Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
554,231 messages... 44,365 topics... and 6,612 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts & High 5 Meets!

For Coaches Is this dumb, weir or norma.. Parent lesson

Status
Not open for further replies.
L

littlekateskate

Guest
After reading the thread about parent tot classes, which we never did. I read about how parent tot classes teach parents how to spot their kids correctly.

So i was thinking about asking the gym owner/coach to do a private lesson with me and my child so she can show me ways to spot and help correctly.

Just so you know dd is doing things as front/back walkovers well trying to do them at home. That is using wedges and just on the floor.

But what my question is, is this stupid? Would the coach hate it but feel obligated. Is it bad I am even helping her at home and should i just let her do it only at the gym? Ect ect. :) thanks
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
They'll probably just say no. They probably won't feel obligated. It's not something that's done.

I don't see parent/tot as teaching how to spot correctly. They don't do any "real" gymnastics because they're still under the bridging, etc age. We don't go over spotting techniques or anything. The kids are tiny, the skills are simple, and it's basically common sense don't drop them at that point.
 

iluvgym

Coach
Coach
Club Owner
Feb 6, 2008
139
Honestly if you want your daughter to stay in the sport long term, you need to keep gym at gym. As much as she may want to play gymnastics at home now, home needs to remain a kind of "safe haven" away from the gym. By trying to "help", it shows your daughter how important gymnastics is to you, and while now it may just be fun for you both now when you help, it's going down a dangerous path ............it's better to let the coaches be the coaches and yourself to be the parent. To survive this sport for many years it's important that the triangle of support between gymnast/coach/parent be very strong, where everyone knows their place/responsibility.

As a coach if someone asked me that, no, I wouldn't feel obligated, I would just say NO to that request. Besides the reasons I already stated, also because teaching a skill correctly is not about just being able to spot them and protect them from falling. She may learn a skill at home but maybe will be picking up bad habits and they will be impossible to correct later on.

Sorry, I'm sure that's not the reply that you were looking for, and I'm also sure you mean well, but that's my opinion on it, gained through YEARS of experience on what I've seen work, and what I've seen destroy kids.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
In my parent/ tot class that I teach I do not teach spotting. Like was said above they are really not doing any 'gymnastics'. Parents will help w/ forward or backward rolls down a wedge mat or spiderman to a handstand on a standing wedge mat, but what they are really doing is helping their child through the rotation of stations and keeping them from running all over the place !!
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Don't feel bad about keeping gymnastics at the gym or like you're coming up short by not being able to spot stuff at home. I can tell you as a coach with a dare devil young daughter in gymnastics, my time at home is spent just the same way as any other parent. "Stop that, you're going to hurt yourself!" and safety lectures are commonly heard in my house *sigh* The other coaches I know in my situation do the same thing. The only difference is that when we refuse to bring work / gymnastics home our kids try to pull the 'but your a coach!' card on us. Home is just as much a break for us as it is for the kids though!
 
L

littlekateskate

Guest
Im sure as alot of parents feel. Its not that we are tryign to push our children at home. Its if they are going to do it anyway why not be a little safer. I can try to spot her on a back walkover or let her land on her head 50 times. And we all know how well they listen when you say stop. They find another room in the house where you cant see them and go for it :) Unfortunetly she is only at the gym 2 hours a week so she craves doing it at home. I would add another day at the gym but I dont want the coaches at the gym thinking ill of me for having her come that much either.

I guess no matter what you will do people will criticize. (ewe that came off wrong. because noone really on here has, just mentioning it, lol)
 

Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
Im sure as alot of parents feel. Its not that we are tryign to push our children at home. Its if they are going to do it anyway why not be a little safer. I can try to spot her on a back walkover or let her land on her head 50 times. And we all know how well they listen when you say stop. They find another room in the house where you cant see them and go for it :) Unfortunetly she is only at the gym 2 hours a week so she craves doing it at home. I would add another day at the gym but I dont want the coaches at the gym thinking ill of me for having her come that much either.

