Boxing for Kids: A Guide

What do they do in a kids boxing class? What are the benefits of boxing for kids? Can you get kids boxing gloves?

Like with any activity your for your child, the first three questions are:

  • Are you qualified?
  • Are you insured?
  • Can you prove it?

As parents and guardians, it can be both exciting and nerve wracking letting your children try something new, and boxing is no different.

Boxing offers kids a range of benefits from physical and mental health to socialising with others their own age who share a similar interest.

Young boy with red boxing hand wraps pushes himself through a press-up.
Good exercise, self-discipline and self-defence. Push-ups are one of the many different exercises in boxing training.

Any reservations you might have for allowing your son or daughter to pick up a pair of kids boxing gloves is understandable. Parents can be judged for allowing their children to take up boxing at a young age. However when you dig a little deeper, the stigma around kids boxing dissipates.

Reality Check.

  • Boxing is a very controlled contact sport
  • Kids are being supervised by professionals at all times
  • Teaching boxing to kids isn’t professional boxing for entertainment
  • Boxing coaches make boxing fun for kids in training
  • Safety is the main priority for boxing coaches
  • The majority of training takes place outside the ring
  • Protective gear is often mandatory
  • Sparring is about learning new techniques, not punching your opponent as hard possible

Also, when you know your child will be looked after by professional, experienced coaches and in a safe environment…

Boxing is so much fun.

And it’s a great way for kids to learn a new set of skills, get fit and develop dicipline and confidence.

Young boys in a line at a boxing gym shadow boxing and copying instructor.
At a younger age, boxing in taught in groups which makes it social.

Physical Health Benefits of Boxing For Kids

See our health benefits of boxing for a thorough read. In essence, boxing:

  1. Improves general cardiovascular fitness
  2. Improves hand-eye coordination
  3. Trains balance, agility and footwork
  4. Prevents/tackles child obesity
  5. Builds upper body strength

Mental Health Benefits of Boxing For Kids

The great psychological impacts of boxing include:

  1. Improved confidence (finding inner strength)
  2. Learning discipline and respect
  3. Building character (cliche but true)
  4. Developing Emotional Control
  5. Improving mental focus

These amazing benefits boxing can have on a child’s health are transferable to other aspects of school, other sports clubs and personal development.

Boxing is also a very social sport with an open and caring community to match.

Young female boxer is sitting in the gym next to her mother while she helps her put on her boxing gloves. The mother is smiling happily, clearly proud of her young daughter.
Would your daughter be interested in boxing?

Gyms are usually brilliant and can provide you with boxing gloves and protective equipment, if needed. Moving on to the kids boxing classes, we’ve prepared you with some rough guidelines so you know what to expect.

What happens in a boxing class for kids?

When you find a boxing gym that has classes especially for kids they are often separated in the following age groups. See an examples of kids boxing classes. See how they might change depending on the age group of the class:

Tiny Boxers, 3 – 4 year olds

(example class)

  • For young students to play lots of non-contact, fun, sports specific games.
  • They will learn about technique and fitness.
  • Parents are encouraged to join in by holding pads and kick shields.
  • Maximum 10 tiny boxers a class.

Little Boxers, 5 – 9 year olds

(example class)

  • 10 minute warm up together and split into groups depending on age and experience.
  • More time and focus on technique compared to the Tiny Boxers Classes.
  • Regular assignments and gradings with individual feedback.
  • Encouraged to track progress once a certain standard has been reached.

Junior Boxers, 10 – 16 year olds

(example class)

  • The level of technique training increases.
  • Start working towards practical scenario training of defence, counters and preparing for sparring games.
  • Light sparring at around 12-13 years old.
    • Only if the student wants to do it and the parent signs a consent form, (no one spars without a consent form).
  • No one is pushed into sparring or left out.
  • Many of the kids who train decides not to, however, the option is there.
  • Students can’t spar without head guards, big gloves and gum shield.

Which class will your kid/s fit into?

Read on to see the type of exercises, drills and games boxing coaches incorporate into their routines when teaching the fundamentals of boxing to kids. As you will see, there is more to their training than punching.

Two boys wearing boxing gloves taking instruction from boxing coach.

Boxing For Kids: Exercises

Here are some examples of fun, innovative games and exercises boxing teachers use to develop the kids skills, fitness and understanding.

  1. Clothes Peg Capture
  • Pin clothes pegs on the shoulders of each child and partner them up.
  • Square off an area.
  • Object is for the kids to grab their partner’s clothes peg from the shoulders whilst making sure their own pegs don’t get taken.
  • Each time a peg is taken, they have to do 5 reps of an exercise (e,g, press ups)

During this drill, the kids have to maintain a proper stance and it is good for footwork, body movement and fakes.

  1. One Legged Push Boxing
  • Square off an area.
  • Partner 2 children up and get them both to stand on one leg
  • Aim of the game is to try and push one another so that their other foot touches the floor.
  • The winner stays in the ring and the next young boxer steps in.
  • Keep going until there is one boxer left, they are king of the ring.

This drill practices balance, agility and body movement whilst playing a fun, competitive game.

  1. Cotton Ball Dodge
  • Mark a two foot gap with parallel tape on the ground between two boxers
  • Give them each two handfuls of cotton or small styrofoam balls
  • Using evasive movements to avoid their opponents the boxers have to use their punch techniques to throw the balls at one another.
  • If a boxer runs out they pick up the balls from the floor and keep going until someone is out.
  • Suggested score system is each boxer starts with 10 points and you lose 2 points each time you are hit.
  • Keep rotating until there is one champion cotton ball dodger boxer left

During each match the coach encourages the students to help keep track of score and also they have watch to look for offensive/defensive strategies to support their designated boxer as acting cornerman.

Female boxing instructor helping a young female student to put on her gloves.

Should I let my kid try a boxing class?

Yes!

If they enjoy it, you might have the next Anthony Joshua on your hands.

If not, try out a different sport!

To make yourself more comfortable, stay and watch your kids boxing session, it will probably give them some confidence. It’s important check out the gym before hand and talk to the instructors, as you would with any extra curricular activity. Despite the negative stigma, boxing for kids is incredibly strict and made safe by dedicated, professional boxing instructors who are passionate about teaching little ones the benefits of boxing.