Coach

Coach


(birds chirping)
(hammering)
– I was an outdoor educator,
I ran a program called:
The Survival Wilderness
Adventure Training.
I taught at risk
youth survival skills.
It was a 10 week program.
The final three days,
two night was a camp out,
where they culminated
all the skills
that I taught them beforehand.
And I had a little kid,
had done time in juvy,
and he had his tattoos,
and pretty tough kid.
It was nighttime, he came
up to me and he was crying.
And he said, “Hey, I got
to talk to you mister.”
So, I thought he hit somebody,
or I thought something
bad had happened.
So, he came up to me and gave
me a hug and said, “Hey.”
He said, “Thanks for
bringing me out here,
“because I’ve never seen
so many stars in the sky.
“I can’t believe
there’s so many stars.”
He said that, “I’ve never
seen this, this is beautiful.”
He said, “I never look up.”
He said, “I’m
always worried about
“looking over my shoulder,
or back and around.”
And, I’ll never forget that,
because I realized that
it does matter what we do.
It does matter that
I’m still here.
– [Gavin] He always tells me,
the first day you miss
in the gym, you know.
But, the second day
you miss in the gym,
your opponent knows.
The third day you miss in the
gym, the whole world knows.
– Inside our head, is a ring.
We’re always fighting.
We’re always fighting
with ourselves,
whether we admit it or not.
And they can be scared,
before that fight,
and if they can overcome
that, they can do anything.
(crowd yelling)
I want them to be champions
in and out of the ring.
(crowd cheering)
I’m trying to get
in his head and say,
listen, you already won.
I want you to envision
yourself winning.
I want to see you
positive right now.
We worked too hard for this.
You’ve got the condition, man.
– Yeah, no we’re there.
– You’re all good
man, easy work.
(crowd yelling)
Then I start wrapping,
so how does that feel?
See if we can do that,
I want that right hand,
I want hook going, I want
that eight, I want that three.
Giving him this little feedback,
then I start warming him up,
then I get him breathing.
Then I get him
relaxed, like zen.
Oh, you’re going to knock
this guy out, you know.
Then they go, “Coach, you
think I’m going to win?”
Yeah, we got this.
You know, so more confidence,
more confidence,
more confidence.
You have to fight all
those human conditions,
and the more you
prepare yourself,
mentally, physically,
spiritually, heart,
the more that you
can accomplish that
in that ring, in that moment.
(shouting)
And then, all the challenges
that you going to face in life.
(crowd cheering)
– There you go, baby!
(“Heaven” by Los Lonely Boys)
(garage door rolling)
– [Chris] Good to see you, Levi.
Everything good?
You’re looking as
strong as can be.
You ready?
– Yeah.
– Shooter McGavin!
Sup my boy?
– What’s up, Coach?
How you doing?
– [Chris] Good man, what’s new?
You ready?
– I’m ready, Coach.
– Sisco’s supposed to be here,
but look at him running late.
He ain’t going to
be in the Marines,
if he’s going to be
running late like that.
Think I’ll dog him.
– He calls me, he says,
“I’m at gym, you coming?”
(laughing)
– Yeah, he pushes us every day.
– I expect Coach
to kick our ass.
(laughing)
That’s honestly what I expect,
and most of the
time, he does it.
– There he is.
What’s up man, you ready?
How you been, man?
– Good.
(rap music)
– Let’s go guys!
There you go, that’s it.
We got to give it
some heart, let’s go.
100%, where you
at, where you at!
Sprint, don’t get run over!
That’s the hustle, right there.
That’s the hustle, keep it up!
Let’s go, big angel.
Welcome back.
Alright, take it in!
Nice job.
I find a lot of kids,
that when they’d come out,
they really don’t want to box.
And that’s okay, I
just let them train,
and they don’t have to
get in there and fight.
Like this, okay?
Remember I said, like
you’re holding a sword?
He might be good
at something else.
He might have some amazing
talents as a singer,
or as a baseball player, or
you know, some other thing.
Your son, how old is he?
– Three.
– Man, they’re good when
they’re little like that, man.
Tip, tip!
I think that’s
important, as a coach,
is to understand
the person first.
Let’s go, work, work, work!
Because then you can
bring out their talents.
– It will start with a…
(hissing)
And then, once I
start to go more,
I’ll start to get
tired sometimes.
