High Performance

A Pathway to Success

The IABA is a volunteer led organisation where each club member’s tireless work and contribution to the sport on a local level has contributed significantly to the great success that our boxers have had at International competition.  The fundamentals of boxing which are being taught throughout the clubs of Ireland continue to provide the rich boxing talent required to succeed at the highest level. This talent is being further nurtured and coached by a dedicated High Performance Coaching team and Support Staff which allow the competitors to be in the best possible condition ahead of International Competition.

The High Performance Unit was founded in 2003 by the Irish Sports Council and IABA. The Programme is unique in the sense that it set out forward thinking from the outset by including three levels of international categories on the HP Programme, Youth, Junior and Senior. The High Performance Unit is dedicated to developing and nurturing talent from boxing clubs all over Ireland from  14-15  years (Junior) to 17-18 years (Youths ) and seniors over the age of 19 years.  The primary aim of the unit is to best prepare the athletes for qualification for the Olympic Games.

The professional support network is made up of professions which include Coaching, Medical Physiotheraphy, Physiology, Nutrition and Strength and Conditioning all of which together have enabled the boxers to reach their highest levels of performance and achieve the many positive learning outcomes. From the outset, the programme has been Irish led, combining World Class expertise from the Eastern Block, which is a hot bed of World Class performers and Coaches. The High Performance Unit did this for two main reasons. one being to accelerate the bedding in of the programme to have maximum effect for preparing for the Olympic Games but probably more significantly as the Association and the Irish Sports Council believed that the programmes development and future would be better served by a Coach who knew the environment and the culture of the sport in his country and could use this knowledge to guide and direct the coaching input. If for any reason the foreign coached moved on; the knowledge and learning could continue in his/her absence. Currently the Interim Head Coach of the High Performance Unit is Zaur Antia from Georgia who who previously held the position of Head Technical and Tactical Coach.. Billy Mc Clean and Tom Hayes is Head Coach and Trainer for the Junior and Youth Teams and Gerry Storey trains the Elite Women’s boxing team. Pete Taylor is the Head Coach to Katie Taylor. John Conlon has recently been appointed High Performance Head Coach for Ulster.

What the High Performance team accomplished over the last 14 years is to model best global practice and systems that are transferable to an Irish setting. Constantly raising the bar is a daily and weekly discussion topic at the High Performance Unit and being in a position to measure progress is crucial.

The Olympic Council of Ireland also continues to be a significant supporter of the IABA and has contributed greatly to the continued success of the HP Unit at World Youth, European and Olympic Games.

Elite Boxing Training

Each boxer once selected to train at the High Performance Unit will receive specialist training and will acquire technical and tactical awareness, physical improvement, psychological training and nutritional advise along with the life skills required to excel at international and Olympic level. The Senior Elite Team can consists of up to 20 athletes at a time, some of which are funded by the Irish Sports Council. The Youth and Junior Boxing Panels are selected from the National Championships. Senior Training takes place four times a week in the National Stadium HP Unit and usually consists of 2 physical sessions, 2 running sessions and 4 boxing sessions. The Elite Senior team are in continuous training throughout the year gearing up for the major competitions to ensure they are in the best possible place in terms of fitness and overall preparedness.

Monitoring Performance and Analysis

There is a dedicated analysis room where contests can be reviewed and a set of statistics are benchmarked against the world’s best boxing competitors. Each boxer is given a comprehensive debrief and one page report on their performance at the end of their analysis session so they return back to training knowing the areas they must improve on.

Adopting the Right Mindset

Adopting the Right Mindset has been the bedrock for the continued success of the High Performance Unit on an International Stage over the last 10 years.

Being Culture Rich

  • Removing All excuses
  • Behaviour conducive to High Achievement
  • Thinking World Class
  • Process Focused (Step-by-Step and milestones)
  • Always being professional in and outside of the gym

Best in Class Training Activities

  • Full-time training
  • Training which is bench marked against the worlds best
  • Continuous Training & performance Monitoring & evaluation

Investing in Our People

  • Highly Valued (People Potential Realised)
  • Full-time Elite Coaching Support
  • Integrated  a Specialised Sports Science & Medical Team
  • World Class sparring partners across the world
  • All personnel being fully committed
  • People first, performer second

International Carding Scheme for Athletes

Through Sport Ireland the International Carding Scheme will provide direct
financial support to athletes for training and competition programme.
It is fundamentally a criteria based scheme however sport specific criteria is not
the only deciding factor. There are 9 areas that must be satisfied in order to be
considered for inclusion in the 2017 International Carding Scheme. Reaching a
sport specific performance criteria does not equal funding as it must also be an
Olympic & Paralympic discipline.

For more details on this click the link: https://www.sportireland.ie/High_Performance/High_Performance_Unit/International%20Carding%20Scheme/Carding-Scheme-Guidelines.pdf

The Road to Paris: 2023 European Games

The 2023 European Games is a multisport event taking place in Krakow, Poland, from June 21st to July 2nd. This a European Olympic qualifier. 44 quota places (22 for women and 22 for men) for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games will be available.

Paris 2024

The Olympic Federation of Ireland has published the selection and nomination policies for Paris 2024 Olympics for all relevant Irish Olympic Sports. It is available here