BOXING IS THE ART OF PRACTICING CONFLICT
For the past year, my team has endured a ration of losses in their boxing matches and I have spent the greater part of this year really questioning my coaching ability. Questioning how I build individual boxers and the team. Questioning my decisions to match people up. Questioning who I match them against and when. Questioning where the lines of responsibility for performance are drawn between coach, athlete and team.
Yesterday, we obtained two wins. I am still questioning my coaching ability and everything I listed above while at the same time feeling very pleased with the skills I saw displayed.
If I break down what I saw in the wins yesterday versus all the losses over the past year that I’ve witnessed, confidence was a clear factor. Yesterday I saw aggression, intent and desire resulting in powerful performances. We have been working our tails off to get these results. Every boxer that lost over the past year is also directly responsible for these wins coming about. Their losses and disappointment have fueled each and every one of us to do something different, to do something more, to take personal responsibility.
I have grabbed myself by the shirt collar and demanded I be accountable for our losing results. Each and every boxer has done the same and because of that, I am learning so much and they are growing as athletes and people outside the ring. I am learning I do not have to write everyone’s names into competitions. I do not have to take a match if I don’t think it’s going to build the boxer or the team in the right direction. I can steer a little more than I originally realized. Boxing is not a race for time…..it is a chess match, a political arena of jockeying, diligence, timing and patience. I can depend on other coaching inputs to guide us. I can demand more and everyone still have fun.
I believe the performances I saw yesterday are indicative of a change coming over our team. We have all taken responsibility for our previous results and we are all doing something about changing the narrative.
This is what life takes each and every day. It takes an attitude of constructive dissatisfaction and the desire to learn and develop. I am surrounded by a community of folks defying complacency and that in itself will help us to get more performances like yesterday.