When you are a beginner in boxing, the first match you take part in will forever be planted in your memory. It’s the most surreal experience. You can never be quite ready for what you’ll experience on the ring. You may prepare yourself mentally, train as hard as you can, and even visualize every move you’ll make, but it still won’t be enough.
Facing a real live opponent is the next level. Nothing compares to feeling their punches connecting with your body and your punches connecting with theirs. You’re bound to be nervous and apprehensive as you take that first step. Every boxer will tell you stepping onto that ring for the first time shaped their boxing career. It will be the tipping point where you decide to pursue boxing or run the other way.
Your trainer or coach may be confident in you and proudly announce you are ready for your first fight. Be sure to pick an opponent who is at the same level as you are. This will help ease you into the ring life than facing a more experienced boxer on your first match.
Preparation for your First Match
You have to prepare to face your first opponent. If you are not adequately prepared, then be ready to receive the beating of your life. Take the necessary steps to face your opponent with confidence because you are sure of your technique and preparedness.
Get the Right Trainer/Coach
How you get started in boxing matters. Getting the right trainer/coach is one of the most important decisions you’ll make. It might make or break your career. A great coach will get you started on the right footing. Get one who has experience with beginners and won’t be too much of a drill sergeant making you lose psych easily.
Educate yourself more about boxing and watch closely how top fighters you admire compete on the ring. There are many autobiographies available from the best boxers in the world. They are a wealth of knowledge. Remember you have to prepare yourself physically and mentally too. Listen to your coach and follow their directions and they’ll get you ready for your first match.
Commit to Serious Training
When you decide to venture into professional boxing, be ready to push your body to the limits. Every aspect of your life will change including how you train. Training to be a professional is very different from training for fitness. You may have the natural talent that got you into the door, but that can only take you so far. You need serious and rigorous training to make it as a top boxer in the industry.
Good training focuses not only on your strength but also on your stamina too. You must be able to last all the rounds without getting easily distracted or tired. This means you must be very energetic and strong. Your coach will create a training schedule for you that will push you to your limit and beyond. You must keep to it to be ready for your first time on the ring.
Change your Diet
To be a boxer, you must eat like one. Study how your favorite boxers eat and when they eat too. You have to completely change your diet. Long are the days of dropping by at your favorite fast food restaurant every evening. As a boxer, you must maintain a healthy and balanced diet every day, no exception.
A well balanced diet consists of healthy carbs, protein, vegetables, and fruits. To top this off, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water. Eating well and drinking water will improve your energy levels. You cannot expect to last in training and on the ring when you lack the proper energy.
Stay very far away from sweet drinks like colas and alcohol too. This is the time to treat your body like a temple. Watch everything that you eat and drink closely. Your coach can help you create a boxer’s diet plan to help guide you as a beginner.
Perfect your Technique
To be ready for a match, you must perfect your technique. Every boxer has a technique that is unique to them. This gives you a fighting chance against your opponent. Your coach gets you started in boxing and will help you learn which technique works best for you. Once you know, practice, practice until you can do it in your sleep.
Your technique consists of a good attack and defense plan coupled with good ring habits. Learn what your strengths are in the ring? Do you have a mean right hook? Is your footwork the best thing about you? Maximize your strengths as you work to improve on your weaknesses too.
Know who you are and what you are confident you can do to perfection on the ring. Be honest too on your weaknesses. You have them. No one is perfect. Ask your coach to help you explore your strengths and weaknesses. Learn from the mistakes you make and try your level best to correct them. This will get you ready for your first time on the ring.
Who is your Opponent?
You’ll get a chance to learn more about your opponent. They won’t just show up on the day of the fight. If there is video footage of their past fights, watch and learn their technique. Learn all you can about them before you face them on the ring. This helps to even calm your nerves because they cease being a stranger.
Tips for your First Boxing Match
There are a few things on top of being prepared that you can do to be ready for your first fight. These tips help you face your opponent confidently.
1. Get some Rest
The day before the match is not the day to put all your training into one day. Train a little then get some much-needed rest. Be confident in all the training you’ve put in so far. Go to bed early too. Sleep will help you wake up energetic and relaxed too.
