Why I prefer to coach women to box?
By Neil Perkins
That statement always gets a reaction! It’s provocative, challenges stereotypes and is 100% true. Stereotypes are associated with female boxers, especially amongst the male fraternity – of course gents all female boxers must be homosexual?
I’m not a feminist and I am not politically correct – why are they my preferred boxing clients? They haven’t said I’m their preferred coach.
With respect to the female boxer stereotypes, I have coached my fair share of lesbians. That been said lesbian boxers are in the minority of female boxers based on who I’ve worked with.
As a coach you need to discover the reason why they’re doing it? That is the strongest driver and it’s how you get people to achieve their outcome. Especially when you are going to put them through a gruelling fight camp. So, one of the first questions I ask someone?
“Why do you want to box”?
This is where everyone tells you a lie! The first reason is never the truth. The female’s that you coach will reveal their reasons later – even if they don’t directly tell you, men will always mask their reason with their ego. I think this is where stereotypes work against men? I’ve come full circle and I can tell you with a clear conscience – I do mind been punched in the face. I am unaware why when men feel the need to tell me ‘ I don’t mind been punched in the face’. Is this ‘fact’ or do they think they say it enough times that they will start to believe it – If it is fact, they haven’t been hit hard enough. Men are presumed and portrayed to be club swinging and sabretooth battling. What would this primitive ‘man’ do when faced with a threat, say like a 7 foot tall Sabre Tooth Tiger – attack him head on of course wouldn’t we boys? This is where your ego creating an illusion of a male stereotype is rather foolish. Primitive woman would tell you that when your primal response will be flight ‘the rabbit’ or fight ‘the chimp’ your small amount of time with your analytical and cognitive self would say ‘Sabre Tooth Tiger has stronger assets than me so we will trigger the rabbit (flight) to come out when your adrenlin starts pumping, you will survive another day and come back when you have a spear! – gents they make better decisions under pressure than we do, even if they question it with lots of overthinking. We jump straight in and look to the chimp – look where that can get you (Prizefighter 3 2010)
You only need to stumble onto the dance floor anywhere in the UK on a Saturday night to see that women move far better that we do gents? (With the exception of me drinking Stella Artois) This is not a sexual come on (although I am huge admirer of the female form), but boxing is all rhythm and movement, it’s far easier to teach rhythm and movement to a women.
Telling me ‘You don’t mind been punched in the face’ is either lie or shows that you’re delusional. Neither are good traits in my world. I need to know that when I set you things to do, that you’ll do them and don’t lie to yourself and half do them. My mum (and everyone of your mums) still passes the steering wheel the same way (10-2-10-2) when they turn the corner – The same way when they passed their diving test in 1967? Females will do everything diligently and be willing to repeat until it’s perfect, men won’t – they’ll adapt (watch a man tun a steering wheel compared to a woman)
So, when we’re are military school drawing the battle plan and tactics you will be listening? You are absorbing where to attack and when to throw and how to counter. You know when you’ll have to make up points, when it will be nasty and when your pants (even if they aren’t a thong) will suck up your arse with fear – and yes, it may leave a stain. You realise I have ‘experience in the trenches’ and I know what battle will feel like and how you can win? Gent’s in this lesson in class you’ll be looking out of the window looking at the sky daydreaming about your KO finish. When it get’s nasty and you feel your lungs burn for the first time, you don’t recall me telling you how this would feel and how your first 1 minute in the corner will go in 10 seconds and that you’ll stand up off your stool and your legs will never have felt that weak before. Ladies, you listen to battle plans better, you understand that task in hand and what you need to do to win.
Now gents, it’s like 300 when Leonidas talks and roars to his men and declares battle, they cheer before diving in ahead of him to have the honour of being first to die in battle. Ladies, have a word please. Did no one question Leonidas plan? Was battling really the right thing to do? There is a reason why he has an army full of men! Women boxers will question the plan with you multiple times and ensure its right, when they’re running into that first conflict they won’t question the plan on the moment of impact – they’ll have questioned it and ‘stress tested’ it 1000 times already, with the coach and in their head – they will truly buy in.
Of course, I’m a genius and I never get it wrong? I’m a man, that’s my ego talking! Men, you might buy into me, you might listen and you might be onboard – guess what it might start going wrong! Our female combatants will have learned in military school, questioned the plan and then implemented it – but they’d have questioned it that much that they’d already have a second and third exit planned and thought through on every level – they’ll have the instinct to make adjustments when they need to.
Celebrating female boxers I’ve had input to, all special for different reasons. The First Lady, The Bad Ass Anaesthetist, The Box Cup Gold Medal Winner, The 67 Reasons Why I Can’t, The Lazer Focused Script Writter and so many others.
I’m glad that you learned what you were capable of, and that you used me for what I was good for – that’s a turn up for the books. Ladies you will know that when it comes to coaching female boxers, it is one area of my life where I always get a women to peak at the right time.
I am scared of rollercoaster rides, don’t like needles, hate aeroplanes, have nightmare after horror films (won’t watch them), I get bullied by children below and I do mind been punched in the face. Gent’s I’ll train you to, leave your ego at the door.
Neil Perkins, The Ladies Man