I, like many women, have been searching for the ideal partner for a long time. My ideal man, however, was different – he didn’t have green eyes, he wasn’t romantic, and didn’t always smell good… these things didn’t really matter to me. I was looking for a man who was smart, agile, experienced, in control of his body and, above all, who would not lose his head when I’d hit him.
That’s right, you guessed it. I was looking for the perfect sparring partner. 😉
Quebec has plenty of good boxers but, for us girls, « good boxer » doesn’t necessarily mean « good training partner ». So, how do you know if he’s the one?
The ideal sparring partner …
… makes you pay for your mistakes, but controls his power. For example, when you forget to make a defensive move after a combination, he immediately retaliates with a counterattack, but focuses on hitting you quickly as opposed to hitting you with brute force.
… reacts like your opponents would. Far from letting himself get hit without reacting, (#ifIwanttohitabagI’llgohitthebagdude) he reacts to each move you make with a punch, some head movement, or a counter attack. In short, he’s boxing.
… adjusts. Don’t be afraid to ask him to use less power. Save the recklessness for when you are in the ring with a woman in your own weight-class. When in the ring with him, you have nothing to prove, so if the punches hurt, let him know. And, if despite your requests, you still feel in danger, run away! He is not the chosen one!
… has nothing to prove. He understands that he is a man and you are woman. He is also aware that he is going easy on you and, therefore, you might be able to touch him. When that happens, he will not try to destroy you as if his life depended on it. Instead, he will increase the level of difficulty by being more active or by exerting more physical pressure.
Above, I gave the example of a woman with a physically stronger male partner, but remember that the principle is the same for a Junior who is in the ring with an Elite, and more experienced, girl. Moreover, when the technical skills of the woman are superior and the man knows how to control his power, both can improve from that work.
« Make it work once! »
That’s what my coach Mike always told me when I was having trouble executing his demands in sparring. He kept telling me, « if you can make it work just once with a guy, it’ll work with the girls! » And he was right, once again!
For a girl, wanting to « win the sparring » when you go up against a guy is not realistic – well, there are exceptions. 😉 Your benchmarks for assessing whether you have worked well should be different; set the bar lower.
They lived happily…
Yes, my training partners and I lived happily ever after and, more importantly, without a concussion!
I find myself extremely lucky that many of these rare pearls have crossed my path and helped me achieve my Olympic dream. I am infinitely grateful to them for their time, generosity and open-mindedness.
Girls, I hope you all find yours! 😉 #boxingfamily #respect #recognition