Sunday, May 24, 2015

Tardy Program


Sanita came in the gym yesterday.  "Am I on time?" she asked.  She was, but Sanita had already missed too many days, and had been tardy on other days too much for my taste.  Her brother Julius was a no-show again.  None of the other teens showed up so she could not get any sparring in.  Janay would have been good for Sanita to work with, but she was AWOL along with the registration form I gave her two weeks ago.

Indeed, none of the other youths had come in during the week either.  I keep thinking how embarrassing the situation will be if none of them are available for the boxing show in July.  Visions often appear regarding youths not signing up in time for the summer session (the boxing show will take place during that time).  In addition to the usual lack of seriousness about training, I can see none of the youths winning trophies.  LaFollette Park could end up with a reputation of having boxers who are easy to walk over.  I'd like to avoid that scenario.

Kentrell -- I finally remembered his name -- had the nerve to tell me once again that he planned to come to the gym.  I repeated again that Kentrell was not signed up for the program.  Annoying, irritating Kentrell has zero interest in boxing, but 100% interest in goofing around in the gym.  I don't want the boy around me.

Luis, who is a nice kid, but another who has little interest in the sport, stopped in the gym briefly.  He wants to sign up again, but is not sure when.  I guess I'll be waiting to see if he does or not.

I don't know why I'm so tired on Sundays, since I do so little at work during the week.  Perhaps it's mental fatigue, due to worrying if the boxing program will ever amount to anything. 

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Glasses and Grazing


Janay came in, but she didn't have her form for the Spring session.  I talked to her dad and assured him that she could continue in the class.  But I gave her another permission form to take home so her dad could sign her up for the Summer session which is coming up soon.  

During our time on the punch mitts, some of Janay's punches missed.  My glasses took a hit, and my stomach was grazed a few times.  She hadn't put full power behind those punches, but if she had, my glasses would have been broken, and I would have been doubled over by the body shots.  I told a neighbor of hers who accompanied Janay to the gym:  "She naturally has heavy hands.  It's just a matter of fine tuning her skills."

It had been another long, slow week of very low attendance in the gym.  Shanita had stopped by to say that she had caught the flu.  "I'll be in next week," she said, and I advised her to get some rest.  Her brother, Julius, was not with her, so I assume he'll return to the gym when she does.

One of the younger kids whose name I can't remember. . . ..Kendrick, Kenate, something like that. . . .ran up to me talking about, "I want to be a boxer!"  Just like Terrance, Terrianna, Te'Ria, LaTony, and Kharisma, that kid had been a major problem in the class when he was in there.  "You have to sign up," I said, without missing a beat.  "I am signed up!" the kid replied, and there lies another problem.  Coach James runs football, basketball, and baseball, all seasonal sports.  Kids in those sports just go from one to the other.  It's just a matter of James switching them from one attendance list to the next as one sports season ends and another begins.  He encourages the kids to participate in every sport available at the park.

However, my program doesn't run like that.  Participants have to sign up every ten weeks.  Too many of the kids, and some of the parents, think they only have to sign up once, and they're done.  I'm glad that it is NOT like that because of the real possibility of constantly being stuck with several kids who don't really want to box and/or are in the program for all the wrong reasons.  This way, I get a few new kids every two and a half months with the hope of getting some who will not be dividing their time between boxing and some other sport or activity.

I told the kid he had to sign up again.  "Oh, I do?" he said, before sprinting back outside into the park.  The kid had a basketball in his hand.  If the kid really wanted to come back to the class, he and his parents/guardians would have made more of an effort to make that happen.  Unfortunately, that's not the only kid who keeps talking about boxing but never making a commitment.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

What Hurts An Amateur Boxing Program


What issues can impede or stop an amateur boxing program in its tracks?  I came up with a few.

1.  Lack of parental support/involvement

2.  Kids and teens with discipline problems

3.  Adults with "diva" and entitlement attitudes

4.  Difficulty in getting equipment and other resources for the gym

5.  Participants attempting to train for boxing and another sport at the same time

6.  Participants who are trying to balance boxing training with several activities they are involved with at the same time

7.  Lack of communication between parents and the boxing coach

8.  Lack of support, concern, etc., from management for the program

9.  Lack of organizational and management skills on the coach's part

10.  Lack of promotion/advertising of the program

Can you think of any others?