Friday, March 24, 2017

North Lawndale Fighters

Derek showed up with three of his fighters yesterday: his son Derek, Porsche, and Anthony who said he likes to be called "Ant".  If I think a kid's nickname or real name is ridiculous, no, I won't be calling them by that.  Today, he'll be bringing more kids for the purposes of sparring.  "How many kids will you have coming in here?" he asked me.  "We're in the break period between sessions.  They won't be here until April 4th," I answered.  I had half-a-mind to call some of the kids who were in the winter session to get them in for that.  But seeing how most of them hardly showed up during the 50-day session, I decided I wasn't going to waste my time on the phone.  I'll start fresh next month.

Derek runs North Lawndale Boxing League.  The league is not a part of the Chicago Park District.  Derek runs it out of various spaces as well as out of his garage.  The league is allowed to compete in park district boxing shows.  They also go to other amateur boxing competitions.  Derek started the league in 2010 to give back to his neighborhood and to get kids off the street and doing something positive.

Looks like me moving to Eckhart Park is still on the table, but I haven't heard much about the progress on that.  No one has been hired as the coach over there as of yet.  I thinking that a decision should be made soon because the spring session begins the week after next.

Monday, March 20, 2017

Departure and Passed Over At The Gloves

John did fight at the Golden Gloves.  It was a close decision, but John lost.  Michael ended up getting a bye twice, so he's in the semi-finals.  Michael's fight is scheduled for this Friday.  Ben joked and said it would be something if Michael was passed over again.  Perhaps he would then end up in the finals.

Kathy is leaving the gym permanently.  She's going on a road trip, and then she's joining the Peace Corps.  She was a great sparring partner.  I'm sorry to see her go, but she'll have a grand adventure.

Tonight was the first time I had been at Loyola Park in a couple of weeks.  One week I took off due to being tired and sore.  The following week, I babysat for a friend of Nayhomee, who used to train at Loyola.  I got in a good workout despite being as stiff as a board in the beginning.  My body seems to react well to working out before going right back to its usual state. 

Matt had some very good sparring with Ben and John.  Alan sparred with Ben later.  "I know he's not going to beat me up," Alan grinned. 

I'm not really looking forward to tomorrow at LaFollette.  While I don't mind that the coach from Franklin Park (I wasn't aware that any kind of boxing was going on there) has registered some of his kids into the LaFollette boxing program, I am concerned about a couple of the kids.  You see, they had signed up for my program last spring but never showed up to class.  I find it curious that they apparently have been able to show up for a boxing class at Franklin Park, but were not motivated to come to LaFollette in the past.  Franklin Park's coach will train them.  This I gotta see.  I'm tempted to ask the two girls why they're so interested in the sport now considering that they didn't seem to care about it when they were taking up space on the attendance list in my gym. 

There was a ray of hope when Ariel said she wanted to compete in the City-Wide Tournament a few weeks ago.  But I believe the window of time to register for that has closed.  On top of that, Ariel hasn't been in the gym much since then.  In fact, she only showed up seven times during the winter session.  That's seven days out of a total of 50 days in all.  She hasn't signed up again for the spring session, either, even though I reminded her of that some time ago.  I keep hearing that I have to get the attendance numbers up for the classes.  However, most don't bother to sign up until three or four weeks into the session.  I can't do anything about people whom, for whatever reason, won't get it in gear to get their names on the attendance sheets. 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

No Effort, No Privileges

Last week, Ariel asked if I could set up some sparring sessions for her.  I was going to call some of the coaches when I realized that it's just about the end of the winter session.  Also, Ariel hasn't been in the gym since that day, and she had not been there for several days before that.  I made the mistake of making that effort for Tyler a few weeks ago; it was a waste of time.  Tyler has basically dropped out of the program along with most of the others.

What I have to let parents and youths alike know is if the youths don't do much of anything in the gym, they will not be allowed to do anything at all in the program. Boxing is not a sport where people can do things half-assed or not at all and expect good results.  I'm not going to let people enter competitions or spar for that matter just because their names are on the attendance list.

I'm already wondering whom of the few who have already signed up are going to "forget" to show up in April when the spring session begins.  I learned to expect that out of some of the adults at Loyola Park each session.  I thought the kids would act differently, but no.  No-shows are now viewed by me as signs of a lack of consideration, a lack of commitment, and poor time management.  I won't make phone calls to find out what happened because I have better things to do with my time.  My time is better spent working with the ones who bother to show up.