How Structured Training Helped Patrick Overcome Anxiety and Pursue Education – Case study


Patrick was a 20-year-old male who struggled with severe anxiety and autism spectrum disorder. His mother reached out seeking boxing lessons as a potential intervention to help address Patrick’s health issues. The goal was for the structure and physical activity of boxing to improve his confidence, concentration, and overall wellness.


Training began in the summer of 2020, with twice-weekly sessions in Southwest London. Initially, Patrick experienced significant difficulties attending sessions consistently due to his anxiety. There were occasional instances where he arrived very late or could not leave his home.

However, over the course of the summer, a positive bond developed between Patrick and I. His boxing technique, fitness, and conversational abilities showed gradual improvement. The reliable, structured schedule appeared to be highly beneficial for Patrick’s well-being.

The Training

Training involved the usual warm up and stretching start to training as well as lots of instructive boxing pad work and combinations, which where designed to help improve coordination, confidence and stress relief.

Sessions started off 30 minutes but over the 12 week period these increased to 1 hour sessions.

All sessions where varied with one such session described here:

  • Warm up walk/jog/run for 5 minutes
  • 5 x 2 minute boxing padwork
  • 5x 1 minute runs 30 seconds rest
  • 3 x 20/15/10 squats
  • 3x 20/15/10 press ups
  • 3x 8/6/4 burpess
  • skipping 3 x 2 minutes
  • touch light defence sparring 2 x 3 minutes
  • 3 x 30/25/20 abdominal crunches
  • plank 1 minute


While the training was cut short due to the pandemic, Patrick’s mother reported a remarkable outcome. After the fitness training, Patrick successfully enrolled in a college course focused on his beloved subject of history which then led to a place ay university. This achievement was particularly meaningful, as his anxiety had previously prevented him from leaving his flat yet alone pursuing educational opportunities.

In conclusion

The consistent boxing routine, physical activity, and supportive environment provided through the lessons appeared to have a profoundly positive impact on Patrick’s functioning. Despite initial hurdles, the structured program helped bolster his confidence and concentration, enabling him to take a significant step forward in his life and academic journey.

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Link to Boxing benefits and mental health 

External link on benefits of exercise and mental health.

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