Saturday, May 16, 2015

Glasses and Grazing


Janay came in, but she didn't have her form for the Spring session.  I talked to her dad and assured him that she could continue in the class.  But I gave her another permission form to take home so her dad could sign her up for the Summer session which is coming up soon.  

During our time on the punch mitts, some of Janay's punches missed.  My glasses took a hit, and my stomach was grazed a few times.  She hadn't put full power behind those punches, but if she had, my glasses would have been broken, and I would have been doubled over by the body shots.  I told a neighbor of hers who accompanied Janay to the gym:  "She naturally has heavy hands.  It's just a matter of fine tuning her skills."

It had been another long, slow week of very low attendance in the gym.  Shanita had stopped by to say that she had caught the flu.  "I'll be in next week," she said, and I advised her to get some rest.  Her brother, Julius, was not with her, so I assume he'll return to the gym when she does.

One of the younger kids whose name I can't remember. . . ..Kendrick, Kenate, something like that. . . .ran up to me talking about, "I want to be a boxer!"  Just like Terrance, Terrianna, Te'Ria, LaTony, and Kharisma, that kid had been a major problem in the class when he was in there.  "You have to sign up," I said, without missing a beat.  "I am signed up!" the kid replied, and there lies another problem.  Coach James runs football, basketball, and baseball, all seasonal sports.  Kids in those sports just go from one to the other.  It's just a matter of James switching them from one attendance list to the next as one sports season ends and another begins.  He encourages the kids to participate in every sport available at the park.

However, my program doesn't run like that.  Participants have to sign up every ten weeks.  Too many of the kids, and some of the parents, think they only have to sign up once, and they're done.  I'm glad that it is NOT like that because of the real possibility of constantly being stuck with several kids who don't really want to box and/or are in the program for all the wrong reasons.  This way, I get a few new kids every two and a half months with the hope of getting some who will not be dividing their time between boxing and some other sport or activity.

I told the kid he had to sign up again.  "Oh, I do?" he said, before sprinting back outside into the park.  The kid had a basketball in his hand.  If the kid really wanted to come back to the class, he and his parents/guardians would have made more of an effort to make that happen.  Unfortunately, that's not the only kid who keeps talking about boxing but never making a commitment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Hurts An Amateur Boxing Program


What issues can impede or stop an amateur boxing program in its tracks?  I came up with a few.

1.  Lack of parental support/involvement

2.  Kids and teens with discipline problems

3.  Adults with "diva" and entitlement attitudes

4.  Difficulty in getting equipment and other resources for the gym

5.  Participants attempting to train for boxing and another sport at the same time

6.  Participants who are trying to balance boxing training with several activities they are involved with at the same time

7.  Lack of communication between parents and the boxing coach

8.  Lack of support, concern, etc., from management for the program

9.  Lack of organizational and management skills on the coach's part

10.  Lack of promotion/advertising of the program

Can you think of any others?

Friday, May 08, 2015

When The Sun Comes Out, The Gym Empties


I've come to the end of another rough week.  I recently learned that Jack, a dear man who was a former member of the church I used to attend, has passed on. Closer to home, doctors have stated they can do no more for my step mom.  She's on life support at the moment.

As for the gym, the weather has played a part in low attendance.  Yesterday, the temperatures were in the 80s, and they are expected to be the same today.  Only Sanita and her brother Julius have been showing up regularly.  Between the two, Sanita is the more athletic and aggressive person.  She gets on her brother for not training hard enough.  "Julius thinks boxing is just boxing, but doesn't realize there's a workout part to it," she told me.  Y'all don't know how happy I was to hear that one kid in the gym understands that.

Star came in once during this week, and she told me she'll be missing some days due to a family vacation.  I remain mystified at Kishawn and Kemarion's absences since their dads were so hyped up about getting their boys trained in the sweet science.  I have a couple of kids who signed up, but have yet to show their faces in the gym.  Angelique appears to have dropped out completely.  Kody shows up on and off.  Just like Terrance, Kody appears to love the idea of fighting, but is not disciplined enough to put the work in.

Mike, a fitness instructor at the park, told me that I'll probably see better and consistent attendance in the adult boxing class when it begins next month.  When people have to pay for something, they tend to make an effort to be present.

I was told that a guy dressed in red was looking for me yesterday.  "I was downstairs the whole time," I said, wondering why the man wasn't directed to see me.  The guy expressed surprise when told that the boxing coach is a woman.  "For real?  This I got to see!" the man said.  I don't know if I'm in the mood to see someone who is surprised by that, but I am curious.