Or, when I start to go, like,
want to do a hard punch,
I’ll go,
(grunting)
Like, I’ll make a sound like,
because I feel like I’m
getting more behind it.
I love doing mitts with Coach.
Just the connection,
it feels good.
When you land a
punch, when it hits,
like that pop, pow, pow, pow.
Oh, I love it.
(loud beep)
– Time!
Every time he
punches, you breathe.
(shouting)
(breathing heavy)
I’m getting a little tired.
– [Sisco] He’s just like
that, he likes to work hard.
Did you see him?
He was working out with us too.
– Who going to do it, Gavin?
Who can be the champion, Gavin?
– The most difficult is,
might be the abs at the end.
– Yeah, that’s the worst part.
(laughing)
– [Chris] His brother’s keepers.
– [Gavin] And he fought,
in the days where it
was a little bit harder,
it was a little bit more rough.
– When I row, I want to
row right here, right here.
– To fight on the
same card as someone
like Luis Cesar Chavez,
who is considered, like, the
Mexican greatest of all time.
To be able to get
there, at that level,
in his time, at his prime,
and fight on that card?
It’s a legend to me.
(bell rings)
(man shouting)
– I gained the
name, Little Killer.
So, when I was boxing
that was my boxing name.
I got my start when I was
probably about seven years old.
I amateur until I was 17,
and won the golden gloves.
Seem I ended up six and
six in professional boxing.
I won a lot of my early
fights by knockout.
(cheering)
I was a pretty tough kid,
so I got in a lot
of street fights,
which ended up in
a lot of trouble.
And made a lot of mistakes,
that if I would have had
somebody telling me otherwise,
I wouldn’t have gotten in
a lot of those problems.
I had to join the Marines,
got some strict discipline,
and I love the Marines.
And once I started learning
how to be a leader,
my mindset just changed.
– I’m joining the
Marines, like him.
This December, I leave
for basic training.
So, after the Marines,
I want to come back.
(shouting)
(mitts boxing)
I’m going to be his
first real champion.
– I go to school, I do
work, I do all that stuff.
Here is where it’s like, I
really have my communication.
You know what I mean?
– One, two, three, four,
five, six, seven, eight.
– [Chris] The boxing is not
only, we box and then that’s it.
You know, that’s family.
There’s families
getting together,
and they come and
they bring the kid.
And the kid gets in there,
and works, and spars.
And mom and dad see it, and
that’s what I grew up with.
– [Gavin] It’s almost like
a home away from home.
It’s crazy, he’s like
an uncle, you know?
He’s like that
uncle that you have,
and he’s always there for you.
He’s there for you in every
way you could possibly imagine.
More so than a coach would be.
– Come on, young one!
(groaning)
– He’s like a family
member, he really is.
I consider him family.
(knocking)
– [Chris] Thought you were going
to beat me up there, Gavin.
– [Gavin] Honestly I thought
I was going to, myself.
– [Chris] Hey, do you
have Sisco’s number?
Text him, tell him Coach said
make sure he’s there at 3:00.
– [Gavin] Coach like
a father figure.
– [Chris] Every time you beat
me, you get one of these, man.
He calls me, and he makes sure
that I’m done my homework.
Makes sure I’m like, getting
my run in, stuff like that.
I love playing chess with him,
even though I’ve only
won once or twice.
(laughing)
– You know, the
more you play chess,
the more you realize that,
especially if you’re
playing with somebody
that can whoop you,
but you learn how to
deal with your mistakes.
Long live the king.
– [Gavin] It’s alright, Coach.
– Check you.
– Why?
Coach be always
telling me to hurry up.
(laughing)
It takes me like,
two, three minutes.
He’s a quick thinker.
I have nothing to say,
but that Coach is a
good man, honestly.
– [Chris] Oh, that
was good move, Gavin.
– [Gavin] He’s not angry around
us, you know what I mean?
He doesn’t bring out that
towards us, you know?
– Another one for me.
(mitts boxing)
– Come on man, I’m
too fast for you.
– [Gavin] Always good vibes,
that’s all I ever get
from Coach, you know?
– So, you got to slow it down.
Hold on, hold on, let
me rewind it to slow.
(laughing)
– No, I did it.
Stare, stare!
– No, you got to look in it.
See, it’s right there.
