Each bout is an opportunity for you to learn. Whether it’s a local bout or a Canadian championship, it is important to think back on each performance to make the most of it in order to always progress. The training log is a very valuable tool to do this analysis. Here’s how I suggest you use it.

What’s a training log?

A training log is simply a notebook where you write all the relevant information to keep track of the different aspects of your boxing: the goals you set with your coaches, your nutrition, your conditioning, your boxing workouts, your mental preparation, etc. Personally, I also use it to take notes on my opponents and to do a post-fight assessment.

Writing a post-fight assessment helps us identify our strengths and weaknesses – and then determine how we will work on them. In addition, the information gathered on each opponent can serve as an excellent starting point for you and your coaches as you develop your strategy for the next bout.

How to do a post-fight assessment

Essentially, you write down all your « raw » impressions, as they come to you. It should only take a few minutes. If you do not like to write, record yourself with your phone. The important thing is to gather the information right after a bout, when your feelings and memories are still fresh.

Write in your own words everything you remember about yourself and your opponent. It does not have to be complex or well written! Here are some ideas:

  • our respective strenghts and weaknesses (Was it difficult to touch my opponent? What combinations worked well and not so well for him, and for me?)
  • the strategy (What worked and what did not work in the initial strategy? What adjustments did I have to make?))
  • the control of the ring, the footwork, the distance (With which combinations was it easier to approach him?) Did I manage to cut the ring well? Could I keep him at a distance when I wanted to?)
  • our respective energy levels throughout the bout (Did I start and finish the rounds strongly? Was I the one setting the pace? Did he look tired?)
  • your opponent’s attitude and its effects on you (Did his attitude disturb me? Did I feel good stress or too much stress?)
  • the instructions given by your corner (What did my coaches tell me between the rounds? Did I follow their instructions? If not, why?)


When to do the assessment?

I recommend you jot down your impressions as soon as possible after each bout – but of course, physical care (cool down, physiotherapy, ice, etc.) remains the priority. Ideally, do it before you even debrief with your team and see the video of the bout. This way, you will not be influenced. You will then be able to compare your perceptions with the objective point of view of the coaches and discuss it with them.

Examples of a post-fight assessment in a training log:

Nouchka Fontijn – Adidas Cup, France (December 2012)

win on points

I moved constantly so she didn’t have the opportunity to plant her feet and throw. It worked very well.

I was very alert and quick on my feet in the first round. It was my best round. I took the lead and it allowed me to wait for her and counter-attack more often.

My jab-jab-left going forward worked really well (especially in the 3rd round).

I always moved to the left. I could mix it up more by sometimes going to the right and using my jab more often. Danielle said in the corner that, when I used it, it worked well.

I threw more in combinations in the 1st and 4th and, of course, that’s where it worked. I blocked her counters well with my hands high after I was done throwing.

Li Qian – Féliks Stamm Tournament, Poland (April 2014)

win 2-1

She was hard to read. She has a nice long straight; it was hard to see it coming. She’s not so fast, I was able to time her, but she would pivot and come back quickly (often with straight right + hook), so I have to react faster after throwing. The pace is fast. Infallible trick for me: having my elbows in front of me. With that, everything is placed (my legs under me and my arms combining in 1-2 without too much effort). I touched her with clean lefts like that! The impact of my left really made the difference in this fight.

She’s good to cut the action. I thought I would be able to explode more inside, but she closed the gap when I did, so I didn’t have the proper space to do so (I still made it work once, *so option to develop). After I touched her with a good left, she was coming forward; she felt that she had to catch up and I needed less to go forward, I could just counterattack.

I was able to land my lead left to the body (it touched well), but immediately put a right hook (+ left) to the head otherwise she cuts the action.


Straight ahead!

Whether you win or lose, writing a post-fight assessment is a must, because there are always aspects of your performance that can be improved. But when you win a bout and advance in a tournament, quickly put everything on paper, then turn your attention to your next bout: look forward, analyze later! It is only after the competition that you will think back on every bout with your team, and that’s when the information you noted « on the spot  » will be useful.

Debriefing with your coaches

Over time, keeping a training log will make you more aware of your journey and more self-reliant as an athlete. But boxing remains a team sport! Once this valuable information has been collected and the competition is over, take time to sit down with your coaches to share your impressions with them. Do not hesitate to ask questions! They will guide you based on their objective point of view and experience.

Debriefing will allow you to set new short and mid-term goals, and then determine the aspects to work on by your next important competition.

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