What goes through your head, minutes before your fight?

Juna Prinssen (20)

Olympic Style Boxer

“What is your goal?”

A question I didn’t really expect to get from my coach, literally 5 minutes before I’d had to go up against my Polish opponent.

“Uhm… winning this bout?” I answer with a shaking voice, heart already pounding in my chest from the nerves and a good warming up.

“Wrong. Your goal is to go into that ring and HAVE A GOOD TIME, okay? You’re going to box to the best of your ability and prepare for the upcoming Championships. It’s not about winning or losing right now.”

Boom. A wave of calm came over me.

You’re right, why am I so stressed on winning? I’m going to go into that ring and do what I’m supposed to do.

What felt like two seconds later, I was in that said ring, trying to read my opponent and do what I’ve been practicing in training. And it paid off.

“Winner on points by unanimous decision… BLUE CORNER, Juna Prinssen from the Netherlands.”

(feels good, I’m not gonna lie)

I’m writing this as I’m sitting on my Hostel bed in Gliwice, Poland, a few hours after the fight I just described.
Also a few hours after drawing my eyebrows on again and after struggling to put my half-healed nose piercings back in my nose.

In a little over a month I will travel to Montenegro to go up against the best of Europe during the Women’s European Championships. That will be the moment that I DO have to perform.

Any experience I can gain now, is a bonus. Hence why I’m in Poland for a tournament now, will be fighting in Denmark next week and will spend the week after that on a training camp with Team Ireland.

(Let’s hope my lecturers at the Willem de Kooning Academy still recognize me after all this time away).

It’s a lot, but that goal keeps me from losing my focus. And also the fact that I enjoy doing this of course.
Sometimes I have to be reminded of that. That’s why my coach told me to “have fun” in the ring.

Without fun… There simply is no winning.

So are YOU doing what you’re doing because you enjoy it? Or because you’re desperately trying to reach certain goals? Be honest with yourself.

Make sure that the thing that you do is the thing that you love. That’s what will get you the furthest.

Thanks Sayit, for that reminder.