Friday, January 23, 2015
Eckhart Park Is Calling, But The Cost May Be High
Steve informed me that Eckhart Park is having a boxing show next month. I told the kids who have been attending the boxing class for awhile that they have an opportunity to fight. They were fired up about it. However, I have concerns.
I've repeated myself to the kids too many times about the importance of focusing on practicing skills. Most of the kids have a lot of bad habits that show up especially during sparring sessions. It's been said that those habits need to corrected early on because they will be so hard to break later on down the line. For example, T1 has taken to sitting on the ropes in the corners during sparring sessions, allowing whomever he's sparring with to keep taking shots. I keep telling T1 that could be grounds for a referee to stop a fight. The next time I see him doing it, and T1 keeps ignoring my instructions, I'm going to pull him out of the sparring session for that day.
I'm also frustrated at some kids' insistence on incorporating professional wrestling and MMA moves into boxing. I don't want to deny any of the kids the chance to participate in a boxing show. I don't think the Chicago Park District would be too happy if I did, regardless of a kid's lack of proper skills. They are all about kids participating and having fun. But unfortunately, it looks as if the kids are going to find out the hard way that slacking off in the gym will probably cost them dearly during a regular match. When that happens, there is a good chance that some kids will drop out of the program afterwards.
More of an effort is also going to have to be made on my part to make sure I have kids in the gym who want to make a stronger commitment to boxing. I know of some boxing coaches who make sure they only have serious participants. I don't really have that power. I can't know beforehand how a kid is going to act after they sign up for the program. I do know some of the kids' parents, but I wish I knew all of them. There have been too many kids taking home registration forms and returning them without me having a chance to talk to the parents in person so they know what the boxing program is about. By the time I figure out that I have several kids on my hands, like Princess, for example, who don't have much interest in the program, it's hard to weed them out.
Speaking of Princess, another staff member told me that Princess has been going around telling people, "Miss Hillari told me I can't come to the gym anymore." I explained to Princess, and her mother as well, that the class is full. Princess is trying to make it sound like I banned her from the place, which doesn't raise my opinion of her much. Some people who work with kids in recreational programs don't particularly like working with kids. Kids lying on people in an attempt to get their way is one of the reasons why.