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Please butt out

LTmom

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Feb 7, 2018
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Today I got an email from one of the coaches of LT's team that said the coaches are concerned I'm not trusting them and they don't want me to coach LT at home. Long email that basically said "we know what we're doing, kindly butt out."

I'm shocked and don't know how to respond.
1) Whenever I talk to the coaches, I reiterate that I'm not trying to coach, don't want to cross that line.
2) No coach has ever breathed a syllable of this to me.
3) They've assigned me drills to do with LT at home before. Had me take videos so we can get the form correct at home. So how can they say they want me to butt out but also do drills with her?

At first I was going to say sorry I'll stay out of it. Short and sweet.

Then I thought more and I'm like no...I don't want them to think I'm a crazy person who has been asked to back off before but refused. No one said anything to me previously!!

How would you respond?
 

gymdog

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I think you should simply reply “Hi, I received your email on xx date and wanted to set up a time we can meet to discuss this. I’m free on at xyz time on xyz days. Thanks for your work with LT this year and I look forward to meeting with you ASAP to address your concerns.” (Try to give times that are after all practices conclude for the day/evening, or before they start).

I think in person will probably be better so no tone is misinterpreted. I will say one thing that could possibly precipitate this is a child saying for example ”can I try a back handspring now, my mom spots me on it at home” - just a random example and I’ve found sometimes its not even the case, it was one time for fun with a lot of support or something...kids say random things but it tends to cause tension with some coaches.
 
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Carly

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I think you should simply reply “Hi, I received your email on xx date and wanted to set up a time we can meet to discuss this. I’m free on at xyz time on xyz days. Thanks for your work with LT this year and I look forward to meeting with you ASAP to address your concerns.” (Try to give times that are after all practices conclude for the day/evening, or before they start).

I think in person will probably be better so no tone is misinterpreted. I will say one thing that could possibly precipitate this is a child saying for example ”can I try a back handspring now, my mom spots me on it at home” - just a random example and I’ve found sometimes its not even the case, it was one time for fun with a lot of support or something...kids say random things but it tends to cause tension with some coaches.
I completely agree with this. I would definitely set up a meeting and not get into any specific details in an email.
 

josie55

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I would ignore the email. If it's an actual issue then they should say something to you about it, which will prompt an in-person conversation, which is how it should have been handled in the first place.
 
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Cmumgym

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Have you been sending them emails or communicating to them numerous times about their coaching or questioning things? I agree the email should have been addressed with we would like to organise a meeting as it sounds like the coaches may have some issues with feeling like your overbearing with their coaching. But I agree with the post above to reply nicely and reccomend a meeting to discuss any issues
 
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GAgymmom

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It could be an email that all gymnast parents received so as not to single out one person. I'd ask if that's the case so you can have all the facts.
 
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gymgal

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It could be an email that all gymnast parents received so as not to single out one person. I'd ask if that's the case so you can have all the facts.
This was my first thought as well. If it appears to be more of a form email, I would ignore it. If it appears to be directed specifically to you/your child, I would request a meeting to clear the air and prevent both sides from jumping to conclusions.
 

ausnat83

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I think setting up a meeting is a reasonable step. But I can see where they might have felt that an email was the best way to raise an issue, since a)it's away from prying eyes and ears and b)there's less likelihood of emotional reactions when everyone has a chance to think through their words.

What sort of interactions with the coaches have you been having lately? What's your involvement with your kiddo's gym been recently?
 

Jazzjerz

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Aug 18, 2013
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1) Whenever I talk to the coaches, I reiterate that I'm not trying to coach, don't want to cross that line.
2) No coach has ever breathed a syllable of this to me.
3) They've assigned me drills to do with LT at home before. Had me take videos so we can get the form correct at home. So how can they say they want me to butt out but also do drills with her?
Could it be possible that you are not seeing your behavior clearly?

1. What are you talking to the coaches about? If you are consistently having to reiterate that you are not trying to cross a coaching line, it’s likely you are at least close, if not over the line.

3. Did they assign the drills to the whole team, or you alone? Was it totally unprompted, or in response to you asking what she could do at home to improve?

I think an in person conversation could be helpful so that you can all hear exactly how the other side is perceiving the other.
 

