Will boxing help Coco Gauff punch above her weight at French Open

·3-min read
Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy
Coco Gauff in action Credit: Alamy

Coco Gauff has enjoyed an incredible start to her career but she has identified areas that she needs to improve on.

One way she hopes to improve is by using boxing as a part of her training regimen.

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Gauff feels that the unconventional activity will help her improve her balance.

“I added a new activity into my pre-season training – boxing,” Gauff wrote in a column for the BBC.

“My fitness trainer wanted me to box to help improve balance and so I went down to a gym near where I live in Florida.

“I’m not a fighter – even though I have trained in the past with Mike Tyson. If someone came up and punched me I would be out first punch!

“The pre-season training was in a proper gym where there were professional fighters training and whenever they would come to watch I was talking really loud – like, ‘yeah my tennis tournament’ – so they knew I wasn’t a fighter.

“I didn’t want them to think this girl is trash and is going to get whooped! I wanted them to know this is not what I do.

“Some of them knew who I was – and I was wearing my tennis gear to make the point – but I definitely wanted to make sure they knew I wasn’t cut out for this.

“They were all very nice people but they were slightly intimidating at first and were watching me. I was like ‘guys, I don’t do this, I play tennis’, I’m the furthest away from this sport that I could be.

“The boxing instructor is a fighter and he said I improved in the three weeks I did with him.

“When he told me I improved I was like ‘yes finally’ because I looked so bad at the start. So that made me really happy.

“I also got to do it with my brother Codey so it was nice bonding with him. He thinks he’s a fighter so I enjoyed trying to beat him up!”

Gauff likes to keep her training fresh and interesting and loves to incorporate other sports.

“Adding in other sports makes the pre-season more enjoyable. I grew up playing multiple sports – basketball, gymnastics, track – so I wanted to go back to my roots and try different things.

“As well as boxing, I did some swimming. For me, swimming is one of those things which gets me the most tired.

“I can run forever and do a lot of things forever, but swimming I feel like I’m done after two laps.

“So my fitness coach Stephane is trying to find extra ways to get me tired and do extra cardio because my heart rate doesn’t stay high for long.

“Hopefully I will be in the game for another 20 years and so you have to make it fun and change it up.

“Pre-season is a chance to do that, there are ways to make it enjoyable and also work hard on something. That’s what I think we found this pre-season.

“It was really tough for me, but it was nice to step away from the court and the gym.”

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