How to Become a Professional Boxer

Planning a career in a sport is never easy. There are plenty of uncertainties and the time required for achieving success in sport can be very long. This is true in popular and widely played sport like boxing. If you are thinking is it hard to become a professional boxer, then the answer is YES. Even the top boxers of today took many years to achieve fame on the international stage and hence, one needs to be patient and dedicated throughout his career. Here are some guidelines that will provide you with the right direction for this career.

Start Young
The time taken to become a professional boxer entirely depends on the individual’s ability and performance in tournaments. History reveals that boxers who start practicing and learning the basics of boxing at a very young age make it big in the long run. So, start your boxing sessions under professional guidance and be consistent with your practice.

Exercise
As you are growing up, you should take your exercise regimen more seriously. To become a professional boxer, you need to train under the guidance of an experienced instructor and follow his exercise instructions totally. Have a time-table for your workouts and keep a track of your daily exercise details. Regular exercise can alone help you build stamina for your fights.

Training Plan
Here is a sample workout and training plan for aspiring boxers:

  • Start off with a jumping rope warm up for ten minutes. This will improve your body movements and prepare your body ready for further workouts
  • Twenty minutes of sit ups are recommended for abdominal muscles
  • Half an hour of jogging and boxing practice for ten minutes is important
  • Include circuit training, shadow boxing, heavy and speed bag punching and mirror training in your training plan everyday
  • Stretching and relaxation techniques can help prevent muscle pain and injuries

Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle
Living a disciplined lifestyle is essential. You will have to eat nutritious food and strictly avoid unhealthy food and addictions like smoking and drinking. By doing so, you can have high energy levels and stay fit all the time. This reduces the chances of opting out of competitions due to poor fitness and ill-health.

Get a Professional Coach
Whether you wish to know how to become a professional female boxer or a male boxer, having a reputed coach is a must to succeed at the international level. The duty of a boxing coach is to teach right from basics of defense and attack, rules and regulations of the game, develop competitive spirit and keep the boxers motivated throughout the competitions. As far as possible, try to get a coach who has a brilliant track record and has trained champions in the sport. Another suggestions from my side would be to stick to your coach and not change your coach constantly as this can affect your training negatively.

Join a Boxing Club
Boxing club is where boxers train in a professional manner. Here, they can observe other boxers play and learn from them directly. By taking a permanent membership, boxers would be able to participate in competitions held in the club and inter club competitions which are best for gaining experience and confidence. I also recommend you to join professional boxing institutions such as IBF, WBO or WBC.

Have a Personal Boxing Manager
Your boxing manager can play a crucial role in shaping your career in this field. All professional boxers MUST have a boxing manager who can arrange for matches depending on their ability and importance of the tournament. Sure, these managers charge around ten percent of the boxer’s total income, as their fees, but their guidance and help will surely take the boxer’s career to a great height.

Have a Positive Attitude
Attitude matters a lot for boxers at the international level. Boxers need to have high level of fitness, a positive attitude, presence of mind, spirit and energy to perform better. The most important thing to succeed at the top-level is to be stable mentally and not get carried away by success, or disheartened over failures. Boxing can become much easier with these efforts.

Win Fights
Though attitude and fitness are important for boxers, winning consistently is the most important thing when you choose boxing as your profession. So, approach every match with full strength and dedication and try your best to win. Remember-losers have very few takers.

Whether you will make a mark in this sport depends on your personal commitment levels and interest and passion for the sport. I suggest young aspirants to look at this sport as a full-time career and not just for enjoyment or fun. All the best!

Boxing Tips And Techniques

Boxing is by far one of the most popular forms of non-armed, competitive combat in the world. It is a true test of fitness, stamina, and mental toughness, serving as a perfect platform to release your pent-up aggression, and channeling it productively. As ironic as it may seem, the intense, physical sport of boxing goes a long way in calming the mind, and helps you to focus better. Here are a few basic things you might want to keep in mind as you take up this sport.

