Wednesday, July 22, 2015

An Empty Gym On A Summer Day

I want the bulletin board in the photo above to keep that display permanently.  But I don't know how long it's going to last because the summer camp kids keep touching it.  Unfortunately, the kids come down to the gym to get their meals and snacks during the day.  I fix what damage that was done in the morning when I get there later in the day.  However, when they show up for their afternoon snack, I'm there, watching them like a hawk.  Every day I have to snap on several kids for pulling staples out of the pictures.  

Today was slow because no one showed up for the classes.  Jadora and her brother Little Jordan came in, but I didn't count them because their stay was brief.  Little Jordan walked in for a second, was distracted by something on his cell phone, then walked back out.  Jadora was late returning from a field trip (she's in summer camp).  She began to wrap her hands, then said something about having to go get her brother.  When she came back, she had undone the wrap she had put on one hand, and announced she couldn't do the class today.

Ben, who's in the adult class, was nice enough to stop in and explain that due to a family event, he, his wife, and their teen son wouldn't be in class for the rest of the week.  "It's summer," he said, and I understood.  But I don't understand the kids in the 12 and under class going MIA when they know another boxing show is on the horizon.

Yesterday was a sparring day, and tomorrow is a sparring day, but not today.  I'm beginning to wonder if some kids are skipping the non-sparring days.  The last few times, the gym was populated on the sparring days, but not so much on the regular workout days.  No matter how many times I keep saying that sparring alone is not going to help in a regular match, few, if any of the kids, actually pay attention.

Ashley had the nerve to tell me that she doesn't want to spar, but she wants to fight.  I told her if she doesn't spar, she won't fight.  Some of the kids have a habit of trying to picking with whom they want to spar.  Their decisions are usually based on how easily they believe they can handle the other person.  I told Ashley she will have to spar with the boys.  Her sister Mya is too small, and Jordana is taller and bigger than Ashley.

She made a big deal out of knowing the ages of the boys.  I was going to put her in with Jordan, whom I believe is eleven years old.  Ashley is nine years old.  "He's older than me!" she said.  "It doesn't matter.  You're both somewhat equal in height and weight," I answered with a bit of irritation in my voice.  She ended up sparring with her brother, Carmelius, who is a year older than she.  I've told both her and her sister how I sparred with men in the past when there were few or no women for me to spar.  Looks like I'm going to have to have that conversation again with them.

A guardian of one of the kids noticed that Big Jordan hasn't been in for awhile.  "Can you call his mom and tell her you're taking him out of the class?  I got a friend who wants to get his son in here," the guardian told me.  It's incidents like that which make coaches grumble about having to deal with parents and guardians.  I patiently explained that not only do I need permission from a parent/guardian to put a kid in the class, I also have to have their permission to withdraw a kid from the class.  I can't just take it upon myself to drop someone from the class because I haven't seen them for days or weeks on end.  Sometimes I get the feeling that people think I can -- and should -- bend the rules.  People forget that as an employee, I have rules that I have to follow.

No comments: