If your kids express an interest in boxing there really is no age too early to start teaching them the basics. In fact, boxing lessons can be incredibly fun and rewarding for both you and your son or daughter. Just keep in mind that the sport can be challenging and tough on the body. They will need a decent amount of strength, balance and coordination to train properly and safely.
As mentioned above, a child can start practising boxing drills and cardio training at any age. However, they won’t be strong enough to start hitting a bag until they are about seven years old. This is why the best kids boxing gloves come in sizes suitable for those aged 7 or older.
If you determine that you do want to get your child started with their boxing training, use our cool tool to find out what size boxing gloves they will need. We made a similar tool to help you decide what size punching bag to buy also.
Why Get Your Kids Boxing?
Motivating your kids to stay active and fit can be challenging, especially with how fun and appealing video games are these days!
You need something just as fun and engaging to capture their attention and keep them enjoying their workouts. For this reason, one of the best sports to train them in is boxing.
Boxing training sessions will offer an unrivalled workout whilst letting them blow off some angst and steam while teaching them patience, discipline, determination and drive.
It is also likely that they come to you with an interest in picking up boxing already. For example, if they have watched Rocky or the most popular fighters on TV (think Anthony Joshua, Klitschko, or Fury) they will no doubt want to try their hand at the sport and land hooks like Tyson.
What is Junior Boxing?
Junior or youth boxing is simply training children in the art of boxing and combat sports. This is usually offered to those between the ages of seven and seventeen.
The best junior boxing programs will give your kids a good introduction to the sport and guide them to become advanced, capable fighters.
This all starts with the fundamentals. They need to learn their preferred stance (southpaw or orthodox), how to land a jab, hook, uppercut and straight with correct form, and how to defend themselves from on-coming punches.
How to Start Training Your Kids
As mentioned above, you will want to start with the fundamentals as well as the ethics and psychology behind boxing.
Chat to them about why they should or can learn these skills, when to use them (and when not to use them) and what the limitations are. Tell them what to expect (challenging workouts and fun training sessions) and take measurements to get them the best gear.
You should begin with some footwork circuits so they can get used to moving whilst keeping their stance.
Every now and then tell them to throw some punches whilst moving and correct any form issues (e.g. locking their elbows out or not pronating their elbows whilst striking).
Move on to some pad work and even start working some very delicate counter shots in to start introducing them to defensive strategies.
Depending on their age, you should consider investing in a punching bag for them to use. Punch bags will help develop their strength, stamina and accuracy and also be incredibly fun for them to use.
What Equipment Will They Need?
Keeping your child safe will no doubt be your top priority. In order to do so you will need to invest in the right equipment.
To start, you will need at least the following:
- High-quality boxing gloves.
- Strong, durable wrist wraps.
- Comfortable workout gear.
As your child gets older and, depending on the type and amount of training they will be doing, you might also need:
- A punching bag (or multiple – heavy bag, speed bag, reflex bag and double ended bag).
- Groin shield.
- Punching pads.
- Punching belt.
- A bag to carry all the equipment in.
- Dedicated boxing shoes.
Equipment can be expensive and you need to replace it every couple of years (depending on the gear) to keep it working how it should.
Only invest in the necessities to begin with and find out if your kid actually likes the sport. You don’t want to spend a fortune on gear only to find that they want to give the sport up at 11 years old!
Do I Need to Get My Kid Boxing Lessons?
This depends on how good you want them to be.
Initially, I’d suggest teaching them yourself.
Don’t take it too seriously and just work on the real basics. You might find that you need to read up online and check out some YouTube videos to know yourself what you should be doing.
If you hope they will compete at some point or become advanced fighters, it is worth sending them to lessons with a professional boxing coach as soon as possible.
This will prevent them from picking up bad habits and give them an edge on any fighter who didn’t start training as young.
If budget is an issue (private boxing lessons can be expensive even at the junior level), send them to group boxing classes first.
They will learn a lot, make some new friends and you should even see them starting to have more confidence in other areas.
Don’t Push Too Hard
At the end of the day, your son or daughter will want to have fun.
Training with them could be a great bonding experience and bring you both closer together but only if you keep the sessions light and fun.
Don’t push them too hard and allow them to progress at their own pace. Children aren’t as strong psychically or mentally as teenagers and adults and you don’t want to scare them off the sport altogether by pushing them before they are ready.
Should They Compete?
After a few months of practise you might start wondering if they should enter a local competition or look to compete.
Whilst the answer will depend on how they feel about the idea, I wouldn’t suggest entering them in to any competitions before they have had training sessions with a professional sports coach.
After a few weeks or months of training, ask the coach when they think your child will be ready to compete.
If sooner rather than later, they can start training them in more advanced techniques and building their confidence.
They can also inform you about any additional gear or equipment that they might need to compete effectively (or at all).
In conclusion it is never too early for your son or daughter to start boxing.
Providing they are willing and motivated, you can both have fun as you learn and develop their skills.
Remember to keep it fun and don’t push them too hard.
Listen to any feedback they give and always invest in the best equipment to keep them safe at all times.