What is going on in the ring?
Many new amateurs face unexpected brain reaction when they fight for the first time. They encounter the strange feeling in the ring as if they are freezing up, they stop feeling their legs, they start seeing the stuff around like through a tunnel, and they feel like they are about to cry. Usually, novices are completely confused with such feelings. They thought that everything is going on in a ring resembles clear thoughts described in some superb essay. That is why they lose their concentration, they start hesitating, and they feel insecure and powerless. Therefore, they make mistakes, lose points, and lose the whole fight. Sometimes the boxer that excels his or her opponent in the boxing skills is beaten because of disability to cope with those unpredicted feelings.
In such situation, the key problem is with the confidence of the boxers. They think that something is wrong with them, that in the ring, their fear took over them and they could do nothing with that. However, the secret is that even professional, experienced, and famous boxers have the same feeling before and during the fights. Moreover, the opponents feel the same even if they look fearless, and they are jumping around you ready to kick your ass. It is a normal reaction to the pain, fear, screaming opponent, and screaming crowd around. Thus, no matter who are you fighting against, you are as equals.
How to build your confidence and fight as a professional
In order to decrease that scared feeling, the boxers have to learn how to boost their confidence, suppress their agitating feelings, and keep them calm. It is not something that comes with age and there is no way to wake up in the morning and detect it among your skills from nowhere. Boxers have to develop this ability, improve it, and practice it constantly.
The very first rule here is to train properly. If you are training hard, you have a strategy, you see the goal, and you know whom are you going to fight against, you feel more confident when the fight comes up. You feel like you are able to defend yourself and counteract your opponent. Train your body and your mind, create your fighting technique, and learn how to punch, block, slip, and move. Be aware of what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. If you train enough, your body and your brain will fight instinctively, mechanically so there will not be a room for a fear.
The second tip may sound trivial, but it works. Breath. Inhale through your nose and exhale through your mouth. You have to bring oxygen to your diaphragm. If you hold your breath, you will start panicking. Breathing will calm you down; help you to cope with your hysterical feelings. You have to practice to breath properly not only when you are sitting at home, but also when you are training in order to get used to doing it, to learn how to do it in the tough situation. Your body has to do it unconsciously.
The next tip is about imagining that your opponent is not as strong as he or she looks. Imagine that it is your friend, your little brother or cousin. They may beat you but they do not scare you. When they hit you, you do not think that they can harm you. In the opposite, their acting encourages you to force them to pay off for what they did to you, to counteract them, to push back and even more. Such practice is very effective in the training and sparring. However, be careful when using it in a ring because you can get overconfident and, consequently, underestimate your opponent. You have to respect your opponents, respect their capabilities, but you have never ever fear them.
These three tips will help you to manage your fear, to take over your feelings, and to concentrate on the fights. Keep them in mind, practice them, and do not let the panic to spoil your battle.