girls and boxing, middle school girls and boxing,

Boxing and Bonding for Middle School Girls (and supermodels)

This is the first year that PickyKidPix doesn’t see her closest friends since Kindergarten on a daily basis. She’s in middle school now and she and her friends are on different teams,  different school buses, and doing different activities. They had no common activity, so I suggested boxing.

middle school girls learn to box

PickyKidPix started boxing with me during the summer weeks when she had a free week and she loved it. I had to give up my Thursday Mother/Daughter boxing slot since our boxing trainer had no more time to add in new sessions but it was worth it. Her two friends joined her and have been boxing all winter; a great way to get exercise in cold New England!

girls and boxing

What’s been especially nice about their three-way friendship is how resilient it’s been for the past seven years. They really support each other and the fact that they share similar interests has made their friendship strong. They also are more willing to try new things because they will do it together.

girls and boxing

PickyKidPix plays on three soccer teams right now — town, club and indoor — but she never would have been playing soccer if not for her friends who encouraged her to try soccer in first grade by joining their team coached by one of those friends’ mom (thanks Katherine!).  That was the same year their book club was formed so they’ve also shared their favorite books which has motivated my daughter to read more.

girls and boxing

In third grade, she and her friends abandoned skiing for snowboarding. They took an introduction to lacrosse class in 4th grade. Only her friend Helena stuck with lacrosse though. In 5th grade there was that (disastrous) Hip Hop class they all tried together too. Turns out PickyKidPix is not great at memorized dance routines so she was a little disruptive (ahem!) and we all didn’t quite make it through the end of the year dancing hip hop.

What I love about PickyKidPix and her friends is how much they support each other. They are all sporty girls but they excel in different ways. For some sports, one of her friends will be much better than she is, but that friend will claim that she’s just as good. Upon pressing, her friend will demur, “Well, almost as good as me. It’s only because I snowboarded more last winter.”

boxing keeps girls friendships strong

Middle school, girls and friendships can be a tough combination. Who knew it would be boxing that would help keep them together?

p.s. Doesn’t our boxing trainer look like such a tough guy as he’s training the girls? In truth, he’s completely indulgent as they mess around between turns. They are a handful but they seem to amuse him and they all really like training with him. He’s pleased with their combinations below.

I looked for other role models who box and happened across the Victoria’s Secret supermodels who train quite seriously as boxers in order to stay fit.

I sent this to my boxing mom friends and our trainer (who didn’t need much encouragement to watch the videos. In fact, my mom friend Penny told Marc our trainer that he should be paying me for sending him the videos! LOL!).

But, seriously, those models are good. Check out their jump roping skills! We are now hard at work to improve our jump rope skills and to train like Angels!


Beauty and Strength: Supermodel Adriana Lima Trains as a Fighter

Victoria’s Secret Supermodel Doutzen Kroes Boxes to Stay Fit

Supermodel Marisa Miller Trains as a Boxer for Sports Illustrated

p.s. Related posts (a.k.a. we try a lot of different and weird sports and other ways to stay active)

Kickboxing with My Girls and Our ‘The Situation’-like Sensei

My Path to Pugilism is Strewn With Skeptics

Exercise: A Small Change for a Big Difference

My Jump Rope Challenge

40-Something Boxing Moms

Kickboxing for a Middle Age Mom with a Gentleman Fighter

10 Martial Arts To Consider for Your Kids

The 30 Day Fighter’s Diet

Easy Exercise Ideas You Can Sneak in Every Day

My Son’s First Fencing Lesson

Pole Dancing for Ladies Who Lunch

Archery for Kids for the Sheer Joy of It

What To Expect at an Archery Birthday Party

Kids Sports: Winning vs Having Fun

Gift Guide: Active Toys

Dear 16 Year Old Me

girls and boxing, middle school girls and boxing,

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By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. Certainly is a unique and different way to spend time together and yet grow each one’s spirit.

