Talent coaches back together for communication learning

August 16, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing was delighted on Saturday (14th August) to host its first face-to-face Talent Pathway Coach Seminar since Coronavirus restrictions were lifted – a first gathering for over 18 months.

The session at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield provided a fantastic opportunity for Pathway coaches to gain some CPD into ‘increasing strategic awareness of communication choices between rounds’.

It followed on from a virtual workshop – ‘Communication in High Performance Sport’ – that was staged in June and run by linguistics expert Dr Kieran File, from the University of Warwick.

It featured his pioneering study that analysed how coaches coach in the corner as opposed to what they say – an approach, it is believed, that no other country has yet considered.

“It was great to see people in the flesh and for coaches to have the chance to have personal conversations about their experiences over the past 18 months as to how the pandemic had effected them and their clubs,” said England Boxing’s Interim Talent Pathway Manager, Andrea Rankine.

“We’d like to thank Dr File for attending and sharing his thoughts with the coaching group, who I know will be able to use what they have learned when they are next in a boxer’s corner.”

Dr File’s research through the Department of Applied Linguistics at the University of Warwick has been made possible thanks to funding from the ESRC Impact Acceleration Account.

England Boxing’s Development Coach, Amanda Coulson added: “Exploring our coaching from the corner is an area where we can look to improve by 1%.

“This workshop and study has helped the Talent Pathway coaches think about looking for reasoning on what they say and how they say it, and, of course, the impact this can have on the boxer and the bout.

“We constantly analyse the boxer’s performances when they compete… and this area has highlighted the need to analyse and reflect on our performances as coaches, particularly when the pressure is on in the one-minute breaks between rounds.”