Defining line between coach and trainer

Kids Martial Arts in Kansas City - Brass Boxing & Jiu Jitsu

They call this guy Coach, because he is their coach.

He is THE Brass Boxing Coach.  Don't YOU forget it.

He's not some "trainer" playing coach, although he is certified, or some fellow athlete wearing the coaches hat while the REAL coach is out, or a homie corning his boy WHO doesn't actually have a coach. 

He's a real coach.  The kind who truly impacts the lives he touches, kids and adults alike. 

SOME may not know the depths of his career because Austen is not a braggart, but that's okay because I am :)

Ten years ago he was at the end of his short but very successful Boxing carreer after a devastating diagnosis of a genetic eye disorder.  He had already been investing his time with the other youngsters so it was easy to step into full time coaching. 

Do you how much a traditional Boxing Coach gets paid? NOTHING. It's all volunteer! Full time job by day (Austen waited tables a chilli's at the time) then training youth for a couple hours every night. Likewise, it is free for youth to box in traditional boxing gyms.  It truly is "good for the community" in low income underprivileged neighborhoods. 

Austen took these young knuckleheads and was changing their lives.  With in a year he had his own Boxing team which traveled and competed regularly, often on his own "Cilli's dime".   These kids had so many issues, cleanliness, punctuation, and attitude but he was changing them.  There was one student in particular who usually smelled of meth and crack because his mom was a heavy drug user.  It wasn't long before Austen was not only giving him a ride and making him shower at the gym before training, but he was also washing his clothes for him.  Austen would take home this young man's training clothes, wash them and bring them back folded and clean for the following days practice.  Within a few months he was taking home the whole teams clothes for a wash before the next days practice.
I was busy complaining of the money and time he spent, he was busy changing lives.

You know what else?  He was making winners. Tournament after tournament, he was collecting wins.  Austen has cornered hundreds HUNDREDS  (dare i say a thousand) of boys and girls, men and women over the past 10 years.    He has cornered in tiny local shows, to the UFC, traveling to EVERY state in the US,  Canada and the other side of the WORLD. Hours and hours coaching young men and women through Council, often over the phone.  He sent his favorite fighters and closest friends away to fight where they could grow beyond what he could offer.  He has cornered men to a victorious win with seconds to go in the biggest fight promotion today.  He's also cornered heart BREAKING loses and stood by a broken fighter. He has lost his best friend and one of the greatest talents Boxing ever had to meth and intravenous drug use.  At 30 Austen suffered from severe and painful onset of carpal tunnel after repeated blows of holding mitts, but that didn't stop him.  He is a coach, in his gut, in his sole, in the marrow of his bones. 

BUT THEN it's funny how business changes people.  It started with a dream.  Ya know, if we have our own gym, we can help more people.  We were scouting Real Estate (dreaming) before the first Title Boxing ever popped up. Years later we found out maintaining a dream and starting a business was far more complicated than we could have ever predicted. 

Brass has risen like a phoenix out of the ashes because of the effort of our close family unit. The FORD Family.  That's "who" Brass is, encase YOU were wondering.

It would be easy for SOME fighters to question why Austen doesn't hold mitts for them.  PSH and why should he?  Because you said "i wanna be a fighter, I'm ready"?.  Please, I've said that.  Because you show up to spar once a week?  It's not enough Bruh, not for the attention of that man.  Because you offered a piece of your non-existent purse?  Nah, he doesn't do it for money, any one that knows Austen knows that.  At this stage in Austen's life he trains those who capture his heart. And who is that?  The ones that show up all week, EVERY week.  The ones who balance bag work, partner drills, shadow boxing, sparring on top of basic running and lifting.  The ones who actually deserve some mitt time, HOMIE. 

It would also be easy for SOMEONE to think that because you teach a few fitness boxing classes, that you are the Boxing Coach.  But I assure you, YOU are mistaken.  Your "professional credibility" doesn't sniff the reputation of Austen Ford. 
 
BTW If you're the only one calling yourself coach, a coach you are NOT.

For those who wish to receive the knowledge and love of Austen, it's pretty simple. . . Show up consistently and be COACHABLE.  I know what YOU'RE thinking and just showing up the last two weeks of fight camp wont get it.   At this stage, Austen only invest in an athlete what an athlete invest in himself.  It's the only way.  For the guy who wants it all, all the work, all the pain, all the hours, all the glory, Austen can not deny you and the sky's the limit.

Austen is one of the best coaches in Kansas City and possibly the best corner man in the game.  Our continued success as the Brass team will be a reminder of that. 

And to the hater, YOU don't know jack shit about THIS shit, what it means to be a coach.




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