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!

Should we bother trying to make this work?

Status
Not open for further replies.

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
HI all. I honestly don't know what to do and still can't believe I heard what I did out of gymmie's coach last night. We have coach/parent/gymnast meetings at the end of the year. So, we met with gymmie's coach last night. She pretty much laid the blame for a less than good year(for the whole team) on the girls. Said they never understood how hard L8 was. Stressed that the summer groups were based on girls with the same skills----which in no way is accurate and not at all what the HC said. Said yes gymmie would be given her chance to learn and show them L9 skills. We brought up(nicely I thought) that she and the other coaches were stretched too thin and she said she had been fine coaching 3 levels(HC had even agreed with us on that)----got somewhat defensive and said maybe they would re-evaluate things in the fall. She did ask gymmie about her goals and what skills she wanted to learn this summer---thought the yerchenko vault was best for her(HC thought tsuk).
Ok, then the bomb. She brought up the state meet held at our old gym---lots of bad memories. Said since she and the other coach couldn't get gymmie to talk much to them, "We gave up trying to do much of anything." Admitted she and the other coach just sat and talked between themselves most of the meet. Then told gymmie(who was almost in tears) that she "needs to get past all of this" with the former gym and "move on." She's a kid and one that was hurt badly at her 1st gym---now this coach piles more on.
I honestly wonder if its worth staying at this gym. There is no other place to go, but having my kid spend time with a coach who admits she basically quit trying to coach her in a meet has me past mad. HC is gone for 10 days so can't talk with him right now. Gymmie is hurt---I can see it in her eyes, but she won't talk about last night. I really wish she wasn't so passionate about this sport and could walk away easily.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
16,720
Country
Canada
Wow that was an awful lot for that coach to pile on your young gymmies head, as if she didn't have enough to deal with. I am quite shocked at her attitude towards your DD, some of those things (even if they were true) would've been better said just to you or not at all as there is no benefit to hearing them. Does she really believe that your DD should just "get over it" concerning the old gym?

Sounds like an insensitive adult.

Also sounds like she and the other coach had not even discussed your DD's summer training which makes it a bit worthless.

I think all I would suggest is scheduling another meeting with both coaches, and no gymmie, to clear the air. Write down what your gymmie needs to know and ask the questions one at a time.

It is very tough when there are no other gyms to choose from, though sometimes gymmies are so happy with their friends that they do not want to move.

A real shame for your DD, she is obviously very talented and with the right coaches would thrive, seems like this coach has checked out and doesn't even care to make an effort with you dd.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
Country
USA
I don't know what to say, except that I can understand why your DD would be so hurt and also why you are so mad. It is a shame to have a kid that wants something so bad and works hard for it, but no coach to help her to get her goals. I wish there was somewhere else she could go because obviously they don't care enough for her there. Hugs to both of you.
 

coachmolly

Active Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
Country
USA
Get your dd away from those coaches! I could understand the coaches if they ignored her for a bad attitude or for bringing the rest of the team down, but that is obviously not the case. The problem involved was not her fault and in that case coaches really need to show some compassion. What they did was not in an effort to try to make her a better gymnast, it was just the opposite and that is not right and it's not fair. Your dd has every right to feel the way she does and her coaches should have been mindful of the problem (I'm assuming they knew the issues). Your dd seems like a talented kid who is willing to work hard and hasn't given up despite some rough times, she certainly does not need coaches willing to give up on her.
If there are no other gyms around, speak with the HC again and try to get your dd moved into another group. She needs coaches who fully understand her short and long term goals, her passion, and most importantly her as a person. She doesn't need to be around people, especially people in authority positions, who are capable of inflicting such hurt upon her.
I am so sorry you and your dd are going through this and hope there is an amazing solution to all of this. She deserves the best and you are a great mom for trying to get that for her!
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Sounds like someone with no kids of their own that needs some classes in how to work with kids and be the adult here !!!!!!!

