How To Stop Flinching: Tips Become Master Of Boxing Matches


Being startled or closing your eyes due to external influences is a natural body reaction you have little control over. However, in boxing, flinch is a “weakness” you need to overcome unless you want to lose.

This article will give reasons and how to stop flinching that you can apply in boxing and everyday life. Keep reading to increase your initiative!

Why Does A Person Flinch So Easily?

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Flinch is a natural human reaction when affected by external forces (Source: Evening Standard)

The expression of flinching in a person is usually the body’s response to stress, anxiety, or sudden external forces directed at the self.

The first possible causes of involuntary muscle contractions include insufficient sleep, poor diet, stimulants, medication side effects, or lack of physical activity. These factors may cause delayed reactions or freezing in response to external stimuli.

Another reason is that this response may derive from the nervous system as a biological mechanism to minimize physical damage to the body. For example, you are blinking or closing your eyes with sudden movements directed towards your face.

Flinching, however, can be detrimental in situations requiring quick reactions, especially in boxing, as even a split-second falter can put you at a disadvantage.

How To Stop Flinching

Some tips below can help you get rid of it not only in boxing but also in how to stop flinching at everything:

Mindset Training

The fact that the body is almost motionless in the face of impacts is often due to fear and surprise at things unprepared. Therefore, you must first accept the worst, such as blows or pain, and develop appropriate resistance or defense measures.

Alerting your brain to what might happen and what options to take can reduce the likelihood of being passive. At the same time, practice possible ways to form muscle memory to help it easily be recorded in the subconscious. Later, when attacked, you can rely on your reflexes to respond, even before you realize it.

Retain Visions

Maintaining visibility is a prerequisite for being able to react quickly to physical impacts, as well as how to not flinch. The best-fixed sight lies on your opponent’s chest, where you can easily enlarge your observation of surrounding movements, such as arms or legs.

You can use an open headgear or anticipate upcoming shots based on previous attack rhythms to protect your eyes and maintain your vision. It is also necessary to study the opponent before the match to review their offensive and defensive habits to develop better strategies or find their weaknesses.

Read more: Best Boxing Gloves For Heavy Bag Review

Convert The Strikes

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Taking advantage of your opponent’s shots to plan a counterattack (Source: Bleacher Report)

Converting strikes is a way of taking advantage of your opponent’s strong or consecutive attacks to which you cannot “respond” to your advantage. For example, raise your hands to defend or lean to the side to avoid attacks. These ways help buy time so you can choose:

  • Find a safer landing point.
  • Counterattack immediately upon impact.
  • Find and attack your opponent’s weak point.
  • Make your opponent consume a large amount of force.

This method requires boxers to have good reaction speed, sharp observation ability, and high durability. Then, they can quickly detect and use part of their rivals’ strength to counterattack.

Practice Defensive Exercises

There are many defensive exercises on how to stop flinching when boxing. In terms of essential drills, boxers are trained with exercises that combine blocking and parrying against simple single or combination blows. The advanced level is quick counterattack exercises for sudden and continuous attacks. 

Regularly practicing and maintaining it is necessary to form reflexes and minimize your confusion during matches. Before matches, you should also research your opponent and develop additional exercises to improve your weaknesses and block your opponent’s attacks.

Keep Patience

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Persistence with planning and discipline will help you improve your flinch better (Source: Muscle & Fitness)

Depending on each person, the manifestations and ways to improve flinching will differ. It often belongs to the body’s natural reaction, so eliminating it will take longer. 

As a result, you need to be persistent and have a certain strategy to overcome it. Rushing to overcome it only puts more pressure on the body and can prolong that time.

Exercises To Avoid Flinching In Boxing

Boxers must participate in different exercises to improve their physical strength and mentally prepare them to not flinch in boxing. These practices help improve their reflexes, defense, and concentration during the match. Including:

Balls Reflexing

Ball training allows boxers to improve their concentration, reaction, and hand-eye coordination. It would be best to practice it at least 2-3 times weekly to achieve the best result.

Initially, you must wear a hat connected to a small ball with an elastic string like a tennis ball. When you throw punches at the ball, the string will pull it back with a strong or weak elastic force, depending on the force you apply. It requires hitting the ball without letting it touch your face or body.

How To Stop Flinching

Ball hitting exercises (Source: Body Sculpture Lebanon)

Water Splashing

Water splashing is a classic exercise often used by Polish athletes to increase the “hardness” of the eyes. Boxers practice this by keeping their eyes open while their coach throws water into their face. Athletes can eliminate the startling response or fear of being hit during matches by focusing on dodging splashes or staring them down.

The speed of the splashes varies to simulate actual combat blows. On the one hand, water remaining on the face is like sweat, becoming a hindrance during long matches.

You should do it for 5 to 10 minutes two to three times weekly, which is enough. Another version involves an opponent throwing fake punches at your face to simulate a real fighting match.

Attack-Defense Drilling

This exercise requires both sides to have equal physical strength and skills. Both wear gloves and take turns performing basic to advanced attacks and defenses that combine hands and feet. The execution speed also gradually increases to help boxers get used to the fierceness and tension in the match. Meanwhile, you can improve your weak areas or defenses, reduce confusion, and learn more experience from your partner.

Sparring Enhancement

Sparring, improving reflexes and defense, and reducing stress in competition are practiced to strengthen them. Multiple practice matches against comparable opponents will allow you to validate and combine improved or learned skills.

Serious matches have the same time, regulations, and rounds as professional tournaments. Thanks to them, you can recognize the simple mistakes you are making and find your limits. After each match, you must also review the good and bad points to fix for the next matches.


To become a professional boxer, you need to know how to stop flinching, aim to increase your proactive application, and make bold predictions during strained matches. 

In particular, increasing practice to have a good mindset and physical fitness through exercises is necessary, accompanied by disciplined persistence to achieve comprehensive results.

The above tips are not only used in boxing, but you can also apply them to prepare for handling difficulties and challenges in your daily life! – written by

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