    • Hi Barbara,
      It was hard to get all the girls on board at first. My daughter had been crashing my lessons during the summer so she had exposure and really enjoyed boxing. Her friend Helena was game to try but Charlotte’s mother thought she would never try it ever. But now, all three girls really had fun together and say that they want to do this each winter since we have much less options for keeping active. I’m glad that they all help each other to try new experiences.
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  2. Jim Westcott

    Boxing! How cool is that! I know you mentioned you box as well. So, you are familiar with the sport and already know who the players are: coaches, maybe other parents, a particular boxing gym and the people who run it: all good! And it speaks for itself on the topic of gender stereotyping. Bottom line with sports and our kids, if they love the sport than intelligently supporting them is the avenue that parents need to follow. Good work:)

    • Hi Jim,
      The funny thing is that I box with the two girls’ moms and the girls all look like their moms. Our trainer (who trains both moms and daughters) sometimes freaks out because he says the girls look like smaller version of us. They also box the same way!

      I do like the gender bending stereotyping too in the sense that I think all girls need to learn self defense. It’s definitely a self-empowering sport. My daughter says that she has a false sense of confidence that she is a really good boxer because her trainer goes very easy on her in the ring. 🙂
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  3. I think it is a very creative way to spend time with your daughter. And, I think it’s cool that she enjoys it. Always liked exposing my daughter to everything and then letting her choose what she enjoyed the most. Great way to keep in shape and release tension and anger.
    Patricia Tilton recently posted…The Impossible Knife of MemoryMy Profile

    • Hi Patricia,
      My daughter is having fun learning to box. I know that for the moms that I box with, releasing tension is a big part of boxing. A couple of moms in the parking lot of the boxing gym laughed and said that they love boxing because they have 7 kids between them. LOL!

      I think my daughter and her friends enjoy boxing because they chat non stop during their lesson. Their trainer tolerates it as long as they are ready to go when it’s their turn but I noticed that he keeps them moving non stop because they do tend to fool around though even when they fool around it involves exercise. They were using the abdominal machines as toys after class by making up these weird ways to do sit ups. It looked really tough but they thought it was hysterically funny! I don’t care because those machines are indestrucible and I was hoping they would eventually get tired!

      My daughter and her friends have a lot of energy and in the winter — we live in Boston — it’s tougher to find an outlet that lets them burn it off. And we had such a long winter this year!
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  4. I love that you expose your kids to all sorts of different sports!
    MaryAnne recently posted…Easy No-Sew Fleece Blanket Tutorial – Single LayerMy Profile

    • Thanks MaryAnne,
      I think part of it is that Boston is so seasonal so we try a lot of outdoor sports to take advantage of good weather when it’s here and then have to find things to do when the weather is less hospitable. This vacation, my oldest is going to give crew a try so I’m excited to see if she likes it. The Charles River is near us, and she loves being on the water using canoes or kayaks.

      This summer she says she wants to try crew, Stand Up Paddleboard and sailing in the Charles. She learned to sail a Sunfish at summer camp and there is a great community boathouse program that is very inexpensive in Boston both for crew and sailing. It’s the best deal ever! When I was in college, you could rent a Sunfish for something like a dollar! (as long as you knew how to sail and passed the swim test).
      Pragmatic Mom recently posted…Meet the Editor Behind The Real Boy by Anne UrsuMy Profile

  5. How great that they’ve stuck with boxing! Maybe I can get Fen into it with me. I’m taking a body combat class now and loving punching the air, but I’m sure real boxing training would be so much more satisfying.
    Jeanette Nyberg recently posted…I’m One of Those Evil Pinterest MomsMy Profile

  6. I don’t know. Not really a fan of boxing. It’s a dangerous sport.
    Shaun Hoobler recently posted…android dev tools appMy Profile

    • Hi Shaun,
      There are two different tracks for boxing at my boxing gym. There’s one for fitness and one for sparring. My daughter is using boxing for fitness to cross train against injury since she plays a lot of soccer. Her pediatrician wanted her to train in another sport less seriously for injury prevention and liked how boxing is the opposite of soccer. The interesting thing is that boxing also requires a lot of complicated footwork so the drills for that in boxing are similar to soccer drills using a ladder on the floor.

      I also like boxing training for girls as a form of self defense. I think all girls should learn some kind of self defense martial art. My daughter had taken some karate and a little kickboxing previously.

      My husband agrees with you that he would never want our daughter injured so I doubt she will ever be inside of the ring except for training. (Although I have to say that soccer players get a lot of concussions; probably more than kids who box because at least in boxing they are matched up by age and weight. In soccer, the match ups can be quite uneven and my daughter is tiny!).
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