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couple questions for all you coaches out there

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oneofakind

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i have a couple questions for you more experienced coaches...

1. do you ask your gymnasts why are in hs to keep certains grades? like i like my girls to keep at leave a C average. good study habits etc..a few of the hardcore girls seem to forget about school,...while i love their enthusiasm for gymnastics i dont want them to get behind in school get poor grades (keep in mind that this rule is really only in forced for comp girls..but i stress it with my rec girls as well)..

2. how do you have the sensitive talk about that wonderful time of the month with the younger girls who have just started? i havnt had anyone young enough to have that talk or give advice to parents. but it would be a very good thing to know how to approach that should i have too which maybe soon seeing as i have a pair of 12 year olds.

3. how do you handle the divas in your groups/teams...we dont have any as our head coach nips it right in the bud..but ive seen some real snotty girls from other gyms and it just irrates me..any idivce for handling the high strug gymnast? lol

thanks in advance!!!
 

lannamavity

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Sep 13, 2007
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Wow...cut right to the chase...

1. The kids must bring their report cards in. I jokingly complain about how "boring" the report cards are 9 times out of 10...they are almost always all "A's".
We always have pre and post season meetings and discuss homework/school issues. If there are problems at school, then solutions are discussed.

2. A female coach always has "the talk" to the kids 12 and up, as a group. I steer clear of that one.

3. I do my best to treat all of the kids in any group as equally as possible. I believe that's why our teams are good...but it does mean that we have lost kids to other clubs when I refused to make exceptions for unexceptable behavior/work ethic. There are always those who want to be special and yet want to be treated "like everyone else" all at the same time, depending on the situation. I just say that one kid, no matter how good they are, is worth abandoning the principles which benefit the group.

Just my take on it.
 

Aussie_coach

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1. No we never require gymnasts to keep certain grades. In fact I have never, ever heard of that. I have only seen it on TV that kids are oulled from sports and activities for not keeping up their grades. It simply does not happen in Australia, unless initiated by the parents.

Most higher level gymnasts have excellent grades, part of what makes them excell at gymnastics also helps them to excell at school. Dedication, intellegence, committment and so on. Sports like gymnastics also aid their learning ability and help them develop the ability to concentrate, remember, focus and learn.

I think it is important to remember that not every student is going to be academically gifted. Some kids have apersonality type that just doesnt fit in well with school. We often have kids who are amazing in the gym and they tell us that they are terrors in school. It is because they are the sorts of kids that need to be active and moving to learn well.

The idea of taking away their sport for poor grades frightens me. These kids can come to the gym and experience success and we can build their self esteem and confidence. Often the kids who are struggling at school are the ones who need the gym the most.


2. For the sensitive talk, we try to get the older more experienced gymnasts to have close ties with the ones around that age. Sometimes kids find it difficult to come to an adult but easier to come to an older gymnasts. We talk to the whole group about it once they hit 'that age'. We try not to treat it like a super touchy subject but help it to feel like a very natural thing that they are free to openly discuss.


3. When it comes to diva's they are often covering up for true insecurity. We try to build a team atmosphere where one persons success's are everyone successes. We offer whole team rewards for achievements so everyone can enjoy and share their successes.
 
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Eveningdew

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May 17, 2007
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Our girls are not "required" to have good grades, highly encouraged. They bring in their report cards to the head coaches and depending upon the grades they can receive a "Pass" for conditioning. All our coaches stress the importance of school/grades first, not gymnastics. Our gym is dedicated to the whole girls' success in life. Poor grades are never talked about unless the parent brings it up to the coach, privately.
 

All Chalked Up

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I am a coach and helped set some of our "rules", but I'm a gymnast too and I don't mind them. This is for comp. kids (like myself).

1. Everyone has to bring their report card. Say someone gets a "C" in math but works hard at it, coach is cool with that. If that mark goes down to a "F" or something, then they talk.

2. Our coach whom everyone loves and is comfortable with gave us that little fabulous talk.

3. Doesn't happen in our gym but the way I know coach, she'd tackle that one head-on.
 
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10.0

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1. We do not. I really think that is the parents responsibility to keep up on grades and make decisions on gym and school not ours. Now if a child is having issues and we can work with them and the parents we are all for helping and we encourage the kids to do their best at everything and face life head on.

2. Again this is IMO the parents responsibility we don't address it as a group but the kids know they can ask whatever they need to. We are not closed off and most of our staff is female and young so it tends to be a more open place. We do provide the goodies in the restrooms if the girls need to get something. We also don't talk about bras or b.o. as a group, only if it becomes an issue and then we talk with the girl and her parent about it.

