Lazy and Disrespectful Kids...

Discussion in 'Coach Forum' started by PalmTree, Apr 2, 2013.

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  1. PalmTree

    PalmTree New Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    Coaches and Owners -

    What do you do when you have lazy or disrespectful kids? I have a group of Level 7s who had a different coach for several years who apparently let them do whatever they wanted (and so I use the term "Level 7" very loosely). They are just plain lazy. I don't even think half of them care about doing gymnastics. And several of them have parents who think they're going to the Olympics and would like them to work out 20+ hours a week. I just can't seem to get them to take it seriously or work hard at all. They often talk back to me and tell me I'm not having them do things the way they used to or want to. I have so much trouble disciplining them! At what point can you kick a child out of the gym or send them home for the day? ANY ADVICE??? Please help me before I quit my job!!

  2. Liv...

    Liv... Coach Coach Former Gymnast

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    I have had many, many, many of these kids and the best tactic for me is to be as strict as possible, usually as their behaviour improves I'll give them freedoms or some kind of reward to do with trust which I have found very helpful. Saying that though I've tried to be strict and quite often I'm no where near as strict as needed. Or try seeing if a coach who has had experience with these kind of kids will either help you in your lessons or take them for a couple of weeks. You compared to them will often be a blessing because suddenly you will seem like the nice coach and they will be more willing to listen to you, hopefully.
  3. txgymfan

    txgymfan Moderator CBBC Board Member Coach Proud Relative

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    I agree with Liv. Also plan as many activities as possible. More than they can get done in two work outs. Do not allow downtime, for example they may go from floor beam to high beam to drills on a line to conditioning stations 1, 2, 3, 4. If they are busy with structure they will have less time to be mean to you and to each other.
  4. iwannacoach

    iwannacoach Coach Coach Proud Parent Gymnast

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    Sit them down one time, and only one time...... and here I'm talking about the parents not the kids. Explain to them you feel morally obliged to coach the kids they are paying to have coached, and to help the kids make progress consistent with a team program conducted in a team environment.

    Naming no one, tell them there are 2-3 kids who have the appropriate work ethic, and you're sure the rest are capable of the same good characteristic, but some just seem unwilling to jump on the bandwagon. Continue with a brief explanation that just two or more kids resisting the concepts of team, effort, and discipline will hold back the entire group.

    Finish up by telling them that many of these issues are beyond your job description, and your role will be limited to calmly escorting them to the phone, which they will use to call for an early ride home, during which they may receive a bit of "attitude therapy" to help them understand what they need to do at the next practice.

    Follow that meeting with a separate meeting with the kids where you lay out reasonable ground rules requiring a gradual increased level of work, and that ensures the respect of every child and coach in the gym. Let them know that you'll abide by the same rules as they, unless they prefer you treat them as they treat you, followed by you escorting them to the telephone.

    Here's a morsel of food for thought.........

    These kids did not choose the last coach that worked with them, and you need to understand that they may have done everything the old coach ever asked of them. Perhaps he asked for nothing, and was happy to get the same in return. Pretty much, you're the new variable in an equation they comfortably solved in the past, and they need a moment or two to recalculate their gym experience. I agree with what you want to do, and from having been there and done that I know it's difficult. Try to remember as you begin and continue your "turn around" that most, if not all, of these kids walked through that gym door several years ago with the same dreams as level 7's scoring 37+ AA's, and it's possible the only real difference between the two..... is the coach who met them at the other side of the door.
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  5. Aussie_coach

    Aussie_coach Moderator/Coach CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Gymnast Club Owner