LTmom

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I don't know how to reply to various posts with quotations, so I've sort of lumped them together:

-I totally see the value in asking for an in-person meeting to clear the air. However, in my life, people have unanimously told me that I come off much better in writing than in person. Especially for an emotional situation like this, I would come off even more badly. Wish it weren't true but it is.

-Yesterday I had sent a text to a coach about Little Tyrant struggling with a certain thing. (I'm being purposely vague). This coach does privates with LT on a regular basis so it wasn't out of the blue. That coach thanked me, forwarded the text to another coach, who then wrote me the email. Whether it extends further back than that, I don't know because I don't know what else prompted this email.

-Definitely not a form email to the entire team. It was directed to me and only me.

-Regarding stop coaching at home: this is a tricky thing here. My very first post on cb was about how I recognized myself as an insane CGM and how I was going to take all your advice to heart. It has been a struggle for me, but I continue to struggle because I understand the importance of not giving in to the inner CGM. I take the struggle very seriously and even talk to a therapist about this often. I'm not being flippant about it at all. So, without detailing every single thing, here is what goes on at home gymnastics-wise: 1) Conditioning that coach emailed many moons ago that coach said was acceptable to do at home. 2) If LT wants to pretend she is copying the older girls' routines, I make sure she's not doing it in an unsafe area of the house, and I limit my comments/questions to "Is that what your coaches want you to do?/Is that how they want you to do it?" 3) PT exercises assigned by her PT that help with old injuries/building strength for gym. BUT THEN coaches also assigned drills to LT that they asked me to have her do...and now I am darned confused. Why assign me drills and then tell me to stay out of it??? I am really not trying to split hairs. As I said, my initial reflexive response was to just write sorry I'll stay out of it, but seriously, later...will it come back to bite me in the butt because I'm not doing/still doing the assigned drills??? I'd really like to clear the air but not be argumentative.

-Constantly reiterating that I'm not trying to cross the line: It's probably a result of reading so much here that I'm trying to make sure I'm not crossing the line. Also, knowing my struggle with being CGM. They've never said anything of the sort to me, and I guess I insert that into every conversation so that they have a chance to let me know "Yeah you're stepping over the line." But they never have, so this is really shocking to me.

And finally, this has really upset me. I've been unable to get it off my mind all day. You know how sometimes you read something inflammatory and then time blunts the initial impact, you calm down, and realize it wasn't as shocking as you initially thought? The opposite is happening with this email. Each time I reread it, I'm shocked at how much hostility is behind this email. I mean, it is basically "you're on thin ice, watch yourself." It even concludes with if there are any more questions we can sit down with the owner. I mean, damn, break out the sledgehammer....is that really necessary? I could see how this would be necessary if they had asked me on prior occasions to kindly butt out and I had refused...but no one has said anything to me so why is it necessary to bring out the firing squad? I'm really shaken up by this.
 

Cmumgym

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By the sounds of it you are probably overstepping your communication with coaches. We every now and then get parents like this and we always politely answer their concerns. However if we are getting constant emails or communication from a parent it begins to become overwhelming for the coach and a struggle to coach the child as the coach may find themselves stepping on thin ice with anything they do resulting in a questioning parent. Coaches do ask parents to help at home with conditioning and strength at times but often is just a suggestion and is great if you can help out. By the sounds of your response and their email it may seem they have tried to be polite numerous times however have just had enough. You may have been labelled as that parent by the coaches and want the boss to handle it in a better way. I wouldn’t get so upset by it if possible it’s just reply nicely and ask for a meeting. Your thoughts that you do not overstep may not be the same as the coaches. Deffinatly need to have a meeting so you all understand where you are at and what lines not to cross
 
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gymgal

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Even though you don't feel comfortable doing a face to face meeting, I think it's important in this case. Bring a friend /family member if needed.

