Thursday, March 31, 2016
A Brief Talk
Earl claimed that he wasn't feeling well (again), and his cousin TJ backed him up. "There's something wrong with Earl's heart," he said. That was the first time I heard that one. "Sounds like another excuse to me," I grumbled for all in the gym to hear. Not long afterward, Earl's goofing around told a different story of a boy who was perfectly fine.
But Earl's tired antics couldn't put on damper on what turned out to be a good kids' class. I was able to work with most of the kids on the punch mitts, and go around and give pointers to those who worked out on the equipment. It was just a good vibe in the room.
Maybe it had something to do with the brief talk I gave in the middle of the class. All the time I was working with some on the punch mitts, I noticed Earl, Justen, TJ, and Jermaine goofing off. I gathered everyone around the main equipment table. "I can show you boxing techniques, but everybody has to be self-motivated. Y'all gotta want to do this sport. If people don't, there's not a whole lot I can do. The kids at the other 20 boxing gyms in the park district are training every day. It's not that we can't have fun and laugh in here, but people have to be focused. Trust me, the others that you'll have fights with at the boxing shows are going to figure out quickly if y'all haven't trained hard enough. I don't get mad at people because they lost a match if they gave it their all. I get annoyed when people lose a match and complain to me about the loss, when I know people didn't do enough in here to make a good showing," I told the kids.
I talked to Suave about the boxing shows. He told me, "My dad and I spar at home." That's a good sign. I've mentioned the shows to the other kids, but I still don't know how they really feel about competing. I'll be getting around to questioning the others soon.
Cordell was the only one who showed up for the teen class. Cordell is very quiet. Cordell is also awkward with his movements. I told him that he needed to move around during shadowboxing, but the footwork wasn't working. As I worked with him on the punch mitts, I moved around so he'd have to follow me and stay on his toes. The results produced were much better.
Bennie returned to the adult class. "My right uppercut feels fine, but the left uppercut feels funny to me," he told me. I suggested that Bennie use his right uppercut to go for the head, and the left uppercut for the body. That worked better for him.
Bennie has a friend who is interested in taking the class. "Please tell him to come in. There's plenty of room," I said eagerly. The other two participants in the adult class still haven't shown up yet. It would be nice to have at least two adults in the gym to train.