It doesn’t matter what sport you are training seriously for, boxing training can give you the edge you need. If the sport you are truly pursuing has a fitness element to it (nearly all do) or even more pertinently, an endurance factor, you should look at boxing training to supplement your training.
If you disregard the skill and technique aspects of boxing, you are essentially left with an endurance sport. Professional boxers train to attain achievements in multiple disciplines. Speed, technique and human movement efficiency are only a handful of skills that make up the product of the professional fighter. Fitness and endurance are the ingredients that make the winner rather than just the competitor. All things being equal or nearly equal – the fittest will always prevail.
This principle holds true for many other sports other than boxing. Football games that into extra time are usually decided by the team that looks the most tired making errors they wouldn’t normally make in the first half. Tennis marathons dynamics change at that significant point in the game when the least fit opponent starts to flail. Coaches have long understood this. Many Sydney NRL football teams have boxing training as a component and use the same training methods to promote stamina that will outlast the other team. Michael Phelps (the most decorated swimmer of all time) famously incorporates boxing into his training regimen because “boxing makes you a better swimmer”.
One of the lesser documented benefits of using applied boxing training in your training programme comes from the psychological advantage of variation. Every professional athlete has that dark day when they ask of themselves, is it worth it? Is being a world champion swimmer (one example) worth the cost of looking at the bottom of a pool for 6 hours every day for 6 days a week? Worse still is not quite being a world champion worth this terrible price?
Breaking up a monotonous training schedule with exercise that is more fun and potentially more beneficial makes this training more bearable. Many a professional athlete has been lost to the world because they asked this question and decided the cost was too great.
However, having considered these points, let us talk about the real advantage of why boxing training really gives you the edge over a competitor. Anyone who has done any serious training for a particular sport or discipline will know that your body learns the exercise. Take a marathon runner and see how long they last on a heavy bag workout. Instead of their body ritually going through the motions they have practised, muscles they have never used before are suddenly being put under stress that is not only unfamiliar, they are completely unconditioned. One famous Sydney cyclist once said “boxing is actually better for cycling than cycling”. He was referring to a time in his career when his cycling training had plateaued. He was unable to find time effective methods of improving his performance until a friend introduced him to boxing training. All of a sudden he was posting personal bests on his best rides effortlessly.
Boxing training has been refined over centuries from many diverse cultures and there is lot for the modern sports person to take advantage of, irrespective of the true sport they are training in. Apart from anything, it is break from routine that challenges the body and conditioning while giving the mental state of the athlete a well-earned break.
This can only be a positive thing.