In general, though, it Sounds like you are having to much communication with the coaches. Seriously, I can count on one hand the number of times I talked with a coach about my dd's gymnastics the first couple of years, outside of formal meetings they set up. It sounds like the privates coach might have been fine with home practice and text communication at one point but is second guessing now and the second coach has drawn the line.

this is why so many people on CB advise "keep gym at the gym". I know you are trying hard not to be THAT CGM, but unfortunately, you are right there. Regular privates, texting coaches, practicing at home (my dd was forbidden by us to do any gymnastics at home, aside from drills giving by the coaches, which was rare, and her responsibility), obsessing about not being a CGM so much that you need to talk with your therapist about it. In all seriousness, you have to get a grip on this. I would highly recommend stepping away if at all possible. Stop the privates, have another family member (or friend) take over bringing her to practice and communicating with the coaches when necessary, which should only be for injuries, illness and maybe extended fears /blocks. Also stop watching videos /researching all things gymnastics if that's happening.
 

ausnat83

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I think it may be helpful to put the email into perspective and not let it grow into a bigger or more severe thing than it was. You didn't describe anything in the email that wasn't appropriate to an initial communication on the subject. Did they say anything about previous requests to stay out of things? Or bring up any consequences? If not, it sounds like they were trying to send an initial request in a non-emotionally charged way. You said yourself that you often come across better in writing than in person. Email also provides a documentation trail, and doing it this way keeps it from being about your (and your gymmie's) relationship with one particular coach. They may have simply felt like this was a better way to handle a first request than a text or in-person comment. It doesn't sound like there was any firing squad involved. Re-reading when you're offended or hurt is often not helpful, because you're going to read it in whatever tone/motivation you've already attributed to it.

I'd suggest taking some deep breaths and trying hard to set it aside for a few days. You're conscious of and trying hard not to be a CGM, so any implication that you might be crossing that line is going to hit hard and bring up lots of feelings. I know that when I've been working hard at something, getting feedback or criticism that doesn't acknowledge that effort is particularly painful. I think that's totally valid, and it's more than ok to take a moment and acknowledge those feelings. But it also helps me to sort of decouple some of the feelings I'm having internally from the other party - they're not responsible for or intending to bring up all those "extra" feelings. A strong internal reaction to the email doesn't mean that those are the feelings that the writer was trying to invoke.

At the end of the day, you and the coaching team are on the same side working for the same goal: your gymmie's success on all fronts, you finding a healthy role as a parent (and not a coach or manager), and a strong relationship between your gymmie and her coaches. I'd try to take some time to work through your internal feelings (work with your therapist) and then try to separate those out some from how you respond to the email and move forward.
 

ldw4mlo

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1) Conditioning that coach emailed many moons ago that coach said was acceptable to do at home. 2) If LT wants to pretend she is copying the older girls' routines, I make sure she's not doing it in an unsafe area of the house, and I limit my comments/questions to "Is that what your coaches want you to do?/Is that how they want you to do it?" 3) PT exercises assigned by her PT that help with old injuries/building strength for gym. BUT THEN coaches also assigned drills to LT that they asked me to have her do...and now I am darned confused. Why assign me drills and then tell me to stay out of it?
Number 2 is very different then 1 and 3.

LT should not be copying the older girls routines pretend or otherwise. That would not be keeping the gym in gym.

That would be doing gym at home. Stop it.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I actually considered #1 a problem area. It isn't conditioning a coach asked them to do, correct? Just some coach said they were allowed to do? A long time ago. That your DD is still doing? Is she jumping up to do conditioning every night or are you telling or reminding her to?

Couple that with #2. I have BEEN there. Little one wants to play on the beam. She wants to do her best skills or the next skills up. You as mom know how bad bad habits are so you only want her to do them if she's doing them right. What starts out as "only do them if you're doing them right" turns into "No, don't do that, you're crooked. No, your legs are bent." And guess what? Now you're coaching your kid, even though you didn't intend to.

Also, if you're saying, "I'm not coaching my kid at home. I don't want to cross the line" all the time, there's a "but" after that. What questions are following that statement?

The only things we do at home are things the coaches specifically ask us to, and only for the span of time they meant it for.
 

LTmom

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I think it may be helpful to put the email into perspective and not let it grow into a bigger or more severe thing than it was. You didn't describe anything in the email that wasn't appropriate to an initial communication on the subject. Did they say anything about previous requests to stay out of things? Or bring up any consequences? If not, it sounds like they were trying to send an initial request in a non-emotionally charged way. You said yourself that you often come across better in writing than in person. Email also provides a documentation trail, and doing it this way keeps it from being about your (and your gymmie's) relationship with one particular coach. They may have simply felt like this was a better way to handle a first request than a text or in-person comment. It doesn't sound like there was any firing squad involved. Re-reading when you're offended or hurt is often not helpful, because you're going to read it in whatever tone/motivation you've already attributed to it.

