|The SCU Boxing team provides pre-season activity in the fall
quarter. Practice usually begins about a month after the start of classes.
This term is primarily used to determine individuals who may be interested
in competing for Santa Clara University in the proceeding quarter. Training
is conducted inside the Malley Fitness Center on the left most basketball
court. Originally the Multipurpose Room within Malley was supposed to be
boxing room, but due to some complications we are forced to hold practice
on the basketball courts instead. This is limits the experience of a Santa
Clara boxer, because we do not have a boxing ring on campus. Luckily, however,
we are able to somewhat remedy this problem through a PAL gym located nearby
in San Jose.
Training is very structured during this time, beginning with introducing basic boxing equipment and the basics of punching and footwork. We may spend up to a week learning a single punch. Student athletes also learn to wrap their hands during this period and are introduced to jumping rope. After gaining an understanding of the mechanics of the two most basic punches in boxing, the jab and the cross, boxers are introduced to hand pad work. This is where boxers will work with a partner. One wears gloves and punches, while the other holds the pads corresponding to the punches that are being thrown. Our boxers work with pads instead of the heavy bags because of the large number of participants at this time. We only have 3 heavy bags and so it would be unproductive to have 40-50 students line up to hit the bag.
After becoming proficient at the basics, student athletes deemed ready for live combat are introduced to sparring, which is a practice boxing match. The goal here is to introduce new boxers to what it feels like to be fighting in the ring. As you can imagine, engaging with an actual person is much different than hitting the heavy bag or pads, which are stationary targets. As such, new boxers are paired with those with more experience. This ensures that the practice match will be controlled and provides a much better environment for learning since the experienced boxer is obviously there to teach and not to simply beat up on new participants. Sparring is generally held during the last one to two weeks of practice before the Christmas holidays.
After the holidays, competition begins usually around the end of January. Fighters are only required to have one bout before the regional tournament to qualify. This gives the team some flexibility when it comes to preparation. More experienced fighters are likely to compete during the early weeks. This allows them to qualify quickly for the regional tournament and opens the opportunity for new boxers to fight whenever they feel ready. Typically you will have 1-2 fights per year not counting regionals and nationals if you qualify and are picked to compete.
Image from www.thesantaclara.com