In addition to being great places to workout, boxing gyms can also be good places for comradeship. But just like working in an office, there may also be people present who are annoying to be around, and are hard to avoid.
Here are a few personalities you may find and some tips to deal with them.
1. The president of the woman haters’ club. Boxing is still a male-dominated sport, and some women get a less than warm welcome in the gyms. I understand a man who doesn’t want to spar with women, perhaps because they have been raised to not to hit women. But I don’t have much patience for men who think women who don’t belong in boxing. The best way to deal with this type is just to show up regularly at the gym. When they realize they can’t run a woman off with sexist snide comments and jokes, they’ll back off because they’ve got nothing else to run with.
2. The lost puppy. There’s at least one person in the gym that requires a lot of hand holding and encouragement. Unfortunately, some individuals’ neediness could keep others from getting their workout done. Be helpful, be nice, but when the same person starts clinging for dear life, send them over to the coach.
3. The talker. This could be anybody from a former champ who has endless advice for everybody to people who like to declare their political views to everybody within earshot. Just like the lost puppy, the talker can eat up a lot of time that could be better used working out. When the bell rings, cut the conversation and move over to the nearest piece of equipment.
4. The choosy sparring partner. Some people beg the coach to spar, but as soon as the coach matches them up with someone, they change their minds. But they will attempt to talk someone else into sparring with them whom they think is more appropriate. I knew guys who treated the sparring sessions – which are supposed to be opportunities to learn and build up skills – like regular boxing matches. It was important to have a sparring partner they could “win” against. Other fighters in the gym can refuse to spar with those individuals if they notice this behavior. Coaches can refuse to allow these folks to spar unless there is an attitude adjustment.
5. The people who whine. When I see someone like this in the gym, I automatically wonder: why are they here? My favorites are those who show up the first day and give a list of what they will not do in regards to working out. It does not matter if alternatives and moderation’s are offered because the people who complain don’t want to do those, either. Usually the complaints are coming from people who seem to not know what boxing was before they signed up for the gym. Wait them out. Most will drop out after awhile.
Don’t let a few characters ruin your workout.