Saturday, January 17, 2015

Enthusiasm and Boredom

More than a few times some kid in the gym has sighed and said, "I'm bored."  That statement annoys me because usually there's an expectation of being entertained by the person to whom the statement was said.  Not long ago, I heard another boxing coach grumbling about not wanting to be a babysitter to the kids who attend their gym.  I'm not a babysitter, either, and I'm not going to sing and dance in the gym.

I put in an order for more equipment, which hopefully, will show up soon.  However, the kids who whine about being bored are often the same ones who play in the gym instead of train.  Although I've had to improvise with the small amount of equipment I currently have, there is still plenty for the kids to do to keep themselves occupied.  Exercises, punch mitt work, shadowboxing, etc.  The eight columns that surround the ring are covered with exercise mats.  It's like having extra heavy bags in the gym because the kids can practice their punches on those.  I'm assuming the previous coach did that, and I am grateful; that was a very smart idea.  I keep pointing out all the things the kids can do, but the same ones keep pouting about having nothing to do.

"When the new equipment is delivered, no one is going be able to use the excuse about being bored," I told the ones who are always complaining.  A friend of mine who is a mom advised me to deflect and ignore a lot of comments the kids make, and just keep things moving.  Good idea.  I am also reminded of one of the judges on those TV court shows who shut down a kid's grumbling with, "I don't argue with children."

Another new kid, Lu, showed up for the 12 years and under class just as the teenagers' class was beginning.  I was glad when he and the small crowd showed up when they did, because I was about to doze off.  Reading one of the books I always carry with me wasn't helping me remain alert.  One of the older boys remarked, "Coach Hillari is really happy to see us!"

Enthusiasm goes a long way in a sports program.  This is especially true if there are kids in the program who tend to be a little shy and quiet.  Lu was asking a lot of questions about boxing, but seemed hesitant about actually taking part.  Lu's proud dad was over on the side taking pictures, so I upped my enthusiasm, hoping that Lu would catch some of it.  The other boys in the class got hyped up by it, but Lu remained low-key.  Maybe that's just Lu's personality.  But it was also his first day in the gym, so maybe things will change down the line.

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