Everyone makes a few mistakes when they first start learning anything, and boxing isn’t an exception. Boxing is one of the most demanding striking-based martial arts as it includes countless complex techniques and concepts.
It’s called the sweet science for a reason, and it’s going to take some time for you to understand its intricacies. The more aware you are of common mistakes newbie boxers make, the easier it will be for you to avoid them.
Ten Common Mistakes Beginner Boxers Often Make
Let’s take a look at some of the mistakes you should avoid when you’re first getting started as a boxer.
1) Going Too Fast And Too Hard
One of the most common mistakes new boxers make is going too fast or hard on their opponents. While it might feel great to land some well-placed shots while sparring, pushing a fast pace can exhaust you quickly, leaving you tired for the following rounds.
Getting tired is one of the worst things that can happen to you while sparring or fighting since it significantly impacts your technique. When you’re tired, your punches lose most of the steam on them, your hands start dropping, and technique goes out the window. Even boxers who may be less skilled than you are can get the best of you when you’re fatigued.
Instead of going all out as soon as your sparring sessions or matches start, take your time and save some energy for the later rounds. You can also try to get your opponent tired by blocking and avoiding their punches, forcing them to waste energy.
2) Not Maintaining A Proper Boxing Stance
Another common mistake new boxers make is breaking stance when training or fighting. The more you aren’t in a proper stance, the harder it is to throw accurate punches, use your defense maneuvers, and maintain your balance.
Most boxing trainers recommend standing with your feet shoulder-width apart, your chest slightly turned towards your opponent, and your knees slightly bent. Assuming you’re in an orthodox stance, your left hand should be in front of your face while your right hand rests by your chin.
Deviating from this stance makes it easier for your opponent to land their punches while limiting your ability to attack them.
3) Forgetting To Breathe
Newbie boxers often forget to breathe while working inside the ring. Many new boxers don’t even think of it since breathing comes naturally to us, but many beginner boxers tend to hold their breath while punching. This limits the impact of your punches while gassing you out faster.
A simple trick experienced boxers use to ensure they’re not holding their breath is exhaling every time they throw a punch. Grunt if you must, or ‘kia’ like karate fighters do. Just make sure you push air out of your lungs whenever you throw a punch. That forces your body to keep breathing as you fight.
Boxing trainers also recommend breathing slowly as you fight since that keeps your mind calm. You can also sync your breathing with your movement.
In all honesty, even professional boxers drop their hands when tired, but newbies are more susceptible to doing it. Dropping your hands impacts your form when you throw punches, reducing the power and speed behind them. Dropping your hands also leaves you open to counters.
Boxing newbies should consciously try to bring their hands back to the proper position after every punch. It might not seem like much, but doing so drastically reduces the opening your opponent can attack.
5) Drinking Too Much Water
Staying rehydrated when training or boxing is a good thing for the most part, but don’t get carried away with it. Drinking too much water when training or fighting can make you bloated and cause abdominal aches.
You can avoid this by only taking small sips of water as you train. Take these sips as often as possible, then drink as much water as you need to rehydrate when your training session or match is over.
6) Not Letting Your Hands Go
Newbie boxers often hesitate to let their hands go when sparring or fighting. Hesitation in boxing gives your opponent more opportunities to impose their game plans and land good punches. Boxing requires you to hit your opponent to win rounds, so don’t freeze up and forget to throw punches when you’re in the ring. The boxer who throws more punches often wins the fight.
An effective way to get past the fear of letting your hands go is by regularly training scenario-based moves and sparring to develop the confidence to throw punches at an opponent. Boxing is about constant offense and defense, so the more you train, the more natural these things will be for you.
7) Obsessively Chasing Headshots
Many beginner boxers make the mistake of focusing on headshots inside the ring. They search for that perfect shot that knockdown their opponent or knocks them out. While well-placed punches to the head do their fair share of damage, there are other targets, like the body, they should also be aiming for.
Mixing things up and attacking the body often leads to your opponent dropping their hands to protect their torso. That opens their head to your punches.
Some of the most vulnerable targets on the body are the liver and sternum. Attack these areas often, and your opponent will be forced to drop their hands. A well-placed liver shot instantly ends a fight.
Training too much leads to diminishing returns. You want to give your body enough time to recover from each workout. Try to take a few days off each week to give your body a chance to recover.
9) Arm Punches
Proper boxing form involves rotating your hips and feet to add more power to your shot. Newbie boxers sometimes forget to do this, reducing the power and snap of their punches. That’s why you should always use proper form when training or drilling to make it part of your muscle memory. That way, you’ll never throw arm punches even if you’re tired.
10) Not Being Consistent
You won’t grow as a boxer if you’re inconsistent with your training. You can train sporadically and expect to keep improving. Take your training seriously and show up on the days you’re scheduled to train. Training regularly helps you to master the things you’ve already learned while exposing you to new techniques.
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