Thursday, February 23, 2017

Joey Bishop and A Return

The photo above is a still from an episode of "The Joey Bishop Show" (1961-1965; NBC and CBS) that featured actor Peter Lupus (who was a regular cast member on"Mission: Impossible") as a boxer.  Bishop's character had took over as the boxer's trainer, and he hoped to make tons of money from his fights.

In a previous post, I had written about another boxing-themed episode of Bishop's show.  The plot was about a comedic charity match that he and another comic, Jan Murray, were doing to raise money for a boys' club.  Due to a misunderstanding, both show up to the charity match ready to fight for real.  That episode was shown again recently on Antenna TV.  I kept noticing how easily Bishop was ducking Murray's wild hay maker punches as well as Bishop's footwork.  I did a little more research on Bishop and learned that yes, he had been a champion welterweight boxer while he was in Army during World War II.  I love finding out about celebrities who had participated in the sweet science.

I still keep wishing for the kids in the gym to show some enthusiasm for the sport.  James returned to the gym after his parents kept him out for a while due to poor grades.  Unfortunately, James doesn't seem to have learned his lesson, as his focus is still stuck on video games and game hack videos on the Internet.  That's the kid's main conversation every time he's in the gym, and I suspect that is James' conversation all the time.  I can't get him to focus on training.  Report cards will be given out again soon, and I'm afraid James' grades will not be any better.  I would not be surprised if his parents take him out of boxing again.

Tyler has been missing from the gym for two days.  I have no idea what's up with him.  Barry wants me to weigh Tyler so he could perhaps match him up with one of his fighters who wants to spar.  But I'm not going to close down the gym for one kid to have a sparring session elsewhere, especially if they don't feel the need to show up for it like Tyler did.  It would have been different if James hadn't been kept home by his parents before the session took place, as well if the other kids were showing up at LaFollette on a regular basis.  I could have had several participate, but I did not.  

I was sick earlier in the week (again) so I didn't go up to Loyola Park.  The Golden Gloves registration took place over the past weekend; several people at Loyola planned to compete.  I'll find out next week who's in.  During the break between the winter and spring sessions at LaFollette, I want to attend the Gloves to support those at Loyola who may be competing.  

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

A Long Valentine's Day

Planning sparring sessions between field houses take a lot of time and effort.  The main issue is getting everyone to agree on a time and then getting people to show up.  While Barry and Marlon were successful in having fighters show up at Portage Park, I was not.  Tyler did not show up and had no good reason why.  After waiting for a time, I called his home to find out where he was.  His grandfather said he knew nothing about the sparring, but I let him know that Tyler's mother did.  Also, Tyler had promised me on Saturday he was going to show up today.  

I won't give Tyler another chance to waste my time nor the time of anyone else involved in sparring sessions again.  If there is another session planned, and there just might be because of the Chicago City-Wide and Chicago Golden Gloves tournaments approaching, I won't bother to invite Tyler to the party.  I'm done.  I had a long day which started with Bible study at 6:00 AM, and I was not in the mood for Tyler's lackadaisical behavior.

I did learn some techniques and terminology by observing those who sparred and listening to what Barry, Marlon, and Marlon's coach (Marlon still competes), Jose said to the fighters.  What I learned will probably be saved for whoever signs up for the spring session because the winter session has been a disaster from day one.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Having Some Real Talk

Tyler's grandfather showed up with him yesterday.  I talked a little about how Tyler keeps goofing off in the gym.  His grandfather also told his grandson the importance of focusing on what he does during training.  But as soon as his grandfather left, Tyler went back to his usual ways.  I decided to lay some real talk about boxing.

I told stories of guys I knew who slacked off and how a general lack of motivation and determination had cost them winning fights.  I also pointed out how some of those same guys had been injured, some seriously, because they hadn't done enough work during practice.  "Don't come crying to me when you lose a fight, Tyler.  All I'm going to say is 'work harder' the next time you're in the gym," I told the boy.  I wasn't saying any of it to be mean.  That's just real talk for people who want to compete in boxing.

Whether Tyler really listened or not was doubtful.  Whenever his grandfather is there and says, "Show me something, boy," Tyler obeys him without a fuss.  But when I tell him something, I get ignored.  I have let Tyler know many times that I don't appreciate his attitude.  However, I don't think the kid gets how the attitude truly disrespects, disparages, and irritates me.

He kept going on about Davion and James not being in the gym.  I explained that Davion has other things to do on Saturday and that James can't come back until his grades are better.  But Tyler kept mumbling about it.  He's also aware that the teens don't come in regularly, and he made comments about that. "I'm not calling anyone to see where they are because my assumption is if they signed up, they wanted to be here.  It's not a good use of my time to always be on the phone.  They just will not be able to compete if they don't train.  Tyler, you should be happy that the gym is empty because you don't have to wait on people to use the equipment.  You should be happy that place is all yours," I curtly said.

After Tyler left, I noted that Jada didn't show up, either.  Her mother was so concerned about putting her daughter into the last slot that was open for that class. I honestly don't know how that girl is going to learn the sport; she's already missing days, and she can only show up once a week.

Tentatively, a sparring session will take place this week at Portage Park, involving Marlon's fighters from that park, Barry's fighters from Loyola Park, and one fighter of mine, Tyler.  I hope that session takes place, and I hope Tyler shows up.  Maybe after mixing it up with the other fighters, Tyler will finally get that boxing is no joke.