Boxers are known for bravado, confidence, and a genuine belief in themselves. When fights are considered lopsided by the odds, you’d never know it from the A side or the B side. You rarely if ever hear negative self-talk from a boxer about themselves prior to a fight. To perform in boxing, you must believe that you are going to win every single bout that you enter. Distracting yourself with negativeself-talk is a recipe for not only losing but getting yourself seriously injured. Boxers are the Kings of Positive Self-Talk, from Muhammed Ali’s, “I’m the greatest of all times!” to Iron Mike Tyson saying, “I’m the most brutal and ruthless conqueror there has ever been”, positive self-talk is a staple in boxing. This type of talk isn’t a staple simply for its entertainment purpose, it is also a staple because boxers use it as a two edged swords, one to intimidate opponents and another to continuously remind themselves of their owner skillsets. Floyd Mayweather known as one of the most disciplined boxers that ever existed, retired undefeated, he was known for constantly training, for doing the hard work. He has been quoted as saying, “All work is easy work!”, a very potent statement that can remind a boxer to run the rest of the mile, do the extra push-up, go a little longer on the speed bag or heavy bag.
A young fighter, now up and coming as the new face of boxing by the name of Gervonta “Tank” Davis recently fought an opponent that was taller with more reach and this called into question his potential to lose. Although the odds favored him, many critiques were concerned that the larger opponent, Ryan Garcia, who was known to have a devastating left hook could possibly knock Gervonta Davis out. Gervonta rather than speak on fearing the left hook or the opponents longer reach decide to counter those thoughts and media opinions with his own. When asked about his opponents possibly devastating punch he counters by saying, “Everybody talk about his one punch, well all I need is one punch too!”. This is him reminding himself and the critiques and media of his skills and work ethic. Ironically, he went on to win this fight with a devastating left hook to Ryan Garcia liver.
In conclusion,when fighting any battle, you must believe you. It isn’t about arrogance, bragging rights, but rather about confidence, about controlling the thoughts in your mind. Boxers are an excellent of positive self-talk in a sport where it is crucial that the brain be rewired to walk into a dangerous situation or competition and believe that you will become victorious. Studies show that positive self-talk reduce stress, increase serotonin and endorphins, in fact positive self-talk has also been shown to decrease pain perception. Decreased pain perception is clearly to a boxers benefit. Positive self-talk isn’t just about talking nice to yourself just because it’s fun and feels good, but it is known to have a direct impact on the brain, therefore having an impact on performance.