Boxing Evolution Meet The Coach

Meet Your Coach

I’m Matt Flavell, the founder of Boxing Evolution, where for over 15 years, I’ve dedicated myself to reshaping 1000’s of people’s lives helping them reach their full potential, through the power of boxing, underpinned by teaching the psychology of success and mentorship

The following is the story about my personal journey, one that intertwines my coaching experiences, my deep involvement in boxing and martial arts, and a personal voyage of self-discovery born from challenging life circumstances. This journey wasn’t just about overcoming obstacles; it was about uncovering valuable lessons on reaching one’s full potential, lessons that now form the foundation of how I guide others.

My story is a testament to the transformative power of boxing—not merely as a sport but as a tool for character building and profound personal growth. It’s a narrative filled with struggles, revelations, and ultimately, significant transformation. I share this with you to illustrate that, regardless of where you are in your life journey, with the right guidance and a willingness to take action, profound change is not just possible—it’s attainable.

But most importantly, it’s about why I can help YOU!

A TROUBLED YOUTH

I was very small for my age and diagnosed with ADHD at 14, my school years were fraught with difficulties that extended beyond typical adolescent struggles. The symptoms of ADHD – hyperactivity, impulsiveness, emotional reactivity and a profound lack of focus – were not just disruptive; they were barriers to my learning and integration into the educational system. Misunderstood by educators as mere disobedience, I found myself in a constant battle for acceptance and understanding within an environment that seemed predisposed to my failure.

Compounding the challenges posed by ADHD were struggles to fit in socially and I was often the victim of relentless bullying. My smaller stature made me an easy target, and the visible manifestations of ADHD such as emotional reactivity made me someone who was easy to wind up and get a reaction out of, so made me the perfect target for being picked on.

I would regularly be subject to the usual things such as name calling, having my stuff stolen or trashed, humiliation and physical beatings. I also regularly found myself being ganged up on. The list is endless.

 

The bullying I endured not only led to severe anger issues, exacerbated by my ADHD, but also pushed me into numerous confrontations. This anger, over time, morphed into a deep-seated depression, a battle that took immense mental strength to overcome.

This period of my life left profound psychological scars, obscuring the positive aspects of my character and instilling a pervasive sense of worthlessness and shame. It was a time marked by personal turmoil and the near destruction of my future. I was blind to the many talents and great qualities I did possess.

TIME TO CHANGE

Post-school, I found myself adrift, associating with a crowd that led me further from my true path, lacking any positive role models or a sense of direction. It was at this point that I started experimenting with drink and drugs, getting into fights and getting into regular trouble with the law resulting in me nearly going to prison.

I was on a fast track to nowhere, and deep down, I knew something had to change before it was too late.

THE POWER OF BOXING

The turning point came at 17 when I discovered boxing. It was more than just a sport to me; it was a lifeline. Boxing taught me discipline, self control, and most importantly, it gave me a sense of worth. For the first time, I had positive role models and a constructive outlet for my boundless energy.

Boxing became more than a sport; it was a channel for my energy, going through the training instilled in me the essence of true masculinity, courage, and self-control. The fitness required just to remain on an equal playing field provided me with the motivation to stop smoking cigarettes and cannabis. The discipline of the sport significantly shaped my character, boosted my self-esteem, and led me to healthier lifestyle choices.

More than just physical training, boxing equipped me with the mental fortitude to overcome personal vices and social anxieties, fundamentally altering my approach to life’s challenges. It also played a crucial role in helping me stand up to bullying, earning me a level of respect that deterred unnecessary confrontations.

My journey into martial arts didn’t stop at boxing. I expanded my horizons to include K1 kickboxing, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Judo, Wrestling, and MMA, competing and learning from each discipline. This diverse training not only refined my physical skills but also gave me access and experience to many different methods of training.

However, boxing was just one piece of the puzzle.

THE PSYCHOLOGY OF SUCCESS

Ironically, one of the superpowers of having ADHD is the ability to hyperfocus on topics that are of extreme interest to you. This led me to do a large amount of studying about topics such as psychology, philosophy, spirituality, science and self-improvement along with therapy methods such as NLP and CBT . 

This enabled the most profound part of my transformation, which was addressing and healing from past traumas and negative experiences. This process of mental and emotional reprogramming was the most challenging yet rewarding part of my journey, essential for my growth and success.

