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.



Friday, February 10, 2017

Winter Session is Washed Up and Out


Barry wants to have a sparring session with his fighters, my fighters, and Marlon's fighters at Portage Park.  Good idea, especially with the Chicago City-Wide Tournament approaching.  So when I got to work, I called parents and guardians to see if they could bring their kids out for the session, which is tentatively scheduled for early next week.

Davion's sister reminded me that her brother is only able to go to boxing class two days out of the week.  He won't be able to go to Portage Park.  Tyler's mom was fine with it, but I have to make sure that I let her know if the date will be changed.  I didn't bother to contact Jada's mom because Jada can only take boxing class on Saturdays which prevents her from sparring as well as participating in competitions.

James had not come to class yesterday, so when I called his mom, I also wanted to find out if he was okay.  It is very unusual for James to miss a day in the gym.  His mom told me that she's keeping James out of boxing for the rest of the winter session.  James keeps getting into trouble at school about his grades.  The most recent progress report he received was very bad.  I agreed with his mom.  "The boxing gym will be here, but James needs to get his education," I told her.  I had suspected all along that James wasn't completely telling me the truth about his troubles at school.  Now I know.

Neither Tyler nor Davion have much interest in boxing, and frankly, I'm real tired of Tyler's lazy attitude.  The last time Davion came in, I got tired of him asking me how to do this and that.  He's been in there long enough to do the basics, but of course, Davion hasn't been paying attention.  I'm already disappointed because I won't have anyone to enter into the Chicago Golden Gloves this year.  Now I'm ticked because it looks like I can forget about having participants in the Chicago City-Wide Tournament, too.  I refuse to give either Tyler or Davion the opportunity to be in the City-Wide.  They're just not training hard enough.

Ariel showed up for the first time since last month.  As I suspected, she had been ill.  I thought I might have had a fight lined up for her at Cicero Stadium.  But it turned out that Ariel was 20 pounds heavier than the other fighter, so we had to take a pass on that.  There's a slight chance she could be in the City-Wide Tournament, but she has a lot of training time to make up.

I think it's safe to say that this winter session is washed out.  From day one there have been issues and setbacks.  It's halfway through, and I don't suspect things will get better before the middle of March when the session ends.