Clint Powell: Lessons Learned In The Boxing Ring

Monday, August 7, 2017 - by Clint Powell
Clint Powell
Clint Powell

Recently I had the privilege of traveling to Independence, Mo. with the YMCA/YCAP boxing team to the Ringside International Boxing Tournament. It was a great trip. To watch people of all ages and from all backgrounds come together and give 100 percent in competition was worth the trip.

Being who I am and my brain being wired as it is…I heard things and saw things that I thought would help us business types as we move about our day, our world and our life. So with that being said I want to share four things I took away from my experience:  

1. Honest feedback is crucial – 

I was fortunate enough to hear some of the people who work the corners give feedback between rounds. It was awesome. Why? Because it was honest – it was in real time – it was from a perspective other than the one who was distracted by the punches being thrown. There was not a lot of back and forth – not a lot of discussion between trainers and fighters – there were not a lot of hurt feelings. The fighter listened and if they were smart they tried to make adjustments. I also noticed that the trainers usually had more experience than the fighters…those who had been there and done that or those who had trained others to go there and do that. The fighter knew that the trainer had his/her best interest at heart so for the most part there was 100 percent buy in. Wow!

What a great truth for us – do we surround ourselves with those we trust to provide us with honest, real time feedback? Do we encourage it? Do we take the time from the day-to-day fight to get away and let others give us their feedback on how they see the fight going? How else do we grow? How else do we learn?  

2. Spar with those better than you –  

This was one of those ‘yes’ moments. I heard a trainer tell a fighter after a fight – ‘you have got to start sparring and working out with fighters who are better than you.’ Then he turned around and said – ‘and by the way that goes for life. If you think you are the best at something in the group you hang out with – go find a different group….doesn’t matter if you’re an electrician, sales person, or whatever. Be around others who are better than you.’  Yes!  That was from trainer to a young kid and I just smiled.

I also thought how true that is for us.  How often we forget to surround ourselves with people who are better at something than we are – who is driven for crazy goals – who make us better at not only our jobs, but as humans.  

3. Don’t assume –  

I saw a lot of fighters who I thought would get walked over – who were beasts. I also saw match ups that at first glance I thought the ‘tough’ looking person was going to destroy their competition. only to see the opposite.

I started thinking how true that is in life. How many times do we worry about problems, conversations, situations, and changes and we build them up to be giants only to find out they were not that bad. We waste energy on stressing out over what they ‘look’ like instead of making sure we are the best we can be and realizing that we have all gotten through the ‘tough’ fights of life. Never assume things or people will be something they are not – let them prove it. Save your energy and spend it on the fight.  

4. Be willing – 

This is the one thing I loved and I think I admire about boxing and all competitors, whether they are in business, sports, or in life….be willing to take the punches. It is way easy to sit and watch and tell folks what you would do or how you would do it differently. That opinion means something if you have been in the ring, but if you haven’t then it simply is criticism. I admire those who are willing to stand inside the ring of competition and take the risks. To train to be the best…to have the courage to get knocked out or lose…who are humble enough to listen to honest feedback…who are smart enough to make the adjustments…those who have the ability to say ‘I don’t know if I am going to win or not…let’s go find out.’ That is a huge part of life.

Having the courage to make the hard decision, to chase your dreams, to listen to those who are directing you, to take the blows of life and business and fire back, to win or lose and go back to the gym the next week. We should all admire that in others and in ourselves. The credit goes to those who are in the arena. 

* * * 
Clint Powell is owner of Connect Marketing, an advertising agency in Chattanooga. He is a graduate of Carson-Newman College. He has spent years in radio and outdoor advertising sales and management and works on a contract basis with other ad agencies writing copy and formulating strategies. He has worked with hundreds of local and regional companies over the years and helped them develop marketing campaigns. He believes that life is all about connections and spends his time connecting businesses and people. He sat on the board of Y-Cap (YMCA Community Action Program) and helps with several other non-profits. Clint currently resides in East Ridge with two children. He hosts a weekly radio show, Marketing Mix Radio, with Rich Mozingo, the GM of Chattanooga Lookouts, on EASY 106.9. MMR is a joint venture between Whitfield Media Group and Connect Marketing and presented locally by CHI Memorial Hospital.


Alexander: Supreme Court Decision On State And Local Sales Taxes A Big Boost for Main Street Businesses, Local Governments

Senator Lamar Alexander today told the nation’s county leaders that a recent Supreme Court decision allowing states to collect state and local sales taxes from out-of-state sellers will be “a big boost for Main Street businesses and local governments.”    “Main Streets across America are under pressure. One reason is that the federal government has prevented state ... (click for more)

New MY SALON Suite Location Set To Open In Chattanooga

MY SALON Suite, an upscale salon suite franchise, announced on Thursday the opening of a new location in the Chattanooga market. Conveniently located at the intersection of Lee Highway and McCutcheon Road (7053 Lee Highway Road) in Chattanooga, the new MY SALON Suite location includes a collection of private, spacious suites for a variety of health and beauty professionals, ... (click for more)

5 People Shot On Cowart Street Early Sunday Morning

Five people were shot on Cowart Street early Sunday morning.   At approximately 2:55 a.m., Chattanooga Police responded to the area of 1400 Cowart Street on reports of multiple people shot. The shooting was near Coyote Jack's where one person was killed and another injured in a shooting in December 2017.   Upon arrival, police found several ... (click for more)

Body Of Robert Townsend, 60, Found In Dumpster On Laura Street

The body of Robert Townsend, 60, was found on Friday in a dumpster on Laura Street.   At approximately  11:19 a.m. , Chattanooga Police were dispatched to a deceased party in the 2500 block of Laura Street. Upon arrival, officers located the body inside the bin.     Violent Crimes Bureau responded to the scene. The decedent was transported to the ... (click for more)

Here We Go Again With The Same Cummings Highway, 12th Street Flooding

Here we go again with the same pitiful news reports about the Cummings Highway Interstate interchange with I-24 - Flooding yet again after a heavy rain.  TDOT is derelict in not having repaired this years ago.  How hard is it to get some excavators out there to dig up the collapsed drainage pipes which TDOT says are the cause of the flooding and replace them with ... (click for more)

Deal With The Graffiti Vandals

I travel to other neat old cities and don't see nearly the graffiti vandalism as in Chattanooga. Why do we allow one or two or three repeat vandals to mar our venerable Walnut Street Bridge, the pillars to the Holmberg Bridge, the remodeled Chief John Ross Market Street Bridge, the walls along our multi-million-dollar Riverwalk, our sidewalks, street signs and our old limestone ... (click for more)