For Coaches Handling difficult parents

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gotgym

Coach/Proud Parent
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 11, 2008
275
Illinois
How do coaches handle the "know it all moms". After all my years coaching this is still one area that occasionally gets to me. Dont get me wrong I love and encourage parents involvement and communication but, occasionally you get that one that starts every sentence with,"I have been at 5 gyms and they did it this way here" or I have the book and it looks like Sally(not even her daughter) is doing this wrong..
 
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gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
I once had a parent that had a L6 "text" clinic every sunday at her house until I found out about it- REALLY! It was early in the year so we were concentrating on skills rather than routines at that point. I found out quickly, because my gymnasts always have a look with the dance and they didnt look that way.

Know it alls are tough, its her way of trying to stay in control (IMHO!) I would say somethng like "I appreciate the feedback. Maybe you'd be more comfortable back at your old gym," etc or "i appreciate you feedback, but lets leave the coaching to the professionals" Slightly polite, but it should keep her quiet- for a few weeks at least! If she doesnt get it, I would have the HC or owner call her in, ask her if she is happy and supportive of your program, and if so, to keep her coaching opinions to herself, if not not perhaps its time to hop somewhere else.
 
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gracefulone

Guest
I'm teaching rec cheer right now, and there's only 3 girls in it. Their sisters and best friends. I was going over a brand new cheer and the mom was out in the hall watching. Then, she comes in and say, "You should be teaching them to keep there arms tight, just like yours. I just love how tight your motions are. When they get to a competition they need to have tight motions so their team looks uniform." I just explained to her, that first of all, the YMCA doesn't have a competitive cheer program and so if she wanted them in competitions she could go to an all-star cheer club in the area. It was also only the 2nd week of class, and it's only an hour long, and they are always late, so it's really more like 45-50 minutes of instruction a week. So I told her that we were just learning right now, and would work on perfection as they got more comfortable with the cheers. She didn't bother me yesterday. :p
 
Jul 12, 2008
90
Charleston, WV
We are usually just blunt with the parents. So if they said they did it this way at another gym, we would tell them thats not how we do it here and there is the door if you dont like it. We also tell the parents every year DO NOT coach your or anyone else's kid. Thats what we are for.

You really just have to really break down on one parent the rest of them won't bother you with anything of that nature again.
 
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Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
On a related topic (the advice for the original post was great, nothing to add) how do you guys deal with parents who have a 'home gym'?

I had a girl once in the past that would come in with skills destroyed because she basically had a room converted to a gym at home. Yes, the parents coached, no they didn't like me asking them to stop. The girl stopped doing gymnastics soon after due to moving, but if she had stayed, I have no idea how I would have been able to overcome that situation politely.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
I once had a parent that had a L6 "text" clinic every sunday at her house until I found out about it- REALLY! It was early in the year so we were concentrating on skills rather than routines at that point. I found out quickly, because my gymnasts always have a look with the dance and they didnt look that way.

Know it alls are tough, its her way of trying to stay in control (IMHO!) I would say somethng like "I appreciate the feedback. Maybe you'd be more comfortable back at your old gym," etc or "i appreciate you feedback, but lets leave the coaching to the professionals" Slightly polite, but it should keep her quiet- for a few weeks at least! If she doesnt get it, I would have the HC or owner call her in, ask her if she is happy and supportive of your program, and if so, to keep her coaching opinions to herself, if not not perhaps its time to hop somewhere else.
Just plain sad. It shows a complete lack of trust in the coach, and in the long run, kids with parents like that are doomed.

I've been tricked into trying to appease parents like that time after time, for the sake of the kids, but it's pointless. As you say, sometimes it's best to just remind them that there are other gyms in the area.
 
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gymnasticcoach

Guest
One quote i have used over the years is " I do not tell you how to parent so please do not tell me how to coach"

Also i handling difficult parents i do quarterly meeting with parents and gymnast.

I also do pre season questionaires--mid season questionaires-- end of season questionaires--after competition questionaires. When the gymnast turns 12 years old they do a S.E.R.P. survery which is a psycological profile to determine whether or not the child really wants to be in the sport.

S.E.R.P. Sports Emotional Reaction Profile

Don
 

gotgym

Coach/Proud Parent
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Jun 11, 2008
275
Illinois
Thanks to all, I usually use a lot of the forementioned and can usually handle it. Occasionally you just get that one parent that knows it all,about your gym, everyones elses, every level, college gymnastics, and every aspect of the sport. Once in awhile it just gets to me. :eek: and that happenned to be one of those days and I needed to vent. I wondered how everyone else handled.
 

iluvgym

Coach
Coach
Club Owner
Feb 6, 2008
139
Just plain sad. It shows a complete lack of trust in the coach, and in the long run, kids with parents like that are doomed.

I've been tricked into trying to appease parents like that time after time, for the sake of the kids, but it's pointless. As you say, sometimes it's best to just remind them that there are other gyms in the area.

You know it's funny, are they that concerned with what their children are doing in school? How about a Sunday homework clinic instead?

Not to sound like this forum has only parent bashing, sorry. 99.9% of gym parents are good supportive people and will do anything we ask of them, but that ONE in every gym gives the rest a bad name! You know every gym has one!
 
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