Boxing is rough and it’s very hard on the body. Just about all fighters will compete with an injury or at least a little niggle here or there, but you won’t normally find out about it until after the fight. When was the last time you heard a fighter say in his pre-fight interview: ‘Training camp was OK, apart from hurting my hand, which prevented me from sparring.’ Never!
We all know that prevention is better than cure, so I created this list of 10 things you can do to help prevent you from being injured:
Look after your body. That means making sure you are staying hydrated and eating the right food, even when you’re not in camp. It starts from the inside out.
Always – and I mean always – wear a headguard in sparring as well as your sparring partner. This is going to protect you from being cut from head clashes and also protects your hands as you’re hitting a soft head guard instead of a hard skull.
Don’t spar with idiots! Keep it controlled. I remember sparring Carl Froch and he understood this better than anyone, he knew we were both in there to learn and even said this to me before the session.
Always wear grease on your face when you’re sparring to prevent cuts. If you squeeze a dry leaf, what happens? It breaks up into a 100 pieces and falls apart. Squeeze a leaf that has moisture in it and what happens? Nothing. It springs back into place, so if your skin is dry then you are going to get cut. The grease also helps the punches slide off.
Invest in a couple of pairs of decent gloves for both sparring and training. Your tools are your hands and you need to make sure they always have the right support.
Wrap your hands correctly before every session; it’s common sense. If you hurt your hands in this game then it affects everything. Trust me, I know this better than anyone. It even affects you mentally. The last thing you want to think about in a fight is how much power you can put into your punches because your hands are sore.
Warm up and cool down correctly. Make sure you stretch at the beginning and end of every session to prepare your body for the stress it’s about to encounter in the training.
Wear correct shoes and socks, whatever is comfortable for you. Don’t be doing a five mile run outside on the concrete in a pair of boxing boots, I know you’re thinking who the would do that? But honestly I’ve seen this a number of times.
If you run at night, try and run where the best light is.
If you feel like you’re getting a little injury, tell your trainer and modify your workouts.
For each of these 10 tips, I’m going to do a video on my YouTube channel and will be talking more in-depth about them. Click on this link to subscribe www.youtube.com/jaffaboxer.