Boxing Skills, Boxing Drills and Coaching A Group To Success!
I know there are a number of boxing coaches who visit the site from time to time, all doing a great job working with kids in their local community (mostly on a voluntary basis I hasten to add.) Your average coach in a community-based boxing gym often has to work with large groups of youngsters all at once, particularly if one of the Rocky films has recently been aired on TV! I thought that I might put together a short post that includes a bunch of tips on what’s worked for me over the years when trying to make the little monsters listen for long enough to learn something about the noble art!
Boxing coaching obviously covers a vast array of activities and methods of learning. I’m going to be quite specific here and talk about one activity; technical sparring. Technical sparring is a method of allowing two boxers to work together in a sparring-type situation without actually hitting each other, effectively using practical boxing skills to achieve our aims. During technical sparring, sparring gloves are donned and I always request the boxers wear a mouth-guard just to be on the safe side. This is a non-contact activity so there is certainly no need for a head-guard, foul-protector or even a boxing ring. Technical sparring can accommodate any range of boxing skills and boxing drills, but a couple of examples are outlined below for illustrative purposes (they are very simple, so don’t expect quantum physics here!):
- Boxer A throws a jab at boxer B, boxer B blocks the jab.
- Boxer A throws a jab at boxer B, boxer B moves out and then moves in.
See what I mean, pretty simple stuff, but successfully demonstrating these skills to a group of boxers is absolutely vital.
My 7 Methods For Maintaining Sanity When Working With Kids
Let’s move on to cover how I get the absolute best out of a group of boxers, be they young or old. Before we get onto to looking at how I’ve managed it over the years, it is always worth remembering that human beings love to learn, well most of them do anyway! This seems to be especially true they are learning skills that will improve their self-esteem (i.e. skills that could lead to them overcoming the neighbourhood bully for instance); boxing is most definitely a self-esteem builder!
OK, the tips then:
- I tell the boxers to put on a pair of gloves and find a partner. I then tell them to form a semi-circle on one side of me so that all can see the same thing at the same time.
- I introduce them to the skill/move by selling it to them. I describe what it is, why it’s useful and when it will be used. It’s important that I convey why it is worth their while practising the skill/move.
- Working with either a fellow coach or one of the boxers I demonstrate the skill at a realistic (competition) speed, 3 times each in the open (from my right) and closed (from my left) positions. I then break the skill down making any key points (e.g. common faults.)
- I demonstrate one final time at competition speed in the open and closed positions and then request that the boxers try it themselves. The boxers take turns in performing the skill and responding (A to B), either 5 each or when I shout “change.”
- I make individual coaching points to pairs where needed and then if I feel it appropriate I repeat the demonstration and emphasize the aspects that may be causing difficulties.
- I can change the pairs according to skill/experience level and develop the techniques by adding in more movement and variation.
- I keep the sessions short to ensure that interest is maintained rather than the boxers “switching off.”
So there you have it, how I have learned to apply boxing coaching techniques for groups whilst utilising boxing drills. Remember, I tend to build up sequences from any number of skills and techniques, many of which are covered in the videos on the site. Any thoughts would be greatly appreciated, so pop them into the comments box below.