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Are You Ready For Amateur Boxing?

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    Amateur boxing is divided into four weight classes -- featherweight, lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight. Except for heavyweight who has no limit, each class has a weight limit range. So first, determine which class you currently fit in, or wish to fit in, then move forward with training to prepare for the boxing event.

    Boxing is tough, I know. But just exactly HOW tough? It requires endurance, toughness, speed, and, most importantly, mental fortitude. There are various reasons why people take part in boxing.

    Boxing is great for fitness. It hones one’s self-defence skills and is just plain fun. However, many people participate in boxing competitively too. 

    When it comes to boxing, there are two levels. First is amateur boxing, and the second is pro boxing (also known as prizefighting). The first step to a competitive boxing career has an amateur career.

    Whether it’s a lot of running or punching, you need to be prepared to do lots of both. Yes, skill is more important than power and endurance, but only when you have reached the minimum levels of conditioning for boxing will you then be capable of applying your skills to fights.

    Finding A Boxing Gym

    Find a boxing gym. The difference between a regular gym and a boxing gym is that a boxing gym will provide the staff, coaches, sparring partners and training resources you need to become a competent amateur boxer. 

    This means a gym that exclusively coaches boxing. This means no martial arts gym that “also” teaches boxing. If you are interested in becoming a well-rounded martial artist, by all means, find a place that teaches ground fighting in addition to their stand-up styles.

    Regular gyms may provide boxing-like classes, but the general participants in these classes are gym rats and fitness enthusiasts, not those training for a fight. In addition, boxing-like classes such as cardio kickboxing may not involve actual contact with a partner or boxing training devices, such as a punching bag.

    One of the best ways of training to become an amateur boxer is through the gym. A boxing gym helps you improve your fitness level and the boxing technique you need while fighting.

    You can identify a local gym that provides boxing training, make sure you do some research prior and find the best gym. The boxing gym should have all the necessary facilities for boxing, such as a ring where one can practice with other fighters.

    Punching bags, speed bags, and other equipment are also necessary. Try to train at the gym three to five times a week.

    Signs of a Good Boxing Gym

    Finding a good boxing gym takes effort because not every gym can fit your needs. For example, a gym designed for someone looking for a bit of extra cardio every week will be a lot different from a gym for an aspiring boxer. 

    So the first thing you need to do before choosing a boxing gym is to set your goal. After that, you need to find a gym that meets this goal.

    If you want to dig deep when choosing a boxing gym, here are more things you should look for:

    Look for more information about the trainers:

    • What was their career, in case they have competed as pro boxers?
    • Which boxers have they trained?
    • What is their coaching experience – since? How many years are they coaching? Which pro/amateur boxers have they trained?
    • How many people is every coach training during the group classes? – the fewer people they train, the more attention you will get
    • Just type their names in Google (or ask them or the people in the gym if there isn’t enough information online)

    Find more information about the boxers who train in the gym:

    • What have they accomplished – record; titles etc
    • Since when they’re training in this gym? – Is that their first gym, or did they come here after they were taught the basics somewhere else
    • What’s their style? – are they boxing similarly, or every boxer has a unique style. Тhat’s important too. You want a gym where coaches help the boxers develop their style and don’t teach them the same things.

    Tips for choosing a gym:

    • Consider visiting several gyms before purchasing a membership.
    • If you don’t like the coach or he doesn’t like you, go to another gym.
    • If the coach encourages brawls and hard sparring, leave the gym. You don’t need this, especially if you’re a newbie.
    • If the focus of the workouts are mainly on conditioning and not on technique, leave the gym. You can do your conditioning yourself, but you need a coach to show you the technique.

    Finding A Boxing Coach

    beautiful young fitness girl puts boxing glove

    Good boxing coaches are few and far between. The sport is filled to the brim with glorified personal trainers, strength and conditioning coaches and “badged” amateur coaches that have never boxed a day in their life.

    Therefore it’s important to recognise which characteristics will be important when selecting the right coach for you. 

    Boxing is a challenging sport with multiple aspects, including fitness training, skill coaching, psychology and mentality, functional motor skills and applied strategy.

