Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Back Up From A Parent

Michael pushed my patience to the max at LaFollette.  As usual, Michael walked into the gym with food in his hand (a fudge bar).  TJ and Earl were looking to spar with someone.  TJ and Earl had done their warm up and were doing shadow boxing while Michael finished eating, then Michael took too long to wrap his hands.  I put Michael and TJ together to spar, but Michael refused.  He sat down in a chair, with his gloves, headgear and mouthpiece in, and refused to move.

When I pressed the issue, knowing that his mom and grandfather want him to learn how to fight, Michael began to whine, "I don't want to get knocked out!"  After more snapping from me, and encouragement from Jaylin, Michael slowly made it into the ring.  It wasn't long after the bell rang that Michael rolled out under the bottom rope, refusing to answer TJ's punches.  I ordered the boy to get back into the ring.  There was another long pause before that happened.  TJ barely tapped him, but Michael did a dramatic fall to the ground.

"Boy, he didn't hit you THAT hard," I said.  Michael sat on the canvas and refused to move.  I gave him two choices: either finish the round or leave the gym.  Michael opted for the latter.  TJ was disappointed, but I put Jaylin in with him.

Later, during the teen class, Michael returned to the gym with his mom.  I explained to her what happened.  She was not happy with her son.  "We try to teach him to fight at home, but it's not working," his mom told me.  Michael tried that same whining with her that he'd done with me, but she wasn't hearing it.  She told her son to behave and pay attention when he's in the gym.  I felt good that I had back up from his parent.

Ben Jr. returned to the gym.  He and Derrick Jr. did "shadow sparring" where they move around in the ring, throw punches, but don't actually hit each other.  Ben Jr. and his family won't be around much longer.  They're planning to move to the suburbs in a few weeks.  "I still want to come back around and see Miss Hillari," Ben Jr said.  That made me feel good.

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