I guess no matter what you will do people will criticize. (ewe that came off wrong. because noone really on here has, just mentioning it, lol)

I understand your train of thought, and it makes sense on the surface. I don't know your DD obviously, but she sounds a lot like mine in this respect. When I threw her a bone and spotted her, she came to expect it, and did pull the 'other room' tactic, and massive whining at being told to knock it off. My DD was crazy and hellbent on hurting herself at times I think, never been hurt badly enough to know fear. It got to the point where I had to tell her I'd break her butt before I let her break her neck. 2 spankings later we're back to warnings when she gets frisky, and I blame myself a bit for caving to the whining at first.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Im sure as alot of parents feel. Its not that we are tryign to push our children at home. Its if they are going to do it anyway why not be a little safer. I can try to spot her on a back walkover or let her land on her head 50 times. And we all know how well they listen when you say stop. They find another room in the house where you cant see them and go for it :) Unfortunetly she is only at the gym 2 hours a week so she craves doing it at home. I would add another day at the gym but I dont want the coaches at the gym thinking ill of me for having her come that much either.

I guess no matter what you will do people will criticize. (ewe that came off wrong. because noone really on here has, just mentioning it, lol)

Well it doesn't matter because regardless of how valid the desire may be, there are equally valid reasons no one provides this service. None of us learned to coach gymnastics in a half hour. I don't mean to sound short, but we're all people too, we just grew up doing gymnastics. We were kids who liked doing gymnastics once. But that isn't how gymnastics works and if you're going to be a certified professional then it's irresponsible to act outside of what you know to be appropriate risk management. And honestly they will get the skills in their own time. You know what...she isn't going to land on her head 50 times. They will learn the limits if it comes to that. Even if they do get hurt once, if it's from their own height and steam, it's highly unlikely to be catastrophic (backyard trampolines on the other hand :eek:) and they will be more careful next time. I never did BHSs or BWOs at home and landed on my head because I knew it was going to hurt and I knew no one was going to come over and spot me. Kids are smart. When you jump in and help, it just encourages the behavior because they know that by initiating it, they have the currency (your fear) to get you to come assist. I've made this mistake many times in classes. You have to decide where you're going to draw the line and that becomes the hill you die on. No matter how many times you can't stand to repeat the same thing for the 380th time that afternoon, if you give in one time then you dig yourself a bigger hole. 5-6 is a bad age for this. They have a lot less fear and more independence, but they haven't internalized a lot of boundaries. In the long run you'll just lose your mind more giving in that one time.
 
Last edited:

iluvgym

Coach
Coach
Club Owner
Feb 6, 2008
139
On a somewhat funny note (it's funny now, but it wasn't funny then), the only kid I've ever had get hurt doing gymnastics at home was a Level 8 who did a back handspring on her bed, hit her foot on the dresser, and broke her foot!

Oh, and the preteamer who apparently was showing off while waiting in line at Wendy's fast food with her mom and decided it was fun to do bars on those line divider rails by the cash register and slipped and hit her head on the bar. She got an earful from me after that one, I don't think she ever did gym anywhere but the gym again!
 

GymLyon

New Member
Oct 12, 2008
44
Really the only reason for a mom/tot class is for those who would like to start "gymnastics" at an extremely young age. It gets the kids used to moving their body in certain ways and develops their motor skills. Unfortunately at that young of an age, words go in one ear and out the other and they have no self-control when it comes to playing on equipment or running across the gym in the way of older gymnasts tumbling or swinging below the bars. Parents are necessary chauffeurs at this point, for safety reasons. But to think that the parents are learning how to spot is, and there's no easy way to put it, just wrong. Like someone else mentioned the "spotting" at this level is very straight-forward, don't let em fall. On rolls all you have to do is pick up their hips a little and roll em over, it's really not a difficult thing to do.

To answer the OP, it depends on the situation. For most people I would tell them no. If you were say... a parent who was a cheer coach or some other legitimate reason why you needed to have spotting skills, then maybe that would be a reason to have a private lesson. But I would think going to a spotting clinic would be a better option at that point, but to everyone his own.

On a tangent: I have coached cheerleaders before and I have to tell you their definition of "spotting" is a FAR cry from the gymnastics definition of "spotting". I don't know how more of them don't get hurt, and I get really frustrated when teaching tumbling to cheerleaders.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.