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Replacement coach

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Ingymmom

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Jul 12, 2007
981
Our coaches went on a planned (a yr in advance) vacation for 2 weeks, and our gym owner had a replacement coach come in from the outside. A high school coach. He watched a couple of practices and was given a list of exercises from the older team girls, but decided that instead he would let the girls have open gym and only work on brand new skills. Our practices went from 3 hours to 4 hours for this "conditioning" time. I stayed because my little one was nervous about a new coach coming in, and well, I don't know him - we were never introduced. I don't know his credentials, only that he says he has 35 years of coaching experience. By day 3, I pulled him aside (awat from the girls) and asked if he was planning on doing a little more conditioing that day - he basically snapped at me that he was just thrown into this and this would be his last day since the parents were obvioulsly not happy - well I was not happy, but I was mostly concerned about the safety of the our girls which is why I said anything. We were told before to never go to the owner with problems, to go straight to the coach or booster club depending on problem, so I went to the coach - very nicely and even told him the girls were having fun, I was just worried about lack of warm-ups & conditioning/flexibility. I offered to help, but since only 4 girls (out of 18) even bothered to come that day well.... I guess that speaks for itself. He was very offended and yelled his credentials at me & snapped I should write a list of what I want my dtr to do. I said this is not about my dtr, and I am not a coach. Just a concerned parent that cares about all of these girls. He said he planned on more conditioning that day, problem solved - I just knew we would not be back, it just did not feel right to me - this is the short story of bad falls and unsupervised open gym. From a parent perspective, should I have gone straight to the owner with any concerns, or just not bothered to come for 2 weeks? The gym owner then yelled at me for talking to the coach, and said I should have come to her. She said I am not a coach so I should not have a say so in what he did with the girls? HUH??? we were told not to come to her, now we were supposed to. I am confused, and have NEVER had a single complaint about our coaches. I trust them completely. This man, I just did not trust, he admittedly did not know what to do with the girls for 4 hours! I wonder if I should have handled it differently?
 

Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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No words of wisdom for you ingymmom, just wanted to say it sounds like your words with the coach was the topping on the cake. And, it seems like you were not the only upset mom/gymnast by his (and the owners) reaction. However, as a parent, I would not want to know that this was the best they could do while a coach was on vacation that was planned well in advance. I pay a tuition that provides a service & instruction to my child training on a team..not an open gym that doesn't seem supervised. I would be PO'd too. I am a whimp though, I probably would not have said anything, but if the situation was the way you described than I would probably haul off an e-mail when I got home to the owner. I would not want my dd to miss 2 weeks of gym, but I would not want to pay a hefty tuition for open gym either...something needed to be said, you just got the "heat" because you were the one to speak up. I admire people like you !
 
M

Megley

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I think you handled it perfectly appropriately. You did exactly what I would have done, which is to speak to the coach first before bothering the owner about it. No doubt, had you gone to the owner first, she would have complained about your not talking to the coach. This is a no-win situation for you because it sounds like these folks are extremely vested in defending themselves and are not willing to look objectively at what is happening. Nor do they seem to have the best interests of the girls at heart here. This situation is just untenable and the owner and coach should realize that when only 4 out of 18 gymnasts show up! I wish I could tell you what the right thing to do is but that is ultimately up to you. I did want to let you know that I think you acted perfectly appropriately. If it is only another week before your regular coaches return, you might just want to keep your daughter out of gym and give her a short "vacation." Good luck!

Meg
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
No words of wisdom for you ingymmom, just wanted to say it sounds like your words with the coach was the topping on the cake. And, it seems like you were not the only upset mom/gymnast by his (and the owners) reaction. However, as a parent, I would not want to know that this was the best they could do while a coach was on vacation that was planned well in advance. I pay a tuition that provides a service & instruction to my child training on a team..not an open gym that doesn't seem supervised. I would be PO'd too. I am a whimp though, I probably would not have said anything, but if the situation was the way you described than I would probably haul off an e-mail when I got home to the owner. I would not want my dd to miss 2 weeks of gym, but I would not want to pay a hefty tuition for open gym either...something needed to be said, you just got the "heat" because you were the one to speak up. I admire people like you !
I do not regret saying anything at all, & I definetely was not the only parent that expressed concern - but I got a great BIG lesson in politics S - oh my goodness. that coach quit, it got blamed on me & the rest I will someday laugh about I am told:D tx so much for your comment - I agree about staying quiet - this is how I would usually be as well, but it was a safety issue I was concerned about & these girls losing so much before competition - not even for my dd, because when we left early that day, I intended to just stay away until our coaches returned anyway. GREAT BIG LONG STORY SHORT - if you are happy with your regular coaches in comp gymnastics - quiet is best:D tx for the comment - nic
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
I think you handled it perfectly appropriately. You did exactly what I would have done, which is to speak to the coach first before bothering the owner about it. No doubt, had you gone to the owner first, she would have complained about your not talking to the coach. This is a no-win situation for you because it sounds like these folks are extremely vested in defending themselves and are not willing to look objectively at what is happening. Nor do they seem to have the best interests of the girls at heart here. This situation is just untenable and the owner and coach should realize that when only 4 out of 18 gymnasts show up! I wish I could tell you what the right thing to do is but that is ultimately up to you. I did want to let you know that I think you acted perfectly appropriately. If it is only another week before your regular coaches return, you might just want to keep your daughter out of gym and give her a short "vacation." Good luck!