    A good coach will also understand how to get the most out of their trainee with a healthy mix of empathy and apathy applied at the correct times.

    What Does A Boxing Trainer Do?

    Boxing trainers make sure that their boxers stay in peak physical condition.

    A boxing trainer is essential to the health and success of a professional or amateur boxer. Boxing trainers design and implement intense physical training regimens and diet plans to ensure their boxers stay in peak physical condition. 

    In addition, many boxing trainers act as managers and promoters, which involves acquiring the appropriate training equipment, setting up boxing matches, and managing finances and schedules.

    Boxing trainers typically must have some time in the ring themselves.

    Amateur and professional boxers rely on their trainers to prepare them, physically and mentally, for strenuous boxing careers. Therefore, a boxing trainer must be a good communicator and teacher, demonstrating techniques and verbally explaining strategies. 

    Trainers usually design specific training programs for their boxers, including long-distance running, weightlifting, and sparring in a ring. It is also common for a trainer to study nutrition information to implement healthy diet plans.

    How To Find A Good Boxing Coach

    Experience in boxing is essential in a good boxing coach. You have to understand the physical and mental trials that your fighter is going through in the ring. A good coach will have spent a long time in boxing, whether fighting themselves, learning from other experienced coaches or just being in and around gyms. 

    As a boxer, you have enough to worry about doing your daily boxing training schedule to worry about the business side of things. Not saying you should disengage yourself completely, but trying to do both is probably not a good idea.

    The main reason for this is that you will naturally take it easy on yourself no matter how dedicated you think you are.

    It is easy to train hard, according to your standards, arrange yourself a boxing match at a local boxing gym (assuming you have taken care of all the paperwork involved) and then quickly find out that maybe your boxing training regime was not quite as good as the one your opponent had. It is much easier to have a boxing gym or trainer push you to your limits than try to reach them yourself.

    If you find a “boxing coach” who has never boxed, didn’t learn boxing from an experienced coach and has spent zero time in a boxing gym, then the chances are that they won’t be the right coach for you.

    What Makes a Coach?

    Boxing isn’t something that is learned at the weekend. Call oneself a coach comes with a HUGE pallet of skills, including a tremendous amount of responsibility for the students.

    There are trainers, instructors, and coaches in this world – and they are not all created equal. The original sense of the word coach derives from that of a horse-drawn carriage, meaning the coach would ‘carry’ or ‘transport’ someone to their destination.

    In boxing terms:

    • A trainer can get you into shape. “Do press-ups, sit-ups”, etc.
    • An instructor can tell you to do things. “Punch this combination”. “Do it faster, harder”. Etc.
    • A coach is an all-encompassing term. A coach is essentially like the original sense of the word. However, instead of simply taking you to a physical destination, they take you from one point of your life to another and, hopefully, to a good place.

    Ok, So How do I Tell Who’s a Good Boxing Coach?

    Human beings all learn differently. For example, some people learn best visually, while others learn through auditory methods. Others learn best through reading and writing, while some need kinesthetic or hands-on experience. A coach finds out how YOU learn best and gets you to your destination.

    The Strategist

    This is the boxing expert. He’s probably trained dozens of world champions before. He analyses the opponent and gives his fighter a set fight plan. He works the fighter heavily on the mitts and gives endless technical adjustments.

    Everything goes by the book with him. He knows the counter-style to every boxing style. He’ll pass on clever tactics for you to try out during fights. He wants you to do exactly what he says—nothing more, nothing less.

    The Strength & Conditioning Coach

    This is the guy with the clipboard and stopwatch. He doesn’t care about the fighter’s excuses; if you’re not hitting the expected numbers, he won’t be happy.

    This coach tells you all the rules, decides what time you go running every day, everything you have to eat, and watches you every minute of your workout. He’ll also remind you not to have sex the night before big fights.

    The Friend

    This was often the fighter’s first coach, father, older brother, or senior sparring partner when he was still developing. This coach knows the fighter the most. He knows exactly how the fighter feels what to say and do to make everything better.

    He knows all the fighter’s habits, how he likes his hands wrapped, where the fighter puts his wallet in his bag, and how low to tilt the water bottle over in between rounds. When all hope is lost, this trainer believes in his fighter till the very end.

