Tag Archive for mouthguard

Get Mouthy!

When boxing’s first protective gum shield (mouthpiece) was introduced in 1913 by dentist, Jack Marks, and was consequently made popular by boxer Ted “Kid” Lewis, his creation was purely intended to provide protection for the teeth and gums.  Little did he know, his simple product would ultimately be altered and engineered to improve athletic performance?  His basic design would also become a part of nearly all combat and contact sports, however, it wasn’t until recent years that companies have put the research behind this piece of gear to enhance its protective benefits and, in the process, discover that a good mouthpiece can actually make an athlete stronger and faster.  By providing a better fit and aligning the jaw more properly, your mouthpiece can actually add power to your punch and improve your ability to take a better shot.  A better chin combined with the ability to hit harder…could that be true? It could be and it is.

Are You Ready…?

There are several things you can do to better prepare yourself for actual competition.   A few simple adjustments can be made in your training routine and approach so you will feel more ready for the conditions you will face in the ring.

Change the size of your training gloves leading up to the fight.  A solid pair of sixteen or eighteen ounce training gloves offer great protection and coverage during gym work and sparring, but they’re a bigger size (almost double in some professional scenarios) and more weight than you actually fight in.  For the final week of real training, switch to a pair of actual lightweight, competition gloves, closer to what you fight in.  Shadowbox with them on, hit the bag and even do some light sparring (very light) to get used to how they affect your punches. Obviously, there’s a distinct difference in 8 ounce professional fight gloves and 16 once sparring gloves, so the switch will slightly affect your speed, timing and punching power.  The weight of the gloves you compete in can have a fairly significant impact on what happens in the ring, so it requires and deserves some getting used to.  The overall idea is to get acclimated to as many variables that come into play during actual competition BEFORE you have to experience them for real.  That way there are fewer unknowns and new sensory influencers to face at a time when you are already dealing with a heightened, emotionally-charged experience.  Anything you can do to familiarize yourself with actual “fight feelings”, the better you will be able to then focus on the new stimuli you encounter.

Get Your Head in the Game

Concussions and brain damage are not topics anyone wants to discuss, but injuries of this type are not exclusive to boxing and combat sports alone.  They impact all athletes in various types of contact sports and it’s best to address these issue head-on, protect yourself properly and take the proper precautions to be sure that you can perform at your best and remain injury-free.  There are numerous pro-active moves you can make to help avoid suffering head trauma or sustaining a concussion.