As I stated in part one of this series, the mental script and theme must be respected prior to the fighter entering the ring. It is the chief second’s job to make sure that this happens and not anyone else’s. The fighter and the chief second must be in sync with each other as they prepare for entering the ring; this is one of the many things that I learned at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. (I was very fortunate to attend the USA Boxing Elite Coaches Clinic on many occasions and was certified to the highest levels that any coach can attain.)
As the fighter and the trainer go through the mental script, the fighter must “dress for battle.” This is one term that I use with fighters that I train; it cues the mind to clear away any unessential thoughts. If the fighter has had success in the past or is on a win streak they should prepare the same exact way, all the way down to the smallest detail.
If the fighter is coming off a loss, a new script, mental verbal cues, and preparation routine should be implemented (I will discuss this in another article). This series will deal with a fighter on a hot streak.
After the fighter puts on his boxing shoes, it is time to wrap the fighter’s hands. This can be done by the chief second or the cut man, but must be discussed with the fighter prior. It is very important that the fighter is comfortable with the plan. The more the fighter can see the locker room script prior to the fight date, the better. Painting the mental picture is one of the keys to victory and “if you can see it, you can be it.”
It is now time to give a light rub down to the fighters major muscle groups to prepare them for the joint mobility portion of the warm up. After that there should be some light shadow boxing to get the blood moving. The fighter should have
access to a bathroom as he will have to urinate often. Nervous urination is common for anyone going into battle, whether in the ring or the battlefield. It is the body’s way of emptying the bladder so one does not urinate while in the fight. Since the fighter should be drinking water to prevent dehydration there should be lots of nervous trips to the bathroom. The fighter has to be supervised by a representative of whatever commission is sanctioning the fight. It is blind luck if you get a well-trained representative. I have had good ones and bad ones; you have to make the best of it. It is important that you know the rules of any commission that your fighter is involved with and take charge; otherwise, a bad ring inspector will disrupt the flow of the locker room.
Once the fighter has finally emptied their bladder, it is time to put the protective cup on. After the cup is on, apply Vaseline to the fighters face and make sure the fighter uses his own pinky finger to lube their nostrils before you glove them. I have made the mistake of gloving the fighter and then having to lube their noses. It is uncomfortable for both parties.
I will continue with the gloving and hitting mitts in the next entry…