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Old 12-29-2012, 01:40 AM   #1
Uppercut 78
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Default Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

Hey Guys-
I am a trainer who has been working for the last 18 months with a pretty talented kid who has just turned 18. The kid had originally been taught to box by his boxer wannabe dad -- he allegedly had boxed in college and the Navy, but if he did he wasn't very good, because when I started teaching his son it took me nearly 5 months to get him to unlearn some of what the young man was doing wrong.
I am in my late 57 and I was a moderately successful amateur; made it to the GG semifinals as a novice, and to the finals when I was in the open class, never won a GG championship, but did very well in my years in "white collar" boxing. I don't pretend I was a great boxer but I am a good coach. I have spent enormous amounts of time with this young fighter, and in the last 7 months we have really accomplished a lot -- I am very proud at having improved his offense and defense, and I have really taught him how to cut off the ring better than some young pros I've seen. He is a pretty hard banger with both hands, particularly his right.
Here is the problem. I don't think he is ready for the upcoming Golden Gloves beginning Jan 13, and I have repeatedly told his dad this. The kid (I am reluctant to use his name in case the dad or any of his buds are members here) The young man has not had nearly enough sparring yet in my view. When he does spar he can get either gun-shy or overzealous; these are things we are working on. I also had to look high and low to find hima southpaw to spar, as our gym has almost no lefties. I spent 2 weeks phoning and emailing other boxing gyms to get the southpaw we finally came up with. I have worked my ass off with this kid, and I believe I am right about wanting him to wait, but his dad registered him already despite my cautions.
I was going to tell his dad that he could find another guy to work the corner, or do it himself. But then I realized that that is unfair to the kid -- even if he loses his first novice bout I feel that I really owe him my presence and my support, even though I think his dad is an asshole of the first degree.
Has anyone had similar problems to this? I think the kid has a future in boxing and had hoped to put him in the GGs for 2014, see how he progresses, and take it from there. I have dreams of him maybe at least trying out for the 2016 Olympic team. His dad already sees him turning pro. It is getting more and more frustrating. I am a third generation boxer, and my dad, who was pretty good, was of the mindset that a dad and a son don't always make the best team -- my dad worked my corner exactly once in the GGs and then only because my own trainer was down with a bad flu.
I don't want to abandon the boy, but my interaction with his dad has gone from bad to worse. He makes his son nervous even when he comes to the gym to see him spar -- imagine what it will be like with this mofo screaming at ringside during his son's first amateur competition. Anybody have any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2012, 01:48 AM   #2
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

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Originally Posted by Uppercut 78 View Post
Hey Guys-
I am a trainer who has been working for the last 18 months with a pretty talented kid who has just turned 18. The kid had originally been taught to box by his boxer wannabe dad -- he allegedly had boxed in college and the Navy, but if he did he wasn't very good, because when I started teaching his son it took me nearly 5 months to get him to unlearn some of what the young man was doing wrong.
I am in my late 57 and I was a moderately successful amateur; made it to the GG semifinals as a novice, and to the finals when I was in the open class, never won a GG championship, but did very well in my years in "white collar" boxing. I don't pretend I was a great boxer but I am a good coach. I have spent enormous amounts of time with this young fighter, and in the last 7 months we have really accomplished a lot -- I am very proud at having improved his offense and defense, and I have really taught him how to cut off the ring better than some young pros I've seen. He is a pretty hard banger with both hands, particularly his right.
Here is the problem. I don't think he is ready for the upcoming Golden Gloves beginning Jan 13, and I have repeatedly told his dad this. The kid (I am reluctant to use his name in case the dad or any of his buds are members here) The young man has not had nearly enough sparring yet in my view. When he does spar he can get either gun-shy or overzealous; these are things we are working on. I also had to look high and low to find hima southpaw to spar, as our gym has almost no lefties. I spent 2 weeks phoning and emailing other boxing gyms to get the southpaw we finally came up with. I have worked my ass off with this kid, and I believe I am right about wanting him to wait, but his dad registered him already despite my cautions.
I was going to tell his dad that he could find another guy to work the corner, or do it himself. But then I realized that that is unfair to the kid -- even if he loses his first novice bout I feel that I really owe him my presence and my support, even though I think his dad is an asshole of the first degree.
Has anyone had similar problems to this? I think the kid has a future in boxing and had hoped to put him in the GGs for 2014, see how he progresses, and take it from there. I have dreams of him maybe at least trying out for the 2016 Olympic team. His dad already sees him turning pro. It is getting more and more frustrating. I am a third generation boxer, and my dad, who was pretty good, was of the mindset that a dad and a son don't always make the best team -- my dad worked my corner exactly once in the GGs and then only because my own trainer was down with a bad flu.
I don't want to abandon the boy, but my interaction with his dad has gone from bad to worse. He makes his son nervous even when he comes to the gym to see him spar -- imagine what it will be like with this mofo screaming at ringside during his son's first amateur competition. Anybody have any thoughts? Thanks.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:27 AM   #3
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Flat out tell the dad he's not ready. Tell him you wouldn't work his corner and that he hasn't had enough experience and that it would hurt the kid to lose just because he's green; speak with authority and say you know what the GG's are like (unlike him, which you don't have to say, but he'll have no answer for). And tell the kid. The kid can resist if the father goes beserk and pushes him to go through with it. If time draws near and both are still stubbornly willing, then step in and do the best you can. Those are my thoughts.
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Old 12-29-2012, 02:50 AM   #4
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Take this as a learning tournament, dont argue with the dad it will only make things worse. If they want to move thing along to fast try and show him film of talented fighter the move to fast and were ruined ( Roy Hammond). Try and get in tune with the dad for the kids benefit. If you try to work with him point out flaws and let his see them, by allowing him to assist you. Plus while in the gym value some of his input for some people a little shown respect goes a long way. If you can't find a way to get along with the dad you will probably lose a chance to have a great experience with a good boxer. You have to remember, with most people its family first and everybody esle second. If you are giving the dad the vibe the he doesn't know anything and you know it all you are going to continue to have problems. Your first paragraph shows you donot respect the dad or his efforts, but you should he was smart enough to find his kid a new coach, and I'm assuming he just still want to be involve with his sons boxing career. Sometime you can solve your problems with other people by making a change in yourself.
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Old 12-29-2012, 03:44 AM   #5
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How are you going to know when he's ready? Competing is different to sparring, the experience will do him good either way. Why do you have such high expectations for him when he hasn't had a bout yet? Sounds like you and Dad are setting him up for a fall either way. It's not helpful for you to be making competition some big deal, let him get in there and make his mistakes. Try not to be so emotionally involved either, that's not a good thing for a coach.
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Old 12-29-2012, 11:56 AM   #6
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You've been working with him for 18 months and he's 18...If he isn't ready now, he probably never will be. I understand wanting everything to be right, having been in that situation myself, but, looking back, I think I was unfair to that boxer by holding him back. Let him compete, he's not getting any younger.
Psycho dads aren't much fun. I dealt with one by picking the kid up and driving him to the gym, and lying to his dad about which days his son sparred. The father, son, and I are all still friends 20 years later. On the other hand, I flat out refused to work with another kid because of his father, and we had been friends for nearly 30 years.
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Old 12-29-2012, 10:43 PM   #7
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

