Gifts for coaches?

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tpMom

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Today DD's gym sent out an email saying that USAG has a rule forbidding individual gymnasts from giving coaches gifts. I have searched for a while for this rule but all I can find is a Safe Sport policy saying coaches shouldn't give gifts to gymnasts.

I'm just wondering if anyone has actually heard of this rule or if it's really an internal gym policy that they don't want to take responsibility for. It's a little irritating because we've always done a gift for my daughter's coaches and teachers, and my daughter has already made her card for her coach, something she put a lot of thought and time into. We'll obviously respect the gym's policies but I was just curious if USAG really has some kind of regulation about this.
 
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Aero

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That is absolutely not a rule in any way, shape, or form. The SafeSport policy about how coaches shouldn't give gifts to individual gymnasts has some obvious good reasons behind it, but I can't think of a reason why the inverse situation would be bad at all! Gymnasts should absolutely be able to show their appreciation for their hard working coaches! Every gift I've ever received from any of my athletes, I have absolutely cherished; I still have all of them.

Honestly, even if it was a rule, I'd say, "break it!" :D
 

gymdog

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It's actually the opposite rule, but at the same time I kind of see where they're coming from in that they don't want any perception of gifts between individuals. Basically it's not "no gifts" but "don't single any individuals out" to avoid an environment where grooming goes undetected. Although I hadn't really thought of it in the instance of gymnasts giving individual coaches gifts, now that I think about it, I can still see where that is coming from too. I would consider asking for clarification in case they wrote it as a typo. But if they want to abide that policy, I would respect it.
 

jamieintexas

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This is not a rule. I love seeing what my girls pick out for me. I have never bought my own fuzzy socks, body lotion, or bubble bath. My boys would be sad if they didn’t get to eat all of the yummy treats the parents make for me. I have ornaments from years ago that that let me remember that gymnast when I put it on the tree. I have never heard of a gym banning Christmas presents.
 
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coachp

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I heard we are no longer allowed to have Christmas parties too ;). Oh and forget about Easter!
 

lovofu

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That is absolutely not a rule in any way, shape, or form. The SafeSport policy about how coaches shouldn't give gifts to individual gymnasts has some obvious good reasons behind it, but I can't think of a reason why the inverse situation would be bad at all! Gymnasts should absolutely be able to show their appreciation for their hard working coaches! Every gift I've ever received from any of my athletes, I have absolutely cherished; I still have all of them.
BUT there are some parents who give LAVISH gifts and then it creates a perception of "I have to keep up" etc.
Honestly, even if it was a rule, I'd say, "break it!" :D
 

TumbleTimes4

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Is the rule that coaches can’t give gifts to individual athletes or that they can’t give gifts at all, even if every team member receives a gift?
 

raenndrops

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Is the rule that coaches can’t give gifts to individual athletes or that they can’t give gifts at all, even if every team member receives a gift?
They can't single a gymnast out to give a gift to... If they are giving gifts to all the gymnasts, it should be the same thing - so no one person gets a "better" gift.
 

Aussie_coach

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While that is all well and good in theory, of course it makes a lot of sense. Not just from a point of view to prevent grooming behaviour but to create a team feel, where everyone feels valued.

But....

What about that kid you coached for 5 years who is moving interstate, a memento of their time at your gym. Have you ever given a little thank you gift to a family that has gone above and beyond to help the gym/team etc. Do you ever give out prizes as a part of a rewards/motivation program. A framed photo or so,etching for the kid who makes nationals, or TOPs camp or whatever.

It’s not that black and white.
 

TumbleTimes4

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They can't single a gymnast out to give a gift to... If they are giving gifts to all the gymnasts, it should be the same thing - so no one person gets a "better" gift.
Ok makes sense. DD’s team all were gifted handmade ornaments from their coach last season at their Christmas party.?I would be disappointed if they weren’t allowed to do thoughtful little things like that.
 
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coachmolly

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While that is all well and good in theory, of course it makes a lot of sense. Not just from a point of view to prevent grooming behaviour but to create a team feel, where everyone feels valued.

But....

What about that kid you coached for 5 years who is moving interstate, a memento of their time at your gym. Have you ever given a little thank you gift to a family that has gone above and beyond to help the gym/team etc. Do you ever give out prizes as a part of a rewards/motivation program. A framed photo or so,etching for the kid who makes nationals, or TOPs camp or whatever.

It’s not that black and white.
My feeling is that those types of things would be okay- as long as some type of gift is given to ALL gymnasts who move/make teams/qualify to Nationals or the prizes/rewards are available to everyone within a specific group/team. What wouldn't be okay would be that Suzy gets a party and gift when she moves but Sally gets a good bye in the parking lot. Or one kid gets a leotard/teddy bear/trinket for making her kip and the kid who makes her kip 2 weeks later gets nothing. In my mind, it's different when all kids know a prize is available to them when they do XYZ rather than just giving a gift to one kid arbitrarily.
 
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Wannabegymnast

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I don’t know for sure but I don’t think a card would be considered a gift so I guess it would be okay to give a Christmas card to the coach.
 

Klaws

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I think the rule might be there to take away any perception of bribing the coach or looking to be be their favourite. I work for state government in Oz - we can’t take gifts and nor can our school teachers. However, I agree, a card is totally OK.
 

JessSyd

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I intensely dislike the idea that gyms should be run in such an impersonal manner that end of year thank you gifts are forbidden. In Australia Christmas time is also the end of our academic year and the start of our summer holidays, so it is absolutely the time for those thank you gifts. And both children and coaches spend so much time in the gym - the feelings of gratitude and the wish for your hardworking coach to enjoy a bit of well earned leave is so real.

This almost makes me cross. My daughter’s coach has gone above and beyond the call of duty for her this year to make sure she continues to progress. She has adjusted her coaching style, experimented with new strategies, taken time to talk to her about things, and (in her own time) to talk to me about things. The emotional labour she puts in well exceeds the sort of pay gym coaches get. So if want to buy her a little token like some fancy tea leaves or a bottle of wine or somesuch, she should jolly well be allowed to accept it. She has earned it.
 
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