I've had coaches with multiple kids say the same type of things, maybe worse. There's nothing in the original post to indicate whether this individual has kids or not, but it really makes no difference whatsoever in my experience. I can sort of understand now, things get irritating when you're with any people for extended periods of time, especially when you're invested in some outcome. I'm a lot more laid back than some coaches though. Gymnastics isn't that big a deal. Some people just don't know how to deal with anything without resorting to ranting. Probably the worst coach I had had five children.

In my experience when things start to break down to this extent and there is no communication or consistency among the staff, it often gets worse before it gets better. Coaches will quit, entire groups will quit. Then the course will more likely reverse because it'll have to. The question is whether you want to stay through that or not - this can get bad. Talking behind backs, rumors, etc. It's a personal decision, but it sounds like your daughter is sensitive and highly impacted by stress. This is going to be a stressful situation. I can't say one way or the other but I would strongly consider that if it's bad now, you're going to end up walking away at a point when it's worse, and it may not be worth it.
 
M

momofagymmie

Guest
Not right at all. If your daughter truly loves the sport and there are no other choices in gyms nearby, i think a sit down with the HC and this coach is called for without dd. I wonder if the HC is aware of this coaches character? A meet at an old gym or in front of an old coach is a huge mental issue for any gymnast and not an uncommon one. Imo this should be anticipated and discussed prior to the meet and an mental plan put in place for the meet. Certainly a pow wow and discussion of your gymmies future at this gym should be discussed thoroughly before commiting a full summer to it. It's lame to blame the gymnasts for poor preformance of an entire year. One or two meets sure, they can't all be fully focused all the time but a year? That's ridiculous. Good luck and hope it turns out for the best for you and your DD.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
Not right at all. If your daughter truly loves the sport and there are no other choices in gyms nearby, i think a sit down with the HC and this coach is called for without dd. I wonder if the HC is aware of this coaches character? A meet at an old gym or in front of an old coach is a huge mental issue for any gymnast and not an uncommon one. Imo this should be anticipated and discussed prior to the meet and an mental plan put in place for the meet. Certainly a pow wow and discussion of your gymmies future at this gym should be discussed thoroughly before commiting a full summer to it. It's lame to blame the gymnasts for poor preformance of an entire year. One or two meets sure, they can't all be fully focused all the time but a year? That's ridiculous. Good luck and hope it turns out for the best for you and your DD.

Thanks to all for your responses. Momo, you really nailed it. When we found out the location for states had been changed to the host gym's facility(was supposed to be at a big expo type place), gymmie started getting nervous about "going back in there." I did tell her coach, who gave me the line, "she needs to get past that." I agree that she does, but it wasn't going to happen in 10 days. I think the coach was unsure how to deal with the "elephant in the gym" so never talked with gymmie about her feelings before states. Honestly, I think she hoped it wouldn't be an issue because she didn't know what to do. This state meet broke out as the perfect disaster---go back to old gym and yes former coaches plus she was the only one from her team in that session(old gym had 5 girls).
This coach has changed alot over the last year. Last year much more relaxed and positive---now defensive and stressed(although she denies it). She is also the coach that took gymmie under her wing when we changed gyms and the coach gymmie has felt the closest to. I did get gymmie to admit that that relationship seems to have broken down. I think some of the negativity we caught was left over from the poor performance of the girls at L8 regionals(we weren't involved in that).
Also the gym has been bringing in a coach as a "sub" when most of the optional coaches are at states, regionals, out of state meets. The girls LOVE her and I think some of this has gotten back to this coach. My gymmie mentioned a skill(straddle back) that she worked on with the sub coach and this coach dismissed the skill as "not needed" and you won't be working those. I think those green horns are showing here.
Thing is this kid loves the sport so much she doesn't care all that much about how the coaches treat her----she doesn't want to stop, so she allows herself to get emotionally beaten up, until really it becomes too much.
Gymdog, I certainly see what you're saying about getting worse. There are 2 gyms in the area---our old one which trains to elite, but has high drop out/injury rate and coaches with bad reps and ours. Our team numbers are increasing to over 50 girls for the summer(new L5s to some training L10), so yes it will get worse.
I guess we'll give it one last shot when the HC comes back----we're not saying anything to gymmie because she will be a mess and just argue and yell at us about how she can handle it and how she loves the sport. I just can't sit around and see her practice with a coach who admits she "quit" on her at a state meet.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
I guess we'll give it one last shot when the HC comes back----we're not saying anything to gymmie because she will be a mess and just argue and yell at us about how she can handle it and how she loves the sport. I just can't sit around and see her practice with a coach who admits she "quit" on her at a state meet.

