The cornerstone to success in boxing and networking

I spotted him crying and upset from across the gym.

On the weekends, I coach boxing to young boys and teenagers. A few weeks ago, I had demonstrated a boxing combo to the class and instructed them to practice it on the bags, whilst I went around and checked everyone's technique.

For one particular boy, I had asked his dad to keep an eye on him as he constantly kept losing his stance and technique.

After working with another student I turned around and saw (let's call him S) crying and getting more and more upset and his dad was getting more and more frustrated with him.

With his eyes full of tears, S turned to his dad and said that he feels like using the 'F' word as I started to walk towards them, which really got his dad into a twist.

I approached them calmly, bent down so I was at eye level with S and asked him if he can tell me why he seems to be so upset.

His dad stepped back. S looked at me and with tears running down his eyes and snot starting to make an appearance from his nose and he said, "I can't do it right. I always keep getting it wrong. I am rubbish at boxing!"

"Why do you feel that way?", I asked.

"I have been coming here before and I still can't do it right."

"Have you ever given up in the class?"


"Have you been so good that I made you the leader for the whole class?"


"How many time have I made you the leader because you were working so hard?"

"Many times.", came the response.

"Exactly! I don't care if you can't do the techniques perfectly, that will come with time. I care that you are putting in effort and not giving up. As a matter of fact, I have been so impressed by your attitude that I made you the leader many times to lead the whole class.

But, you need to be kind to yourself. Have respect for yourself. Carry yourself like a king, because if you don't respect yourself, why would anyone else respect you? Keep coming to the sessions and keep working like you have been doing. I will help you and technique will come with time. Just remember, kings don't quit!"

Since then, "Kings don't quit!" has become a catch phrase for our class and S has never been the same. He has a different look in his eyes. Before he just worked hard. Now he attacks his workouts!

His confidence is through the roof and his dad has not since needed to be present in the class.

Witnessing this change and seeing his progress made me reflect on this and I thought about all my interactions when I am networking and talking with others around me outside of the gym.

Susan RoAne said that, "Respect of people is the cornerstone of communication & networking."

Success in networking only comes when we show respect to other people, but it starts with us. We need to respect ourselves first, because we cannot give when we do not own.

I am curious to know, what are you doing to cultivate self respect and how do you demonstrate respect to people in your personal and professional lives?

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