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UK Coaching Team
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Talent and Performance Rapport Building and Communicating

Coach Communication in Boxing: Let’s Get Ready to Rumble

Downloadable booklet on research developed in partnership with Amanda Coulson at Boxing England and Dr Kieran File at Warwick University to understand more about coach communication before competition, between bouts and following competition, relevant for coaches working in combat sports as well as sports with time outs and breaks between rounds or games

If you have limited time to engage with your athletes and want to consider the structure of how you engage, the language you use and the body language you adopt, then this research could inspire you to reflect on your own coaching practice and consider how you can maximise your impact during breaks in combat or play.

The research is focused specifically on the communication between coaches and boxers, but the principles of the findings could be considered by coaches in combat sports and coaches working in sports with time outs and breaks between rounds or games.

The process for obtaining the research was as follows:

  • Observation of Boxing England’s Amanda Coulson and other coaches at a boxing competition.
  • Discussion of the different styles and approaches to communication that we saw coaches use with athletes between rounds.
  • The recording of video and audio of multiple coaches at an England v Scotland match.
  • The recording of an England v Wales match to further explore key themes and findings.

Download the booklet below to find out more about the research and for practical strategies to maximise the impact of your communication.

As part of the funding for this ongoing research, a workshop will be created for boxing coaches by England Boxing that should be delivered in early 2021. The hope is that the findings will be further explored in the real world. The second phase of the project will also be boxing-centric, but we will be exploring the possibilities of how this translates across all sports and levels of the pathway.

Coming Soon

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing some new frameworks and ideas aimed at help boxing coaches to maximise communication with their athletes. 

The series will include:

  • Round 1: Talk on competition night. The when, who and what of competition night talk, aiming to help coaches understand the framework of functions of pre-, during, between and post-competition talks.
  • Round 2: Unpacking talk in the breaks between rounds. Zooming in on the structure of a talk between rounds.
  • Round 3: Focus on words. Understanding more about commonly used and impactful words in coach communication.
  • Round 4: Focus on body language. Taking time to consider the effective use of body language when working with boxers.
  • Round 5: Taking a broader look. Understanding more about the different identities that boxing coaches commonly assume.

Follow us on Twitter for the release dates of these and other useful resources.

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

  • Communicating with Players During a Match

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  • A Process for Clear Communication: Getting Your Message Across

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  • Why Mastering The Coach-Athlete Relationship is Important

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UK Coaching Team