Stance

Having a proper stance is by far the most important part of boxing. You want to keep an upright stance, while maintaining your balance. Always remember to leave your body loose. If your body is tensed, it will hamper your movement, and your punches won’t be as effective. The distance between your legs should be about the width of your shoulders. The lead foot (the opposite of your rear hand) is about half a foot in front of the rear foot. Both the feet are tilted a little inward, with the rear heel lifted just a little above the ground. The lead fist is held up just about 6 inches away from the face. The rear fist is held closer to the face at chin level. The elbow is held close to the ribcage to keep out the blows directed at the body. The chin is held a little low, to shield the jaws from the punches.

Offense Techniques

While there might seem to be a lot of punches, they are merely variations of the four main types of punches, namely the jab, the cross, the hook, and the uppercut. For a right-handed boxer, his left hand is his lead hand, and the right hand is his rear hand, used to deliver the more powerful punches (it would be just the opposite for a southpaw). To throw in an effective punch, your body should swivel in the direction of the punch, while maintaining your balance all the while.

The Jab
The jab is one of the most important, and frequently used punches. It lets you feel out your opponent, while maintaining maximum guard against a counterattack. It is executed by the lead hand, and is a straight punch, usually delivered in quick succession. The fist rotates 90 degrees from its original position, and ends parallel to the ground (closed palm facing the ground). The torso and the hip twist a little, in the direction of the punch. As you complete the punch, the lead shoulder moves upwards to shield the chin, while the rear hand guards the jaw. This maneuver leaves little room for a counterpunch.

The Cross
A powerful tool in the arsenal of every boxer, the cross is a very effective punch. This punch is thrown by the rear hand, and is normally preceded by a series of jabs, or is used as a counterpunch. The lead hand moves to guard the chin, as the rear hand follows a straight path from the original position (guard position) toward the opponent’s face. This packs quite a punch, as the entire bodyweight is transferred from the rear foot to the lead foot, and the hip and the torso swivel in the direction of the punch. The hands are then brought back to the guard position, where the punch can be followed by another series of jabs.

The Hook
The hook is another potent punch that can beat the living day lights out of your opponent. To throw this punch, the rear hand is moved along an arc toward the chin or jaw of the adversary. The body turns on the lead foot, while the heel of the rear foot is slightly raised, and turns toward the outside. This punch can also be thrown by the lead hand, but doesn’t have the same power in it. The turning of the body, and the shifting of the weight adds to the power in the punch, but at the same time leaves you vulnerable to a counterpunch, as you get back to the guard position.

The Uppercut
The uppercut is one of the classiest punches, which often delivers the coup de grĂ¢ce, resulting in a knock-out. To deliver this punch, the torso shifts in the direction of the rear hand, as it raises from around the chest level of the opponent. The rear hand moves along a diagonal arc, as it moves up toward the chin or jaw of your contender. The knee is kept slightly bent, in order to help generate more power in the punch, as you move up while delivering the blow. The body swivels on the rear foot, and the heel moves outwards.

Defense Techniques

In boxing, defense is the best form of offense. Your opponent is most vulnerable when he is attacking you. Defense isn’t just about avoiding the blows, but gearing up to launch a counterattack. Most matches are decided on the basis of who can duck better, and sneak in a few punches while at it. Here are some of the popular defensive boxing techniques.

Slip
This is a very simple technique used to dodge the punch that comes your way. You swivel your torso and shoulders sharply, so that your chin is turned away from the punch that is thrown at your face.

Bob and Weave
In this technique, you try to evade the punch by tilting your body to either one of the sides, and also ‘bob’ the head below the punch thrown at you. Showing quick reflexes, you can then ‘bob to the inside’ of the arm of the opponent, and launch a counterattack, or ‘bob to the outside’, safely out of harm’s way.

Parry / Block
Blocking is the technique of delivering a lateral punch to the wrist or the forearm of the opponent, as he takes a jab at you. The point is to deflect the blow that is directed at you, before it hits you.

The Cover-up
The cover-up is the penultimate line of defense, which involves using your hands to cover your face, while bringing the forearms and the elbows close together to protect the upper body. This however, is not the most effective of techniques, as it leaves your sides and your lower body open to attack.

The Clinch
The clinch is normally the last line of defense. When all other forms of defense fail, you could try to tie your opponent’s hands to your sides by putting your fists around his shoulders, and then moving them under his forearms, locking them in place. This should save you from your opponent’s punches, while you try to regain your strength. This form of ‘showing love’ is rather short-lived, and is quickly broken up by the referee.

