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Do you think parents can be too pushy?

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Geoffrey Taucer

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Do you think that certain parents (maby at your gymn)
Can be to pushy and can over push their children.

Also what do you think about parents being coaches
do you think it adds difficulty or its help the gymnast.

Finaly if your a coach and a mom/dad do you coach your
own children or get other people to coach them!
Original thread: http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/showthread.php?t=4832


So, can parents be too pushy? Lemme think about thiYES PARENTS CAN BE WAY TOO PUSHY, AND THEY VERY FREQUENTLY ARE.

I coach several girls who I'm positive would be much better gymnasts if their parents would learn to shut up and let the kids enjoy it.

I've said many times before that the duty of pushing a kid forward should fall on the kid and the coach, NOT the parent. The best thing a parent can do is to be unconditionally supportive of their kid.

And a depressing number of parents just don't get this.

As for parents coaching their kids, I'm not really sure. I would avoid it if possible, but it can be done effectively as long as the parent/coach is able to treat the two roles (parent and coach) as being distinct from each other. If you want to coach your kid, you need to treat them as you would any other kid while you're in the gym, and any pressure/pushing you're doing as a coach should cease the moment you walk out the door. In other words, you need to be able to switch between coach mode and parent mode and avoid mixing the two.

This is all based on observation, not experience; I don't have any kids of my own.
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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Sorry for posting in wrong forum! ^_^
Oh, no, you didn't post in the wrong forum; I want the thread to be in both places so both parents and coaches can comment on it without it descending into an argument.
 
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hammy

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I find a lot of parents are extremly pushy, which, I agree with GT, hinders the child's success. I've seen too many kids come into the gym not caring about what happens, because they're only doing it to make their parents happy.

As far as coaching your own child; well, I just don't know about that one. To me, it's kind of like teaching your own child at school; which, as a future teacher, is something that I don't want to do. I've seen a few coaches coach their own children, and they tended to be even harder on their child than the other kids. I've also seen coaches coach their child and be more lenient with their child.
 

CoachLin

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Jun 29, 2007
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Canada
I too have come across a lot of pushy parents. It makes it difficult for both the athlete and the coach. We get parent's that like to come in and tell you how to coach their child, how routine's should look, what music to use.....

As for coaching your own child I have done so and it was an enjoyable experience but not something I wish to do again. It is incredibly difficult to do, and put's a great deal of strain and pressure on yourself. To be able to treat your child no differently than any other child while your are coaching a group is an increddible task! And they don't always like it and often resent it when they are at a young age. Which is why I no longer coach my own. Sometimes it work's and sometime's not.
 

audra

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There are pushy parents in all sports and can be one of the most difficult things to deal with as a coach.

As far as coaching my own child, as a parent I would love to say I think it would be great and I have would have no problem separating from coach and parent. But in actuality I'm not sure I would be able to do it. As a coach I expect a lot from students and I would be scared of pushing my own child too hard. Although it will be hard to watch someone else coach them. We will have to see when they get older.
 
J

~JEM~

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Some parents are wayyy too pushy. As a coach I see a lot of pushy parents, I have a particularly bad parent right now who pushes her 7yr old soooo hard! Its sad to watch sometimes, I feel very sorry for the child. On the other hand, sometimes a parent who is right into it is good (right into it rather than pushing their child too hard though), you know they are reliable and will always be at the gym/ at competitions/ willing to do whatever they need to.

As for parents coaching, we have a number of parents as coaches at our gym, 1 of them coaches their own daughters group in the gym and there doesnt seeem to be a problem. The kid seems to work harder when her mom is in the gym I think.
 
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gracefulone

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Ok wow. I've seen a lot o fparents trying to live through their kids so that is often a problem. One of the moms came to a practice as was coaching all the girls, and she doesn't really know what she's talking about.
 

Mac

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Mar 7, 2007
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Instead of just "yeah, some parents are too pushy," can you define what you mean by that? One extreme is a parent who is forcing their child into a sport the child doesn't want to do. Another extreme is a parent is uninterested in whatever their child does. There's a big range between those two. What does "pushy mean to you, because pushy to one might be reasonable to another.
 
D

Dani

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Instead of just "yeah, some parents are too pushy," can you define what you mean by that? One extreme is a parent who is forcing their child into a sport the child doesn't want to do. Another extreme is a parent is uninterested in whatever their child does. There's a big range between those two. What does "pushy mean to you, because pushy to one might be reasonable to another.
Pushy to me is when they might push succsess out of a child
by giving motivation! But the pushy im talking about is pushing
a child to the extreme/living through them/ making the child
do gymnastics/ gymn activeties that the child does not wish to
 
G

gracefulone

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listen to this story. I was substituting for a level 1 beginner class. There was a three year old girl in it so she was 2 years ahead.(most kids are five in the class) Her mom comes in the gym as the class was starting and asked in a slightly nasty tone, "Can you help her with her bridge, she just doesn't get it." Warning sign. Then, at the end, we were practicing scales on the high beams for the first time. After I give all the girls their stamps and papers, the mother sends her child back into the gym because "Her scales just weren't good enough". Red flag. The girl is three in a five-year old class. I would say she crossed the line.
 
