The use of the protective gear is vital in any kind of sport either for palpable health reasons or to prolong one’s career. When training for a contact sport like boxing it is absolutely essential to spare yourself from unnecessary harm when training to maximize one’s learning experience and overall development. The question should not be to wear a headgear or not, but rather what to choose among the best boxing headgears there are out in the market.
Effectively designed boxing headgears lessen the impact of a punch through its foam or cushion, dispersing its force, to make it so much more bearable. This way, even among advanced practitioners, we rarely hear about boxers getting knocked out while sparring camp.
That’s how much a good head guard can help, thanks to today’s advances, scientifically improving its design with more visibility, guard contours, cheek protection, and the like.
If you’re a beginner who would love to learn the sweet science, but the concomitant pains are bugging you, proper gear should make you feel so much safer. Not only will it help you avoid dangerous injuries with long-term effects, such as a head concussion or brain trauma, but also it will be very useful against common cuts.
What Are the Common Complaints by Boxers When Using Headgear?
Depending on the design of boxing headgear, common complaints against using it revolve around its discomfort. Designed similar to a helmet, it can let you feel sort of caged, feeling a bit claustrophobic.
This is especially common among beginners, and they complain about it being too bulky to wear. In a way, it can be limiting, making it much harder to move around the ring and avoid incoming punches. Some complain that it adds to the lack of breathability when already using a protective mouthguard.
If you’re wondering why Olympic boxers no longer use headgear, looking more like professional prizefighters, it is partly because it can be limiting to a degree, and that it makes it hard for a boxer to see punches from all angles, especially hooks. If not fitted well enough, it can slide when taking a punch, thus blocking your vision and increasing the chances of getting tagged further.
Another reason Olympians no longer use the gear is that research says it gives them a false sense of protection. Not that it does not mitigate the pain or lessen the chances of getting a concussion, but it makes headgear users take more risks. Some risks they would never have made perhaps without head protection.
Therefore, the bolder a boxer gets the more risks he takes that would only put his health in danger. Conversely, it is suggested that without the headgear a boxer tends to be more careful, extra cautious, taking risks only when necessary and calculated.
However theoretically sound, it still seems unlikely that a certain type of boxer should drastically change his fighting style mainly because of a headgear.
There are offensive fighters, swarmers, pressure fighters, and they are likely to take high risks during fights mainly because that is how they are trained every time. That is the foundation of their winning strategy.
But would a defensive-oriented boxer turn into a slugger just because he is aided with a headgear? Would it convert his punch output by hundreds more every time, fundamentally stepping out of his element because he feels safer?
There are different styles in boxing, set in a boxer’s mentality. Headgears have nothing to do with it.
Therefore, It is important to choose a headgear that perfectly fits your size. Choose one that can be easily adjusted (Top/back), with a good cushion that does not effectually decrease your range of vision. Pick one that feels natural to use, and guards sensitive areas of your head. You will never regret taking extra care for safety 100% of the time when boxing.