Meg
Exactly meg, it just seemed like proper protocal to me. In football, we would not go to the HLA before talking to a coach, we would go to the coach if we have a concern. It would have been a lose, lose situation in this case, which has been proven over and over again. Our gym has a big power issue - what we need is some good management. The 2nd team QUIT 5 months ago - hmmm wonder why??? LOL . We WILL be taking a 2 week vacation - get ready for school and deal with our football schedule until the coaches return:D tx again for your help - nic

ps hope you guys are doing well
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Ingy---a few things jumped out at me as being rather unusual regarding this "sub coach." 1st is the timing of vacations for the regular coaches. Most programs are gearing up for their meet seasons in Aug. and that is not the time most coaches would want to take a 2 week break. If they were given no other option, then it would make sense to stagger the vacations so one team coach was there and could run practices. I have to say I've never heard of bringing in some coach nobody knew to run team practices for 2 wks. and you are paying a king's ransom in tuition for this?? Super bad management.

When the regular coaches get back, they're going to find most of their kids haven't been at practice much in 2 weeks, parents are steamed over what practice was offered etc. Thing is some parents will get sick of this whole thing realizing the coaches have no control and some kids will quit or go elsewhere and then it will be the coaches. Just sounds like the owner doesn't have much understanding of how a competitive program is run and makes silly decisions.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
GLM, I agree on many accounts with what you said - timing, bad management etc. I actually have to admit here, that I have never seen management any worse, in any business - the fact that this year - the same as last year the gymnastics team cut completely in half really says a great deal (especially since it had nothing to do with the coaches)... we are out as well, in fact kicked out - based on a great big fat power trip - and a very silly minded gym owner... boy oh boy, the coaches are NOT going to be happy when they return. I think for them and the way that they feel there really is no great time to go - they would rather stay, and certainly not have an outsider come in, they try to time their schedule with school a little is my feeling. I am not the 1st & won't be the last person this has happened to, I think they actually believe if they make an example out of everyone that has a voice (unless it is in their favor of course) people will be too afraid to speak.. which for some has been the case at least for now.

I have learned a great deal from this situation though - one big lesson, is that if gym ever has a sub coach again. I will ask for resume, background check, etc - heck I did not even know this coaches name prior to (a big mistake on my part). I was a little too naive and trusting.

After all of this the gym did what they should have done in the 1st place - had one of the coaches already in the gym and familiar w/the program hold an ONLY conditioning class, that follows the coaches guidelines... figures... I am still debating the best way to handle the situation from here. I feel it is not closed, and the ridiculousness of it just floors me. I can not even began to explain just how ridiculous it got:confused:, but already laughing a little already:p tx again
 
Jun 13, 2007
75
NJ
Do you mean you have been kicked out of the gym?? For raising a concern like that? Or is it just that you have been asked not to come until your regular coaches come back?
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
yep, she said we were not welcome back to the gym in her usual over-emotional way.... I asked if she wanted my side, & the truth, she said nope... For this O it is all about power. She would not care if she lost her entire business as long as she has the last word. I could tell you horror stories of things that have happened to people in our gym - but the coaches are incredible, and you can come to them with anything so it was worth the effort to this point.


..... ahhh but then I get the phone call, that dd can come back to the gym if... go figure, not sure if it is worth the energy anymore, so we are still on the fence here.
 
Jun 13, 2007
75
NJ
Do they teach owners to act like that because it sounds like what just happened to me and my dds. I was totally unprepared though because no other parents stay at that gym so I didn't know the owner was like that. (We were only ther for 5 months and she seemed so normal)
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
GREAT QUESTION!! LOL, to be honest I really am not sure but doubt the majority are like this.... I have talked to a few gym owners over the last week or so and they seem totally normal - we had warning signs from day 1 about our O... we did come from a rec gym where the owner had been in business for many, many years and she has a similar personality relating to power, (but still would never treat a customer poorly & cares about a complaint/question or concern whether it is valid or not) but she is brilliant and hired an incredible staff to manage and operate her business... our O did the same after a stint of bad transactions, but they left after only 2 months - gee wonder why? :p
 