J

~JEM~

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Mac... pushy to me is not a parent who is really involved and supportive and dedicated, but rather a parent who forces their child into it when they are hurt, sick etc. It isn't that the child dislikes gym and is forced to come, all the kids I teach seem to love it, but its more so that the parent pushes and pushes the child and its no longer a sport the child does for fun because of the expectations they get from their parents. 1 of my parents tells her daughter every meet that she is gonna be first and she has to do this and that to win... and of course, the child is shattered when she isnt first (this kid is not a future olympian), the same parent brings her daughter to training when she is VERY sick and I end up with the kid in tears because she feels so sick, I tried to send her home 1day but the parent said no she wanted her to do her stretches and join in I was like !!!!!! Gymnastics has to be fun, no matter how serious the program. Young children need support from their parents, not expectations that they cannot achieve
 

Mac

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Mar 7, 2007
65
pushy to me is not a parent who is really involved and supportive and dedicated, but rather a parent who forces their child into it when they are hurt, sick etc.
Thanks. It'll be interesting to see where other coaches fall with regard to your definition.

I consider it my obligation to be involved. I'm involved with her schoolwork, with her spiritual life, with her choice of friends, with her passion for this sport, and with other aspects of her life. Why else be a parent? But I can absolutely abide by your definitions.

What's interesting to me is how parent behavior--expectations, involvement, etc--changes as the child grows within the sport. There's a set of concerns at the rec levels, a different set at Levels 4-6, and a COMPLETELY different set as the child approaches Levels 9, 10, and beyond. What you look for as a parent, how you interact with coaches, and how you deal with your child can be completely different in those three stages. I think the definition of a pushy parent would change, too, when you're talking about the parent of a child looking to make pre-team vs the parent of a child on the verge of making Nationals or earning a scholarship.
 
J

~JEM~

Guest
.
I think the definition of a pushy parent would change, too, when you're talking about the parent of a child looking to make pre-team vs the parent of a child on the verge of making Nationals or earning a scholarship.
YES completely agreed. I only coach younger girls in competitive programs though so I'm more referring to parents at the lower levels (parents of say... 5 to 9yr olds). I also coach older girls but in a more rec based program.
I like what you said by the way.. all of it, very true.
 
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nettyinpa

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My daughter is 6, and just starting the Level 4 program. Since she began taking gymnastics at 3 it has always been about the fun factor. After every semester, through the Mighty K's, Invitation Only (IO) and Developmental, it's always been the same. We ask her, before signing her up and paying for it, if this is still what she wants to do and if she's still having fun doing it. As she gets older, our questions change.....Level 4 means more comittment, more time, more money and competition. We sat her down yet again, explained to her what it all means and if it's really what she wants. She always says yes, rather enthusiastically, so we know it's what she wants. She does, however, get concerned sometimes if there's a day where she just doesn't feel up to going and she worries about disappointing us. We tell her that it's not us in that gym and she has to do this for herself, not for us. She's a perfectionist by nature and we try to tell her she doesn't have to be perfect and it's okay if she wants to back off for a day. If she would ever decide to quit the sport I'll admit that I would be disappointed for she's very talented, but that's her decision to make, not ours.

Pushing a child too much, too young, will just create burn-out. I love to watch the girls in her team and how much they've all grown together and how they've progressed. It instills nothing but pride in me and the other parents in our group. There's a girl on her team that a year ago was being coached at home by her mom, a former gymnast. Well, they have totally changed their tun and have really backed off. She has totally blossomed and come out of her shell and is part of the team more now than ever. That's what it's all about, not so much the individual but the team.

Sorry I got off on a tangent! JMHO.:)

Lynette
 

Ltlewonder

New Member
Feb 15, 2007
30
Thomasville, NC
I agree with this too! My 6 year old is very much into gymnastics right now and just starting level 3 competition. My parents and I are VERY excited and support her all the way, but we definitely don't have to push her. Her father keeps telling me "as long as you're not MAKING her do it". Shoot, she would die if I made her QUIT! LOL!
On the other hand, one of the girls at our gym that is competing level 10 now and has been there since she was 4, made the statement that she doesn't know if she wants to do gymnastics on a college scholarship. Her mother, who is very supportive and pretty passive said "well, guess what...as long as you have wanted to do this and as much as we have invested, if you can get a scholarship for college, you might be doing it for 4 more years". :rolleyes:
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
As a former coach, I would define a pushy parent as the parent of a child who insisted that her daughter be treated differently then the others because she was "so much more talented" (her words) than the other gymnasts.
As a parent, maybe I was considered pushy when I had to take stand regarding one of my daughter's assistant coaches, whose own daughter was on the team. Of course, this girl got special treatment, extra practices, extra one on one coaching from other coaches, taken to special camps with the older girls, worked higher level skills sooner, and the list goes on and on. The head coach seemed to go along with it, and every girl on the team noticed the preferential treatment. I don't know if they thought I was pushy or not but I was very nice when I stated my case. So, being on both sides of this issue, I can say that parents that spend a lot of time and money for an activity do have a tendency to be pushy. Some of it is justified, most of it is not.
All gymnasts working the same level should be treated fairly. My dollars are just as green as everyone elses, and we all pay plenty. So, this covers both topics in your thread.
 
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littlegymnasts

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I do think that parent push to hard, like at Dominique Moceanu, her parents did not push her, but the other gymnasts that trained beside her and gone home with her Dominique's dad use to make her do a small work out at home. Like v-situps, push-ups, chin up, and press to handstand all the time until her coaches told her parents to lighting up on her at home. Let her be a child at home and leet her be the gymnasts in the gym.
 
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Dani

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I do think that parent push to hard, like at Dominique Moceanu, her parents did not push her, but the other gymnasts that trained beside her and gone home with her Dominique's dad use to make her do a small work out at home. Like v-situps, push-ups, chin up, and press to handstand all the time until her coaches told her parents to lighting up on her at home. Let her be a child at home and leet her be the gymnasts in the gym.
My parents dont make me
but I do working out at home
I hold on to the top of are landing
and I do pull ups I do strech situps!
And press handstands ( I cant do them
well though) Lol ^_^
 
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