Recently, I received correspondence from a young boxer. He is having difficulty applying the skills developed in the gym to sparring and competition, due to excessive nerves and anxiety prior to stepping into the ring.
This feeling of anxiety is caused by adrenaline being produced in the body by the adrenal glands. It plays an important role in the fight-or-flight response from perceived threats by increasing blood flow to muscles, maximizing output of the heart, pupil dilation response, and spike in blood sugar level.
This energy or adrenaline rush heightens our state of alertness along with improving reaction time to either escape from a threat or fight back. The downside effects are that the body is being fatigued and lethargic accompanied with a feeling of nausea when this rush wears off.
The following steps can assist overcoming anxiety before sparring sessions and competition. This takes time depending on the boxer’s ability, development of skillset and demonstrated self-confidence.