Friday, May 02, 2014

If I Owned A Private Boxing Gym

1.  Everybody would have to be there to work. I've been in health clubs that were little more than singles' bars without the alcohol.  There are also gyms where it appears that a constant show is going on daily to determine who is the most well-dressed and well-toned.  I've seen guys too busy flirting with their latest girlfriend of the week to hit the equipment.  However, there's not much going on in terms of getting a workout done. Chatting with people, having laughs, and having fun while in the gym is not a problem.  But always using the place as a social club instead of for its real purpose is not.

No one would be allowed to spar unless I saw they have been consistently putting in a workout.  Sparring alone without doing anything else: roadwork, shadow boxing, jumping rope, etc., is not going to win fights.

2.  No special treatment allowed.  Everybody who walks through the door of the gym gets treated the same.  No red carpets rolled out, none of this "I want to monopolize the coach and/or the assistant coach's time each day regardless of the fact there are 50 other people here because I'm special."  I'll do some hand-holding up to an extent.  But after a minute, I'm going to expect adults to act like adults.

3.  No kids under the age of 18 unless it's their time to be in the gym.  Before people get up in arms (especially the ones who know I'm childfree), let me explain.  If I had a private gym, I would have kids' boxing classes during the week and on the weekends.  But under no circumstances would I accommodate kids in the gym at other times.  I would have to consider safety issues.  My mother was a single parent; I understand about babysitting issues.  However, the last thing I would want to happen is some kid getting injured in the gym because they wouldn't stay in one spot while their parents were working out.

I also don't want to be put in the position of telling grown folks to watch their language and their conversation around kids who shouldn't be there.

4.  No using the ring to settle grudges.  There are times I won't spar because I'm ticked off at someone outside of the gym, and I don't want to take my anger out on a sparring partner in the gym.  That's what the equipment should be used to do.  Now I'm aware that there are some gyms who will allow people who work out their arguments with each other during sparring sessions.  In my opinion, that's a dangerous situation because two people stepping into the ring already have it in mind that it's not going to just be a sparring session.  There's no need to have anyone going to the hospital.  People have to find another way to settle their differences, preferably not in my gym.

5.  No tolerance for sexism.  I would have a co-ed gym.  Both men and women can learn from each other when it comes to boxing.  I would create an environment that was welcoming to all.  But the first time some guy exhibited an attitude about women being in the gym, let alone about me coaching, the door would be held open for them to exit.  I'd even refund their money.

6.  No free rides.  A private gym is a business.  If I let one person walk in for free, word will get around, and several others will want the same favor.  If people can't afford the yearly fee, then they can pay the monthly fee.  If paying the monthly fee is difficult, than people can pay a day fee to work out.  However, I can't keep the doors open by giving out freebies.

7.  I'd think twice about offering other fighting arts.  Many gyms that were strictly about boxing have added MMA, standard martial arts, and self-defense classes in order to stay competitive and remain in business.  It works in some gyms.  In other gyms, more emphasis may be put on one fighting art over another, ending up in quality of instruction not being as it should.  People say women are excellent at multi-tasking, but I'd rather focus on one thing at a time.

No comments: