Showing the Ropes

The progress it’s taken for Mason to go from training to coaching at BGKY Boxing is something that cannot be replicated without hard work and determination. “You gotta be willing to humble yourself. You gotta be willing to take it slow. It’s not something that you rush into,” Mason said.

When Zhock Mason first enrolled in classes at BGKY Boxing, he didn’t suspect he would be coaching others at the same gym a few years later. Now, while he still trains for his own fights, he is focused on providing a space for others to learn. 

As head coach, Mason facilitates a place where individuals of all ages, skill ranges, and backgrounds can come together and practice the sport of boxing. Mason sees many benefits to the sport, some that go far past the reach of just learning to throw and dodge punches.

“Do they want to win their first fight? Do they want to build their confidence? […] Kids are shy or whatever, adults can be shy a lot of times too, maybe they want to build their confidence […] So yeah, I ask their goals and we try to hit them,” Mason said.

Specialized, individualistic training regimens allow any student to devise a schedule that is curtailed to the specific goals they are trying to meet.

The development of his gym and students is now at the forefront of Mason’s thoughts, but it was not what he initially planned when he first moved to Bowling Green. At the time, Mason was recruited to play football for the Western Kentucky University Hilltoppers, but after he graduated he decided to take a different route.

“I did a couple of CFL trials, which is the Canadian Football League […] I talked to my family and stuff like that, and then I saw a flyer for a boxing gym and I was like ‘I really, really used to like boxing,'” Mason said.

Trading in his shoulder pads for boxing gloves wasn’t an easy decision, but Mason was confident that he could persevere, through hard work and dedication.

“I had a big willingness to learn it. I just knew if I put the work ethic in on the fundamentals it would pay off […] Don’t try to go too fast, just enjoy the process,” Mason said.

Over the last few years, his mindset has been proven right. Mason has become one of the head coaches at BGKY Boxing, and still trains for his own amateur boxing fights. Usually, boxers transition to a coaching role after they are finished competing, but Mason views this situation differently.

“One thing I noticed at the gym is sometimes when I go out there and I compete, it helps other people being able to see a good example of it,” Mason said.

Being a source of inspiration to his students is a humbling experience for Mason. He believes many lessons learned in the sport apply to other aspects of life, and he wants to pass that knowledge onto the community around him.

“It just means a lot, you know? Good community, good people. It makes you make sure that you want to make the most every day,” Mason said.

Mason’s effort towards the progress of his students and business have garnered great progress, but he adamantly credits those around him who have helped make his community what it is today. 

“You don’t really have to ask for help,” Mason said. “I just gotta do my part, and there’s just so many other people that want to work and kind of invest and help it grow. So it was just a blessing.”