‘You win or you learn’, a common phrase used in boxing, because you do not actually lose; you’ve gained vital information on what you need to improve on. Fighting is like life, you’re given the theory (training), then you’re given the test (bout). Sometimes you pass, sometimes you do not, but either way your given the lesson and the opportunity to take the test again (have another bout).
I lost my very first fight. A mixture of nerves, fear and doubt got the better of me and I did not perform.
After I lost, the images I had created in my head of me winning championships and being a good amateur boxer had started to disappear. Doubt had started to creep in and I was now asking myself if I was capable. What I did not know though, was that my next training session would be one of my best, because I had learned and improved a lot after that bout.
What I had learned / Improved:
- I have to be switched on all the time. You quickly realize that you have no time to switch off, and that’s generally when you get hit the most.
- Body positioning, although this takes time to master, I was now aware of my positioning.
- Speed and timing first, power after
- Confidence; you think confident, you fight confident. You think scared, you fight scared.
The lesson I’d learned had been greater than the loss, and I was keen to ” get back on the horse ” as they say. And I did. Two weeks later, I had my second fight. Which I won.
My second fight was completely different from the first. Naturally I was nervous, but armed with the knowledge from my first fight, I went into this fight confidently.
I won the fight by unanimous decision, having won every round.
The feeling of euphoria and excitement was surging through my body, and the images of me winning a championship and being a great amateur boxer, had re-appeared. It’s a buzz you can describe, but one you wish will continue.
I’d be lying if I said I remember what I learned from my second fight, but the feeling of winning, was enough to keep the fire burning.
Boxing is one of the toughest sports in the world, and a loss is not a be all or end all. The lessons learned and the experience gained serve you longer in life then a win or a loss. Keep taking the lessons on board, stay humble and stay consistent.
Stay humble in victory, as you are in defeat – Connor McGregor