The first thing that comes to mind when people think of boxing is probably fearless fighters battling each other in a ring, with sweat, blood, and bruises. While this might be true at first glance, boxers also spend a lot time developing their minds to overcome mental barriers.
It may surprise you to find out that there are some similarities between battling in a ring and engaging at a poker table. Although both sports make use of vastly different skills, at the end of the day they require the same thing: mental toughness. Read on to learn about some of the lessons boxers can learn from playing poker.
1. Poker teaches you how to develop patience
Poker can seem like a fast-paced game with loads of action, with constant betting and folding. But to win at poker, the best players know that a big part of winning is being able to control one’s emotions. In poker, patience is the key.
It doesn’t matter if the player is playing against a computer, online, or at a live tournament: poker demands that players learn to be calm and wait for the right moment before going “All In!” The same goes for boxing! Although it’s packed with high action and big physical moves, boxers must also wait for the right moment to land the perfect blow. Playing poker can help develop patience, and prepare a boxer to stay calm until the perfect moment to execute a finishing move arrives.
2. Poker teaches the value of practice
Just like with any sport, the more practice you do, the better your skills will get. This may sound like common sense, but simple poker tips like finding a group of friends to play with or simply just playing more poker will naturally make you a better player. The same principle applies to boxing. Boxers need to go out and find other boxers to train and spar with so they can get used to competing against all types of opponents. The best boxers often spend hours a week testing themselves against the very best opponents they can come up against whether that’s at their home gym or nearby stables.
3. Poker teaches mental fortitude
While mental fortitude is often talked about regarding sports, many people do not realise how much of it is necessary to build a strong mind. In poker, sitting at a table with money on the line, especially if it’s a large amount, means dealing with constant pressure.
The mental and emotional burden can become very difficult to handle, so mental strength in poker is necessary to carry players through these high stakes games. Boxers must push through similar circumstances to achieve victory, especially during long matches when they’re completely physically drained and mentally exhausted.
4. Poker teaches the importance of networking
Thanks to the Internet, more than 100 million people worldwide play poker. Building a strong network in poker means you can stay updated on all the big events, news, and players. In the same way, boxers need a strong network to speak to their fans, gain higher approval ratings, sell tickets and connect with the millions of sports enthusiasts watching boxing. Connecting to fans on social media, like Facebook or Twitter, can increase a boxer’s or poker players chances of gaining sponsorship’s, and selling tickets, making them more visible on the boxing circuit. This is even more important for fledgling boxers as they navigate small hall shows in the infancy of their careers.
Boxing and poker are two sports that attract millions of enthusiasts around the world. Although they may seem different, the classic card game can teach boxers a skill or two that they can apply to their own sports. After all, most athletes and players are in it to win.
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