I think one of the biggest aspects to being a good fighter is the ability to relax. Whether it's during a bout or in sparring, the ability to relax is critical. I always see new boxers try to spar, and it's the no. 1 thing that stands out. Every time. I have sparred with guys who wrestle, run, bike, swim you name it. They all rave about their conditioning, and when I tell them I'm going to set the timer to 2 minute rounds, they give me a funny look. Look at James Toney. Looks like he can't run a mile, but can fight all night because he's smooth and relaxed.
Then we spar. After 3 maybe 4 rounds, they are done. And even the guys who have experience, I have seen that the best way to increase their speed, defense, reflexes, is to improve their relaxation.
This past year, that is one aspect I have worked one. All my sparring partner have remarked how I have improved in this area or that area. And it all comes down to being smooth, relaxed and in a rythem.
You hear trainers yell all the time, "Relax!" But what does that mean, and how do you do it?? Here is one key that I found that helps: No facial expressions. Have a complete, deadpan look on your face while you work. Keep your breathing in a rythem, don't grunt when you punch, don't clench your jaw, nothing. Plus, your expression can tip off your punches as well. Try this little tip, see if it works.
Anybody have any other tips or thoughts on staying relaxed??