Thursday, November 20, 2014

Losing My Patience

A lot of kids showed up at the gym.  I have 30 kids listed as being in the class, but usually 15 to 17 show up somewhat regularly during the week.

The one kid who usually skips my class, and who lies to her parents that she has been attending, showed up in the gym.  It is obvious she doesn't want to be there, as she never pays attention when technique is being taught.  She is a distraction, often influencing the other kids to play school yard games with her, when she's not teasing them.  She'll wait until I'm in the middle of coaching to pester me every five seconds with inane requests.

However, the dial on my patience was turned down to zero that day.  I kept my voice fairly even, but I let her know that her antics were not appreciated.  The girl also has an annoying habit of jumping in front of me to "instruct" the other kids as to how the box.  I sharply told her that I didn't need her help.  "There's only one boss in the gym, and that me," I told her.

It's not that the other kids are 100% angels all the time, but their behavior is manageable for the most part.  But this one particular girl has the "it's all about me" attitude 24/7.  When she doesn't get her way, she sulks and refuses to do anything.  I've noticed that while some of the kids go along with her goofing around, other kids are annoyed because they truly want to learn how to box.  I did not want to embarrass any of the kids by admonishing them in front of the others.  But in this girl's case, I made an exception.  Her behavior improved for a brief moment, but it wasn't long before it was business as usual.

I understand that some of the other activity instructors often ask her to leave their classes for the day when her behavior gets too much to bear. She came very close to being kicked out of the gym that day. But seeing how their tactics has not improved her behavior, I'm going to have to try other methods to keep order.  I don't want to be the coach who's always bellowing at someone, but it looks like I might have to relax that rule.

And I thought Igor, back in the adults' boxing class at Loyola Park, was irritating.  Igor ain't got nothing on the little girl in my class.

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