I am always planning and plotting workouts, drills and ways I can help a boxer improve their existing skills. I am constantly challenging myself to work off a boxer’s style versus imposing my style upon them. Ideas start in my head and I often think they are amazing until I watch how they are implemented. Sometimes, they ARE amazing and sometimes I wonder what the hell was I thinking. It is an interesting dance, idea to implementation. Often times my skills have to be highest when adjusting the implementation.
The skill that comes to mind most is listening.
Coaches are used to telling people what to do, talking to and guiding their athletes. I have to remind myself constantly to be quiet for a minute and listen. What is the athlete telling me, whether silently through their movements or through their verbal feedback?
I have to constantly check myself, am I giving them an environment where they feel like they can give me feedback, or am I imposing my will and ideas upon them? When I listen to their feedback, am I open or defensive? It’s all a delicate balance. You want your boxer to trust you and know you are confidently in charge of where they are going and at the same time let them know you hear them and can adjust accordingly.
Boxer Jen Hamann and I are preparing for Nationals in an unorthodox way going from gym to gym. You can bet I am cranking on my listening skills even more so we are prepared to go in the ring and take care of business.