Championship Habits

Guess who won this fight?

Hint: it wasn’t the fat guy.

Cristobal Arreola has been disappointing boxing fans for a few years. Very talented heavyweight. Bad training habits.

We heard some words and now seeing action and can probably believe he’s turning over a new leaf:

“Looking back, it was December and I was looking on my wall and I had awards from 2009 and 2008 and it was a total waste of time in 2010,” Arreola said. “I had fun, but it was a waste of time…

Anything outside of boxing, I don’t give a crap about it. It’s not going to affect me no more. Before, I would get like a little problem and I wouldn’t go to the gym, wouldn’t show up. Now boxing is first.”

Winning is about discipline and Arreola has quite a long way to go before he’s a champ. Take this awesome article about Bernard Hopkins’ night out after his victory over Jean Pascal last week. Awesome not for laughs but for a window into the discipline it takes to dominate into your 40s:

Despite a long training camp, Hopkins still wanted to eat healthy. The kitchen was happy to accommodate his special order of linguini with garlic, grilled chicken and fresh broccoli. Beverage selection: green tea.

It’s more fun to hear about getting hammered after a big victory, of course. But Flintoff (from that last link) retired quite early, obviously for injuries not sustained at parties, but can there be NO relationship?

Unrelenting, all-consuming focus. A high price to pay for success.


Tyler Cowen points to an article which points to a paper about a middle class background helping kids reach the NBA. The article suggests wealth as the causal factor, but the article uses the word ‘social’ privilege.

I’ll take the article’s side. I’d say middle-class kids are more likely to develop the championship habits, but not because of wealth.

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