The Very Spirit of Boxing

A responsibility is placed upon you by the whole world of boxing to be relentless in pursuit of safety and disciplined in your application of the rules. No rulebook in existence is good enough to cover everything, that’s why they are “living documents”, always subject to change. Look within the rules of professional boxing and you will find the very spirit of boxing, its best interests. If everything you do as a coach is done in the true spirit of boxing you will do it a very great service and help it endure for years to come. When granted your professional licence you are trusted to help take your own development forward. You should not expect to be spoon-fed, that of course, is being extremely unprofessional.

You must strive to keep up to date and ahead of the game, and you must be relentless in your quest to look after the welfare of your boxers. Is it not a fact that, in a personal coaching sense, you do, after all, have only yourself to consider?   In your own close boxing environment, only you really know your shortcomings. No governing body in the world can read your mind. You should sit down and examine your own continued professional development. Always strive to extend your knowledge, improve and continually review your coaching methods, but always, without exception, under the umbrella of safety.

New or old, experienced or inexperienced, famous or not famous, amateur or professional, do not make the mistake of thinking and believing that by obtaining your amateur or professional license or qualification, you have “made it!” You have been recognised only as having attained a certain level, demonstrated a basic competency. Your personal coaching development should continue to move on from that point, driven by yourself, aided by others. Keep thinking about what you are doing and why, keep challenging yourself to improve, and you will become a better coach. Remember, the distinction between amateur and professional boxing instruction is not status based. You can be just as professional in your approach to the amateur arm of boxing as you can be amateurish in your approach to professional boxing. I have seen examples of both.

The aim of all governing bodies should be to sustain the sport, encourage its growth and constantly review, refine and evolve its commitment to the safety of it’s participants and it’s spectators. As a coach within that sport you cannot afford to stagnate. Doing so will only hold back our cherished boxing and hold you back as a custodian of it. Remember, boxing never really belongs to a governing body, it belongs to you, and the whole world of boxing enthusiasts. You have a responsibility towards it.

People who constitute governing bodies are actually very few in number but do a great service for many. As an enthusiast you should both appreciate and desire that someone with the same love of boxing as you, is willing to sacrifice so much of their personal life to maintain the vibrancy, safety and integrity of the sport.

The sport of boxing, at all levels, is only as safe as you proactively help to make it. The content of the rule book, the spirit of the sport and it’s foundation, has to find it’s way into practise, and it can only do that efficiently through your application. I reiterate that no rulebook can cover everything. It will not of itself endow you with growing skills. Only you can do that. Leaving it closed in the draw is akin to throwing away your first aid box.

There are many facets to the sport of boxing, many ingredients and many of us involved within it. Boxing is ours. Everything we do, think, write or legislate should adhere to a standard ensuring that the sport itself remains safe, fit and healthy. The fundamental essence of that standard should be the key word, safety. Make it your key word and you will do much to ensure it’s future.

On that basis commit yourself to your own programme of continued professional development, all of you, boxer, trainer, coach or official. Sow the seeds of progressive learning and not only will you grow in competency, you will positively blossom, helping to ensure that the great sport of boxing itself remains in full bloom, right from our amateur nursery beds to the world title magnificence of Madison Square Garden.

Always, without exception, lay your boxing foundation on the principles of safety. From that essential platform springs the challenge of teaching, developing boxing excellence, and therein lies the truly thrilling and great mystery of our quite unique sport.  Yes, I have opinions on the techniques of boxing, the building blocks, the foundations of boxing mastery.  In fact, if you trained with me you would be totally familiar with the importance of footwork for example. You would understand why it is so important to everything you do, but that’s another article, another reason, to make  your premier website.

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