Five lessons for kids from Pacman vs. Margarito
By Gina Abuyuan
For Yahoo! Southeast Asia
Manny Pacquiao does more than make Filipino hearts swell with pride and lower the crime rate to almost zero during a fight.
On a micro-scale—the family unit, the level that matters the most—he opens the opportunity for kids to learn what winning is all about, especially in this time and age when victory means crushing the enemy and gloating.
Sensing the frenzy online and my furious following of tweets on the fight, my twin sons asked me: “Why does Pacquiao always win?” “Because he practices like crazy!” I answer instantly.
According to Outliers by Malcolm Gladwell, successful individuals—The Beatles, Bill Gates, for example—have spent at least 10,000 hours of their lives doing what they have become famous for.
Make this fact relatable to your children by pointing out what they like to do, or what skill or talent they have. One of my sons, Mateo, is heavily into origami—not just the paper boat and and plane stuff, but the hardcore, intricate creations: trilobytes, crane with feet, five-petalled lily, frog. He even gave “lessons” recently at Expo Kid in Rockwell. He began last year on his own, sans teacher, and was hooked.
Lesson no. 1: Practice, train, and rehearse your skills every chance you get.
But Pacquiao didn’t ALWAYS win. In 2005, he lost to Erik Morales. After, Freddie Coach came into his life and has since been unbeatable. I point this out to Marco and Mateo. “To also win, you have to have a good coach or mentor.”
Sports journalist Allen Barra writes in The Daily Beast: “(Roach) has worked with dozens of champions over the years and learned his training skills from the great Eddie Futch. He told me Pacquiao is, ‘Maybe the greatest two-handed fighter I’ve ever seen. You see a lot of great fighters who have one great punch and a good second punch. Joe Louis had the greatest jab I’ve ever seen. Joe Frazier had a great left hook, Mike Tyson had a killer right. But Manny has the best punch of anyone in boxing with either his right or his left.’”
Lesson no. 2: Choose a teacher that will help you excel.
While many get caught up in what people think of them, putting image before purpose, Pacquiao remains focused on his goal: winning the fight. Training with a single-mindedness chronicled in other reports, he also remains unfazed by criticism and trash-talk.
Marco sums it up: “You mean he believes in himself?”
Exactly. Stand your ground.
Lesson no. 3: Be strong within so you can be strong on the outside.
Pacquiao is also known for “lifting up” his fights to God and country. I point this out to the boys.
We are not a religious family, but—I like to believe—a faithful one. Mateo considers his good night prayers a powerful call to a Divine Force to protect him. This is the same God that allows (because He could very well NOT) Pacman to win.
Lesson no. 4: When you call to God to help you in a fight, you’ll know you’ll win; and if you don’t, there’s a really good reason why.
In the last rounds, I show the twins how Pacquiao is just prancing around, when he could have easily battered Margarito into a human burrito.
Post-fight, the 8-time Welterweight Champion tells the commentator: “Boxing is not for killing each other.”
Marco, struggling for the words in his 6-year old vocabulary, remarks when I ask him what he thinks about Pacman letting Margarito go. “It’s only a game…it’s about compassion.”
Lesson no. 5: The gracious and merciful victor is the best kind of all.
Reposted From Gina Abuyuan of Yahoo! Southeast Asia