Sunday, February 07, 2016

The Full And Empty Boxing Gym

All of the boxing classes I coach are now full.  But the numbers don't add up to actual attendance most of the time.  There are people who can only show up once a week.  Others may come in twice a week.  Then there are always those people who showed up a few times and never came back.  I have a a few people who signed up but never showed their faces in the gym at all.

I keep hearing the emphasis is on getting the numbers for the classes.  But I'm not satisfied with just having names on the attendance sheets.  I guess I just don't understand all the reasons why people don't love boxing like I do.  I do know that those who need a team of people around them to be motivated to learn in this sport don't seem to stay in it for very long.

For example, Xavier and Tyler sparred the other day.  Several kids who should have been upstairs participating in or watching a basketball game elsewhere in the field house were hanging around in the gym.  After getting on them about goofing around with the equipment, they settled down and got interested in the sparring.  As soon as Xavier and Tyler went back to training on the equipment, the kids lost interest.  Slowly they went back to where they were supposed to be in the first place.

When I first got to the field house, I hung around the front desk, waiting to see if any of the kids under twelve would show up for their class (they didn't).  Kier, one of the kids who plays the seasonal sports back to back asked if there was going to be boxing class that day.  "Why would I be here if the gym wasn't open?" was what I wanted to say.  Once again, I had to explain to Kier when the gym was open.  "There's no one here," he said.  Kier has a bad habit of attempting to use the gym as a hangout spot when Kier has nothing else to do.  I suspected that was on his mind, but I was ahead of him.  Not bothering to hide the irritation in my voice, I replied, "I have to be here at work whether or not anyone shows up."  "I know," he said.  "Really, kid?" I thought to myself.  Sorry, but I wasn't in the mood for lame conversation that day.

Maybe I'll have a full house again during the spring session.  I know it won't be like that during the summer.  I'm planning to change the class hours for the summer.  Giving everyone an hour and fifteen minutes was an experiment that didn't work, especially where the youths are concerned.  Besides, I need some time built in to sign up people and do other administrative stuff.  The youths only need an hour for their classes.  The adults can have an hour and a half because they are paying for the class.  The new time change will be the permanent one.

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