By Douglas Ward
German military strategist Helmuth Von Moltke once said that "No battle plan survives contact with the enemy." His belief was once a hypothetical plan collides with a real world situation, nothing goes as planned. Assumptions made prior to combat play out incorrectly, errors pile up and predictions clash with reality. Mike Tyson put it in boxing terms when he said, "Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the face."
So does that mean you should go into a fight blind, with no strategy and no gameplan? No. It does mean that you shouldn't become totally reliant on your pre-fight plan. You should think positively and that it will work. Believe that what you have mapped-out, based on your experience, perceptions and strengths, will play out exactly as you've predicted. But if it doesn't, be prepared to adapt. Once your blueprint starts to unfold and it’s not going according to plan, be willing and able to change.
Some fighters and coaches have difficulty with this. They map out the perfect pre-fight strategy. They work on executing their gameplan and they can't change once it’s in action and doesn’t work. They have no "Plan B" and can't think fast enough in the heat of the battle to see what adjustments need to be made.
The fact is, information and perceptions gathered before a match can be beneficial, but have to be negotiable. Part of any pre-fight planning should be a plan to adapt. There are too many variables to have all of the answers. The other fighter could decide to fight a different fight than usual. A foul or head butt could come into play. The referee's level of involvement could become a factor. An unexpected knockdown could occur. You can't plan for or expect any of these incidents to happen, but just knowing they might gives you the permission to alter your game plan without feeling like you've failed or made a mistake.
It’s true when Benjamin Franklin said, “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail!” But sometimes there comes a point in the ring (and in life) when the best way to control the future is to let go of the past and present, no matter how well you thought you had planned for it all.
Douglas Ward is the Marketing Director at TITLE Boxing.