I'd suggest taking some deep breaths and trying hard to set it aside for a few days. You're conscious of and trying hard not to be a CGM, so any implication that you might be crossing that line is going to hit hard and bring up lots of feelings. I know that when I've been working hard at something, getting feedback or criticism that doesn't acknowledge that effort is particularly painful. I think that's totally valid, and it's more than ok to take a moment and acknowledge those feelings. But it also helps me to sort of decouple some of the feelings I'm having internally from the other party - they're not responsible for or intending to bring up all those "extra" feelings. A strong internal reaction to the email doesn't mean that those are the feelings that the writer was trying to invoke.

At the end of the day, you and the coaching team are on the same side working for the same goal: your gymmie's success on all fronts, you finding a healthy role as a parent (and not a coach or manager), and a strong relationship between your gymmie and her coaches. I'd try to take some time to work through your internal feelings (work with your therapist) and then try to separate those out some from how you respond to the email and move forward.
I love your kind approach and also nailing my thoughts and feelings. I've decided not to respond until I can sort this out with my therapist. Best not to respond while upset. Thank you.
 
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LTmom

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I actually considered #1 a problem area. It isn't conditioning a coach asked them to do, correct? Just some coach said they were allowed to do? A long time ago. That your DD is still doing? Is she jumping up to do conditioning every night or are you telling or reminding her to?

Couple that with #2. I have BEEN there. Little one wants to play on the beam. She wants to do her best skills or the next skills up. You as mom know how bad bad habits are so you only want her to do them if she's doing them right. What starts out as "only do them if you're doing them right" turns into "No, don't do that, you're crooked. No, your legs are bent." And guess what? Now you're coaching your kid, even though you didn't intend to.

Also, if you're saying, "I'm not coaching my kid at home. I don't want to cross the line" all the time, there's a "but" after that. What questions are following that statement?

The only things we do at home are things the coaches specifically ask us to, and only for the span of time they meant it for.
Conditioning-I've gotten very good at leaving it alone. I'm proud of my progress. I've shown her the list of things head coach said all the kids can do at home (pull ups, push ups, etc), and if she wants to, she can have at it. Sometimes she wants to do 100 v ups and 100 push ups before bed. I don't even stay and watch i just say ok sure and leave. Other days she wants to do nothing and I say nothing.

Routines-don't a lot of gymmies do this?? I really am not trying to make excuses here but literally all the parents at gym talk about what nutty thing their kid has done recently. Maybe I should clarify she is working on the routine for her current level, not a few levels up (eek!). Don't know if this makes a difference. And it's her driven, like conditioning. If she doesn't bring it up, I zip my lip. Most often after practice she'll be on an endorphin high and want to show her dad what she learned that night. Why shut this down?
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I think in some situations it can be fine, but if your coaches are worried about the amount of gymnastics and coaching that is going on at home then they're seeing or hearing something that concerns them. It won't be long before the skills she wants to show can't/shouldn't be done at home. It's not that hard to get used to.

Hopefully once you talk to the coaches it will give you some clarity on what is the actual problem.
 

ldw4mlo

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Routines-don't a lot of gymmies do this??
I don’t know what all gymmies do. Or what all gyms do. Mine is a L8.

We have been at 2 gyms. Both sets of coaches said no gymnastics at home. we took that seriousl. We have no beam or bar at home, never did.

First gym regarding routines. When they were very young and not yet used to routines and coreograph. They wanted us to review dance part of coreograph, this was L2. No skills, none. Skills at gym only.

Our current gym, 7 yrs now..... the only thing they have ever said about routines..... once my kid got to optionals is to review the video of her coreography. Since the coach can’t remember every step of every kids routine. They ask we record them for the gymmies to review so they remember. Again nothing done at home.

They give us a conditioning list. This is meant for things like when we are on vacation.... things like push ups, planks, squats, handstands...... no gymnastics skills. When they are going to gym regularly they expect them to do gym at gym.

Your gymmie is what 8/9 now? Keep gym in gym. And step away. It’s her sport, not yours.....
 
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