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The 5 Fundamentals of Resilience for Young People

Over the years I’ve seen how boxing contributes enormously to the development of resilience in our young men and women. Whether it be in the gym, school programs or amateur competition fights, these 5 fundamental principals hold true no matter the setting.

1. PHYSICAL CHALLENGES: When our young people undergo rigorous physical workouts, such as cardiovascular exercises or strength training, only do they realise the importance of having perseverance, endurance, and mental toughness.

2. MENTAL STRENGTH: Being focused in having the mental discipline to think strategically under pressure helps young people develop quick decision making as well as overcoming psychological hurdles such as fear or self-doubt. So many young people face the aforementioned mental hurdles and sadly many never quite overcome them in life. Going into the deep end of something new for a first timer is no easy feat. However we will never grow if we remain in our comfort bubbles. Just getting young people to spar and/or box is a massive confidence booster in ‘learning to fly’. Over the years I’ve seen many shy kids undergo enormous confidence boosts once they dive deep into the art of boxing.

3. LEARNING FROM SETBACKS: Boxing is just like life… meaning we encounter setbacks and failures. The key is we should follow the conventional wisdom in picking ourselves up and learning from a difficult experience. My comp squad boxers (both kids and adults) have lost boxing matches despite giving their best effort. Many young kids at the gym attempt to learn a specific boxing technique but often don’t quite get the execution. However I let them know to evaluate any setbacks so they can channel them into growth opportunities. Carrying this resilient mindset helps in all aspects of life.

4. ADAPTABILITY: Everyone who does partner training drills has a different flavour in their technique and methods. The diversity of us as people means we have to accept our differences and work together. Rather then ‘My way is the highway’, The Boxing Shop follows the teamwork approach of working together to achieve the common goal.

5. COMMUNITY: Boxing often involves working with trainers and being a part of a team or community. Unfortunately we hear about the high rates of loneliness within our society, ranging from bullied kids shunning themselves away from others to young people in their 20s losing connection to old friends. When starting The Boxing Shop I wanted to build a supportive network for all gym goers to be in a friendly space. With our members, I motivate them to become a better boxer and person. In the Boxing Beyond Barriers program, my staff and I provide troubled youth with a safe space to seek support, learn from others’ experiences, and become good fit boxers in their own right. Having a safe and controlled environment, with proper supervision and guidance from experienced trainers to essential in boxing training.

If we utilise these 5 principals for our youths, they will then become confident and resilient members of society.

Gareth Williams

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