Who is she, you ask, she’s the previous years’ coach, one of them, but she wasn’t a coach this past year because she was busy -- busy fighting in the Olympics. How’s that for a good excuse, right?! Right. I’m not intimidated by a lot of people but she intimidates me. She’s a super sweet gal, an incredibly talented boxer whom I admire her for her talent and whom I’ve met before and have ran into few times before. The intimidation stemmed from her being the previous year’s coach and me taking on the role that was once hers. I knew going into Agency Wars Alumni Thunder that I had big shoes to fill, her shoes, and I had just spent the past 12 weeks trying to not only fill them but trying my hardest to bring my own uniqueness and style to coaching my team. Everyone else, including my fighters, had all been through this before. It was my first time though and I didn’t really have anything to go by beyond Clancy’s Boxing expecting me to try my best so that’s exactly what I did. I gave it my all. "They wouldn't have hired me for the position if they didn't believe I could do it", I reminded myself.
As soon as they called my first fighter up to the ring, I totally lost all that earlier feeling of intimidation and nerves. It was no longer about me and my nerves, it was about my fighter in the ring and me trying my best to coach them. Much later on, after the fights were done and I was home, I saw video of the introduction the announcer had made about me. He had ended his intro of me by telling the crowd that this was the case of Beauty and the Beast except for the fact that I was both. I loved that. I think if I had heard that when it was originally announced to the crowd that would have helped to calm my nerves but none the less I was quite quick to snap out of being nervous to being ultra focused on my team of fighters as soon as I stepped up to that ring to let my fighter step into it. It was now real, the fights were starting, and there was no room in my mental focus to be distraction by my own insecurities. My fighter needed me – they needed my undivided attention.
I think my favourite part of the entire show were those in between round moments I shared with each of my fighters, when I was trying to throw them some tips, some encouragement, and keep their head in the game. They all did so very well but it was heartbreaking to hear the judges give questionable calls on the fights. I tried not to show my disappointment with the judges’ calls because I knew my team was depending on me to keep them all focused and positive. Energy is contagious, both good energy and bad energy, and I didn’t want to set up the next fighter with negative energy going into their fight. That was tough.
I had trained my fighters the best to my ability and various spectators approached me after the show and commended my fighters on being boxers, not brawlers like Team Red, and showing great sportsmanship. After each of their fights I had reminded them to go thank their opponent and the Team Red coach. Only one of the 8 from Team Red acknowledged me in the ring but I stood there waiting for each of them after their fight. At the after party, as I was leaving, the last thing I did was go around and thank each Team Red fighter for the effort and heart they brought into the ring. It had been a fabulous event and I was very proud of all the fighters and those who made tonight happen.