Originally Posted by paloalto00
Ever since I started boxing 2 years ago, I keep getting BAD nerves even thinking about boxing. Even sparring I get sick, I'm not a bad boxer but I'm always worried about looking foolish. I get anxiety just from thinking about fighting or sparring. Is there any way to cope with this?
Anxiety and excitement are the same energy. It's just how you perceive it. If you perceive it as a positive and that your body is getting ready for combat then it manifests as excitement. If you view it as unwanted then it just becomes dread and anxiety.
Accept it and change how you view it. When you think about something it is essentially the same as doing it, when you think about it you're telling your body to respond. That's why you can be sitting in your lounge room, think about something and then be buzzing and full of adrenaline.
Try visualisation, imagine yourself sparring and fighting and picture yourself as being calm and in control. When you get excited thinking about boxing take some deep breaths and repeat a word such as 'calm' or 'relax' to yourself. Don't be afraid of your energy, you can raise or lower it through your thoughts and breathing patterns. If you're worried about looking foolish or a past performance then you're not in the moment. Practice focusing on what you're doing right now, stress is just worrying about things you can't control. You can't control it so why worry?
If you're sparring and you make mistakes, have a bad round or whatever then just take a second to tell yourself 'STOP'. Flush the past away down the toilet, let it go and start again, refocus. You can make a bad round a bad fight if you don't let it go. Continuously let it go, focus on what you're doing right now.
The reason why Andre Ward is so good is because he constantly practices focusing, practice your psychological skills. You can't just turn it on at fight time, you need to practice your psychological skills everyday to develop them. Whenever you hit the bag or do anything practice improving your focus. That's how you develop mental strength, and that's Ward's biggest strength imo.