“The fight is won or lost far away from witnesses - behind the lines, in the gym, and out there on the road, long before I dance under those lights.” - Muhammad Ali
The world of sports often involves instructors working with aspiring athletes. In many ways, this is similar to the teacher and student dynamic of academic subjects. During their training, coaches will learn all about their discipline and the theory behind it.
In boxing, it goes without saying that you need an understanding of the sport if you want to coach it. However, this line of work is often misunderstood. When people decide to coach, they often wonder how much they’ll earn.
While it’s not uncommon for a champion’s coach to earn hundreds of thousands per fight, most trainers will earn enough to live off quite comfortably. Furthermore, boxing is becoming more popular.
So how much do boxing coaches, physical trainers, or sports coaches earn to teach aspiring boxers? What are their career prospects?
Before you teach your first boxing class, let's have a look at your career prospects.
A Boxing Coach’s Wages
Coaching is an increasingly popular vocation since more and more people are getting interested in boxing. It’s all about teaching aspiring boxers how to get in the ring and learning pedagogy to effectively train them. However, one of the best things about becoming a boxing coach is that you have a lot of freedom when it comes to deciding how you’ll work.
While you can train in a gym or a boxing club, you can also opt to work for yourself and become an independent boxing coach. Of course, this decision will affect how much you earn and the work you have to do.
In a Boxing Gym
Whether you’re in a private boxing club or a gym, your goal will be to help your students get better at boxing a learn about the values of boxing: discipline, competition, empathy, and sportsmanship.
Generally, a boxing coach working in a boxing club or gym will be paid according to their experience and expertise. The average salary is around £20k per year but again, this can vary wildly according to many different factors.
Those working in boxing clubs will generally be offering boxing classes and amateur boxing training sessions. There'll be a large focus on sparring, boxing techniques (punching, footwork, etc.), and practising with a heavy bag or a speed bag, for example.
However, coaching boxing is also an incredibly rewarding profession as you get to enjoy seeing the progression made by your clients. If you want more freedom than working as a coach for a boxing club or a gym, you can always work for yourself.
Private Boxing Tutorials
As a private boxing coach, you can focus on a single client if you want and transfer your knowledge and experience to them. If you work for a boxing club, you may be given different levels, groups, etc.
With just a single boxer, you can adapt your pedagogy more easily, provide a better service, and turn them into a loyal customer, which results in greater earnings. In this case, you can decide upon your hourly wage according to what you’re coaching.
That said, there’s competition out there and you’ll need to ensure your expertise and experience can earn you clients and money. The hourly rate for coaches online varies wildly, too, with the cheapest almost offering their services for pennies and the most experienced demanding a small fortune.
That said, there are many different levels and budgets when it comes to boxing coaching. You need to carefully set your rates according to your own experience and expertise while also making sure you don’t undercharge or overcharge.
Additionally, if you're offering private tutorials, you have more freedom in terms of what you can offer as a boxing training. You can offer self-defence classes, boxing workout classes, kids boxing classes, or even a personal trainer service that includes fitness classes or a boot camp built around how boxing can be used to get fit or get in shape.
Of course, if you're not working in boxing gyms, you'll also need to either provide boxing gloves and other equipment or get your students to bring their own. That said, if you are training a professional boxer, you may be training them in a gym but in a private capacity. In this case, they'll probably have a whole boxing team and you'll be using the facilities but the gym management won't be in charge of what you have to teach.
Find out more about where boxing coaches can work.
The Steps to Becoming a Boxing Coach
“Boxing is serious. It's not a game. Just one punch - change life.” - Gennady Golovkin
Like all sports, there are certain steps you need to take before becoming a coach. As we mentioned, coaches have several options:
- Private boxing clubs
In some cases, a coach may be expected to work alongside a team of coaches with multiple students of different levels and abilities. This means that a lot of the work will be adapting. Boxing coaching involves a lot of different tastes. You need to put together training sessions, set goals, have an understanding of health and safety, adapt your teaching to your student, and, in the case of freelancers, manage your own business and become a sole trader.
A boxing coach means that you need to be versatile and adapt to where and how you’re coaching. If you’re looking for a steady wage, you’ll probably be better off in a gym or boxing club. However, once you’ve learnt to be versatile, you’ll start progressing as much as your clients. Keep in mind there are different types of training available for those wishing to become boxing coaches.
The Advantages and Disadvantages of Becoming a Boxing Coach
“In boxing, it is about the obsession of getting the most from yourself: wanting to dominate the world like a hungry young lion.” - Anthony Joshua
There are a lot of advantages to becoming a boxing coach but there are also some significant disadvantages. The most important thing, however, is to be passionate about boxing and teaching.
Working for Someone Else
If you decide to work in a gym, boxing club, school, etc., there will be certain rules and obligations. Your salary will be fixed (though this may increase over time) and you’ll need to follow certain rules as well as ensure that your clients and students also follow them.
Furthermore, unless you change where you work, there isn’t much scope for promotion. If you’re a trainer or coach, the only real “promotion” is moving on to coaching better boxers.
However, there are a number of advantages to all this:
- Job security.
- Working regularly with your students and clients and watching them develop.
- Feeling respected and developing leadership skills as a result.
Find out more about boxing coaching courses.
Working for Yourself
Working for yourself changes everything regardless of your job. As a boxing coach, passion needs to be your driving force. You need this to remain motivated, find customers, and ensure that you earn a living wage.
The financial insecurity is one of the biggest barriers to entry when it comes to being a freelancer. You may often worry that you don’t have enough customers.
As a freelancer, you need to ensure that you’re ready for a rainy day, carry extra gloves for students, and, in general, manage everything yourself. You need to ensure that you’re a consummate professional and gaining a reputation that will help you to earn more.
There are also plenty of advantages to coaching as a freelancer:
- Managing your own schedule.
- Getting to choose your clients.
- Setting your own hourly rates.
- Freedom to work another job on the side.
- Choosing your own business partners.
Find out more about starting your career as a boxing coach.
To work out how much a boxing coach earns, you need to take a lot of things into account. With so many different factors, it can be difficult to define a single salary or average that a boxing coach earns.
Don't forget that in most cases you'll be offering a bespoke service and the customer is (almost) always right. If they're not interested in becoming a professional boxer and are just there for the personal training, you probably don't need to spend hours working on their punches and can spend more time doing a high-intensity full-body workout and focusing on boxing fitness rather than technique.
Private coaches that tailor their boxing workouts to their customers tend to be far more successful. If your customer wants more cardio, give them a cardio workout. If they're interested in toning certain parts of their body, tailor your classes to their fitness goals.
However you choose to coach, you need to remember that you need to be determined, passionate, and a good teacher.
Does this sound like you?
Welcome to the world of professional boxing coaching!
Whether you're interested in coaching Muay Thai, traditional boxing, MMA, or kickboxing classes, keep in mind that you have a lot of freedom!