2. Be Positive
Your mind has to be ready for the match too. Maintain a positive attitude and believe you’ve done all you could to get ready. Allowing negative thoughts to take over will keep you nervous and anxious. You may end up distracted on the ring. Train your mind to remain positive and believe you’ll emerge victoriously.
Your coach will rain positive comments your way which you must soak in. Repeat them to yourself until you believe. Create a system for positive affirmations to work with from the first day you start as a boxer. This will help you shape your mind.
3. Purchase the Right Equipment
One way to be prepared for the match is by getting the right competition equipment and protective gear. Professional equipment and protective gear are different from what you may use training for fitness. There are standards set by governing bodies too of the type you must use in a match.
Equipping yourself boosts your confidence because you don’t have to worry about not having the right gear for your match. Invest in the best protective gear to make sure your first match is not your last due to injuries.
4. Remain Calm
Nervousness can creep in slowly without you knowing and have you tied up in knots. It’s perfectly alright to be a little nervous about your first match, but those nerves shouldn’t be the center of your focus. Take a moment and analyze what is the root cause of your nervousness. If you’re nervous about your opponent, find out as much as you can about them. This helps to stop feeling like they’re a stranger.
What do you normally do to get rid of nerves? It might be you enjoy a good laugh with friends and family, or go for a run, or watch a favorite show. Do the positive things you like to help you get rid of the butterflies in your stomach and remain calm.
5. Engage in a Warm-up Routine
Part of a good technique is an equally good warm-up routine. It’s not ideal to face your opponent without getting warmed up first. A good warm-up routine awakens your muscles and mind too. Stretch and engage in a shadow boxing routine that will get you ready for the fight ahead.
When you warm-up the right way, your reflexes will be alert and you can avoid getting injured easily on the ring. A warm-up is a chance to turn on your body to fight mode. A good warm-up should not be long and exhausting, just enough to get you fired up.
6. Have a Support System
Having your loved ones and friends on the sidelines cheering you on is one way to remain positive. It can be scary to face your first opponent. Having them there helps you feel supported and that can make all the difference. Just seeing them there cheering you is a huge boost to your attitude and will make you give it you’re all.
7. Drink Plenty of Water
Do not step on the ring dehydrated. That will drain all the energy you have. Start a drinking plan before the match to ensure your body is well hydrated on the day of the fight. Proper hydration is key to remaining energetic on the ring. Keep a hydration bottle with your coach to sip after every round.
8. Avoid Heavy Meals
A heavy meal just before the match is a no-no! Take a light meal that will boost your energy before the match but won’t fill your stomach. Your last meal before the match should be between 2-3 hours then a light snack before you face your opponent. Avoid fighting when you’re hungry.
9. Mental Preparedness
Part of being mentally prepared is doing something routine that keeps you calm. It might be you enjoy meditation or prayer if you are religious. Taking a moment for this will help calm your mind and get you ready for the fight. A prayer centers your whole being and so does meditation.
10. Avoid Being Exhausted
It might be very tempting to train more and more on the day before the match. As much as you’d like to get in one last training session, avoid facing your opponent while exhausted. You need your energy to attack and defend yourself properly. The best thing you can do for yourself the day before the fight is to not exhaust yourself. Reduce the amount of training you have to do the day before.
You can engage in simple training routines that will help sharpen your technique, but avoid exhaustive moves that will drain your energy levels. When you’re exhausted, you won’t be able to remain alert and that can get you easily knocked out!
11. Get a Physical
You may have seen your doctor throughout your training, but getting one more physical done is very important. The doctor will test your blood pressure among other things to see if you’re truly ready for your first match. They can also alert you when something is wrong. Better to know before stepping on the ring what needs to be rectified.
12. Go for a Walk or a Jog
Being outdoors the morning before the fight may be what you need to clear your head. Take a walk in nature or a simple non-exhaustive jog. This is also a great way to warm-up that won’t drain your energy levels. Make it a habit to take a walk or a jog the morning of the big fight and this routine could make all the difference in the ring. A walk helps your mind remain calm and clear. On the ring, you’re able to face your opponent without being easily distracted by your thoughts.
Your first match is something great to look forward to. You’ve been training for this exact moment all through. Now that it’s here, follow these tips to get you ready for the big day. Remember to remain positive and calm. Use your positive affirmations to keep your mind focused on what is good and remove all the negative thoughts from your mind.