The Underdogs approach to coaching

A note from Laura:

Underdogs Boxing Club exists because of my desire to bring Shape Your Life to Niagara. It also exists because I envisioned a different kind of boxing club. I wanted a boxing club where everyone feels welcome; where no one feels intimidated; where people can learn to box and work at the pace that is appropriate for them as they learn new skills.

Though the approach to coaching the membership classes will be different than the approach to coaching the Shape Your Life classes, the coaching will still be grounded in the same principles. We want you to get a solid workout; we want you to sweat; and we want you to feel like you left everything in the gym. That said, we want you to feel like you can ask questions; like you can find your own style (while still practicing proper/safe technique); and like you can take the breaks you need (without disrupting the class).

Most, if not all, workouts will be based around the 3-minute round, 1-minute break timer that we have. The goal is to do three solid minutes of work (whatever drills or other work that might be for a given round), but if you need to take a break (or two or three) in that 3-minute round, you'll feel like you can do so without disrupting the class. Just try to make those breaks only 30 seconds at most. Eventually, you'll be able to put in the solid three minutes every round. Trust me. :)

In the first few weeks at Underdogs, we will spend a lot of time on developing the fundamental skills for boxing. This means that if you're an experienced boxer (say, more than six months of experience at a traditional boxing club), you may want to delay starting your membership and come see us in November. Alternatively, you can either focus your initial time with us on Open Gym time or you can help guide other members through the fundamentals as they're being taught. We'd love to have you join us as soon as you want. We also just wanted to give you a heads up about how the first month will be spent.

Once the large group has a good grasp of the fundamental skills, the coaching will take a slightly different turn to start having more fun with more complex drills, etc. It means that - whilst you'll still be working at your pace, etc. - the workouts will spend less time on focused skill development and the skill development will move into the drills and other work that you'll be doing as you practice your technique.

One final note: Over the last eight years, I've had the opportunity to work with a few coaches, and the best coaches I've had followed the principle of explaining how and why I was to move in certain ways. Everyone learns differently. Some learn by listening. Some learn by watching. Some learn by doing. As an adult educator for 15+ years, I've learned that most people learn through a combination of all three, so Underdogs coaches will always be doing their best to incorporate all auditory, visual, and kinesthetic elements into their coaching style.

Some of this isn't how traditional boxing clubs coach their fighters. Underdogs is different. That's the point.

Laura Ip