“My own sons went from getting D’s to A’s and B’s,” Crisler said. “I adopted seven kids,” he said. “All three of my boys take boxing and I have one girl, Serenity, who is seven and learning to box. She is learning to protect herself from her brothers and it has worked.”
He added, “I am not teaching my kids to fight but to help others who can’t,” he said. “I won’t tolerate any of my kids getting suspended from school due to fighting and they know that. Any suspensions and they are out of boxing.”
Crisler has a 14-year-old student, Michael Lincoln, a freshmen at the high school, who loves boxing after a year of instruction. Lincoln is preparing to enter the Golden Gloves in Las Vegas.
“He wants to compete and has seen some of my national guys,” the coach said. “The kids know they have to have discipline to compete. They have to train hard. It’s a disciplined sport and you have to remain disciplined.”
Angela Lincoln, Michael’s mom, said she now appreciates the sport but she did have reservations at first about letting her son join.
She said her family was living in Death Valley for a long time. Michael Lincoln attended a small school there.
“Because there were horses there, horse riding was a big part of Michael’s life then,” Angela Lincoln said. “And at first I was opposed to boxing, but Rodney won me over. He is a great trainer and he told me he teaches the kids how not to get hit. He is a really good coach.”
Angela Lincoln said she has noticed a change in her son since he started to box.
“I noticed he is more responsible and that his dedication to this sport is intense, which is cool to see in him. He is doing well in his classes and is in all AP classes (advanced placement).
She also said Rodney’s talk on fighting has influenced him at school.
“My son sees a lot of fights at school,” she said. “The coach has taught him restraint and he doesn’t fight. He even helps to break up the fights.”
Michael Lincoln’s only regret is that he hadn’t started boxing at a younger age.
“I love the challenge of this sport,” he said. "I do wish I had started earlier.”
He said he wished he had gotten an earlier start because the kids that start at a younger age develop speed.
Michael Lincoln wants to pursue boxing for a while and he seems to have gotten the boxing bug.
Although the workouts are tough, intense, Lincoln is not quitting any time soon.