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How Do Girls Learn Best?

Males and Females learn in different ways, and in this section Im going to explain how you can coach girls to get the very best from them.

Experiential Learning

Experiential learning (ExL) is the process of learning through experience, and is more narrowly defined as "learning through reflection on doing".

Girls learn better when they are taught, not just the ‘How’ but the ‘Why’. When they are learning new things, if they can apply it to what they already know, girls can see more clearly where this fits into their world.

Experiential Learning works around experiencing what is being taught, reflecting on the experience, thinking how this can utilised / improved and then acting on this.

So for a boxing coach this could be, showing how to throw a jab and explaining one of the roles for that jab. Trying it out in a transferable environment (conditioned Spar), reflecting on the spar and then acting upon the points raised by both boxers involved in the spar and the coach.

Developing a Growth Mindset

The terms “fixed” and “growth mindset” relate to one’s belief in their abilities. According to Carol Dweck, PhD, students with a fixed mindset “believe their basic qualities, like their intelligence or talent, are simply fixed traits.” Alternatively, in a growth mindset, students “believe their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point.”

Girls more often than not have a fixed mindset which means if they struggle to acquire a skill, or technique, they believe they will never be able to do it. This works the same when they lose a bout, or struggle in a spar, they naturally assume their opponent is better than them and always will be.

As coaches we must be very mindful of this, and change the girls thoughts from ‘I cant do this’ to ‘I cant do this YET’

See It To Believe It

Girls need to have role models doing exactly what it is they are trying to do. They need see it being done or have been done to believe it is possible. For most of us, we don't have other successful competing female boxers in the gym for our girls to look up to, and even if we do, those female boxers need someone to inspire them and make them belive their dreams and goals are possible.

Female Boxing is certainly on the rise, both in the Amateurs and in the Professional ranks, and with more and more female boxers appearing on big televised shows, its getting much easier for us to inspire our female athletes.

However, there are a few things we can still do, which include,

  • Talking about successful female boxers in classes

  • Having our female boxers research and write about their favourite female boxer

  • Having images / posters on the walls of our clubs

The more we can promote female boxers and female boxing, the more our own girls we believe in themselves within the sport.

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