Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Hit In The Same Spot


Michael sparred with TJ, but he didn't exactly keep all of his promises about conducting himself properly in the ring.  I don't understand -- Michael has been telling me a lot of stories about hitting back kids who are picking on him.  But Michael's alleged fearlessness towards his classmates doesn't seem to translate into confidence in the ring.

Earl took too long to decide whether he was going to spar or not.  It's a habit with him.  "I don't have my mouthpiece," Earl will announce whenever it's sparring day in the gym.  Later, he'll change his mind after much whining about having to spar with his cousin TJ.  They are a good match in terms of size, but TJ is just a little more aggressive, which scares Earl.  I keep telling Earl that he will not be able to pick and choose with whom he has a real match.  Earl might as well get used to that in terms of sparring, too.  Eventually, Earl did spar with TJ.

Jaylin, who is eleven years old, sparred with me.  I was not wearing headgear nor a mouthpiece.  I should have said, "let's go light", but I just assumed Jaylin would.  I was hit in my left cheek, the same spot where Kathy hit me last night at Loyola Park.  Jaylin also hit me in both of my eyes.  My left eye looks a little bruised, and the right eye doesn't look healthy, either.  Ah, the things a boxing coach has to do to show their fighters technique.


Monday, February 08, 2016

An Almost Knockout


Ro makes his way to the ring at Loyola Park for sparring in the photo above.  He told everyone "I'm 27 years old," to which Alan replied, "You look six!"  Ro is very young looking.


Ro faced Connor in one sparring session.


Ro also had a good match up with David.


I did five rounds of sparring: one with Deb, one with Carrie Ann, one with Melissa, and two with Kathy.  Kathy caught me with a right to my left cheek.  It nearly knocked me cold on the canvas.  She keeps improving, and her punches have gotten harder.  Kathy is going to sign up for the Golden Gloves along with Connor.  The registration is this weekend.

While cleaning up a little around the house today, I found some stuff I could take to LaFollette.  One of the items was an ab roller that I had stuck way back in one of the closets.  I haven't been using it despite my best intentions, so the people in the gym can get use out of it.  I also found instructions on wrapping hands which should be helpful to the kids.  Luckily, I also found some duct tape.  The uppercut bag has some wear and tear, and I want to patch it up.

I threw away an old heating pad.  Since my right shoulder has been bothering me, I think I got rid of the pad too soon.  Fortunately, I didn't throw away the Icy Hot or the Mineral Ice.

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.