Counterpunch Techniques

There are three main defensive styles used for counterattacking in boxing, namely peek-a-boo, cross-armed, and philly shell.

Peek-a-boo (Earmuffs)
In this style, you hold your fists close to your face, and bring your elbows close to each other, to shield yourself from the oncoming punches. You can counterattack while trying this guard, however leaving your sides susceptible to attack. This is one of the most widely used counterpunches.

Cross-armed
In this style, you hold your arms up horizontally, covering your face. You could try a variation of this by keeping one of the arms in a slightly tilted position, which can make it easier to throw a counterpunch. This guard, although very effective in blocking the punches to the head, leaves most of the body vulnerable to attack. While employing this technique, boxers usually crouch a little, to provide extra cover to the body.

Philly Shell (Crab)
This style is a mix of the peek-a-boo and the cross-armed style. In this guard, you use your lead arm to cover your torso, while you use your rear hand to shield your face, and launch a counterattack. This can be a very effective ploy to use, provided you have good reflexes, and are quick on your feet, to dodge the punches that come your way.

Here are a few basic things you might want to keep in mind as you take up this sport.

You take my breath away!

Breathe – This is probably the most important aspect of boxing. You can huff and you can puff, but without controlling your breathing, you’ll be KO’d within the first few of rounds. You can greatly improve upon this by practicing Yoga. This will also help you with calming your mind, which would in turn help you focus better. Once you have mastered this, you will see that you are a lot more effective, and it will also help improve your stamina. Breathing out while punching helps you in channeling your energy into the punches.

Mind your business!

Mental Strength – Boxing is as much, if not more, a mental bout than it is physical. It isn’t just about raw strength, but also about reading your opponent’s every move, and anticipating the next. The best of boxers aren’t necessarily the brawniest, but are undoubtedly amongst the strongest mentally. They need not be the quickest on their feet, nor do they need to be the ones to throw the hardest punches; they are simply the ones who exploit their opponent’s weaknesses, while being even more aware of their own, and cover for them. Again, keeping a calm mind will help you focus better on your task at hand.

Got my eyes on you!

Focus – You always want to keep your eyes on your opponent’s every move. This is a lot easier said than done, but will definitely come to you with practice, and loads of patience. If you observe your competitor’s moves, they are bound to give you subtle hints about his next move. The trickiest bit however, is to keep your eyes on your competitor even while you are being pounded away by him. This often is the ideal time to make a counterattack, and watching out for that little window of opportunity could make all the difference between walking away with just a bruised body, and walking away with both a bruised body and a battered ego.

DON’T Train till you drain!

Stamina – Although the jury is still out on whether it actually is a good idea to train to failure, you might be well advised not to drain yourself out completely each time you train. You definitely want to keep pushing yourself a little harder each day, but you also want to take care that you don’t wear yourself out. Chances are, if you train to failure each day, you will burn yourself out soon. The ideal way to go about it is to train hard, but leave yourself with just about enough strength to get right back in a while. This would help you to pace yourself properly for each of the three-minute rounds in boxing, rather than going for broke right from the start.

Boxing is one of the few sports which truly stretches your body and mind to its very limits, and is one of the best ways to keep fit. It is only by the perfect synergy of these elements, that you can truly ‘float like a butterfly, sting like a bee’.

Basic Boxing Moves

dsc_3497-1291x855Boxing is one of the oldest forms of martial arts, which comprises the use of the hands to, both attack and defend. Practiced through the ages as a popular sport, it is highly demanding, both physically as well as mentally. A boxer requires speed, agility, power, and endurance, along with focus, determination, and mental toughness. He must be able to not only throw powerful punches, but also defend against them while standing on his feet. Boxers therefore turn out to be some of the finest and fittest of athletes around.

Today, boxing continues to remain popular as a sport, while at the same time, has been adopted by many as a highly effective means of improving overall fitness. So, if you are a beginner looking to learn the basics of this sport, or a fitness enthusiast wishing to adopt boxing in your workout regime, go through the moves and techniques presented below for a brief introduction to the fine art of boxing.

Note: The moves presented here are given assuming that the user is right-handed. These can also be adopted by left-handed users, simply by interchanging the right hand with the left hand.

