Tuesday, May 06, 2014

When There Isn't A Win

When Andre won the super heavyweight trophy in this year's Chicago Golden Gloves, I was very happy.  It always feels good to be in the winner's corner.  But what if the decision has been given to the other fighter?
Like Barry once said, "It's hard to know what to say to the fighter who lost."

A lot of what can and should be said will depend on the mood of the fighter.  If they say something along the lines of, "Eh, I should have did this or that, I should have been more focused.  I messed up.  I'll have to work on my skills in the gym," then some gentle constructive criticism may be offered.  It will be heard.

But if a fighter is angry, different approaches have to be done.  The fighter could be justified about their feelings if the decision was clearly a bad call by the referee, the judges, or both.  Assurances should be made that the fighter did their best in the ring, but also emphasis the importance of not leaving the outcome entirely in the judges and officials' hands.  If the loss because of a fighter having not trained enough, not given their all, etc., immediately after the fight may not be the time to point those facts out.  Let them cool off.  But the very next time they come into the gym, go over what went wrong, and work with them to correct those things.

Recently, Alan was telling someone, Geniece, I think, about what happens at the Chicago Park District boxing shows.  He told her that the referees are quick to stop fights at any sign of trouble.  I told her how Alan had stopped a fight between Meg and I a few years ago.  "She never lets me forget that," Alan said.  I was angry when that happened, but over time I realized that Alan was right in what he did.  I was taking too many punches from Meg and not answering them.  However, it can be a touchy situation when the coach stops a fight.  There may be some frost going on between the fighter and the coach afterwards for awhile.  But the lines of communication have to kept open so the situation can be worked through and resolved so they can be a team again.

Above all, the main message should be that there will be another time to fight.

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