For some reason this subject has always hunted me. I often get questioned and even criticised about the way I train my boxers. They have a hard time understanding why all my sessions are so intense and why the boxers are all 'dying'.
As an amateur boxing coach our role is to train boxers and lead them to competitions. Before I was promoted to the lead coach position, I had to shadow the head coach and assist him when cornering boxers at competitions. My job here mainly was getting everything ready like the stool for the break, carrying the towel, the gum shield and the water spray bottle. This gave me the opportunity to observe the fights, clocking the opponent’s mistakes and reporting them to the head coach.
I could always tell the difference between a boxer who had properly prepared him/herself and the ones who take their training lightly. The prepared boxer would be way fitter, more agile, more alive, and more comfortable. They had their speed on point, would be able to protect and attack, to get in and out of range of the opponent. This wasn't the case for the ill-prepared boxer.
When it comes to competition usually the most successful boxers are ones who are willing to go the extra mile to get the job done. Unfortunately being talented is not enough. Boxers also need to put the hours down if they want to reap the results.
In the beginners' level, boxers are still in a learning process, so mistakes are expected. Once the fight is over, boxers and coaches can return to the boxing gym, debrief and fix those mistakes. In amateur boxing we even say that skills-wise the first fight is always the easy one but by the second one, boxers can expect to see more techniques from each other which will be more challenging.
In the highest level “Elite” there is real danger. Only selected boxers with a high amount of fight are allowed to participate and can compete towards a belt or a title. That will allow them to enter national and international competitions. These type of events have to be taken seriously and require appropriate and hard training in order to be successful.
Boxing is not a game: “ You can’t play boxing”. In the ring there are two boxers that are both competing to win. When the bell goes off, the two contenders will be hitting each other for real and the smarter and the more trained boxer will win.
It’s like going to war without the right weapon. Boxers put their lives on the line to be successful in the competition and as a coach I believe it’s our duty to provide them with the appropriate training.
Like I said in one of my previous blogs and in the my amateur boxing training sessions:
“the only way that I can protect my boxers from the worst is to train them hard and intense”
“ Whatever boxers do on the gym floor, they take it with them in sparring, and whatever boxers do in sparring, they take it with them in their fight ”
“ Train hard, fight easy ”