Burnout in amateur boxing is very common. Often promising young boxers lose sight of their goal to be an amateur
champion simply because of too many fights or boredom.
This article was reprinted with permission courtesy of the Gazette.Net Maryland's Community Newspapers.
Read about how these young athletes and their coaches manage one of the most common ailment in our sport, "BURNOUT!"
This article was originally published May 11, 2006.
at the top of the professional ranks may only fight once per year.
On the flip
side, ask an amateur fighter when was his last fight and chances are the date will be recent.
county amateur boxers have lulls in action like Capitol Heights
phenom Gary Russell, who cannot find a local to challenge him.
boxers will be busy in the next few weeks, as the 2006 Junior Olympic Tournament Potomac Valley Association championships
took place Saturday at Sugar Ray Leonard Boxing in Palmer Park. SRL will also host the Junior Olympics East Central Regional,
In a sport
as physically demanding as boxing, the risk for burnout is a concern for local athletes and trainers. Just ask boxing veteran
Sam Garrett, who teaches boxing to youths in Seat Pleasant and also assists in several county gyms.
is on the minds of coaches a whole lot,” Garrett said. ‘‘If the fighter is boxing too much and not taking
time out for himself. That can happen. You have to let him do things that he likes. You can’t just bring a kid in every
day. Even professional fighters take some time off. It’s a different generation nowadays.”
alluded to past times when Sugar Ray Leonard, himself, was an amateur and before, when the fighters were constantly in the
gym either training, sparring or competing.
society is much different. Young athletes have more things to take up their time.
fighters reach adolescence, they have even more distractions. Beech Road Boxing’s Alantez Fox is living the life of
a county amateur.
a lot of things going on right now,” said Fox, 14, and a 4.0 student at Shugart
Middle School in Temple Hills. ‘‘You have your school work
that can make you very tired, then you might have a girlfriend or something. I find myself more burned out from school than
boxing, though. It might be a day when you want to hang out with your friends. It’s a lot of things other than boxing.”
Gloves of America just wrapped up its national championships last month. The series of Golden Gloves bouts lasted more than
a month, which means that a number of fighters — especially if they advanced — may have fought three to six times
in a month, not to mention all the training necessary to prepare to fight.
Brenda Davis, whose husband Adrian Davis is head trainer of Round One Boxing, said coaches can make a difference in keeping
their fighters fresh.
don’t think there’s much of a chance for burnout if a fighter is brought along right,” Davis said. ‘‘If a coach knows what they are doing, they have activities for
them to do outside of the ring. Young people tend to stray away if they feel burned out or get bored with the sport. As a
good coach, you know which tournaments to put them in and which to pull them out of. You can get your fighter hurt.”
time a coach begins to train a boxer, a type of bond is formed. Many times that bond is unspoken, and could prove vital in
training and planning.
terms of knowing your fighter, it’s a mixed bag of coaches,” said Andrew Council, a coach at Fit 2 Fight. ‘‘Some
of them do, some of them don’t. It’s a couple of good coaches that really understand the game. Not knowing your
fighter usually results from not spending enough time with that fighter. If you spend time with that fighter, you learn his
tendencies. You can look in their eyes and tell if he might be drained that day.”
is different. Heavyweights train differently from lightweights. Fit 2 Fight’s Darious Moten said he and his coach are
familiar with his capabilities and limits. Fox said his father and coach, Troy,
can tell by the way he’s hitting the boxing mitts and the sharpness of his shots. Alantez Fox said he does not have
to say a word.
you can get burned out. My coach can tell when I’m tired,” Moten said. ‘‘Sometimes boxing gets boring.
But I never find myself tired of boxing. Sometimes I might want to stay home one day. If I don’t feel up to it, I just
tell my father that I don’t want to go. I’m never scared of telling my coach I don’t want to go at it. Maybe
sometimes on the weekend, I may want to do something. I feel that is my time.”
Hampton at email@example.com.
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