3. Are kids are all treated equal. We def. have girls with diva attitudes but we don't play into it. We have girls that are idols to the others but they tend to be really hard workers and generally quite.

Hope that helps.
 
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CoachGoofy

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Wow, old thread is OLD.

But it's here now & they're good questions, so

1. Their grades are between them & their parents. I try to make it pretty clear that learning is a high priority and that a lot of the stuff they're learning is pretty fascinating, but a grade policy isn't my job (and I'd rather they were excited to tell me about what they're doing in school, even if it's "can you help me understand this thing in algebra?" then have them dread going to gym on grade days).

2. Oh no, is THAT my job too? I hope not! ACK!
That falls in the category of "topics I address if the kid comes to me". It's happened a few times--talking to your MOM about your period is embarrassing and awkward, because she's your MOM, but talking to your gymnastics coach or other Trusted Adult (TM) is slightly less so. I don't know why either. But it is. Since I have the esteemed title of Trusted Adult, if they have questions that they bring to me, ok-I will answer honestly and all that-but initiating the conversation with your gymnasts = even more awkward than talking to your mom about periods. AND I don't know about anyone else, but I'd feel creepy sitting them down and saying "so today, we're going to talk about PUBERTY!"

3. This is where I find being genuinely interested in them as people really helps, actually. They get positive attention for doing really neat stuff, in the gym or out, so diva-ness doesn't have a whole lot of reward.
 

dunno

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i have a couple questions for you more experienced coaches...

1. do you ask your gymnasts why are in hs to keep certains grades? like i like my girls to keep at leave a C average. good study habits etc..a few of the hardcore girls seem to forget about school,...while i love their enthusiasm for gymnastics i dont want them to get behind in school get poor grades (keep in mind that this rule is really only in forced for comp girls..but i stress it with my rec girls as well)..

2. how do you have the sensitive talk about that wonderful time of the month with the younger girls who have just started? i havnt had anyone young enough to have that talk or give advice to parents. but it would be a very good thing to know how to approach that should i have too which maybe soon seeing as i have a pair of 12 year olds.

3. how do you handle the divas in your groups/teams...we dont have any as our head coach nips it right in the bud..but ive seen some real snotty girls from other gyms and it just irrates me..any idivce for handling the high strug gymnast? lol

thanks in advance!!!
1. if you don't get good grades you can't get in to college. and if you want to do gymnastics in college why do gymnastics if you can't get in.

2. it's a normal bodily function. olympic gold medals have been won while menstruating. nothing to talk about unless you DON"T get it by senior year.

3. diva's bowel gas smells like everyone elses. make them understand that. and high strung? tell them that drama is for the soaps and hollywood. sports is for athletes. choose one.
 

bookworm

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Our gym has never asked about grades and frankly, gives us a hard time if we miss gym for something at school!! (like the once a year Science Fair...their response is "what do you need science for?") . We have an elite in the gym who has missed so much school (coming to gym for 2 a days) she's a year behind her peers and the gym gets mad when SHE has to miss any time for school...the coaches aren't American so I don't know if that has anything to do with that type of mind set....
 
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10.0

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Well that is OTT. Kids need education. And lets face it college gymnastics or not, elite level, Olympics or not. What is she going to do with her life at the ripe old age of 20 something when gymnastics is no longer a part of it? It is so important that a kid have proper education to be able to move on.
 

bookworm

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Well that is OTT. Kids need education. And lets face it college gymnastics or not, elite level, Olympics or not. What is she going to do with her life at the ripe old age of 20 something when gymnastics is no longer a part of it? It is so important that a kid have proper education to be able to move on.
I totally agree with you (as do the majority of parents in the gym) but if you're being promised that your kid will go to the Olympics if she "doesn't miss any gym" , some parents cave and figure the kid can go to school at a later time. Unfortunately, I have heard parents cite the fact that Shawn, Carly and Nastia didn't go on to college as justification for their rationale...and to me that's just folly as it is SO rare in this sport to be in a position to make money off it like those 3 did...
 
