Subject: Into his head
Date: 30-Sep-00 | 04:30 AM
I wanted to touch on those aspects of boxing which don't throw a single blow, yet they can be crucial to the win.
1. Attitude. Soak your head with your champions, watch their fights, watch their tempo, their techniques, their *presence*. Emulate that one presence that captures you and become it...until you're ready to shed it like a snake skin, becoming something new and better - yourself. Believe deeply that you're good and you can win.
2. Style. To have style you need to deeply understand yourself - your physical limitations. If you always see what you are not, you will always feel inadequate. If you take yourself as a given, then you build off that base, your feet are on the solid ground of who you are. From there, a style and a deeply meaningful adventure is possible. Joe Frazier fighting like Ali would look strange, as would Ali crossing up his arms, fighting like Joe Frazier. They both understood who they were and developed styles to compensate for their shortcomings, capitalize on their strengths.
3. Dedication. The fight is won before the bell. Michael Jordon, arguably the most talented basketball player of all time, was the first at practice and the last to leave the court. How hard are you willing to work at your craft?
4. Smart Training. In business it's not how hard you work, it's how smart you work. Are you taking the time to deeply anaylze the fight game? Are you willing to fight as hard for the title as you are willing to fight for the right team? Are you spending your time with inspiring people, motivating people? Are you filtering training techniques as judiciously as you are analyzing punches? A tall, strong ladder is a fantastic asset of ascension...and a terrible curse if it's lying against the wrong building.
5. Ring Generalship. If your opponent loves licorice, give him celery. If he loves being persued, don't pursue him - or let him feel persued by a preditor, rather than a matador-bull relationship. If he loves to chase, don't be chased. This is also called ring generalship. Who is commanding the action of the fight? You have the power to determine how the fight is fought.
6. Pressure. There is something about stepping up the momentum, a willingness to put skills on the line, that either makes diamonds of us or crushes our resolve. Be ready to be the diamond, and push your opponent to figure out if he's ready for the intensity or will wilt with the pressure. Let him know you're ready to put it on the line. If you refuse, you have conceded an important psychological statement of the fight - you're afraid. An opponent who's not afraid and is committed pushes $500.00 to the center of the table, where the last bid was but a penny. Pressure for a range fighter may mean jabbing more and harder, staying closer and countering harder. Pressure for a bull-type fighter is...well, just what you think it is!
7. Reputation. Your training and determination and performances send vibrations out into the fighting community, and sets yourself up for notice, sticks your presence in your opponent's head long before a fight happens.
8. Gameness. How much do you want to win? It's easy to hit someone and feel good about victory, and getting in the combinations you want. It's much harder if you're giving your best and having your ass handed to you. How much do you want to win? Archie Moore was knocked down six times by Yvonne Durell before coming on in the later rounds to knock him down over and over and win the fight. "This was my finest moment", my fellow San Diegan declared. Why? Because his will to win could not be extinguished, even after being sent to the canvas six times. He also said he had to look his bulldog in the eye when he got home! If there ain't no white flag to go up a yellow spine, there will be a weird light hovering over the ring - it will shine on a man who believes in the win so deeply, it is unassailable, even before death. That spirit of gameness weighs heavily in the mind of an opponent. The respect of a man with that grit inside him is universally hailed as the stuff of heroes, both inside and outside the ring. "Never, Never give in" was what Churchill said in WWII to his fellow Englishmen at their wan hour - he instilled in his country the spirit of gameness. They didn't give in. They won the war.
Off to bed now. I hope others contribute to these ideas.
Wow! Shouldn't we be printing this stuff to make a book or something? Don't worry Rastas, I'll give you a small percentage if and when it does well.LOL.
Be a bean counter for a second, and count your seconds inside and outside the ring. You will find that the time inside the ring is a diminutive grain of sand beside a boulder.
Put that boulder on your side of the weight scale, and watch the result come crunching down in your favor.
I was watching the olympics tonight with friends, and marveling over the years and months and hours and time and focus these athelets put in, before their one minute to shine.
We talk about technique here, and rightly so. I wanted in this post to focus on the boulder, on all the hours and days that prepare us for that brief moment in the ring.
I wanted to focus on techniques that are integral to boxing success, but recognizing that the skeleton key to unlock the chest of victory lies outside the ring.
We don't find it in the ring, we carry it into the ring.
I've been printing all of this stuff off, I also print off a lot of Scott Sonnons stuff off, I'm putting together like a Fighters notebook.
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