legs when moving left or right.
To see STANCE click —> Proper Boxing Stance and the Five Basic Punches
More on Stance & Balance: When learning to punch make sure you keep your feet set. Don’t ever lift them off the ground. Sitting down on your punches is one of hardest to learn. THE FOOT MUST BE SAT DOWN ON (PLANTED FIRMLY) AS YOU THROW THE PUNCH. Another mistake is leaning to far forward when punching. Be sure to throw through with your hip & don’t lead with your chin. Practice punching the heavy bag standing in place & throwing various punches. Continue to practice to the point your not feeling off balance or falling forward. Once this is accomplished, then start moving around & punching the bag.
#2 HOLDING YOUR BREATH
As you punch make sure you exhale, blowing out your air. It’s very common for most to hold their breath, especially when throwing combinations or sparring. Holding your breath cause irregular breathing, leaving you vulnerable to body punches, which will cause you to get the wind knocked out of you. Breathing properly relaxes the fighter & keep you in rhythm.
#3 HANDS UP, CHIN DOWN
Of course the Boxer knows this is the golden rule, yet it’s difficult to instill it in the brain. After hours of training the Boxer will almost always lose this focus. Also, what the Boxer will commonly do is… when throwing from on side, the fighter will drop his hand from the other side, or when throwing a combination, he’ll do the same. You need to establish defensive positioning that will protect you from being knocked out. Keeping the chin down is part of the defensive position. Short fighters pull their chin up to throw a jab or punch to the taller opponent. This mistake is what counter punching is all about. Be sure to keep your chin down & your eyes always on your opponent. One old school trick is to train with a soft rubber ball beneath your chin.
Most Boxers when starting out try to either muscle their punches or wind up so that they can hit harder. Stop right there, what you need to do is, start out slow & focus on your technique & the mechanics of punching. This is what Shadow Boxing is all about. Punching is a skillful science, which takes hours of practice & constant repetition. Don’t worry about speed or power, until your form is down. Once you have your subconscious dialed in, then add speed & strength.
Finally, the dreaded of all…Conditioning #5 CONDITIONING Their is absolutely no excuse for not being in the best shape you can be. No matter how skillful you are, or if you think you can knock the guy out in the first round, if you run out of gas, there are no teammates to help bale you out. The most shameful way to lose a boxing match would be if you were out of shape. What’s sad is that it’s so preventable, BY YOU!
Roadwork is the least favored part of boxing. I see it everyday, how people blow it off. Jumping rope & interval training, should never be neglected or put off for another day. The big excitement is being in the gym around the other Boxers, no one misses this training, & they’ll spend hours in the gym doing bag work proving they are a king of the jungle. But, the big question… what are you doing on your own outside the gym when no one is around to watch, where’s the roadwork? To me it’s as if you don’t have respect for the sport. A true warrior, is a quiet one, he/she doesn’t have to talk about or display his/her training, the training pain is untold & unseen. A warrior trains with his own mind, his own heart, his own determination.
Summary: Boxing is about developing one’s self. It is a sport that requires timing, coordination, power, & speed, along with tremendous conditioning & mental focus. It will take many hours in the gym to become an expert. To get there faster, then be sure not to skip any of your training. Don’t just rely on natural athleticism or toughness, it’s the ones that practice & persevere that become champions & tackle their goals one by one.
THE BOXER IS NOT MEASURED BY HIS FLASHINESS, BUT BUY HIS HARD WORK!