Friday, January 23, 2015
The Crying Game
It's hard for me sometimes to figure out what action to take when someone in the gym is crying. Never had that problem while I was volunteering at Loyola Park in the adult boxing program. However, it happens often at LaFollette Park.
Curly sparred with his brother, Marine, for several rounds. Curly was catching the worst of it, mainly because he allowed his brother to pop him over and over with body shots. Curly would turn away, tuck into the corners, and not return fire. After a couple of rounds, Curly didn't want to spar, but then Curly's pride got the best of him. The next round, Curly even took more shots, then retreated to a corner to cry. His back was turned to everybody else, but I could hear the sniffling. I was going to intervene, but Marine apologized to his brother and urged him to stop sparring for the day.
None of the new kids showed up for the 12 and under class, and as usual, no teens showed up for the following class. Instead, several little girls came in and asked if they could play in the gym. "Boxing is not played," I told them. Since no one else was there, I did let them put on hand wraps and gloves. Everything was fine until the 12 year old brother of one of the girls showed up to join in the fun. The 12 year old hit one of the girls in the face, and she was ready to fight for real. The other girls had to hold her back. That's when I shut the party down. So much for letting kids try boxing out.
I did tell the 12 year old that if he wanted to box, he needs to sign up. If he does, the kid will go in the 13 and up class. The kid was way taller than I and the other kids. Kids that big in the 12 and under class will have no one to spar with, so they need to go into the later class.
I've been introducing three and four punch combinations to the kids. I use the punch mitts, and I see a few of the kids practicing the combinations on the heavy bags. Those who plan to fight are going to need to practice more.