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GYM ADMINISTRATION: ORGANIZING BOXING TRAINING
A Macon, Georgia boxing coach, whom I correspond with regularly, informed me that his gym is having a fantastic Spring
with children joining by the dozens daily. But he stated that the gym is having a problem giving instruction to everyone.
Coaches are giving instruction to some and others are not receiving instruction because of favoritism. He went on to explain
that his boxing gym has no teaching structure.
It seems that this trend goes on in a lot of boxing gyms all over the country. There are many boxing gyms that are well
organized in programming and instruction, but not ready for sudden rapid growth. But first, you have to re-establish a goal
and purpose for your boxing gym.
Like any business your boxing gym has to have a purpose. Will your gym be established as a profit organization or a non-profit
Will it specialize in competitive boxing or fitness boxing?
Will it cater to adults as well as children?
Instruction? Do you want to have a gym that will teach private instruction, small classes or large group classes or instruction?
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Is the purpose of your boxing gym to train amateurs, professionals or both?
As in any business you have to have a defined and clear cut plan in order to keep your boxing business successful. You
have to adjust that plan as your boxing gym grows!
I started off in a small gym in DC whose main purpose was to train fighters specifically for long term amateur and professional
fighting. The goal of the gym was to earn money through professional fighters. The gym mainly stayed in existence because
professional fighters trained free until their pro bouts. After their bouts, they paid the owner the training fees for use
of the gym in one lump sum.
All the pro fighters had their own trainers, an in-house trainer or a trainer that was independant. There was not a problem
with favoritism or people not being able to be trained because they had their own trainers. There were plenty of trainers,
mostly retired uncertified boxers. They taught fighters mostly from their experience. But this was not good for women who
came in the gym to learn boxing for the purpose of fitness and weight loss. Unfortunately, the owner was an old boxer from
the fifties, who did not try to keep up with the new advances and trends in boxing.
Today that gym has been taken over by a non-profit organization that is led by Abraham “Ham” Johnson, the father
and trainer of fighter, Mark “Too Sharp” Johnson. The gym’s primary purpose is to help children become not
only better fighters, but good students and great citizens.
When training children, you have to have structure or you will find them becoming bored and frustrated, which will lead
to an eventual mass exit out of your gym.
When you have a large class of boxing students, you will have to hire more instructors and assistants. They will have to
make a plan on how the students will be trained. There are many ways you can train kids and keep them happy.
Boxing Games-You can use your imagination with this one. Simply think of a drill or any type of training that you
use and turn it into a game. Team Boxing-As you all know boxing training can be boring for the little ones, but on
Fridays or Mondays wake the little tykes up with competition. You can organize teams of three fighters or more. They can fight
for candy or cheap toys from the dollar store. Make sure that they fight in their age or weight group.
All gyms have a group of kids there whose daddys or mommys are either signing them up to be the next Roy Jones, Jr. or
she needs a cheap place for babysitting; theboxing coach is the babysitter. But to the trainer’s dismay,
this kid does not want nothing to do with boxing. It is okay, remember, you are getting paid. Gyms always have kids that sign
up and don’t want anything to do with the trainer and the trainer really does not want anything to do with them. That
is where we may misconstrue it as favoritism. Don’t fret! There are non contact games like punching bag competitions,
fitness competitions and toy competitions that can keep these kids happy. They don’t have to get punched to have a good
time at your gym!Have a variety of activities for children to enjoy! Boxing can get boring to most kids very quickly, especially
if you have an after school program. Make Wednesday a freeday. Let the little monsters play games and catch
up on their homework, dance competitions, etc. Make it a day of rest and relaxation for the kids and staff. If you don’t
have a free day, just watch how quickly everybody involved will burn out. You, the staff, the kids and the parents writing
But try to remember, if you have a lot of kids sitting around your gym who is not receiving attention you can adjust your
program to have those kids receive minimal boxing training. You can hire various activities experts to come in and give them
something else to do to keep them happy, such as arts and crafts, tutoring, etc.
Remember, when it come to children, the novelty of most activities diminish quickly, you will have to be the ring master
to their boxing happiness. If you need a little help, feel free to write me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
AS ALWAYS,… KEEP YOUR GUARD UP…AND KEEP ON PUNCHING!
A Comment on this article!
Good article. As a teacher, the situation is similar to the classroom - except all year long! There's just
so many factors that you can't possibly please everyone the same time. Examples: different levels of learning,
varying social disorders (attention span, deficit), etc that the teacher is not aware of or not told. And if you have
the children only during a summer camp - it is not enough to know their learning styles - and sometimes the parents forget
to tell you.
One thing to incorporate are rules. The teacher has to have a set of rules in the beginning. Anticipate the
kinds of behavior in advance based on previous experiences, list them all down and let the kids know the first day.
Another strategy is to post some of the major rules on the wall. As you gain more experiences with the children, continue
to add to the list. Save the list in your computer so that the next set of trainers can have them. There's no
point in repeating the same mistakes over and over again. The kids will also know if you are prepared or not to give
them rules and they will test your limits.
Some of the rules should include those about listening, running around, touching others, using the bathroom, using the
cell phones, etc Just think about their daily activities and the kinds of misbehavior that could occur.