The motivation for good or bad which we get from our families is huge. They can either destroy our dreams or help us create them. Most of the boxers in the Contender series are strongly supported by their families. The organisers recognise this fact by allowing families to live close to the Contender Gymnasium.
"The Contender" is a reality TV show organised by Sylvester Stallone and Sugar Ray Leonard. 16 top middleweight boxers compete for a chance at boxing glory and a million dollars. Each week a losing boxer leaves the show.
You would imagine these young boxers would be motivated by the glory and the money but, surprisingly, they seem to be motivated far more by love of their families. If they mention the money it is always along with the thought that it will provide a better life for their families. These tough young men are often in tears as they think of their families.
Anthony Bonsante was driven by love of his family to choose as his opponent one of the weaker boxers so that he could progress further in the competition. This annoyed his team members who had agreed that he should choose a stronger opponent. However, he put family first and was willing to upset his team mates in the process. Predictably he knocked out his opponent and stayed on in the competition. Most of his team members later forgave him for chosing a weaker boxer for his opponent. They realised that boxing is, ultimately, an individual sport.
Joey Gilbert, one of the boxers, put the whole Contender series in perspective. He was surprised but delighted to pick up the phone and find himself speaking to his soldier dad who had come home from Afghanistan. He knew the comparative value of boxing glory and having a dad who was still alive: "To hell with all this stuff. My dad is home; that is all that matters. I can sleep at night. I can go home with a smile on my face."
In one of the later episodes of the first series of fights, Tarick Salmaci called out Juan de la Rosa, a young but very successful boxer, who has all the ideals and energy of youth. Juan believes you have to go the hard way if you want to achieve greatness. This means being ready to fight tough opponents.
Juan is young and has nothing to lose. He is too young to have a wife and kids to motivate him but he has a very influential person in his life. This person is his grandfather who had encouraged him to become a boxer. His grandfather died over a year ago but lives on in Juan's memory.
Juan hangs his grandfather's picture around his neck before and after every fight: "This reminds me of what I am here for." He feels his grandfather's presence when he boxes. Juan is a power puncher and is extremely confident but he looks a young innocent until he knocks you out!
"My grandfather told me there would always be obstacles in the way. I just want to go through them. I want my name up in lights; so did he. He will push me all the way."
Juan's dad also supported him. "I am happy my dad is here!" His dad encouraged him with comments like "Let's win".
Juan's opponent Tarick Salmaci from Detroit was also motivated by his family:
"My daughter is two and a half years old. She is the joy of my life. The energy I get from my daughter is unexplainable. I deserve this shot because I've worked hard for it all my life. I'm doing this for my family - my wife and my daughter - so that we have a better life. When I am in the locker room I visualise myself in the ring and think of what is at stake."
Both men were highly motivated for their fight. Tarick is older and more experienced. He is a boxer. Juan is a puncher and he has enormous energy and a great record behind him. He is only 18 years old.
Tarick allowed Juan to make a great start and was hurt early in the fight. Juan won the first round. He punched non stop and landed some powerful blows.
Tarick's cornerman said: "You don't have all day to do this. You have right now to do this."
Tarick won round two but Juan won round three. Tarik's age began to tell as he tired more quickly and was missing Juan with his punches.
Again Tarick's cornerman did his best to motivate him: "You don't need close rounds; you need winning rounds. You didn't come here to lose did you?"
Tarick won round 4. His cornerman was remorseless: "You've got to give it everything to win. You've got to show heart, Tarick."
In round 5, Tarick looked utterly exhausted but fought back fiercely. Juan boxed with all the energy and fury of youthful ambition. The crowd went wild.
Juan won the fight. He did not forget to kiss the photo of his granddad. "My Granddad was in there saying: 'Don't give up! Don't give up.' I didn't give up; I just kept punching."
Tarick had lost but he was content: "I've had my shot now and it's a relief off my chest and I can now get on with my life."
One of the organisers commented: "Juan de la Rosa should thank God that Tarick was not a few years younger."
We are all motivated by family and mentors (the equivalent of corner men). If we can enlist their support in fulfilling our dreams, we will progress faster and further.
Of course, our progress still depends ultimately on our own efforts. Tarick had great family support and a brilliant cornerman but still lost.
About the author
John Watson is an award winning teacher and martial arts instructor. He has recently written two books about achieving your goals and dreams.
They can both be found on his website http://www.motivationtoday.com along with a daily motivational message.
The title of the first book is "36 Laws To Ignite Your Inner Power And Realize Your Dreams Now! - Acronyms, Stories, Pictures And Quotes...Easy To Remember And Use Everyday To Grab Your Life And Soar With The Eagles". The book can be found at this URL: http://www.motivationtoday.com/36_laws.php
The book uses acronyms, stories, pictures and quotations to help readers remember 36 laws that can gradually transform your life if you apply them.
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