Learning to understand the mind and how much of how our life turns out is not primarily what happens to us, but in how we choose to respond to that. Putting into practice the knowledge I had gained and discovering how my mindset and thought processes affected my everyday life and relationships, allowed me to change the way I approached life and create great opportunities and meet amazing people.

It also allowed me to recognise my own negative patterns and how I would sometimes sabotage my own success. If I can emphasize anything strongly enough, that is the importance of building a strong and resilient mindset.

A CHANGE OF ENVIRONMENT AND MEETING A MENTOR

Having just scraped sufficient grades at college after having to retake a year, I attended Portsmouth University, where I initially pursued computing, my path took an unexpected turn that would define my future. 

Passionate about boxing, I was surprised to find no existing boxing club at the university. Seizing the initiative, I established the club myself, which quickly grew to become the largest and most influential on campus. This endeavor not only ignited my passion for coaching but also highlighted the fulfillment found in leading and developing a project from the ground up.

The transformative phase of my journey began when I met Quentin Shillingford, known as ‘Q’, a renowned England A.B.A coach with a history of working with celebrated boxers such as Amir Khan. ‘Q’ became my mentor, introducing me to a systematic approach to boxing that I’ve since adopted in my coaching. His influence extended beyond techniques; ‘Q’s’ remarkable confidence and his unique way of engaging with people profoundly impacted me. Observing his interactions, I learned the true power of self-assurance and the impact it can have on others.

‘Q’s’ ability to maintain his composure and confidence in any situation, especially in moments that would have left me embarrassed, was enlightening. His effortless command over a room full of people, coupled with his humor and charisma, demonstrated a level of self-confidence I aspired to achieve. This experience under ‘Q’s’ mentorship was pivotal, teaching me invaluable lessons about confidence, leadership, and the importance of a mentor in personal transformation.

THE START OF BOXING EVOLUTION

Post-university, fueled by a passion for working with people and driven by my own transformative experiences, I was struck by a vision to blend boxing coaching with mentoring to foster emotional intelligence. This led me to design a unique course and secure funding from the Princes Trust, marking the inception of Boxing Evolution. The initiative kicked off with a summer camp that yielded impressive outcomes, setting the stage for an expansive journey.

Boxing Evolution evolved rapidly, branching out into an online media channel that featured interviews with fighters, produced promotional content,  ventured into live streaming pay-per-view boxing events and I have even appeared on TV. The venture’s growth continued with the establishment of the Boxing Evolution gym and the organization of numerous boxing events, enriching my expertise in the boxing domain.

Despite these successes, I felt a compelling need to return to my core mission of positively impacting young lives. 

This reflection led to the creation of an alternate provision for schools, aimed at guiding young individuals towards better life choices through education and mentorship, ultimately empowering them to become confident and successful adults.

RELEVANT QUALIFICATIONS AND EXPERIENCE

My credibility in this field is built on solid foundations. I am a certified personal trainer and a qualified boxing coach, with extensive experience working with individuals from all walks of life. I have over 15  years of coaching experience helping people to holistically transform their lives with achieving goals such as weight loss, improving fitness and improving their mindset. 

I also have over a decade of experience in the education and youth services sector, collaborating with various organizations, including Youth Offending Teams, social services, and a spectrum of educational institutions from pupil referral units and special education providers to mainstream schools, working with young people facing learning challenges like ADHD, youths with a history of developmental trauma or those in foster care, and even individuals involved in complex situations like gang affiliations and county line activities.

My commitment to professional development has led me to undertake additional training in critical areas such as Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE), Trauma-Informed Approaches, Attachment Theory, Speech and Language, and Safeguarding Practices.

GUIDING YOU TO A BRIGHTER FUTURE

My story is one of hope, resilience, and the undeniable power of boxing to change lives. It’s about finding your worth, your discipline, and your path in the most unlikely of places. If you’re standing at a crossroads, unsure of where to turn, my message to you is that a brighter future is possible if you are willing to do the work.

Let me show you how the discipline of boxing and the right mindset can set you on a path to personal transformation. 

The vast array of knowledge and experience I have gained has been put into online courses that will guide you through every step of your journey, and additional support is available from me too.

Join me, and let’s embark on this journey together. #BEAWARRIOR

Boxing Evolution gym Maidenhead
Matt Flavell and Julius Francis commentating for Boxing Evolution TV.
Boxing Evolution coach Matt Flavell meets Mike Tyson.