Typically the idea of control comes into play when we feel uncomfortable, uncertain, un-heard, scared or ineffective. I think of the times I try to exert control and the quality consistent in every situation is that I don’t listen. I don’t listen to myself, the situation or any of the parties involved. I want to dictate the path toward the outcome I want. My vision becomes narrow, my body tenses, my thoughts become one-track and I feel in a general state of panic. Ironic isn’t it….the entire body is out of control, yet the mind thinks it is exerting control.
Feeling out of control and being able to relax is an impressive skill. A skill I want for myself and my boxers. As always, I want what I do in my life to improve my boxing skills and vice verse. So lately I’ve been working on all the ways I try to control things and I systematically change up patterns designed for that supposed control. (I referenced this in my blog about patterns and changing them up)
Recently I had the opportunity to change patterns of control when two of my boxers traveled out of state and worked out at other boxing gyms with other coaches. Typically in the boxing world, coaches take a lot of ownership of their boxers and are guarded and protective of them. Coaches don’t trust other coaches and worry about their boxers being “stolen” or “coerced” into changing camps. We are taking a different approach and finding coaches and gyms that wish to share their knowledge and work together to improve our athletes and the sport of boxing overall. This approach is beneficial because in USA Boxing, the local coaches don’t travel to international events with their boxers. With this approach, boxers learn how to work with different styles, be open to learning new things in new ways and how to bring back home what they have learned. I really like developing this aspect of our gym and our ability to have a network of coaches and other gyms. .
In order to stay in learning mode and give room for my boxers to learn and grow in this environment, I have to face my ego. You know those feelings where you think you should know everything, or that you should always have the answers…….or that if other people have the answers, you might not be needed anymore…….ya, those ones…..well I am well acquainted with them.
So, here’s my method for the match of the ego. First, I find a situation that threatens my ego, then I make an agreement with myself. I am to notice every thing I feel and think. I am not allowed to have any action based on what I feel or think, but I have to acknowledge that I indeed feel and think these things (things like the not being needed, my boxer will leave me, my boxer will think I’m not a good coach etc). I am to stay positive and patient with myself about feeling and thinking these things. I stay with acknowledging these feelings and thoughts until they pass. I implement this practice before, during and upon the return of my boxer working with another coach. I find this method allows me to really tune in and listen. I am able to learn and support my boxers learning, as well as bring back the knowledge to all gym members.
Thank you to my boxers Sophia and Jen for this recent learning opportunity and thank you to coaches Chris Solorzano in Colorado and Bruce Kawano in Hawaii for being such great teachers, for taking my boxers in as their own and sharing their knowledge. I’m excited for these relationships to keep growing.
Boxing is a beautiful sport.