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Tiger Mom

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TravisJames

Coach
Coach
Sep 1, 2018
2
30
Country
USA
I’ve been coaching for 13 years. I have recently inherited a team from a previous coach who sort of “gave up” on her team prior to being let go. The kids I have are level 3 and 4. They have had no true conditioning and sloppy basics. I have been trying to work with them to get them ready for meets but i have been really struggling with one parent in particular.

Most of the time problem parents think their child is God’s gift to gymnastics as this one does- that’s not the issue.

Every day after practice she finds new and interesting ways to degrade me as a professional in front of her child and other parents. I have done everything I can to accommodate her. She has my phone number, I meet with her for nearly an hour when she asks for meetings (monthly at least). She is always speaking aloud to herself in the observation area about what drills i’m working on, why are they doing this, why can’t they do that, why does this matter, it doesn’t look like they’re working hard enough, etc. She calls me off the floor to ask if they’re doing the choreography correctly.

She has even gone as far as to request a meeting to criticize the other children I choose to invite to the team. At one point I was told it’s my fault her daughter was called a name by another child on a day I wasn’t even at the gym. She said I should have protected her child and kept her safe.

Not only am I deeply offended, but I have kept my cool and have always been gracious. Even adding a Saturday practice to help prepare her child.

Her child peeled off the bar backwards on a tap swing. The same tap swing she does every day on her bar routine. I know without a doubt that her mom will request a meeting next week with myself and the owner (again) to rip me apart.

I am deeply uncomfortable coaching this child- I feel like I will never be able to make her mother happy. Everything I do, say, breathe, sneeze, walk, is monitored and picked apart. I don’t feel like I can coach her daughter effectively.

I don’t want to kick them out of the gym right before meet season starts. I don’t feel like I can take anymore though. Any advice?
 

TravisJames

Coach
Coach
Sep 1, 2018
2
30
Country
USA
Talk to the owner before the parent has a chance to blindside him or her.
Lay it all out. Ask for ideas.
The owner is aware and has been in attendance for some of our meetings. They also do not want to ask them to leave right before meet season
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Jul 5, 2007
5,115
This sounds like it will continue to get worse. I think you need to protect yourself. For as long as you do coach her, document everything and be very careful.
 
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Jard.the.gymnast

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Apr 12, 2017
1,254
16
Heerenveen
Country
Netherlands
Have you told mom the plain truth, that what she is doing is stopping you from coaching her child the way you want to? Some parents just don't realise what they are doing.

Good luck!
 

txgymfan

Administrator
Staff member
Coach
Proud Relative
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
2,836
Houston
Country
USA
If she “calls you off the floor “ don’t go. You’re coaching. Never ever meet with her alone. Document every conversation, email when possible. Be busy after practice. Basically, cover your self from unwarranted accusations. I would also let her phone calls go to voice mail and reply with an email copied to the owner.
 

jamieintexas

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 30, 2017
68
48
Country
USA
I would just tell her that she might be happier with another coach. You don’t have to tell her to leave, just let her know that you don’t care if she does. The one thing that you need to put a stop to immediately is her talking about other kids. Unless it is a bullying problem, I refuse to discuss other kids in meetings. Do not leave work out to talk to her, do not talk to her after class unless there is something about her daughter that you need to tell her. Right now she is getting away with her behavior because no one has stopped her.

Only once have a kicked a kid off team because of a parent’s behavior. In all honesty, I should have done it a year earlier.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Coach
Proud Relative
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Former Gymnast
Judge
Club Owner
Fan
Feb 26, 2007
16,509
Country
Canada
I would show her the door. Toxic parents change the atmosphere in the gym. A shame for her child, but she is not going to change.

Tell parents that from now on you will only communicate by emails, and they should cc the head coach in them.

Never leave the floor when summoned by any parent.

Never meet with her alone.

Let her know that you do not think you are the best coach for her child, and she should explore other options.
 
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