Over the years, boxing has been regarded as an outlet for young people to transfer their aggression and violent tendencies from the streets to the gym.
Throughout history there have been several stories of fighters, like Muhammad Ali, who laced their gloves and stepped into the ring to spar with their training partner, rather than drawing their knives and stepping into a dark alley to face a rival gang member. Still, is there more a young person can benefit from devoting their time to boxing, besides getting the chance to hit something?
One trait that boxing can teach a young person is discipline. Many boxers follow specific training regiments, if they want to be ready for a fight. Another thing the Sweet Science offers young people is the chance to raise their self-esteem.
One of the gyms that offers these opportunities is the Downtown Boxing Gym in Detroit.
In the article “Downtown Boxing Gym: A knockout program that teaches kids to do positive things,” Carlos Sweeney, who owns Downtown Boxing Gym, has his students focus on physical training, academics and community service. Through boxing, Sweeney said can lead into other routes of learning.
While boxing can help youth on a psychological level, it can also hurt them on a physical level. In the CNN post “Pediatricians seek to KO youth boxing,” The American Academy of Pediatrics, and Canadian Pediatric Society have recommended doctors oppose boxing for young people, because of the risk of concussions that “come in a sport where one fighter is trying to incapacitate his opponent by punching him or her in the head.”
According to Dr. Clarie LeBlanc, the limited government records in the U.S. suggest that the rate of head injuries among 12- to 17-year-olds, as well as older boxers, is, “about 3 for every 1,000 participants.”
Although taking several blows to the head can create some long-term damage, there are ways to help children heal as they train. There are many gyms that have their boxers wear headgear when they spar. Many gyms will also let their students rest after they have sustained any injuries.