I was 22 years old and had just qualified for the Olympics when I was sitting in a cafe and received a phone call from Olympic champion Audley Harrison. I couldn’t believe it! He gave me some advice that changed my whole boxing career and helped me capture a medal in the 2008 Games in Beijing. He told me about visualization.
As a young buck from Sunderland who worked on a burger van on weekends outside the Stadium of Light football ground, I had no idea what this fella who I had looked up to for years was telling me.
Then he explained how it worked and it was pretty amazing.
What I did was lie in bed the night before a fight and visualize everything about the fight in fine detail. It included the car ride to the venue, walking to the dressing room with my coach, putting on my music to warm up, looking sharp and strong, walking to the ring with the crowd screaming, staring at my opponent, the ref bringing us together, touching gloves and going through the fight, landing the jab, not getting hit, moving great, feeling great and then at the end of the fight getting my hand raised.
The reasoning behind this because once the fight comes around I’ve already done it mentally; I know whats going to happen and how it goes. This helps a lot when it comes to the fight.
It’s hard to lie in bed doing this. I used to feel nervous, get sweaty palms, and my heart would race. I actually used to get nervous about doing this, but after I did I would feel amazing. Audley told me this was something he did during the 2000 Sydney Olympics and insisted it helped him capture that heavyweight gold medal.
I can’t recommend this highly enough to any boxer out there.
After retiring from boxing I now teach people how to teach boxing with the Box ‘N Burn Academy.
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