21 Stories for WDSD- Boxing and Down syndrome

March 6th- Boxing and Down syndrome

Teaching anyone anything can be a challenging task. Whether you’re school teacher, a college professor, a baseball coach or, in my case, a boxing instructor, you’re constantly tested on your knowledge, proficiency, language and interpersonal skills on a daily basis.  Over time you hone your craft, adapting your teaching style to fit every individual that comes in with an open mind. Never, have I been tested like I have been when instructing our boxing program for individuals with Down syndrome….and I’m much better for it. When I look back at the teacher I was before and the teacher I am now, the difference is night and day.

Instructing individuals with Down syndrome poses a unique set of challenges as you could imagine, however the people themselves offered a pathway for ME to learn. They taught ME patience, how to better adapt drills and workouts per person, and how any setback can be overcome with some determination and a bit of laughter.

I’m incredibly thankful that these individuals gave me the opportunity to expand myself as a person and as an instructor. I am a better person because of them.

About the Author: Jonathan Gainey is the owner of Knockout Boxing in Newark. He started two boxing programs- for our adults and school aged individuals in June of 2017. The program now has over 40 individuals participating every week. Jonathan has over 13 years of boxing experience.