Boxing for Women- Mothers and daughters- By William Stowell-Alonso
Boxing for Women is on the rise! Interview w/ Olympic-level Boxing Coach & Social Entrepreneur Cary Lee Williams By Coach Bill
requires consistency Raising energy Maintaining momentum requires clear working purpose. Moving hearts to impact minds requires talent.
In the world of sports, such thoughts are always on the forefront of a coach’s mindset. She understands that the inside affects the outside, and the outside affects the inside. Aware of this, a great coach is also a mentor to her players. Her attitude gives direct and indirect expectation cues to the player’s, hence (SunTzu time) it is vital that the coach protect, direct and develop herself just as the players are doing so.
Cary Lee Williams is one such coach.
Recently, I had the fortune to interview, Mrs. Williams. Amongst other titles and hats, she is an entrepreneur, a boxing coach, a mentor, and is the founder of a clothing line called, Never Too Pretty. She is well-known in the boxing world as industrious, a go-getter, and because of her incredible drive, she is also known as a source of inspiration.
I recognize the strenuous use of executive function skills and the toning of so-called ‘soft skills’ as hallmark life skills that get worked out while in the boxing ring. I wanted to increase awareness to what she is about.
Coach Bill: Mrs. Williams, you are an elite, Olympic-level boxing coach, running a multi-facseted business enterprise and are an active member of your community. Though some may call boxing a violent sport, you are refashioning and reformulating boxing as a tool and strategy of empowerment for Moms and daughters. Boxing requires a plethora of executive function skills firing off simultaneously. Being [able to anticipate and predict] the movements of one’s opponent is a major EF skill, known as foresight. Beyond that, the cultivated sense of empowerment that a women can get from ‘knowing’ she can appropriately defend herself impacts how she operates in her life from that time on.
Mrs. Williams, motivation is a key to engaged learning. From your experience, what kind of transformations and changes have you observed in Moms and daughters? Is attitude impacted?
Cary Lee Williams: Attitude is the first to be impacted! This sounds cliché but, once a person learns how to throw a proper punch and gets a better understanding of the sweet science, they become empowered and that strength exudes to the outside world. They say attitude is everything and I would agree. If others perceive you to be strong, you will be strong! When I ask mothers and daughters how they feel after learning boxing, they always say they feel stronger. This leads to confidence and confidence is the key!
Coach Bill: Cary, I have been seeing your you tube videos. Movement, agility, focus and foresight (anticipate/ predict) seem to be priorities for the expert boxer. What kind of changes do you see over time, specifically in the young girls whom you coach?
Cary Lee Williams: There are a lot of changes that occur in young women as they progressively learn how to box. I will take a teenager I worked with 10 years ago to give you an example. She came into the club overweight and with exercise induced asthma and not a lot of self-esteem. Because she felt like an outcast with her peers, boxing seemed to be the right fit for her since it is more of an individual sport. She came in 5 days per week and worked hard! After about 1 year she had lost weight, her asthma was gone and she held her head high!
Of course the physical and mental strengths usually go hand-in-hand but she also got another benefit from the sweet science. Boxing opened her mind to possibilities. Possibilities are endless because you know you are strong enough to prepare for battle and at that point nothing is unachievable!
Coach Bill: Cary, boxing involves strategy and sequencing. Being able to read, anticipate and predict the opponents moves while setting up one’s own moves makes boxing a very mental sport. The natural development of executive function skills, our ability to manage and orchestrate ourselves, fires forth in the ring.
As a business woman, what are a few skills that transfer over from the boxing ring?
Cary Lee Williams: As an entrepreneur I would say that most people innately have an entrepreneurial spirit. It isn’t really learned. If anything, my entrepreneurial spirit helped me in the boxing ring! It takes a unique person to have the fire, drive, determination and lack of fear to step into the squared circle. But I will say that boxing did help me with business in that you understand that it takes a lot of time and perseverance to master something. Also, it has always been difficult for me to do monotonous work or have patience. Boxing definitely helped me with that! To perfect even a jab, you must practice it over and over again! It is monotonous and requires more patience than you know, especially when you are used to getting things correct immediately!