At POW! Gym Chicago, we are always using various types of tools to teach the fundamentals of boxing. We pride ourselves on teaching good boxing technique. The POW! Gym staff believes that workouts will become more intense if your skills continue to improve. One element of boxing that is often overlooked in both youth and adult classes is footwork. Since most boxing programs focus on hitting only heavy bags, footwork is often forgotten. Footwork drills are the gateway to becoming a better and more skilled boxer.
Coach Josh Johnson breaks down the 3 basic footwork drills that incorporate the jump rope. Coach Josh uses these drills each week in the youth boxing classes at POW! Gym in the west loop. His goal is to consistently reinforce the foundation of the boxer’s stance and the basic footwork patterns that are key to good boxing.
These 3 footwork drills have many progressions. However, like all sports, mastering the fundamentals is the goal. In my years of coaching boxing, I have noticed that boxing classes have a huge focus on simply being an intense workout experience. Although we design our youth boxing classes to offer a conditioning challenge; we will not sacrifice teaching good technique. Here are a few tips in creating an intense boxing class format while reinforcing good technique.
4 Tips to Teaching a Technical Youth Boxing Class
- Use jump rope intervals as the initial segment of class. We find it useful because parents are often dropping kids off a little late for class and we need the first 5 minutes to get everyone wrapped. Despite asking parents to arrive early to wraps their kids hands, it does not always happen. It is a great time to force the kids to get a lot of rope jump in while they wait for the entire class. Provide an incentive for the kids by creating a training assignment during the initial 5 minute segment: 25 jumps on the rope and 5 push ups. Who ever does the most rounds gets an extra round on the mitts with the coach, Announce how long this challenge will last. This can change weekly based on the time you need as a coach to get everyone wrapped.
- Use these footwork drills offered by Coach Josh as part 2 of class. It is post warm-up. Although we want all the kids to arrive on-time and get the full training experience, it is more important that they participate in the technique section. Add the basic punches to this section. At this time, you can continue to remind them about their fighting stance and to use the rope as a guide.
- Before getting gloves on and assigning the kids heavy bags and mitt work, insert an intense interval series that combines: fast rope rounds, squats, mountain climbers, thrusters, slam ball work, burpees, etc. This should last 3-4 minutes in length. The class should need a rest at this point, and it should be mandatory that they hydrate. This section of class is probably about 12-16 minutes into class. We also use this time to ask the kids to put ropes away, equipment back and assist with getting bags, mitts and partners. The class can also be divided by level or into smaller groups.
- Boxing rounds begin and take place in any sequence, 2 minute, 3 minutes or 30 second rounds. This is now the time to assign boxing drills that require footwork along with punching and defensive drills.