I recently had an 'Ah Ha!' moment when the light bulb went off for me. A coach pointed out something I was doing while I was working the heavy bag.
He told me, with your straight punches, make sure the shoulder you are punching with touches you chin EACH TIME you throw. This is of course to provides you with protection against a counter (which I knew), but I learned 2 other things.
I got so much more power on my shots. I wasnt 'pushing' the shot, but rather driving the punch. I could feel my whole body weight strike the bag with each blow.
And I found that I was short changing myself on my distance. Especially with the back hand, my right. I found that I could punch maybe an extra 3-4 inches forward without reaching. And of course a few inches make all the difference in the world. I used to beat myself up on why my right hand wouldn't land as much, and I really think I finally solved it. I know that when you turn your punches over, this causes the rotation and extension in your rotator cuff, extending the arm to its maximum. I think in my effort to speed up my punches, I was barely even turning them over!
I can't wait to spar this week. Is this just a basic fundemental that I missed or neglicted??