Thursday, October 01, 2015

The Boss Said "Merry Christmas"

When I arrived at LaFollette Park, Steve the supervisor said, "Merry Christmas!"  I finally received two portable equipment stands that were ordered by the park district weeks ago.  I also received two cobra bags.  The stands will have to wait to be assembled.  I was able to assemble one of the cobra bags.  I'll assemble the second cobra bag tomorrow.

Another teen, Damari, signed up for the class.  He had been talking about coming to the gym since last year.  He's got good punches from what I've seen so far.  I wonder how long he'll keep attending the class, however.  Damari plays basketball, too, and that season is beginning soon at the park.

Simons Park's boxing show is next week.  I know that Eric and Aaron want to fight in it.  They weren't in class, but the other kids I mentioned the show to didn't want to get matches.  BJ keeps telling me he's not ready.  "The last park district show we're going to this year after Simons is at Humboldt Park," I told him.  Most of the kids want to see the show, but not participate in it.  I guess I will close down the gym that day so we all can go.

David was particularly interested in what trophies boxing show winners get.  He might change his mind and take a fight; who knows?  But his mom may have her reservations.  She usually comes to the gym with her son.  When David sparred for the first time, his mom was nervous about it.  She understood what it was about, but like a lot of moms, she still considers her son to be her little baby.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

A Blessing of Equipment

The above is a picture of myself and a group of fellow alumni who attended the 40th anniversary of the high school from where I graduated.  One of my buddies, Donna, who attended that event came by with her husband to drop off some boxing equipment.  I received a portable stand that holds a heavy bag and a speed bag, several bag gloves, and a leather jump rope.  I appreciated all of the equipment.  The kids and adults especially loved the speed bag.

I pulled an Alan move and talked Alexis, who is in the adult class, into some sparring.  We went very light.  However, Alexis does have power behind her punches.  If we were going hard, I would have had to seriously watch out.

Alexis just wants to learn boxing for self-defense, so I have to take a different approach to coaching her.  I also have to modify my coaching style for De-Fetrick, who basically comes into the adult class and does his own thing.  He wants to compete, so I'm trying to get him ready for the Simons Park show.

Of course, I'm baffled by how to approach coaching with some.  For example, Desmond was sparring with Eric today.  No matter how many times I kept telling Desmond to punch back, he would not.  Eric cracked Desmond all about his head and in his sides.  Against my better judgement, I let them do a second round.  By the end of that one, Desmond was in the blue corner crying and trying to hide it.  When I took his gloves off, I said, "We have to work on your response."

Sometimes I get the impression that some think being a boxing coach is easy.  It's not, but it's satisfying work.  I also have to think about how to help the fighters get better.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Sparring With Erica

The boxing gym at Loyola Park was full of people.  Bean came in and told Alan and I, "I'm waiting for the crowd to clear out before I sign up again.  It's too small in here for all these people."  He has been looking for Kenny for the longest time, because he liked working on the punch mitts with him.  But Kenny hasn't been around for awhile because he's been busy elsewhere.

I sparred with Erica, and I had to take my shoes off.  My old boxing shoes are up at LaFollette Park, and I haven't gotten around to buying another pair yet.  I was moving better, but Erica is very fast.  She was throwing a lot of double jabs and hooks, and I didn't move out of the way quickly enough.  I managed to catch her with hooks to the body, and even some uppercuts.  I kept grabbing her arms, too, something I normally don't do during sparring.

Erica also sparred with Kathy.  She was finding ways around Kathy's long arms. Alan kept telling Kathy to work her way in with the jab.

Igor showed no shame.  While packing up to leave the gym for the evening, Igor stripped down to his underwear to change into his street clothes.  It was not a pretty sight.  There were several women on the premises, but Igor didn't care.  I don't have an "Igor" in my gym as of now.  I hope I never do.