5 Inspiring Quotes From a Top Amateur Boxing Coach

Daniel Soto has been involved in boxing almost all his life. Growing up in Atlantic City, NJ, he watched as top boxers like Mike Tyson made their debuts in the casinos and showrooms. Now he runs a top boxing gym in Kissimmee, FL and trains some of the nation’s best amateur boxers, such as Olympic hopeful Antonio Vargas. If anyone knows boxing, it’s Daniel.

We spoke with Daniel and learned a little bit about just why, despite having a full-time job as a home remodeler, he dedicates so much of his life to shaping the lives of young boxers.

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One topic Daniel told us about is the ability of a boxing coach to work directly with boxers to get the best out of them and to learn their motivations:

“To be able to take them [amateur boxers] from scratch and develop them and see your work in them. It takes a lot more than just teaching a left hook and a right hand. You have to develop a relationship with them and really get to know them as a person.”


He also talked about the structure that boxing can provide to young people, giving them a schedule and goals to push them:

“Boxing is the key to instilling discipline and structure. A lot of other sports are seasonal. I like the fact that boxing is year round. I tell ‘em all the time: you finish December 31 and you start again January 1st. It keeps them busy and you watch them grow.”


Many young boxers and coaches we speak with talk about the “boxing family” that they find in a gym. Daniel discusses here how many kids find this refuge from the challenges of their everyday lives within the group of young boxers he coaches:

“Sometimes kids come in [to my gym] because they’re angry and just want to let out frustration. And then you start to get involved with them and see all of the things that motivate them and make them want to come to the gym. I find that a lot of them just want to be away from home and want to belong, to be a part of something.”


In all likelihood, the majority of boxers won’t rise through the ranks of the amateur world and go pro some day. But that doesn’t mean that boxing does nothing to improve their lives:

“I always say if we don’t develop world champions, we’re gonna develop good character. If they become good productive citizens, you know we’re winning.”


Finally, let’s not forget that for all the blood, sweat and tears poured out by boxers, the coaches around the world who train them and shape their lives sacrifice too.

“People ask me how I do it; I say I don’t know. Take a couple Tylenols and keep going!”


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