Diary of a captain – Boxing

SOME flirt with the idea for a few sessions, maybe even a fortnight, but you can spot the reaction in people’s faces: this is hard. When you enter the ring you know that there’s no team to back you up. The guy in the opposite corner has trained for weeks and has dedicated hours of his life to ensure these are the hardest three rounds you’ll ever face. You can’t afford to be weak, you can’t afford not to train hard and you can’t afford to make a mistake.
For the squad the pinnacle of the season is Varsity. But to get there you need bouts, which means a continual cycle of peaking physically for fights throughout the season. No one can afford to be on anything other than top form for a contest, so the training is intense from the word go. Preparations begin before the start of Michaelmas when our nutritional plans kick in and the hard work starts.
 All squad members train 7-10 times per week with the emphasis on building up split second explosive power and technical ability. In a typical session sprints precede circuits on the rope, then sparring. Rounds on the bags are mixed with drills, shadow boxing and more body weight circuits. Track and hill sprint sessions are run two mornings a week, conditioning the body through intervals to reach maximum performance quickly with the fastest recovery time possible. You don’t eat before these! Weight circuits run in the evening focus on explosive movements to build strength and stamina without size, where dedicated sparring sessions focus on building the finished product.
We have a mature squad this year, retaining talent from past Blues and others who have trained with the club before. The female squad has gone from strength to strength, receiving recognition from the Blues’ committee, although not counting towards our Varsity fight. We stand to make it 3 wins in 3 this year at the Town Hall, and the pressure of wanting to achieve is already bearing down on us.