Moves and Techniques in Boxing

Stance

The stance is the body position that a boxer maintains when he isn’t actively attacking or defending himself. In the basic boxing stance, he stands with his legs parted – left foot slightly forward, knees slightly bent, and the left shoulder and left arm extended forward a little. Both the arms are held close to the chest, with the right one near the chin and the left one a little away from it in the forward direction. Thus, the stance allows the boxer to protect his head and upper body with his arms, while at the same time positions his fists and legs such that he is able to attack quickly.

Offensive Techniques

Jab

The jab is one of the primary boxing punches. After you get in to the appropriate stance, you simply perform a quick punch with your left hand (jab) towards the opponent. With your chin tucked in, aim to go ‘through’ the target, rather than just hitting the target’s surface. A good trick is to align the first two knuckles of your hand with the target before jabbing. Also focus on maintaining a straight line from the shoulder to the arm. Extending the hip and shoulder as you jab is important for generating enough power in the punch.

Right Cross

Fundamentally a power punch, it is also referred to as a ‘straight’. The dominant hand is used to deliver this power punch, typically when the opponent tries to punch with his opposite hand. As the blow crosses over the leading arm, it is called the cross.

Uppercut

The uppercut is an effective offensive move targeted towards the chin. In tandem with the cross, it is considered as one of the power punches in boxing. This technique involves lowering the right hand, and then, with maximum power and thrust, driving it straight up towards the opponent’s jaw. Extending your knees as the body comes up gives the requisite power to the punch. Since, in the boxing stance, the right hand is behind the left one, this move should be performed only when the opponent is in close range.

Hook

The hook is semi-circular punch that is delivered using the left hand to the side of the opponent’s head. From the guard position, the elbow has to be drawn back, with the fist in a horizontal position, that is, with the knuckles pointing forward and a bent elbow. At the same time, the rear hand has to be tucked firmly against the jaw for protecting your chin. The torso and hips are sharply rotated clockwise, propelling the wrist in a tight circular arc across the front of the body.

Defensive Techniques

Clinch

The clinch can be classified as a type of grappling, where the boxers have no distance left between them, and none of the punches can be used. Here, one boxer tries to pin down or hold the opponent’s hands to prevent him from throwing punches. Clinching is an effective defensive technique in boxing, which is typically used after being hit to gain some time to recover.

Cover

The face being the main target in boxing, needs to be protected against oncoming punches. To do that, you are required to keep an eye on your opponent’s hands, and anticipate a punch. When he tries to strike your face/head, you should raise your hands and cover up, by hiding your face behind them. Thus, you can shield your face, head, and neck region, blocking your opponent’s punches with your hands and forearms.

Sway

This technique involves anticipating a punch, and then moving the upper body and head backwards. Doing this helps the boxer lessen the impact of the punch, or even dodge it completely.

Duck

This defensive move requires you to go down by bending your knees, so that your opponent’s punch glances off or entirely misses your head.

Blocking and Parrying

Blocking and parrying is more effective than simply covering-up against the opponent’s punches. In this technique, you block your opponent’s punches with your shoulders and arms, and at the same time try to slap them away with your gloves. This technique requires very good reflexes and a lot of practice to be able to correctly identify the trajectory of the incoming punch.

Bob And Weave

Bobbing involves quickly ducking beneath your opponent’s punch (bobbing your head) by bending the knees, moving laterally, and reemerging on either side of his still extended arm (weaving). This defensive maneuver not only helps in dodging a hit, but also puts you in a position of advantage, where you are better able to attack and land a punch or two on your opponent. Moving to the outside of an opponent’s arm is known as ‘bobbing to the outside’, while moving inside is known as ‘bobbing to the inside’.

Slip

Slipping is an advanced defensive maneuver that requires a lot of skill. In it, you wait till your opponent’s punch comes close, before sharply twisting your hips and shoulders to narrowly avoid getting hit. This action turns the chin sideways, thus allowing the punch to ‘slip’ past your head. The big advantage of this move is that, it catches your opponent completely off guard, as he is led to believe that he is going to make contact. He is focused on hitting you, and thus his defenses are down, giving you the opportunity of landing a hard punch.

There are many more offensive and defensive moves used by boxers, which have been developed from these basic moves. The key to mastering the art of boxing lies in extensive and regular practice. So, if you are motivated enough, and are ready to throw a jab… go punch!