    What To Look For In A Boxing Trainer

    Years of Experience

    When looking for a good boxing coach, consider someone who has years of experience under their belt personally and professionally (professionally, meaning they have been paid at some point by someone to coach them).

    It also means they should understand being a fighter at some point in their lives, but that doesn’t mean they were so burnt out that they just turned to coach as the next logical step. 

    They need to show some proof of going through the fire as a fighter, whether as an amateur or professional. They didn’t have to be a champion, but they need to be able to personally relate to you and understand what it’s like to have been in the trenches before telling you to do things yourself.

    Also, look at someone who has experience working with ALL sorts of people of all ages: men, women, kids, amateur fighters, and professional fighters. Every type of person they work with better hones at the coach’s teaching ability.

    Each type of person brings general problems but with unique circumstances. A real coach accepts the challenge and knows how to get any student from one point to another.

    Check the coach’s training plan!

    Usually, first sessions are free—use that opportunity while choosing a personal coach.

    Another way to check whether they are the right person for you is to ask about their vision of your future training. A good coach will instantly see your strengths and weaknesses and will be able to tell you what you need to work on vaguely.

    You can also ask him to send you a training plan for the next month- that will allow you to decide whether the guy has a clue about what he is preaching.

    Ask around!

    Gossiping is both good and bad—but it depends on the context.

    It’s certainly worse when you tell your friends that Boxingholic is shit behind our backs, but it can be very useful when you want to find out if that coach is worth your money.

    Nowadays, most coaches will have Instagram, Facebook, or other social media in which you can find their former students. Those people are the ones to ask about the coaches’ abilities. You can learn everything about the coach from former students, such as info regarding his skills, behaviour, manners, money dealings, and other crucial things before you decide.

    Only time can judge them!

    Even after going through all the previously-mentioned points and you’re still unsure whether that coach is right for you, then give them some of your time.

    Nothing will judge a coach better than the results. Paying for a month upfront most likely won’t kill you, and it will give you the necessary time to judge whether your trainer is worth your money.

    After 30 days, you should already be able to see whether you improved and whether money was spent correctly!

    FAQs

    How Does Amateur Boxing Work?

    Amateur boxing bouts are short, comprising three rounds of three minutes in men, and four rounds of two minutes in women, each with a one-minute interval between rounds. ... Referees have to stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, or if one boxer is significantly dominating the other.

    full shot woman boxing

    What Do You Need For Amateur Boxing?

    You will first need to pass a physical. Then, speak with your boxing coach or the boxing gym owners to see if they know any physicians who specifically conduct amateur boxing physicals.

    Is Amateur Boxing Safer?

    A new study shows that amateur boxers experience a traumatic brain injury, despite using protective headgear. According to the study, about 35% of boxers experienced more than ten blows to the head during a match. One coach advises that boxers pay attention to safety, even if it interferes with winning a match.

    What Is The Difference Between Amateur And Professional Boxing?

    Finally, the biggest difference between the two is that a sponsoring organisation pays the Professional boxers. Amateurs can continue to box while working outside the sport. They can earn money through advertisements, sponsorships etc., but cannot demand the organisation for any money.

    Do Amateur Boxers Get Pay?

    Although amateur fighters are getting paid nothing (directly) compared to professionals, there are still some opportunities. The biggest being the Olympic Games. Winning the Olympics Gold is the sure way to jump right into the mix of best professional fighters and start earning big time.

    1. Find a gym. Boxing gyms aren't typically found in the yellow pages, but there are resources on the internet that can lead you in the right direction. ...
    2. Be sure the gym is within striking distance. ...
    3. Be open-minded. ...
    4. Choose your coach carefully. ...
    5. Do judge the gym by its cover.

    So, can boxing be self-taught? Boxing can be self-taught but it's not the quickest and most effective way to become better at the sport because you aren't able to tap into the knowledge of a boxing coach who would be able to help you one to one.

    Best Age to Start

    Specialists in sports medicine believe that boxing classes are better to start from 9-10 years. Starting too early could result in putting the student off, as boxing is hard work and not always as fun as team sports, such as football or rugby.

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