(laughing)
what I was telling Levi is that,
you know, I don’t
care, you know.
You might win some,
you might lose some,
but have a big heart.
And if you got a big heart,
man, you’ve already won.
See, you’ll never lose
another fight in your life.
– [Announcer] The
third, and final round!
(crowd cheering)
(bell rings)
(crowd shouting)
Two minutes, Levi, whatever
you got in two minutes!
– Two minutes, body, body!
Yeah, good job Levi!
Good job Levi, you got it.
Levi fought, and
so automatically I
went to my phone,
and I was going to, you know,
text Randi and tell
her about that.
– [Announcer] Levi!
– Tell her about the
win, but I, can’t though.
You know, so.
My daughter Randi Alyssa Valdez,
she died last May 12th.
And then I had another
daughter Krista.
Krista Anne Valdez,
she died when she was
17 in a car accident.
So, I lost both of my daughters.
The sky fell, man, the sky fell.
I mean, I don’t know.
It’s been like that ever since.
You know, your children,
you don’t expect that.
I’m constantly looking at
the stars, and remembering.
– [Levi] Even though I
know he’s in hurting,
and he’s not all there,
but he still comes in.
He still holds it together,
he keeps his composure.
And, he still preaches the same.
No matter how bad things get,
he still tries to find the light
himself, and shed it on me.
– Beautiful, you did it man.
Nice work.
– Me and Coach Chris have
been through some things,
we’ve lost people who
meant the world to us.
I lost one of my best friends
in the last six months,
due to some of the gang
violence in this city.
(shouting)
And I brought him in here,
and he was training
with me side by side.
And we worked very hard.
Those types of things,
they change your outlook.
They make you want to reach
out to people that need it.
Because my friend needed it.
Good pace.
And, it hurts me that I
couldn’t touch him enough,
couldn’t pull him out of it.
But I know that the moments
that we shared in here,
they’re precious to me.
And I tried, exactly.
It broke my heart.
(breathing deeply)
Broke my heart, he’s
a good friend of mine.
I just wanted to get
him out of there.
(loud beep)
(crying)
He lived every day without fear.
I can say that much about him,
and that’s why I live
my life the way I do.
Every single day I come in
here, I work my butt off.
(grunting)
– It’s not over!
– Well first, I think
every kid’s at risk.
Corazon grande.
We get kids from
all walks in life.
We get kids that are in gangs.
We get kids that
are not in gangs.
We got kids that are doing well,
and we got a mixture
of all kinds of kids.
That’s the beauty about boxing,
but the one common thread?
With the kids I
got, they’re tough.
And if they’re not tough,
they think they’re tough.
– If they don’t have this place,
they’ll stick around
their friends.
And if their friends
aren’t in the best places,
they’ll fall into some
of the same bad habits.
And he’ll reach 10 kids.
If he reaches 10 kids down
the road, you got a hundred.
– Mama says, stupid
is what stupid does.
– [Levi] One that sticks around?
That makes it all worth it.
– Careful, Gavin!
Come on Gavin, you’re
messing up the whole routine!
I don’t want them to have any
limitations in their lives.
I want them to know
that they can do that,
because they get
in there and fight.
Water it up, here you go.
I’m looking for the
bigger challenges.
You know, college,
getting their job.
You know, maybe if
you got a family,
how are you going to react to
hard situations in your life?
Okay, so that’s how
you’re going to get good.
– I got to keep my hands up.
– Hands up man, hands
up, elbows and chin down.
And then, they see if
they can do that hard work
out in the gym,
then they realize that they
can become something in life.
You know, there was times when
I just feel like quitting.
Just feel sorry for myself,
and then I realize that’s no
answer to anything, you know?
You know, I can’t understand why
my daughters were
taken before me.
But, there’s a reason I’m here.
And all this stuff
that I tell my kids,
“Oh, you got to tough this out.”
Or, “You got to do this.”
I hear myself saying
that to me, you know?
I hear myself saying,
“Pick yourself up.”
And, you know, “You’re better
than this, go do something.”
And you know, “Be a better
man, and work harder.”
And you know, all the
things I’m telling them.
So, I can’t give up, and I
got to make myself better,
and keep doing what I’m doing.
(grunting)
Yeah, good to see you man.
You know, every day.
One more day, one more round.
I didn’t hear the bell.
I’m going to wait
until I hear that bell.

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