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UK Coaching Team
Rapport Building and Communicating

Coach Communication in Boxing – Round 1: Talk on Competition Night

Infographics created from research developed in partnership with Amanda Coulson at Boxing England and Dr Kieran File at Warwick University to understand more about coach communication, applicable to combat sports and sports with time outs and breaks between rounds or games

The infographics in this resource have been created to help you understand the framework of effective communication that takes place pre-competition, during and between bouts, and post-competition. If you have limited time to engage with your athletes, this resource can help you use the time you have to communicate effectively, transforming talk on competition night.

When do we see talk?

Insight shows that talk is used to perform a lot of coaching tasks at every stage of a boxing bout. As part of the process for completing the research, coaches spoke with their athletes:

  • before the bout began
  • as the bout was in progress
  • after the bout concluded
  • in the break between rounds.

Who talks?

Boxers were found to talk at these different stages of a boxing bout, but usually only when asked to. Talk on competition night was dominated by boxing coaches and the rights or responsibility to talk and perform tasks with talk was claimed by the boxing coach.

Interestingly, this might have been because the boxer was pre-occupied and focused on performing.


What opportunities do you have to engage with your athletes? What is the function of the interaction? Are you trying to help the athlete prepare, reflect, focus? Understanding the outcome of the interaction can be help you guide what you say and how you say it.


Interested in starting from the beginning?

The first resource in this series, Coach Communication in Boxing: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble, explores the research underpinning the infographic and includes a downloadable booklet containing practical strategies to maximise the impact of your communication.

Who is this research useful for?

This research was undertaken with and intended for boxing coaches, but a lot of the information and ideas are applicable to many coaches, working at multiple levels of performance and development pathways. It is especially relevant where the sport allows natural short breaks in play, creating opportunities for coach-athlete interaction.

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Related Resources

  • Understanding Your Emotions with Joe Montemurro

  • How Successful Elite Coaches Act During Competition

  • Communication: A Matter of Preference


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UK Coaching Team