Evander Holyfield began his boxing training when he was 8 years old and weighed 65 pounds. He went on to become an Olympic medalist and four-time world heavyweight champion.
Although your child may not ever become the heavyweight champion, he can reap several benefits from the sport of boxing, including academic, emotional and physical advantages — after all, it's a solid form of exercise. However, your child or teen must learn how to train safely to ensure he doesn't do any physical damage to himself while learning.
Ensuring Your Child's Safety
Before you sign your child up for a boxing program, make sure it is affiliated with one of the sport's governing bodies. These organizations can be contacted via the International Boxing Association.
A boxing club should follow certain safety precautions. Children should wear protective headgear, mouthpieces and boxing gloves when sparring each other. They should always be closely supervised by a boxing coach who ensures the children don't throw improper techniques.
When sparring with each other or hitting a heavy bag, children should also wear hand wraps. Hand wraps help prevent children form hurting their hands or wrists. Knuckle bruises and fractures are two of the most common injuries in youth boxing.
Boxing will teach your child how to throw several types of punches, including the jab, cross, hook and uppercut. Your child will learn the correct body mechanics needed to throw these techniques with the most speed and power. These skills not only help children compete in a ring, but they can also help children defend themselves against bullies or dangerous people outside of the ring.
Learning the Footwork
Proper footwork is an integral part of boxing, as fighters must efficiently move around the ring to deliver punches and evade them. They must also know how to properly distribute weight on each foot to pack the most power in each punch. The importance of both punching and footwork in boxing improves coordination and balance in children.
Boxing training includes jumping rope, jogging and sparring. All these activities improve your child's cardiovascular fitness. Boxers also spend a lot of time strengthening their arms and legs. Youth boxing training often focuses on bodyweight exercises such as push-ups, crunches and squats. Boxing can help your child get into peak physical shape in order to endure the length and demands of up to a two-minute boxing round.
Boxing offers children several mental benefits that they need in their daily lives. Improved physical health and improved performance in the ring can build your child's confidence. In addition, when fighting an opponent or just punching a speed bag, extreme focus is required. This can translate into better focus in the classroom.
Additionally, this sport also helps youngsters control anger and aggression. Children learn that losing their tempers in the boxing ring is actually counter-productive. When young boxers successfully complete rigorous workouts and matches, they also learn about self-discipline and determination.