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Originally Posted by greynotsoold View Post
You've been working with him for 18 months and he's 18...If he isn't ready now, he probably never will be. I understand wanting everything to be right, having been in that situation myself, but, looking back, I think I was unfair to that boxer by holding him back. Let him compete, he's not getting any younger.
Psycho dads aren't much fun. I dealt with one by picking the kid up and driving him to the gym, and lying to his dad about which days his son sparred. The father, son, and I are all still friends 20 years later. On the other hand, I flat out refused to work with another kid because of his father, and we had been friends for nearly 30 years.
Didn't realize it was 18 months...I'm inclined to agree.
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Old 12-30-2012, 06:11 AM   #8
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

Some people are plain stupid in terms of there boxing understanding - let him go, if he's got anything about him he'll come back. Let him fight when your ready to let him fight. Your the trainer, your the boss.

If the boxer respects your opinion enough he won't fight- if not let him fight but not with you there. He didn't respect your opinion enough to wait. People are ready at different times. If he's being trained like an idiot then you have to spend time retraining which is annoying - you know best.

If they go somewhere else let them- any success he enjoys will be down to you anyway.
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Old 12-30-2012, 09:45 AM   #9
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

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Some people are plain stupid in terms of there boxing understanding - let him go, if he's got anything about him he'll come back. Let him fight when your ready to let him fight. Your the trainer, your the boss.

If the boxer respects your opinion enough he won't fight- if not let him fight but not with you there. He didn't respect your opinion enough to wait. People are ready at different times. If he's being trained like an idiot then you have to spend time retraining which is annoying - you know best.

If they go somewhere else let them- any success he enjoys will be down to you anyway.
I Agree with this. Don't send the kid to the wolves, because he will have southpaws like myself who have been training like dogs for the past two years hungry like wolves sparring pros/ams/open/novice/subnovice boxers. On a serious note, you need to be honest with the kid and his dad, and set them straight, tell them HE IS NOT READY, and he can be seriously hurt by his biased opinion on his son's abilities.
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Old 12-30-2012, 10:41 AM   #10
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

If I was a trainer I'd flat out refuse to let parents in the gym, It seems to be nothing but hassle.
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Old 12-30-2012, 11:28 AM   #11
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If I was a trainer I'd flat out refuse to let parents in the gym, It seems to be nothing but hassle.
Many clubs do this now. In the UK, no adults should be allowed in the gym unless they have a CRB (Criminal Records Bureau) check as far as I know.

Probably saves a lot of hassle.
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Old 12-30-2012, 01:59 PM   #12
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That's how it should be. I've read so many stories where the dad feels the need to get involved. I'd imagine angel Garcia would be a trainers nightmare
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:09 PM   #13
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18 months? and still not ready fro a amateur bout? i dont think your boxer is that talented
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Old 12-30-2012, 03:17 PM   #14
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Default Re: Trainer dealing with boxer's difficult dad

whats the matter with you ????? i don't give a shit if you like is dad or not the kid needs is family outside the gym witch is most of the time ,more impotently the lad needs positive team around him not a coach deserting a boxer that trusts him ,,,,even though i don't no you ,but i do respect my elders & your history ,,,so this is what I'm thinking

the lad isn't going to get any better training than you've gave him over the past month's other wise by the sounds of it is dad would have taken him else where & his dad will always think he could do better than you but knows he can't ,,allot of that is just hot air it's simply a case of is dad wanting his kid to be the best,,this happens allot

you need to be in the corner to give advise ,,what if something bad happens to the boxer & why wasn't is coach meaning you in is corner ,,try to get on with the dad for the well being of the kid

at the end of the day if you get pressure of parents you need to nip it in the butt at the beginning not months down the line when the boxer needs you

hope all go's well good luck
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Old 12-30-2012, 04:00 PM   #15
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Tell him your against it. state your reasons why, if he still wants to go then be there for him,. Like nacho when marquez fought mayweather
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