It's a tough spot to be in. I would give them a little more time to give you a reasonable plan, but I also wouldn't wait around too long if they're going to keep some girls in the periphery and continue to accept behavior that is not professional from staff members. The question I would ask is where do you see my daughter going in gymnastics? I'd also keep in mind if she's only 12 or 13? that's on the fairly young side for a non-elite tracked optional, so there's no real rush necessarily except to not get sidelined by injuries. Hitting L10 by sophomore or junior year (even senior year in some cases) is fine for NCAA. If NCAA is the goal, I would communicate that and ask how they plan to support her in that goal.

However beyond that, the coaching situation is going to affect things in the short term and that tends to be a little more complicated. Owners generally don't like to fire people or shake up staffing that much. This is a last resort in most gym environments/cultures. There are various reasons for this, but I've seen quite of bit of "second chancing" in gymnastics. So I honestly wouldn't expect that many staffing changes unless someone quits. The best case scenario is probably strengthening standards of behavior and an internal review of procedures. If you have a booster club or parents organization, you may want to arrange as a group to come up with a code/procedures/expectations for gymnasts, coaches, and parents. This may help to clarify some expectations and communication in regards to the problems everyone is having. Including the gymnast/parent component will also shed some light on how they're feeling about that and create a generally less defensive atmosphere.

If a group meeting is not possible, you individually could request specifics on what standards they have set out. If the HC has not done this, it may inspire him to think about.

If it is not possible to continue, I would suggest looking into high school programs, or other similar sports (diving, cheer). She will still miss gymnastics and may not think these are acceptable substitutes, but if it could be arranged for her to try a practice in a nice environment with supportive coaching, she may come around. Some cheer gyms have gymnastics-trained tumbling staff and I believe there are posters on here who have found that these coaches are able to offer coaching in higher level tumbling through those programs.
 

MeetDirector

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 13, 2008
942
Country
USA
GLM -

I can so empathize with you and your gymmie, having been in a similar situation).

I can't help but think that the coach you had the meeting with wasn't speaking for nor with the knowledge of the head coach (at least I would hope that the case). I agree with the others that say a conversation (minus your dd) with the head coach (the specific coach can be there or not) to get things out in the open. I am a firm believer in full and open communication and would bet that the HC isn't of the same opinion as the specific coach.

If all else fails, at least you will have gone on record so if another gym is in the future it won't be a surprise.

Good Luck!
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
GLM -

I can so empathize with you and your gymmie, having been in a similar situation).

I can't help but think that the coach you had the meeting with wasn't speaking for nor with the knowledge of the head coach (at least I would hope that the case). I agree with the others that say a conversation (minus your dd) with the head coach (the specific coach can be there or not) to get things out in the open. I am a firm believer in full and open communication and would bet that the HC isn't of the same opinion as the specific coach.

If all else fails, at least you will have gone on record so if another gym is in the future it won't be a surprise.

Good Luck!

We had talked with the HC about his rather "innovative" training schedule for the summer and he knew we would have our end of year meeting with this coach, so did ask to be updated on how it went. So, we will do that(obviously minus child) once he gets back. Thing is this person is not a bad coach. HC said he was thinking about hiring another coach----he admitted the team practice schedule(he did it) for the optional season had coaches stretched way too thin. I think right now she's quite defensive because the L8s did not have a great year, not all qualified to regionals and the ones that went had their worst meets of the year, so I think she's taking all the comments personally. Thing is my gymmie said this coach has Thanbeen like this since late last summer and she just deals with it(she shouldn't have to).
Thanks for the good wishes!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.