From the Desk of Anthony Bartkowski

Sept. 07, 2012, 10:23 a.m. (ET)

Dear USA Boxing Members;

Earlier this week we sent out a communication in regards to our philosophy in what we must do collectively to return USA Boxing to the top. After reviewing your comments, I have found a lot with similar thoughts and a willingness to volunteer in rebuilding the sport we passionately support locally, regionally and nationally. Some may say it is rhetoric, however we are focused on turning the organization around. We must be willing to give of ourselves from each side to win.

Later this fall, USA Boxing will host a Constituent Review that is supported by the USA Boxing Foundation. This review is absolutely necessary for USA Boxing leaders to come together to evaluate all facets of the organization. The caveat for the Constituent Review is that we are going to identify a cross section of members to attend where we get their honest views and recommendations on USA Boxing.

Dr. Butler and I spent seven days together recently analyzing our organization. Our meetings were productive in developing a new approach of how we go about our daily business. It is imperative that USA Boxing move to a performance based organization and eliminate the political influences that have brought USA Boxing to its current state.

The first area where this comes into play is with our coaches – internationally and locally. We have a Coach Certification program that is currently stagnant and does not allow for advancement of some of our lower level coaches into the upper levels. This system does not work and will not work as we prepare for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Therefore, we have identified a new approach in how to integrate the personal coach into the program. The best coaches in the country are those who produce National Champions in men’s and women’s boxing. These are the coaches who have dedicated themselves to their athletes and know their abilities thoroughly.

Starting in 2013, AIBA requires that a coach must be properly certified through the Coach Management System to work the corners. USA Boxing will provide coaches the opportunity to become properly certified. This will occur on a couple of levels:

  1. If you develop a National Champion, USA Boxing will have the International Teaching Coach working directly with you and your athlete in overall development. Through this process, the personal coach will be taught the AIBA standards to become properly certified.
  2. The International Teaching Coach will travel to various parts of the country to conduct Coach Education Certification Clinics, which are available to all registered coaches. This concept is taking the instructor across the country to provide a uniformed curriculum; so all coaches are learning a systematic approach to coaching the international style of boxing. The goal is to have all coaches working under one philosophy in developing our athletes, so when these athletes make the national team, then we have the basic fundamentals and tactics developed. This allows the Coaching Team (International Teaching Coach and Personal Coach) to further develop the athlete into a medal winner at the World Championships, Pan American Games and eventually the Olympic Games.

The benefits of the plan are numerous and it eliminates the, “We are stealing your athlete.” We want to offer the personal coach every opportunity to advance with their athlete to all levels.

USA Boxing will provide the personal coach the opportunity to work the corner of their athletes at international events, as long as the coach is AIBA certified. USA Boxing does not have the necessary resources at this point to pay for the coach to travel. However, we will provide a variety of fundraising best practices to assist the personal coach so they can travel with their athlete when competing abroad. Through this process, the coach will earn recognition towards the AIBA 3-Star certification that is required to coach at the World Championships and Olympic Games.

Other sports have their personal coaches involved at all levels. We understand and appreciate all that the personal coaches do for our boxers. We are committed to this plan of having the personal coach in the corner when their athlete wins a medal. In order for this to work, we must develop a team between: the International Teaching Coach – Athlete – Personal Coach. This relationship is a must if we want success.

All personal coaches must understand that they will have to work diligently and meet objectives from the International Teaching Coach in order to be in the corner with their athlete. We will give you our commitment to reap the benefits of this model in this quadrennium.

As we finalize other coach-athlete initiatives, we will share those with you. We are focused on all coaches and providing ALL the opportunity to reach the top alongside their athlete. As always, feel free to contact me anytime to discuss.

Yours in boxing,

Anthony Bartkowski

Executive Director