Boxers and MMA fighters never go into the ring or the cage without one or two or even three people in their corner. One of them takes the lead and shouts instructions for the fighter to follow. The corner’s perspective on what’s happening during the fight is different from what the fighter thinks is going on.
How do you know who to have in your corner?
Trust is imperative because the opportunity that the cornerman sees — and starts shouting about — won’t exist forever. The fighter has to move when he or she hears the command. Most people don’t have that level of trust with spouses, girl-friends or even regular friends. The corner man relationship is built up over time and through shared experience.
Everyone needs something different from the people they trust to have in their corner.
How do you pick a good cornerman (cornerperson)?
Here’s an example of a corner man chastising his fighter after a loss. The corner man is married to the female fighter. At the time, they’d been together over 18 years. The conversation after the fight starts around 7:30 minutes of this BBC Four documentary about female cage fighters.
The man swears often during his tirade. Listen with earphones if there are people around who would be offended.
BBC Four — MMA Documentary – Women Cage Fighters – Part 2
The berating this coach is giving his fighter wouldn’t work for me. Would it work for you?
Your spouse or significant other serves a different role from corner man. It might work and I’m sure it does work for some people. But for the most part, separating your work or hobby functions and outcomes, from your marriage or relationship, allows for people to fulfill their role as gentle, home recovery space and not the role of sorting out what went wrong and how to fix it. These are two separate and important roles that are complicated and difficult for one person to handle well. Each role requires a different point of view — of you and what you need.
Have you made a good selection?
I don’t advise choosing boyfriends, wives, etc. to be the one you turn to when you need a “snap out of it” slap or reinforcement for your efforts. Find someone else to do that for you.
You can trust a good corner man to get you sorted out with your head on straight in a minute or two of talking to you.
Your words leave a mark
I found this great story written by a boxing coach and posted on his “Your Corner Man” blog.
“I said….“why didn’t you just come over and say hello?”
“Well sir,” he said, “I remembered how you used to yell at the kids for interrupting you so I thought I would just wait ’till you came over. You’re ugly when you’re mad, Coach” he said.”