21.05 20140

Getting Real

By: michelemuse Categories:Agile

I recently read a quote from an unlikely source for life advice …Mike Tyson.  Mike said “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth.” There is a lot of truth in this quote and in boxing in general because a boxer is forced to “get real” very quickly.  In the heat of opposition, agility and reflexive training become more critical than having a plan.  The ability to maintain composure and adjust a plan means the difference between staying in the fight or being laid out on the mat.  Personally, I never have been a big fan of boxing. It is hard for me to want to cheer on raw aggression, but I have been somewhat intrigued by the sage advice that comes from the ring.

Boxers say that a fight is won or lost before the opponents step into the ring.   You are either very prepared for your opponent, or you are at a loss almost immediately.  Effective preparation comes from making a realistic assessment of your opponent’s strengths and your own weaknesses and inversely making a plan to take action to maximize your strengths, while drawing out the opponent’s weaknesses.

Even as you plan and prepare for a match, you must realize that once in the ring, anything can happen.  The most admired boxers are known to be very agile … adjusting movements quickly and fluidly while maintaining a steady rhythm and pace.  Muhammad Ali’s trainer said “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.”  In a world of heavy weights, you must be somewhat unsuspecting to your opponent. You must move around lightly, but at the time of execution you must pack a very direct punch.

As an agile coach, from my observations of boxing here are some takeaways for my team trainees:

1.  Always take time to know your strengths and your weaknesses
2.  Build on your strengths, but don’t ignore your weaknesses
3.  Have a plan
4.  Be prepared to change your plan, quickly and seamlessly
5.  Find your own rhythm and pace
6.  Take feedback from observers that have an outside view of the situation– use the wisdom and experience of others to become a contender
7. Keep it real when dealing with the present situation no matter how unfavorable it may be

Boxing …a case study in agility.

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