Perfect Baseball Swing

Every little league player dreams of the day when he graduates to the Major League and establishes his mark as a match-winning big hitter. There is no bigger dream than having a proper baseball swing which hits the winning home run! To make this dream come true, the player has to understand the mechanics of a perfect baseball swing. A well-timed swing that allows the bat to meet the ball right in the middle can be achieved only if one makes sincere attempts to understand the swing mechanics. Here are some tips that may help you to perfect your baseball swing.

How to Get a Proper Baseball Swing

To perfect the swing, the batter must have a good stance, a proper grip, perfect hand-eye coordination, and must also know when and how to extend his arm and rotate the body so as to ensure that the bat hits the ball with enough force to hit a home run. Needless to say, the player must be willing to practice hard so as to perfect the swing.

First of all, identify the batting stance that suits you the most. The parallel stance, closed stance and open stance are the most commonly used batting stances that batters use. In case of a parallel stance, as the batter stands in the batter’s box (a box drawn with chalk surrounding the home plate, which in turn is a five-sided slab that is made from whitened rubber), his feet must be parallel to the home plate. The parallel baseball hitting stance enables the player to see the pitcher properly, and allows him to hit the ball on inside as well as outside pitches. When a batter uses a closed stance, the front foot is closer to the home plate than the rear foot. In case of the open stance, the front foot is placed farther away from the home plate than the rear foot. A majority of players use the open stance as it allows them to see the ball better and helps them to move in a better position or build up the momentum while the pitch is on its way to the home plate. So, the player must decide which stance to use and how far to spread his feet so as to be a big hitter.

One of the basic baseball rules is to keep your eyes on the ball. The batter needs to track the ball right from the time it leaves the pitcher’s hands till it makes contact with the bat. So, he must have the patience and skill to wait till the ball gets inside the front foot before attacking it. His chin should be tucked in and the hands should be kept close to the body, while the elbows must be parallel to each other, and need to be at an angle of 45 degrees. He should also have a good grip. He should hold the bat firmly, but make sure that he doesn’t hold it too tight.

The loading phase is a very important part that a batter must pay heed to. The batter must shift the weight from one foot to another and be ready in a loaded position to hit the incoming pitch with a lot of force. The batter must first load the weight to the rear foot. At that time, the rear foot must be well-grounded and needs to act as a solid anchor to prevent any forward hip movement. The batter then should then transfer the weight to the front foot right before he rotates the rest of the body and extends the arm to transfer that to the ball. This would enable him to leverage and channelize the hitting power in a big way. The proper swing is generated when the hips rotate and the arms extend. If these steps are not followed, the hit will lose its power.

Understand the concept of staying over stack with a perfect rotational swing. This refers to the spinning movement of the batter’s body. Both the head and the torso must be in a smooth and ideal alignment over the back foot during the swing. The head must stay still. The proper swing is a rotating motion with the body staying back and spinning over the back hip. It is this rotational motion which generates the best swing. Perfecting this technique and curbing the desire to go hammer and tongs at the pitched ball is a lesson which ought to be learned well.

Another essential aspect is related to body extension through the ball. This enables the batter to enhance the time of contact between the bat and ball by driving the hands and the barrel of the bat forward for as long as possible. The bat moves with tremendous speed and precision in the compact A to C swing where the bat moves from the launch position (A) to contact position (C). Maximizing this period of contact between the bat and the ball is one of the essential techniques when it comes to securing the best swing. This ensures that tremendous power is generated in the swing and helps in carrying the ball to greater distances.

You might have got advice from friends and your coach on how to perfect the swing. The key is to filter such advice and follow what is essential. To be a successful big hitter, one must be able to swing at balls pitched in the strike zone. The batter is the best judge of deciding what pitch falls in his strike zone. Home runs can be hit on pitches outside the strike zone too. The simple dictum is to see the ball early and ensure that the bat and ball are in the same plane during the strike.

When you get to the baseball field, do follow these baseball batting tips and techniques. Be aware of your strengths. Avoid bad pitches and identify the pitches on which you may be able to hit. It is practice that makes perfect. So don’t be disheartened if you miss a couple of pitches in your quest to achieve the best baseball swing!