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Parents upset with stretching

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elilla

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Feb 22, 2008
40
Omaha, NE
I know that I just posted in here but I have had another issue come up and wondered if I could get some advice....or maybe just some consoling from other coaches:)

Tiny bit of background: Our gym has been open for about 15 months. We are in a TINY space and teach all rec classes. I have one group of kids...there are 6...that are working on level 4. We have 2 coaches for the 6 kids.

Ok, the situation: The other coach (6 years of experience) was placing one of my gymnasts in the correct position in splits...I saw her do this and she did not push but just squared her hips. After class the little girl (8 years) went to the car and started sobbing to her dad that the coach pushed her too far and her legs hurt. The dad came back into the gym and wanted to discuss this with me. I explained the stretching technique. He was still mad but left the gym. I went to the car and explained the stretching to the gymnast. Anyway, I'll try to sum this up. The mother then called me because the dad had carried the little girl into the house because she was so "hurt." The mother is furious and says the girl wants to quit because my coach does not like her and intentionally pulled her muscles.


What do I do? I hate to just say "too bad" because we are growing facility and would not want bad publicity. On the other hand it really seems the little girl is milking this for all it is worth. ARG!! And I wanted my own gym:)
 

CoachL

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Apr 9, 2007
217
i once had a dad that wanted to punch me out for over stretching his daughter.....which I didn't do. Some parents are neurotic and you have to deal with that....I personally prefer to get them out of the program before they starting groaning w/ other parents and what not.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Probably best to get a parent like that out the door, especially with a new program.
 
H

hammy

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Unfortunately parents can be problems sometimes, and sometimes they just don't understand coaches. Some parents can be extremely over-protectice of their kids, and some kids can be dramatic, especially when they don't understand things. A lot of kids don't understand that stretching may hurt a little--so it's great that you explained this to her. Long story short, it's sad that some parents just don't understand things. I suggest allowing the kid to try class again but have the parents sit and watch (without her knowing)--maybe let them watch a few times. This way they can see that the coach is helping all of the girls and what not. Then, speak with the parents after class.
 
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BlairBob

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Part of me prefers to see which kids will stay square after they learn the concept and stick to it no matter how difficult it is and let the others one's fall by the wayside when they don't suck it up. It can be very often a matter of just win where you can and not stress myself where it goes nowhere in some kids. Again it also be said that there is something to be desired in making kids desire the things you want by whatever techniques one employs to get them to. Praise, goals, ideals, etc

I will simply state it that square hips have these rewards in the future, yadda yadda yadda. Going the hard way is the way towards the true prizes in life yadda yadda. Sometimes and eventually the kids who half-do thing get poor results and it is a matter of you pick your own poison/hell and reap what you sow.

You don't what simple physical preparation to be a limiter in your gymnastics career. That's just dumb. I impress this from an early point. It's called " suck it up, buttercup. " If you let it be, then you'll be stuck and have no one to blame but yourself ( or me for ignoring you ).
 
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lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Simply put, get those whack-jobs out of your gym ASAP. The kid obviously has issues, and the parents are already trying to find someone to blame for their child's perceived failure.

Now is your chance.

Maybe suggest that if a simple split is that uncomfortable, they should go see a doctor and require that they bring a note from a doctor in order to participate. If there is any pain, tell them that you can't afford the liability and don't want the child to suffer, so maybe they should try a different sport.

End of story.
 
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Aussie_coach

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I am in agreement with all the others. What this coach did is perfectly acceptable with level 4 gymnasts, even if they are recreational kids. Not only is it acceptable but essential, most kids will not understand the concept of square hips simply by having it explained to them and will need to be put in the postion a few times in order to get the feel of it.

I would tell the parents that gymnastics is a hands on sport and some discomfort does arise from streching but it is essential for the gymnasts success and safety. If they are not comfortable with this then perhaps it is time for another sport. If the child is complaining that she needs to be caried inside from having her hips squared up then it is unlikly she will progress past the level 4 stage anyway.
 
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elilla

New Member
Feb 22, 2008
40
Omaha, NE
Thank you everyone. It is so hard to be in this new position of coach and gym owner. The situation did work out ok. I made a follow-up call to the family and they even admitted that they overreacted. She no longer wants to quit and understands (or says she does) that gymnastics is tough and sometimes hurts. So anyway....I guess it's all over....until next time:)
 
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Rec Coach

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Jan 27, 2008
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Canada
Maybe suggest that if a simple split is that uncomfortable, they should go see a doctor and require that they bring a note from a doctor in order to participate. If there is any pain, tell them that you can't afford the liability and don't want the child to suffer, so maybe they should try a different sport.

End of story.
Love it!! :)
 
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Aussie_coach

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Thats good news, the best news is that the family are willing to admit that they made a mistake and learn from it. People like that you can work with more easily.
 
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