Friday, August 17, 2018

The Usual Sign Ups


So far, the upcoming fall boxing class session is populated with the usual faces: Henry and David, Kayla, Anayah, and Damaris.  The teen and adult classes are empty at the moment, and I expect them to stay that way until right before the session begins or until shortly after the session begins.  The people in the neighborhood that surrounds La Follette are notoriously slow about signing up for anything that goes on at the field house. 

The one camp counselor whom I had a run-in with earlier in the season was up at the front desk yesterday when a call came in for me.  She rudely announced to me that I had one, laying the receiver down on the counter instead of handing it to me.  I guess she's still angry because she failed to get me in trouble with the supervisor.  I ignored her attitude.  The call was from Anayah's mom who was having a hard time coming in to re-register her daughter.  Since Anayah is already in the computer system, I told her mom that I would take care of it.  Right after that call ended, Damaris showed up in-person with her mom and little sister to register. 

Malik has been sniffling around as of late asking about re-registering for the teen boxing class.  Frankly, I'm not expecting that to happen.  Malik has some interest, but like too many of the youths associated with the boxing program in the past, they're dealing with too many distractions.  However, I'd be a little bit more accommodating about allowing Malik back in than I would Dexter.  Dexter appears to have given up on trying to run game on both myself and Sahia.  I hope it stays that way.  There are youths whom I never want to see in my gym again. 

Thankfully, today is the last day of the extended summer camp.  I doubt that program was able to tear up my gym over the last few weeks due to the fact that new window installation has been going on.  But I wouldn't be surprised if, despite all the "danger - construction" signs, and notices about asbestos being present that the summer camp coordinator and camp counselors were still distributing lunches and snacks to the kids from down there.

Once again, I found the equipment room open the other day yesterday.  I knew the people doing the construction didn't bother to make sure the staff on hand could secure the door before they left.  The level of inconsiderate behavior from outside maintenance crews is extremely high.  I locked the door during the brief time I checked the gym to see if any progress was being made towards me being able to get back in there before September.  It wasn't.






Friday, August 10, 2018

Closing Up The Session


The boxing gym was a mess when I looked at it today.  I had no choice but to call those who had been regularly attending the class and tell them the summer session was over.  I reminded people to re-register for the fall class which doesn't begin until September.  So far, Kayla is already back in. Henry and David are planning to come back.   However, Aarav probably will not return, and I don't exactly have solid answers from everyone else.

The premature closing of the gym means I'll be stuck sitting behind the front desk counter which is my least favorite area of the field house.  Not being able to access the gym easily means I won't get a chance to clean the headgear, gloves, and hand wraps.  Hopefully, the construction -- which consists of replacing the old windows in the field house -- will be wrapped up before the break period is over.  But knowing the track record of other outside construction companies the park district has worked with, I'm not banking on the work being finished on time.

Harrison Park and Eckhart Park's boxing shows will take place during the break.  I'll see if Henry and David will be able to go since they are the two best prepared to compete.  If not, I'll go to those shows regardless. 

Well, That Wasn't A Good End To The Session



Due to the window installers dragging their feet, the boxing gym hasn't been open all week.  Allegedly, the installers have no friggin' clue what progress is going to be made from day to day.  They can't tell Steve, the field house supervisor, what is going on, which means he can't tell me what is going on.  I can't tell the youths and parents what is going on.  This is yet another example of poor planning between the park district and an outside construction company. 

The program has to be inconvenienced during the last two weeks of the summer session -- really?  While boxing shows are going on?  While registration is going on for the fall session?  Z, one of the seasonal attendants, told me he had been inside the gym and the room is a mess.  I haven't seen the inside of the gym since last Friday (I took a personal day on Saturday and the neighborhood alderman's annual festival was going on).  I shudder to think what I'll find if I'm able to go inside before the summer session ends at the end of next week.  I have a feeling that the summer session has ended prematurely.




Tuesday, August 07, 2018

No More Late Sign Ups


It occurred to me that Leah has not been in the gym for a few days.  She only showed up once.  We went over jabs, straight rights, and basic footwork.  Sahia had talked to Leah's mother about the class and encouraged to register her child.  I signed the girl up because Leah's mother was so upset about her daughter having been picked on during the summer camp at another field house.  Normally, I don't sign up anyone after the middle of the session has passed by.  This will be the last time I do that as long as I am the boxing coach at LaFollette.

One of the reasons it's not a good idea to sign up people so late in the session is because of what I observed with Leah -- people immediately stop showing up  Some coaches keep their park district gyms open during the two, three, or four-week breaks between the 10-week sessions.  I learned quickly that people who haven't been showing up regularly to train during the normal sessions aren't necessarily going to be dedicated enough to show up during the break periods.  That alone is part of the bigger issue of participants not being motivated, signing up for boxing for the wrong reasons, indifferent parents, and guardians, etc.  Also, I have to get stuff done like clean the equipment and enter attendance numbers.  I can't do those things easily while class is in session.

People will point out, you have a volunteer.  But all supervisors don't view volunteers in the same way.  They certainly don't give all volunteers, regardless of the program or activity, the same privileges.  For example,  when I volunteered in the boxing gym at Loyola Park, I could run the gym in the place of the coach if they were not available on any given day.  However, the supervisor at LaFollette does not allow Sahia to open up the gym and run the program if I'm not there.  The program is officially not going on during the breaks so the volunteer would not be able to run it during that time, either. 

Etonia is another person I signed up late, as well.  She hasn't shown up yet.  I'm not calling her to find out what's up with that especially in light of the fact that next week is the last week of the summer session.  If people are really interested in participating, then there's no need for me to chase them.  I don't have time - nor interest - to do that anyway.