Improving Your Boxing Reaction Time
As a boxer, being able to react quickly and effectively is a key ingredient to victory,
On defense, it can mean the difference between being hit with a big punch or blocking and parrying at just the right time. On offense, it spells the difference between missing an opening, to landing a knockout punch at the perfect moment.
Hand-eye coordination often flies under the radar during training, but that doesn’t have to be the case. You can improve this particular aspect of your game by a large margin if you give it some time and effort.
Needless to say, hand-eye coordination is extremely important and should be developed by every serious fighter. Luckily, there are a handful of drills that you can perform to directly train this part of your skill set.
Our Athlete EYEQ Neurocognitive Sports Vision Training program can help you better understand and meet the visual demands most often required to give you an added edge in the ring when it matters most.
✅ Improved consistency in performance
✅ Improved performance under pressure in stressful situations
✅ Improved coordination and balance
✅ Quicker reaction time to block shots, counterpunch, or slip punches
✅ Enhanced ring awareness of opponent, referees, etc.
✅ Improved concentration
✅ Improved overall decision-making
✅ Improved punching accuracy by better judgment of the opponents location
Following is a breakdown of some of the dynamic visual skills associated with the art of boxing.
Dynamic Visual Skills
It is essential to be able to focus through distraction and maintain a high level of concentration throughout the bout, not allowing crowd noise, flashing lights or an opponent’s taunting to be a distraction from the task at hand. A slight deficiency or lapse in concentration can mean mental or physical error, which could mean the loss of a bout- or worse- injury
Accommodative skills allow an athlete to keep objects in focus as well as quickly change focus during the game. Basketball players must be able to change focus instantaneously as the ball comes toward them or is thrown away from them. Quick, accurate saccades (or eye movements) are needed to rapidly survey the locations and movements of the other nine players and the ball in relationship to the basket, boundary lines, etc.
Since timing is the key to effective perfomance, knowing the right time to throw a punch is very crucial. It is also important not to over-commit yourself in response to an opponent’s feints.
The ability to deliver an effective blow is much more complicated than it may appear to the casual observer. It involves a snapping and twisting motion that makes it necessary to determine the exact distance of an opponent in order to deliver the blow with maximum power.
Eye tracking ability is important for a boxer if he plans to hit a moving opponent who is not only bobbing and weaving in front of him, but around the ring as well. Quick, accurate saccades (or eye movements) are needed to center in on the moving target’s vulnerable areas.
Boxing is a very fatiguing sport, especially when both fighters are evenly matched in weight, skills, and conditioning. Professional bouts for championships can go 15 three-minute rounds. With only a one-minute rest between rounds, physical fatigue is guaranteed. This drain of energy can greatly affect concentration, visual reaction time and eye-hand coordination. Eye fatigue can also affect performance levels in much the same way. When the muscles in our eyes feel tired or strained, we feel the fatigue all over. Just as we use weight lifting routines to improve physical endurance levels, we can also use a program of visual exercises to enhance your eye muscles, and thereby reduce fatigue.
This is helpful to a boxer on both defense and in his attack. Most boxer’s soft center is their opponent’s upper torso to chin area while being peripherally aware of both glove and body movement. When peripheral vision is reduced or hindered by a cut or mouse on the orbit of the eye, the boxer is in greater danger of further injury because he can’t see the blows coming (especially hooks) to defend against them. It is also imperative for the boxer to always know where he is in the ring relative to the ropes, the other boxer, and the referee, and he can’ t take his eyes off the opponent to determine this, even for an instant.
The faster a boxer can discern a feint (fake) from a real incoming punch of a certain type (hook, jab, uppercut, etc.), the more time he has to parry the blow and even perhaps counterpunch.
The process of visualizing a specific opponent, or the particular style of an opponent (shadowboxing), and visually rehearsing every type of punch, combination, and defense, can dramatically improve overall performance.