Sunday, October 26, 2014
One of the guys in the teens' class called out "Hey Coach!" I think that was the first time any of the youths in the gym have referred to me in that way. That particular guy wants to be in the Golden Gloves. Unfortunately, he's got to wait awhile; the guy is only 13, and people have to be at least 16 years old to enter. But hopefully, with hard work, we'll get there.
The teens (13 to 17 year olds) have been sparring since day one. I had to make an adjustment in my lesson plans to accommodate their energy. While they spar, I act as referee and give pointers. Right now, that seems like an easier way to keep their focus as opposed to just having them line up and practice punches.
I wish the younger kids (8 to 12 year olds) had more focus than most of them do. For example, there are a few kids there because their parents/guardians forced them to take up the sport. It shows in how they barely listen to me, the constant distractions they keep up in the gym, and the near-zero interest they have in wanting to learn. Some kids are just hanging in there because their friends are there. One 12 year old girl announced to her buddies that she didn't want to learn how to box because she didn't want anyone thinking that she was a man. I was surprised when she returned to the gym on another day, but she clearly doesn't have much interest in boxing. She didn't sign up, and I'm going to start clearing out everyone who hasn't. I'm open to letting youths come in to try it out, but using the gym for a hangout spot every day?: No, I don't think so. Especially when I've got a few participants in there who are a little more serious. I don't need the others who are not signed up in there creating distractions. There are other activities in the field house they could participate in.
During the teens' class, the boys were doing some fast circuit training, running from bag to bag, and flipping over the lone tire in the gym. One of them asked me to do it, after another of the boys had stopped in the middle, complaining about being tired. After I went through it a couple of times, the other boys told the boy who stopped, "She did that better than you!" Of course, my left knee paid for that later, but I was surprised I could still sprint.
I passed out fliers again at Young, an elementary school not far from the field house. A lot more enthusiasm was displayed by both the girls and boys for the boxing class than it was among those I passed out flyers to at Lewis. I still have to go to Hay, another nearby school, to pass out flyers. DePriest, the grade school I attended from the early to mid 1970's, is on my list, too. It's in the area, but not very close to LaFollette. I'm still debating whether it would be worth it to pass flyers there.
Today, while visiting one of the churches I've been checking out, I ran into Michael, who's Montrell's brother. Montrell was the star of Loyola Park's youth boxing program. Montrell recently competed in a USA Boxing tournament, but Michael hadn't heard if he had won or not. "You're still competing?" he asked me. "I would like to, but between my insurance job and the coaching job, I don't have much room to train for fights," I replied. It got me to thinking -- maybe there could be an "old timers" boxing match for charity. I need to start thinking about fundraising for the gym anyway. That could be an idea.