Training the next generation… no child’s play!

To be sure of its continuity, every club has to invest time and space for the youth, the next generation.  This applies in boxing as well.

Boxing is extremely fitted connected to the physical and mental development of youth as well as social skills & building up self-confidence.

The training of children and adolescents, however, is not as easy as it seems.  They are full of energy, curious and most of all: quickly diverted.  The main task of the trainer will be to hold on their attention.

How?  With variety!

Keep the exercises clear and easy to understand.  To big differences from age should be avoided.  Otherwise, the little one’s will be overruled and soon lose interest and motivation. Be careful with power building elements. At this age, the kids are ‘programmed’ to grow in length. Power training disturbs this process through which their bodies will stop investing in length grow.  Most of the energy will be put in muscular growth and possibly lead to disfigurement.  Wearing their gloves during the training and work-outs like rope climbing will do for the time being.

Skill training for youth should be done in an interesting & playful way. Colored stickers on the bag as a target and directed by commands of the trainer (for example: green is jab, red is hook) gives an extra dimension to this element of boxing.  The kids are stimulated to use their brains and simultaneously develop their reflexes.

Sparring is and will be a difficult issue for children.   They should be aware of the difference between a quarrel and sparring in boxing.  It is  best to start with touching each others’ shoulders, of course in the correct boxing posture.

Young boxers won’t get bored with a balanced variety and working-out in a playful way. Fun increases their motivation and.. almost guarantees the prospect of the next generation within your boxing gym.

Good luck, Geert.

About the Author

Geert Gielissen
Boxing is my passion, of course. Since 1978, I work for a foundation where (most of the time) adolescents and young adults with social / mental problems are supported in developing social and occupational skills. My job is coaching sports (fitness, cardio, personal training and boxing {of course again}). Boxing is very popular not just for the physical, but also for the mental benefits. That's what I do and I love it! My diplomas are from www.efaa.nl / www.fysiophysics.nl / www.centrumvoorafstandsonderwijs.be

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