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Boxing for Kids: Skills, Activities, Games, and Kids’ Programs

Boxing Skills & Activities for Kids

Even though boxing is traditionally meant for adults, more kids are interested in it these days. However, it is also a very physical sport, which means that boxing for kids must be done in a very careful and safe manner. As such, we have listed a few boxing skills and activities that kids can try in order to improve:

  1. Footwork

A lesser spoken about but just as pivotal skill to boxing is footwork. From an early age it’s good to grasp a consistent pattern and routine to teach you how to be nimble on your feet. All the greats will have incorporated this skill to some extent. The teaching of proper footwork for kids can also have the byproduct of increasing their balance and coordination.

  1. Mentality

You can have all the raw skill and talent in the world, but if you aren’t coached into the right mentality from a young age it won’t matter. Teaching the right mentality in the ring can be the difference between knowing when to land an important jab and when to step back and allow the fight to flow. Outside of the ring, the benefits of a finely tuned mentality like this are endless. It can build a confidence in kids that can’t be fostered anywhere else, as well as appropriate self-discipline and self-determination.

  1. Punching

Punching is of course the main offensive skill of boxing, and one that will be employed most prominently across training. Kids will be taught a basic skill set of upper and lower jabs, as well as crosses, hooks and uppercuts. As a last resort, these skills can help kids defend themselves against untowards threats outside of the ring when there are no other options available.

Boxing Games for Kids

Below are 5 fun but safe boxing games that your kids will love:

  1. Shadow Sparring

Shadow Sparring is an invaluable game and activity in boxing as it teaches appropriate self-control and improvements to balance and footwork. The premise is simple, two kids will box without wearing any equipment. The catch is, they will make no contact. 

They’ll practice their learnt skills without launching any offensive contact, instead practicing evasion and good restraint.

  1. The Heavy Bag

Working the heavy bag is a long tradition in boxing training. For kids it’s easy to turn it into a fun game and activity while also training up their core skills. Simply hold the bag for kids and challenge them to hit as hard as they can. Test their endurance and see how long they can hit the bag consistently for. Over time this will also build core body strength too.

  1. The Sock Drill

This one is a fun and simple game designed to develop evasion skills and general footwork. Have each kid hang a sock out the top of their t-shirt. The idea is for one of them to steal their opponents sock while protecting their own. Each time a sock is stolen, mark up a point for whoever managed it. Make it a best of six or arrange other scoring scenarios depending on how long you want the games to go on for. This type of activity can also be used to develop good defensive blocking skills.

  1. Paper Mouth

An ideal game for developing evasion and reaction time. Simply fold a piece of A4 paper and place it in one of the kids mouths. The goal is for the other kid to snatch the paper out of their mouth, cleanly and fairly. Time how long it takes for each kid to achieve the goal. Whoever manages it quickest, wins. The “attacker” can use a wide range of offensive moves to try and grab the paper, such as light jabs or crosses. (No actual physical contact, just the techniques used.) The defender can practice moving their head around as appropriate and using good footwork to evade.

  1. One Legged Boxing

The title of this game is pretty self-explanatory, and can be a ton of fun for both kids and the instructors teaching. Simply set up a sparring match between two kids but with one twist; they are only allowed to stand on one leg. The first person to stand back on two legs loses. This is a great handicap game that teaches improvements to balance while also providing a ton of laughs too. The perfect combination of education and fun.

Boxing Programs for Kids in the U.S.

Boxing for kids can teach valuable lessons as long as it’s practiced in a safe and professional environment.There are tons of programs to find all over the United States that teach boxing but also focus on social issues too. We have picked out a few national youth boxing programs that you can be sure will provide a fantastic in and out of ring education for your kid. Following on from that we’ll be looking at a few staple skills/activities, as well as some boxing games and drills you can play.

  1. Downtown Boxing Gym

Plying its trade in Detroit, MI the Downtown Boxing Gym has a stellar reputation for educating kids and teaching them the right attitude to have whether it’s inside or outside the ring.

“Boxing is the ‘hook’ to get and keep kids in the program. Teaching them to be productive members of society is our passion.”Coach Khali

The club currently supports over 150 kids and has an 850 strong waiting list. Furthermore, all of this is absolutely free for local citizens of Detroit, MI. The institution is funded by charity and generous donors.

  1. Sweet Science Fitness Boxing Club

Sweet Science is based in the North Atlanta area of Chamblee and Doraville. The gym teaches a variety of classes but also runs a successful youth program with an initiation fee of $75, and then a rolling monthly payment of $75 thereafter. The class is designed for youth 10 years of age upwards. It’s designed not just for learning the fundamentals of boxing, but also for “fitness, self confidence, self discipline and self defense.”

  1. Inner City Youth and Boxing Center

The Inner City Youth and Boxing Center teaches its classes in Durham, North Carolina. Although it runs a range of classes, its main focus is on its youth program which also deals with gang violence intervention. The youth classes are tailored for kids from 5 to 18 years old, and are geared to “encourage kids to stay healthy and active”. Monthly membership to the program runs at $35 a month per kid.

Check out many more sports games for kids guides here!

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