Getting them to the gym early
I live in a two-boxer family and if I count the young-one, we’re coming on three boxers. As the trainers down at Gleason’s are happy to remind us, my daughter was practically born in the gym. There are many stories told of how she was passed from one lap to another while my husband or I trained. Her comfort today is telling every time she walks into the gym. She’s got folks to say hello to, her trainer, John “Superman” Douglas to fist-bump, and a general feeling of ease as she watches us workout or works out herself.
When it comes to kids in the gym, I always advise parents that there is no place finer to introduce a child not only to the intricacies of the sweet science, but to the rarified world of camaraderie, focus and importantly, people’s dreams. A boxing gym provides children with a place where they can experience people working very, very hard to achieve complex goals that range from personal fitness to readying for professional bouts.
The boxing gym is also a place where children can learn great physical skills, confidence and a work ethic that will carry them across a lifetime — and this without ever really needing to fight in a bout. The boxing work out alone with a skilled trainer or in a group class will provide kids with the chance to develop prowess in the boxing repertoire and for those parents who might object to their kids sparring, pad work and shadow boxing can simulate some of the movements of the ring. Girls especially get a lot out of boxing training — not the least of which is learning how to physically defend themselves.
There’s also something else that happens in a boxing gym: a chance for people from all walks of life to interact and communicate. In the over-scheduled world of contemporary child rearing, that sort of experience is invaluable as is the “drift” time that happens as you wait your turn.
For more information on children’s boxing programs, parents can contact their local PAL organizations. Many boxing gyms also provide opportunities for training children individually or in groups. You can also contact Girlboxing and we’ll be happy to pass on what information we have.