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How do I deal with a difficult coach?

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Mahdancer

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This is our 11th year with the gym and have never had issues with a coach until now. In August, my daughter’s coach told her to “Leave!” practice 20 minutes early. She was unhappy that my daughter wasn’t pushing herself enough to try new skills. In September, she told my daughter that she was the most uncoachable athlete she’s coached in 15 years. I contacted the coach about this and even though I’m still not happy with her, I felt like we worked through this. On Friday, she told my daughter to put the mats away and then come stretch. The coach asked her if she put them away, and when my daughter said, “yes,” the coach replied, “whatever,” and also said “I don’t believe you.” The coach then proceeded to tell the team that most girls have been respectful, but some really need to step it up. (Most likely directed at my daughter). Since I’ve already tried to work it out with the coach, I’m thinking it’s now time to talk to the owner.
 
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LindyHopper

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If I was your daughter, I probably would have been kicked out of practice for the way I responded to "I don't believe you"

My response would have been: I don't need you to believe me... it is easily verifiable.

Has this coach been with the gym for a long time, or is the coach new to the gym?
 

raenndrops

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I agree with @LindyHopper ... I probably would have been kicked out too... and YG probably would have too, lol.
YG would have probably said "Congrsts... too bad what you BELIEVE doesn't change the FACTS!"
I can almost guarantee she would have said something to that effect (because she said it to a teacher last year when the teacher didn't believe that the dog ate /tried to eat her homework... he did leave a corner and it had teeth marks in it and was wrinkled and covered in dried drool).

Definitely talk to the owner. Belief is for things you can't see and respect is a 2 way street!
 

Mahdancer

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Thanks. The coach is the one that said “whatever” and “I don’t believe you.” She made these comments in front of the whole team. My daughter said nothing back. She was silently crying. I plan on talking to the owner tomorrow.
 

Mahdancer

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Thanks. The coach is the one that said “whatever” and “I don’t believe you.” She made these comments in front of the whole team. My daughter said nothing back. She was silently crying. I plan on talking to the owner tomorrow.
This will be the coach’s 4th year there.
 

duyetanh

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Extremely unprofessional not to mention just basically rude and un-motivating for anyone.
THIS.
Does hc treat everyone this way, out of curiousity, or is it just your child who gets this 'special' treatment?
 
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SurpriseGymMom

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(Disclaimer: in NO way am I excusing an adult talking derogatory to a child!)
I would like to know the history behind this. There is always at least 2 sides to every story. Did this coach just wake up one day and decide to pick on one particular child for no reason, or has it been a personaily conflict brewing for quite some time? Does this coach speak like this to all the gymnasts? Is it standard to send them home for lack of effort? Tone can also say a lot! Age matters here as well, big difference between a 6yo and a 15yo athlete here...
I can honestly say that I have used doubtful statements with some of my gymnasts, kids who routinely cheat on assigments and (when they think that nobody is looking) seem to get done minutes shead of everyone else... which leads me to STRONGLY believe they fudged on their assigment again so I will question it. I have absolutely told athletes that I doubt their word and to go back and do the assignment again. Putting a mat away is verifiable (and also not a big deal) so I am guessing there is more of a back story to all this.
Of course it could just be a completely unreasonable adult who should not under any circumstances work with kids, and has for some reason selected your child to victimize.
I will be honest, none of the statements in the OP would have me seething. I could understand all of those statements IF there has been a personality conflict or especially frustrating training sessions. I know it is the era of "oh my goodness nobody should every say anything but sweet wonderful things to anyone else" but in truth I have seen girls sent home for behaviour or lack of effort (not true blocks, that is completely different!), I have heard coaches tell upper level athletes they are being uncoachable at that moment and although unprofessional, the "whatever" statement isn't really something that would get me in an uproar.
Again, truly derogatory things to a child=not acceptable. Any of the above statements to a teen with a possible history of frustrations together=not anything I would feel worth bringing up.
I wasn't there and couldn't tell you the tone and severity, I am ONLY going on exactly what is written in the OP.
 

e'smum

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Thanks. The coach is the one that said “whatever” and “I don’t believe you.” She made these comments in front of the whole team. My daughter said nothing back. She was silently crying. I plan on talking to the owner tomorrow.
i would actually ask the coach, in front of the owner, why she said that to your daughter. as others have said, you can easily see that the mats are put away or not. there's no need to be like this.

i know coaches are hard on girls they feel aren't practicing up to their full potential but the whole mat conversation shouldn't have happened.
 
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Mish

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A coach told my daughter once that she didn't believe her and accused her of lying. My dd was upset for days, and actually had to hold back tears at that practice. I had other girls' moms texting me to say that their girls went home and said that the coach was completely wrong and they couldn't believe she said that to my dd (who is always a very hard worker). It took all I had not to say anything, but it still makes my blood boil. That coach is not there anymore, but it still sticks with both of us. Sometimes it's the girls, but sometimes it's the coach and if it becomes a pattern I would definitely speak up.
 

Madden3

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I would suggest talking to the coach again and get their side of the story- and I would ask for specifics. If after that discussion you are still dissatisfied, you could bring your concerns to the owner. But how much they can do/are willing to do will depend on many factors.

Respect is one thing. Gymnasts need to speak and act respectfully toward their coaches and other gymnasts at practice. If your daughter is not doing that, and perhaps she is not even aware in what manner she is not showing respect, it is important to understand that so you can help your daughter see the coach's point. There also may be a better way for the coach to handle this concern.

If the issue is your daughter is not "pushing herself" that is another issue entirely. There are many reasons a gymnast might not be willing to try new skills and I would imagine "disrespect" is low on that list. If the coach is equating disrespect with an unwillingness to try harder (scarier) skills, I think you need more clarification on why they think disrespect is the problem.

In my opinion, no matter what age your child is, this is a conversation you the parent have a right and even a responsibility to have with their coach. (And it may have to be an ongoing conversation.) Yes there are nutty parents who drive coaches crazy with unreasonable demands regarding their kids. I get it. But that does not mean that those of us who do not fit that category should not speak up when there is a legitimate concern.
 
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Amusibus

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This is our 11th year with the gym and have never had issues with a coach until now. In August, my daughter’s coach told her to “Leave!” practice 20 minutes early. She was unhappy that my daughter wasn’t pushing herself enough to try new skills. In September, she told my daughter that she was the most uncoachable athlete she’s coached in 15 years. I contacted the coach about this and even though I’m still not happy with her, I felt like we worked through this. On Friday, she told my daughter to put the mats away and then come stretch. The coach asked her if she put them away, and when my daughter said, “yes,” the coach replied, “whatever,” and also said “I don’t believe you.” The coach then proceeded to tell the team that most girls have been respectful, but some really need to step it up. (Most likely directed at my daughter). Since I’ve already tried to work it out with the coach, I’m thinking it’s now time to talk to the owner.
That is horrifying. I’m so sorry you have to deal with this. Definitely out of line.
 
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