Saturday, September 27, 2014

Radio Silence

I wasn't happy to find out that the speakers connected to the radio and CD player in the gym were not working.  Looks like I'm going to have to find a cheap boom box to place in there.  I fiddled around with the speakers (both the radio and CD components appeared to be working) but there was no sound. I thought I was the only one who touches the radio down there, but who knows?  All I know that the speakers were fine the other day.

Only one kid showed up, a seven year old girl.  She told me that another girl who had been in the gym previously, like she had, was going to be late.  However, the other girl never showed up.  The seven year old was disinterested in being there initially, but eventually she warmed up to it.  We spent most of the time going over uppercuts, left jabs, and straight rights.

I didn't get my own workout in, even though no teenagers showed up for the second class.  Nor did I work on the lesson plan that the field house manager needs me to turn in to him in a few days.  I have most of it done, but I feel like I'm missing some things.

Instead, I was distracted by the smell of food from a group that had rented out the auditorium.  They were generous enough to allow me and another co-worker to get plates of food.  It was a typical soul food meal.  I skipped the greens, but got a double helping of the dressing, which was delicious.  I hadn't eaten much of a breakfast, so I was starved.  But I figured maybe I'll have a light dinner to make up for overdoing it.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Girls Are Different

The last time I was in the gym, two girls -- a seven year old and an eight year old -- showed up ready for boxing.  Their mothers expressed an interest in their daughters knowing how to defend themselves.  That's not a bad goal.  My mother was always on my younger sister and I (and my youngest brother to an extent) about the importance of knowing how to fight.

However, the boxing lesson didn't go as I planned.  The girls quickly grew disinterested in my attempts to show them how to stand and throw left jabs.  They preferred to play other games, including King Chase The Queen, which I haven't played since I was in grade school (but I remembered the rules of the game).  So our time together alternated between me showing them a little bit of boxing, and them playing schoolyard games. The girls had fun, and I hope they return.  The time spent with them taught me some lessons about youths and boxing, especially where girls are concerned.

The girl in the above video is about five years old.  Her punches aren't a joke, as you will see when you watch her work.  Some girls are going to walk into boxing ready to take on all comers.  But most others may not.  

Even in the 21st century, most little girls are still being sent the message that it is not ladylike to fight (and not to do most other things that girls supposedly shouldn't do).Girls are usually taught early on to be neat and clean, while the boys aren't admonished much for playing rough and getting dirty. Some parents become concerned if their pre-teen and teenage girls seem a bit too tomboyish for their taste.  Most recently, Mo'ne Davis, who was generating a lot of attention for her baseball playing skills in the Little League World Championships was asked by FOX News reporter Eric Bolling why didn't she take up other "female friendly" sports.

Coaches have to consider these issues when coaching little girls and teenage girls.  I'm not saying that a different approach has to be taken in teaching the sport.  Boxing is what it is.  But being aware of how differently society treats females, especially those who want to do something that is considered out of the "norm", is helpful in encouraging to pursue their interest, if they choose to stay with boxing.

Saturday, September 20, 2014

The First Student

The photo above is of Sean preparing top raise the hand of the winner of a fight at the 2014 Loyola Park Boxing Explosion Show yesterday.

I was hanging out in the gym at LaFollette, putting more pictures up on the bulletin board.  A man came in with his son.  My first student!  Both his father and I spent time patiently showing the kid how to stand and throw left jabs.  They didn't stay but for about 20 minutes or so.  But they promised to return.  The dad is a former Marine who had done boxing and martial arts.  "I want my son to get into the sport, but I don't think I can teach him well," the dad said.  The dad is also interested in volunteering in the gym, and I welcome the help.

This is the first bulletin board I put together.

This is the second bulletin board.

A co-worker, Dwayne, gave me a good list of schools near the gym.  I can't wait to get the boxing flyers so I can distribute them.  A couple of the schools on the list were two that I attended when I was a kid.

I learned that Columbus Park used to have a boxing program.  I lived down the street from that park when I was a kid: I don't remember there being boxing there then.  It must have taken place later on.  From what I remember of the field house, Columbus has enough room to have a boxing program.

Humboldt Park is the closest one to LaFollette that has a boxing program.  I look forward to bringing fighters to their boxing show next year, as well as to Hamlin, Loyola, Seward, and any of the other parks that have boxing to where I can get the fighters.