Las Vegas Review Journal

Seminar hits target with fighters, trainers

or many experienced boxers, old habits are hard to break.

Whether it’s a training regimen, diet or trying to make weight, most fighters stick with what they think works. But it might not always be the best way.

That was the message conveyed during Friday’s fighter safety seminar at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health. A four-member panel discussed ways to train properly, look for warning signs of trouble with concussions, prepare mentally and physically for a fight, and to avoid using performance-enhancing drugs and supplements that can have short-term and long-term damaging effects.

About 150 people attended “The Winning Edge,” a two-hour seminar organized by Dr. Margaret Goodman, co-founder of the Voluntary Anti-Doping Association. Many in the audience were young amateur fighters who are training in boxing and mixed martial arts at the many gyms in the Las Vegas Valley.

“To see all the kids show up was so encouraging,” Goodman said. “But they’re the ones who can benefit the most from the information.”

Whether it was personal trainer Jimmy Smith explaining how to properly lose weight before a fight by having a sensible diet and gradually dropping the required pounds, or Dr. Charles Bernick discussing how serious concussions are and the need to properly rest after being diagnosed with one, or sports psychologist Dr. Caroline Silby talking about maintaining a proper frame of mind while competing, the information was mostly common sense. But the reality is athletes are habitual in how they prepare, and the message was there’s a proper way to form those habits.

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