What are your goals?
I asked this during the end of our practice yesterday to our team members. In a typical season, athletes will have something to prepare for – a marathon, a boxing event, a tournament, etc. But this isn’t a typical season, and I wanted to know what was going through our fighters’ minds during this time.
The answers were along the lines of “staying in shape” and “continuing to learn the technical aspects of boxing”, which were great – even without an end goal of competing in sight, we’ve done a pretty good job of keeping everyone consistent and exploring different tactical and technical aspects of boxing.
One person answered “to have my first fight in summer 2021”.
I like it. No, we don’t know when amateur boxing shows will happen again or gyms will be open again. Many companies, including Google, are postponing re-opening until summer 2021. There’s no certainty of summer 2021 competition. But it’s a starting point. A starting point and a date to circle on the calendar to make sure progress is being made until the date we start competing.
I started working backwards from that date to work a training plan and asked the following questions:
- How many rounds sparring do we normally have before competition?
- How long are our Strength and Conditioning cycles? (We typically send our fighters to a personal trainer, in addition to our boxing workouts, during camp)
- How far off are our fighters from their ideal competition weight?
Based on the above, I’ve outlined three different twelve-week training camps with separate goals for each, prior to the gym reopening. We go through periods of strenuous training to periods of aerobic base building. And each training camp builds upon the previous one, and then when the gym opens up we can focus on question #1 – getting our fighters the appropriate sparring to make sure that they’re ready for competition.
I can’t hold everyone’s hand – and without being at the gym, this will require a lot of personal accountability. Our practices are technique and shadow-boxing heavy, with us taking the time to review sparring footage and learn new concepts. This gives us the opportunity to dial down on technique and the fundamentals. But now, in addition to our boxing lessons, I’m assigning “homework” (i.e. sprints, strength and conditioning circuits, various physical tests) to our fighters to do on their own time throughout the week. And within the framework of our end goals of each 12-week camp, I’m expecting to see our boxers progress even without a bout date set.
More info on our classes: As you may know, I am currently donating my time to host virtual online boxing classes for the members of our 501c(3) non-profit boxing gym, Dreamland Boxing. As an active member of Dreamland, you will receive the materials and video recaps of each lesson through my website under the “Premium Drills” section.
Dreamland Boxing is also hosting outdoor classes and offering private and semi-private lessons. Visit http://www.dreamlandboxing.org or email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to sign up today!