Jun 13, 2007
75
NJ
Well good luck in your search!!! I think (and I mean that in the truest sense of the word) we found a good gym with an owner who cares more about the kids than anything else. My dd was nervous about going in to class last week because we were 5 minuts late(I am such a terrible mother) and after the few coaches we had she was not gong in .... Then the owner pulled up and started talking to her. My dd has seperation issues we are working on and I am supposed to have her go and do what she needs to do before I come to her rescue. So I told her if she goes in for 5 minutes I would be right behind her. The owner took her in and just sat with her talking about why she was nervous, I followed in 5 minutes and sat in the waiting area. My dd was already in the gym so she went to class with no further issues, the owner went about her other work and didn't even make it an issue for me. I went and thanked her about 15 minutes later, and she said it was no big deal and was glad she could help, she understands that all kids sometimes have stress that a parent can't deal with if no one else lends a hand, and if we need to keep working at she would be glad to help. The next class I made sure I was 10 minutes early and my dd had no issues about going in to class and I even left for about 1 hour. After my dds last class she said she was glad the last owner kicked us out, because they are so nice at the new gym and she thinks they like her here.:eek: I almost cried, I had no idea she was feeling like they didn't like her at the last gym.
Sorry to ramble on. Good luck hope you find some where great!!!!
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Ingymom. Just my .02, but I would look for another gym. Sounds like this owner doesn't really care if she has a competitive team program or not and with all her poor decisions, may very well end up without one. Sounds like she shoves the coaches around as much as the parents and they will only take so much before they all leave.

This time it was the issue about the "sub" coach, but you know if you go back, it will be something else. Start looking around for a gym that has an established team program and even if it means dd would compete L4 rather than L5 next year, so be it. You want her in a place where there is not constant uproar---the kids sense this and after awhile they don't want to be there and their training etc. suffers.

As you know my daughter changed gyms. Now, its only the start of the 4th week, but what a change in her attitude. The old "I can't wait to get there" is back and she thanked us the other night for letting her make the change. She said " I do my skills at ____ because they build me up---not tear me down like at _____" Heck a few nights ago she said she was a little upset because they didn't do any beam!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! My kid missed not doing beam. My hubby claims they put something in the chalk:) Now with our situation the problem was with the coach, but it all filtered down from the top. The owner hired coaches who would coach HIS way. As this owner said once(he should listen to himself)--"nobody HAS to do gymnastics and they don't HAVE to do it here." That is very true.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
The gym owner does not care about the gymnastics team in the least (many incidents that show this). I honestly think (just me speculating) that she can not afford the coaches anymore and wants them to quit. Or wants all of the gymnasts to leave/quit so that she can say there is no team, no job and pull her little poor me act. However it turns out it will never be her fault... She has since implemented a no watch policy - very silly to me since we never had any issues with our ACTUAL coaches, just the temp coach hired that quit on the 3rd day because of parents rightfully complaining. How can strangers come in to watch the girls (parents from rec classes can still watch) but team parents that pay more (a car pymnt amount a month) are no longer allowed? Now, a lot of the parents rarely stayed to watch anymore anyway - maybe 10 or 15 minutes before/after. It is just the whole idea that now parents must wait in the lobby for the children to come out. Our coaches return this week, and we have yet to return to the gym since this incident, but the coaches (they were still in town when all of this occurred and were very upset) would like our dd to come back - I just don't know if I can deal with so much irrationality again - and you are correct it is always something else with her - different issue, different person, different day - I also found out she has a pretty bad rep w/USAG, even though I am not certain how that would affect us.... so anyway, we have looked around some - the closest decent gym is about an hour away... but 2 hours of travel 3 or 4 days a week seems such a waste, and dd misses her coaches so much. All of the gyms I have looked at of course want her to compete level 4 -all insisting it is necessary and they want her compete this year saying she is more then ready. We just don't have time to add competition to our schedule - I had counted on an entire year before competition, and just can't fit it in...On the other hand, I hate to have her sit it out for the next year, she has been crabby and complaining since we have been out for the last couple of weeks as it is - weather permitting, we go to the playground everyday to try and let out that extra energy, and I did get 1 open gym in to appease her, but it was not the same for her - while her coaches are really great, we had an "amount of hours" concern we would have to address with them and now I feel like a busy body mom for having all of these issues at one time. Not sure what we will do... I guess just weigh the pro's/con's - anyone have a magic wand to wave? LOL

GLM, sounds like your dd's new gym is a really great fit - you addressed and resolved your issue quickly, and it worked out well... it sounds like you guys tried hard to make the ex gym work, but they just made it too difficult to stay. Its too bad that power/pride etc plays such a strong role in some gyms - they really only hurt themselves. Watching your dd be excited about something she loves again is such a beautiful thing... can't wait to hear all about her meet season:D. - nic
 
Jun 13, 2007
75
NJ
I just want to say how sorry I am you and your dd are having so many issues with your gym at the same time. I have no easy answer or magic wand, but wanted to tell you I know the feeling. I hope it works out for you and your dd. I wish we had owners like the ones here at the chalk bucket(They seem so much more caring and understanding.)
 
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