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    You need to reignite the fire they once had for gym attics, they must have once had it to have reached this level. Teach the, something new and get them excited about gymnastics again!
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  6. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I 100% agree with IWC. You need to talk to them (both parents and gymnasts) and let them know you want to coach these kids and help them improve, but you are facing some major barriers that need to be dismantled if they (parents or kids) want to see progress. They need to understand that you are in charge and are not using that power just for kicks, but because you want to see them improve.
    Are there any kids in the group that are willing to work with you (or work at all)? If you have anyone on your side so to speak, it might be helpful to really praise the heck out of them every time they follow directions, complete an assignment, treat you respectfully, etc. so the other kids in the group can see that there are benefits for good behavior and hard work. Maybe even offer rewards for those hardworkers (since you finished your assignment and did it well, you can work on x-uptraining skill or play on the tramp for 5 minutes). Perhaps once they see the benefits to being agreeable and working hard they will want to follow suit?
    I was in a similar situation last year as I helped take over a team from a coach who was incredibly sweet, but let the girls get away with anything and required very little. It was a huge challenge to get them to respect the new HC and myself in the first place, but when we expected them to actually be working at practice we had a rebellion on our hands (led by the team leaders). We just focused our attention on the girls who were receptive of our coaching- the ones who ultimately improved- and picked our battles with the ones who didn't want to hear anything we had to say. When they approached us about lack of progress or low scores we laid it out for them as it was, if they wanted results they had to work for them. It's a rough situation to be in, but it should get better with time and once they see you are on their side and just trying to help them become better gymnasts. And if you can get the parents support, even better! Best wishes!
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  7. dunno

    dunno New Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast Club Owner

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    i don't talk much. conditioning is the medicine for the soul and mind of what we do. it creates discipline. i love rope! repeat after me...i love rope! and now do it with a smile!! :)
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  8. iwannacoach

    iwannacoach Coach Coach Proud Parent Gymnast

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    I love rope...I love rope...I love rope...hmph, cough, wheeze, squeek...... 'scuse me...... My throat got a little parched during that last 1000 "I love rope" incantations, but don't worry dunno, I'll get started on the next 1000 as soon as I "slam chug" the rest of the 5 gallons of Kool-aid you told me to drink...:eek: :p
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  9. mado4

    mado4 Coach Coach Proud Parent

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    I call it staircase running and for a change staircase running…conditioning makes the gym go 'round :D

    And for some extra lazy kids I tried the split jumps on the super soft mats..works wonders…3 reps of 10 :D

    Oh I am so mean ...:cool:
    3 people like this.
  10. CoachGoofy

    CoachGoofy Moderator/Coach Coach

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    If I have just one kid being disrespectful I send them across the gym, furthest corner, to do one, yes one, pushup. It annoys them and immediately stops the whatever they were doing. (I'm so not even a little above a bit of irritation. If they're not bothered by it, it's not effective).

    With a whole group? We can do gymnastics, or if I can't be sure they're going to listen, take corrections (which are fundamentally to make them safe), we can achieve progress another way where they aren't doing things with a high risk of crash if they do them wrong. We can condition. We can run. I'm not opposed to fun but I'm totally able to pull out the teacher voice and the strict. (and it's very incongruous when I'm being super serious, so that has an attitude adjustment effect, a bit).

    I find that keeping them busy helps, and sometimes a lot of the attitude I get is to make up for fear. That might just be my group, but I get a lot more back talk from kids who are scared of what I am asking them to do-in which case we do talk about it, because logic + impromptu physics lesson = a winning combination.

    I agree with IWC that keeping in mind that they might have met or even exceeded old coaches' expectation is important. They might be all "wait what? I have to do all this hard stuff now?" and feel a bit thrown off.
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  11. iluvgym

    iluvgym New Member

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    We have a saying "The rope is magic"! But to the original poster, yes - one of THE hardest things to do is change the culture of a gym/team
  12. dunno

    dunno New Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast Club Owner

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    i have to say i like that idea muchly. i will try that next opportunity i get. lol. :)
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  13. gymtigermom

    gymtigermom New Member Proud Parent

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    Loved IWC suggestion. Please do let the parents know. Sometimes as parents we have no clue what is going on in the gym and I do not want to be paying what I am paying if my child is not working, and more importantly, I do not want to pay for my child to be disrespectful to a coach!!
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  14. coachp

    coachp Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Parent

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    ---

    Honestly just do your best with them, get them to win, but focus most of your brain power on the new generation.... Be strict but don't let it ruin your mojo.
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