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bribri514

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I totally agree with you (as do the majority of parents in the gym) but if you're being promised that your kid will go to the Olympics if she "doesn't miss any gym" , some parents cave and figure the kid can go to school at a later time. Unfortunately, I have heard parents cite the fact that Shawn, Carly and Nastia didn't go on to college as justification for their rationale...and to me that's just folly as it is SO rare in this sport to be in a position to make money off it like those 3 did...
And that's ridiculous too. ASac went to an Ivy (didn't finish but she went!) and the rest of the girls on the team were college bound in someway or another. The NCAA makes it hard for female gymnastics to keep eligibility. If you're successful when you're 16 blowing off eligibility for sponsorship, especially after your parents sacrificed so much money seems silly. It's a system made for and abused by football and basketball players and it hurts athletes from smaller sports. :end rant:
 
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coachmolly

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1. Nope, grades shouldn't be brought up by coaches and it's not the coaches place to determine whether a gymnast's grades are good enough to participate. That's between the parents and the gymnasts. I had a coach when I was in 5th grade try to start a policy where we had to bring in report cards with As/Bs to continue participating, but my parents refused to oblige, especially for children. Each kid is different in terms of their abilities at school and that should have no bearing on their gymnastics. You never know what child is dealing with some kind of learning disability, psychiatric problem, or other "glitch" that is inhibiting their school performance. Many children, especially those with intense personalities (such as the type who are typically found in gymnastics) are hard enough on themselves for lackluster performance, they don't need other authority figures punishing them.
This hits close to home with me because I was one of those kids with "glitches." I was recognized as "gifted" in elementary school and never performed up to expectations because of other things going on inside of my head. I knew I was underperforming and that I was a HUGE frustration to my teachers, that was a big enough blow to my self esteem. Had I not been able to participate in gymnastics on top of that, my one outlet, I would have been even more devastated. Long story short, leave it up to the parents. In the case of high school athletes on a college bound track, emphasize the importance of good grades in the recruiting process, but don't take gymnastics away from them.
2. My coaches never had a formal talk with us, and if a coach every brought it up, it was awkward and uncomfortable for me. If a kid asks about it, let them know you are willing to talk, but I wouldn't go to great lengths to bring that up. Once again, it's the parents responsibility. I experienced situations as a gymnast where teammates would comment on the development of other teammates, and I think if that comes up, it needs to be addressed. Gymnasts are self conscious enough, they don't need teammates discussing them publicly.
3. You'll get kids of all different personalities, some kids are just naturally intense and I don't think that makes them a diva. So long as it's them being hard on themselves rather than their teammates. I think it's good to emphasis an attitude of respect for each other and a willingness to work with each individual's quirks. If a situation arises where one individual's attitude is causing problems with other team members or an unhealthy environment, then it's time to step in and have a one on one talk. But as far as the group, just encourage them to be supportive of each other and understanding of individual needs. Not all kids want to be cheered for or high fived after a performance and, in my opinion, that's okay. As long as it's not interfering with the overall chemistry of the team.
 

dunno

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And that's ridiculous too. ASac went to an Ivy (didn't finish but she went!) and the rest of the girls on the team were college bound in someway or another. The NCAA makes it hard for female gymnastics to keep eligibility. If you're successful when you're 16 blowing off eligibility for sponsorship, especially after your parents sacrificed so much money seems silly. It's a system made for and abused by football and basketball players and it hurts athletes from smaller sports. :end rant:
hi bribri, could you clarify the bold? i don't understand.
 
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bribri514

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Just that if you take any sort of financial sponsorship you lose eligibility for NCAA. Female gymnasts peak professionally generally before college age meaning they're predominately one of the few groups who is constantly faced with hmmm take this multi million scholarship (or less even) or keep NCAA eligibility as a non professional athlete. You don't see as many other athletes, particularly males who peak later (around college/after) having to deal with this.
 

dunno

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gotcha. pro vs. amateur. it is an oxymoron especially when you consider college basketball and football.
 
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bribri514

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I know! it's the football players that get hummers and mean while the gymnastics and swimmers have to register our cars and apartments to prove we're not getting money. then on top of that any gymnast who succeeds at age 16 and takes a sponsorship to help offset the huge cost of competing elite loses their chance to compete college. the NCAA rules are set up for football and basketball men and end up hurting the smaller athletes particularly women. Sorry it just bugs me so bad! :end rant:
 

CanAmGymMum

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I agree with coach Molly on this one. As an athlete (many years ago :eek:) I belonged to a "sports school" where we had two training sessions a day. We missed about 1.5 hours of school in the morning and a few minutes at the end of the school day for gymnastics, but we went to normal public school. As part of this arrangement, we were required to keep our grades up. I'm not sure exactly what this meant....no one was ever kicked out of the program when I was there. Many of the gymnasts would bring report cards to the coach. However, I never gave him mine and he never asked. I've always been a pretty private person and despite the fact that I always got very good grades I never felt that was any of their business. If a child is struggling with her grades, it's up to the parents to decide if the time commitment involved for gymnastics is contributing to this as there are so many other issues that may be the reason. Gymnastics or no gymnastics, some kids are not going to be great students. Why take away the one thing that they are excelling at.
 
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