Interview: Marc Gargaro, Nonantum Boxing Club

Interview: Marc Gargaro, Nonantum Boxing Club

Marc Gargaro

Boxing Trainer, Co-Owner

Nonantum Boxing Club

Marc is a professional boxing trainer as well as USA Boxing Level 2 and AIBA Star 1 amateur boxing coach. He has extensive coaching experience on the regional and national level and works with boxers of all ages. He has coached hundreds of fighters since co-founding Nonantum Boxing Club, with about a quarter of them women.

 Interview: Marc Gargaro, Nonantum Boxing Club

Coaching Girls versus Boys

I started coaching women several years into my coaching career. Women’s boxing really wasn’t that popular until about ten years ago so I started coaching just one woman at first who had boxed as an amateur for a really long time. Every year, there are more and women coming in to train at the gym, which is a good thing. The sport is definitely evolving for women. Now, my fighters are almost evenly split between men and women.

The girls who come into the sport these days have been with me for some time. There’s been quite a few women over the years who have been successful as well at our gym. I feel that the women who come in usually put in a lot time into it; they are not just coming in the door and disappearing.

There are slight differences training men versus women. When you a good boxing who wants to train, they have the same qualities: they are driven, they are athletic, strong minded, they have toughness to them. The women are usually more independent. Guys that need that push more. Girls They can set up their own training sessions and you need to push them to do that. The women get frustrated more easily. It’s not necessarily bad or good. They push themselves a little too hard so sometimes you need to rein them in a little. That’s the main differences that I see.

For the rest of the interview, please read How To Coach Girls coming out March 2018.

Interview: Brent Bode, Rowing Coach at CRI

Interview: Brent Bode, Rowing Coach at CRI

Brent Bode

Competitive Novice Girls Head Coach

Community Rowing Inc. (CRI)

Bode has been coaching and teaching at Community Rowing, Inc. since 2010. He is Head Coach for the Competitive Youth Novice Girls program and assistant director of CRI’s Coaching Education programming. Bode also coaches novice and intermediate adult rowers year-round and teaches fitness, strength, and conditioning to athletes of all ages. He holds a Master’s degree in Exercise & Sports Studies from Smith College and is a long-time member of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

Under Bode’s direction, the Competitive Novice Girls team grew from 27 to more than 50 athletes in just three years. Additionally, and most important, the team continually meets its mission: “to grow each student-athlete’s character respectfully, to inspire extraordinary performances, and to improve their well-being through the pursuit of honorable victory in athletic competition.”

Interview: Brent Bode, Rowing Coach at CRI

Keeping it fun for myself is all about keeping it in perspective. I recognize that girls are doing a lot of things and experiencing a lot of stress. One part of what I try to do as a coach is provide a space for them to let their hair down. At the same time, I think it’s important to actually want to know what is going on in their lives, and not just thinking that they are here just to do their exercise and be an athlete. You (my athletes) are here because you are a person and I want to understand you as a whole person. I think it’s important to maintain a perspective that my athletes are more than just coming to do that sport.

In terms of keeping it fun, we give the girls plenty of opportunity to share with each other things that are going on in their lives. We keep things light; we laugh a lot. We focus when we have to focus, but we allow play. I’m a proponent of play; I probably allow a lot more play than I’ve seen other sports organizations do. Playfulness comes with an approach of how we do things. We don’t do anything special or out of the ordinary. I think we are just conscious of the fact that these are young people, and young people need time to be serious and focused and challenged, but at the same time, they need play and connection with each other.

The rest of his interview will be on How To Coach Girls coming out March of 2018.

Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes

Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes

My daughter had only played team sports like soccer and rowing when she decided to try a new sport, Nordic Skiing (cross country skiing) in order to play for her high school.  In this sport, she was the newbie who was far from the best. But she and her friends, though novices, brought an infectious team spirit by cheering louds at events like races and awards banquets where support was typically more muted.  

They made a lot of friends by simply inquiring about how other athlete’s races went, and providing emotional support when their new friends were unhappy with their results. It turns out that no one really did that. In return, she appreciated the simplicity of performance evaluation. Ranking based solely on her time was a break from a more subjective evaluation. My daughter still views Nordic Skiing as her “off-season” sport, but the benefits were both emotional and physical.  

Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes

Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes

The statistic that 70% of kids quit organized sports before high school is a staggering one. As a coach, we can affect this number if we focus on getting our players to return to sports each season. One significant way is to supporting them when they are willing to play more than one sport in a season, or want to play a different sport during the off-season.

70% of kids quit organized sports before high school. Continue reading “Supporting Multi-Sport Athletes”

Playing Time

starting time

With my same middle daughter, I’ve experienced two kinds of playing time issues. When she was in kindergarten soccer, she would not play at all if I was near the field. Instead, she would want to sit on my lap. I was banned most of the season in order to get my daughter to play by the coach, my husband. When she was older and playing club soccer, she was very cognizant of playing time. Starting and playing time was a proxy for the social pecking order of the team. It’s the perceived relationship of starting/playing time and social status on the team that coaches should be aware of. Even mixing up the starting line up once a season, signals to the players that everyone is valued, and that there are no “favorites.”

starting time

Playing Time

It’s important for the coach to give a pre-season message about playing and starting philosophy. I believe that for kids U12 and younger, every player should have equal playing starting and playing time. They should also play different positions.

Continue reading “Playing Time”

Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community

Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community

My girls’ club soccer team did an annual soccer charity event where the entire club played soccer for twenty-four hours straight. Each age level was assigned a two-hour block of time where they scrimmaged against the boys’ teams with music pumping in the background. The coaches would jump in and play too, which made it especially fun. Each player raised $400 towards soccer scholarships and Special Olympics. It was a nice way for the kids to channel their love of soccer towards a social cause, and it also gave them a chance to interact with other teams that they usually didn’t ever see on the soccer field.

Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community

Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community

We already have the organization, in the form of our team, to help others.

We have the opportunity as coaches to educate outside the game. For example, we can encourage our players to give back outside the sport. If we do a community service project, our team might have the chance to learn that there are kids in Kenya who play barefoot because they don’t own soccer cleats or that they don’t have running water. It also is a way to improve team chemistry.

Community service also serves to decrease bullying because it teaches kids to be empathetic. Sometimes kids are so busy that if we don’t offer this opportunity, it’s hard for them to do it. Then we can get into this pattern of focusing on player improvement, and that sends a certain message to the team. Continue reading “Social Awareness and Giving Back to Community”