American football is a contact sport, but even more so than other disciplines, many voices classify it within combat sports. The poses in which the defenders are involved, for example, are reminiscent of Greco-Roman wrestling or jiu-jitsu grabs. The use of the hands is also essential, and in this sense, boxing has been one of the best kept training secrets in the world. NFL, we tell you why.
The training is not intended to convert the players of the NFL in the next Muhammad Ali far from it, but the physical performance departments of the NFL believe boxing can be the difference you make from a normal league player to a star that propels your franchise to be a favorite in NFL predictions to reach the Super bowl.
Boxing is an endurance sport. Training a boxer is so demanding because he trains for the most extreme (and very likely) scenario of having to fight for 12 3 minute rounds. And American football is also a sport where endurance is key. It is one of the most physically demanding sports and a lax preparation shortens the athlete’s life expectancy.
Just one of the best examples to corroborate the resistance of a boxer is the fight between Floyd mayweather and Conor McGregor. Despite being a martial arts fighter, the difference in endurance between the Irishman and the American boxer was what allowed the victory to Mayweather in the 10th round.
And if we talk about coordination, we are referring particularly to the coordination between the eyes and the hands. When a quarterback can throw a ball at 90 km per hour, it is not enough to have the legs of Usain bolt, but it takes the precision of Tyson to stretch your arm where the target will land.
To train this coordination in the NFL They use state-of-the-art gadgets with light-up lights that need to be tapped. But the exercise par excellence will always be to hit the pads while the coach holds them in different positions. This greatly improves reaction times for game players. NFL.
In boxing, knowing how to hit hard and fast is just as important, but just as crucial is knowing how to avoid getting hit. There are an infinity of exercises that train the speed of the feet and the head that the trainers of the NFL they are importing onto their playing fields.
The idea of translation between the practice of boxing and that of NFL is that the way a boxer evades a blow translates into the way a runner evades a tackle and an emphasis is placed on correct body positioning to maintain correct balance. It’s not just evading at all costs, but doing it with your body weight properly distributed to ‘avoid getting knocked out’.
Both physical and mental toughness. Boxing is one of the toughest sports on the planet. Few people lend themselves to a sport in which you are hit hard in the face or in your vital organs in the trunk. But American football is also considered a very rude sport. During a match, the player is constantly faced with blows throughout the body, and if he does not prepare his physique for this challenge, it can be intimidating for the athlete. Obviously, the footballer does not train in the same way as the boxer in this regard, but simulating combat situations allows his mind to adjust to the contact situation.