Friday, July 22, 2016
Humidity and Excuses
Tayjon was MIA again, but my two most consistent people, Donovan and James, showed up for class. Today was a sparring day, and the usual procedure is to let them warm up and work out for a half-hour, then begin sparring the second half of the hour. Donovan really pays attention to what he does in the ring, but James isn't there yet. It's a good thing that I monitor the action closely.
James took a lot of hits to his head and face. If James wouldn't turn his head, have his eyes closed, sneak glances at the timer, put both fists out at once, lean on the ropes constantly, rely on staying in the corners, etc., then the boy's technique would be a little better. Donovan is becoming more confident, and I worry that James might get hurt.
However, I can't fault James completely because each and every time he's in the gym, he does the workout and tries his best. Donovan just keeps getting better and better, and Ariel has natural talent to work with. It's too bad that the others signed up for the program don't have the same motivation. I've just about given up on Xavier, Terence, Jackie, and Jaelen. They haven't been around for weeks.
Ben has disappointed me with non-attendance, as well. I closed up the gym early today because I knew that Ariel's mother would not be attending the adult class due to a previous commitment. The other adults have long disappeared. Chicago is currently in the midst of a heat wave, and I didn't feel like sitting alone in a hot gym. While I was standing in the office area behind the front desk, I spotted Ben, one of his cousins, and Ben's father coming out of the fitness room. I grumbled to myself, Ben and his cousin can lift weights, but they can't come to boxing?
I called Ben up to the front desk to explain himself. Inwardly, I rolled my eyes as he went on about being "busy" and how his other cousin who is in the class (but who wasn't in the field house at that time) hasn't been coming around to his house. "There are boxing shows back to back in August and September. I'm going to those shows regardless of whether or not people in the class decide to show up for them. As for your cousins, they begged and pleaded to get into the class, but they've only shown up once. That's two spots that two other people who would have attended regularly, could have had," I told him. Ben didn't have much to say after that, and frankly, I wasn't interested in hearing more excuses.
Ariel is in the teen class along with Ben, but she's never met him or his cousins because they have never been there when she is there. She is eager to try sparring. I was just telling her mother the other day that I was not worried about Ariel holding her own against the boys. She has good, strong hands, and good movement. But she can't get the sparring work in because the others keep skipping class. I would spar with her, but my shoulder has been acting up for weeks. It is highly frustrating to a coach to have an eager fighter, but keep running into walls trying to get them the training they need.