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What to do????

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gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Ok, let me give you a brief background on the way our gym is set up as far as coaching. This is a gym that trains girls to elite. We don't do Level 4 and only use Level 7 for mobility(no team). We have a full time coach for Levels 5-8 and a part time coach who works with the Level 5/6 teams. There are 3 additional full time coaches who work with the 9, 10s and elites. I know there are a couple of other coaches who may be full time. Sounds pretty nice right? Until a few weeks ago. The full time coach for the Levels 5-8 developed some medical problems and was only allowed to come into the gym to watch and correct verbally(NO spotting). Right now, our 5/6s are working on their skills for the next few levels, so you've got girls doing giants, BWO on beam, BHS series on beam etc. All the spotting duties fell to the part time coach who admits she's not totally comfortable with giants and will not spot the Level 6s learning tsuks and Yerchenkos(I'm sure I messed up the spelling). So, the girls were trying the basics of a tsuk after getting verbal instruction from the full time coach---some wouldn't do it, it scared them too much.

The part time coach has asked the team director for help and occasionally one of the other coaches will wander over to help 1 kid and then go back to their own girls. Thats the extent of the help. The other night the full time coach wasn't there---feeling really bad----so she had 17 girls to work with. The kids are getting frustrated with the lack of real practice since when the 5/6s practice together 1 coach is being pulled in 4 different directions and they also feel bad for her. She's stressed, the kids are unhappy and stressed and the parents are wondering what the heck is going on.

IF the full time coach can get healthy, he might be able to start spotting by early May, so this isn't a short term problem. He is the only coach for the 8s and they're heading into states---will probably have one of the other coaches on the floor with them. The gym owners(husband/wife) are coaches who built this whole program and are aware of the situation, but haven't stepped forward to help out. HELLO?!!!

Any thoughts out there of how to improve this situation? Since everything has been dumped in 1 coach's lap, they are just doing FHS vaults maybe 1 practice/week. My daughter is ready to do her giants on the pit bar and would just like a coach to stand there for the first few times, but nobody is available. Parents and kids really get the feeling that unless you're optional, you don't matter much.
 

Mac

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Mar 7, 2007
65
This being the coach's forum and me being just a parent, I won't offer advice. But some questions...

* Are there any other gyms around, i.e., do you have options?

* What's their track record with gymnasts at the high levels, i.e., do they have a record of success that makes it worthwhile for you to put up with this stuff now?

* Even though the owners haven't stepped in, are they approachable? If you request a meeting with them, what will happen?
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Hey Mac, thats ok that you're not a coach---any advice/thoughts will help. As to other gyms there is only 1 other that offers an established team program above Level 6 in the area. We've had girls go there usually because they didn't get moved up at our gym and some have come back. They have their own issues too.

Reputation for our gym? Over 30 girls have gotten full scholarships, some have made national teams including a couple of world teams and 1 girl was the alternate on the 96 Olympic team. Right now, we have 3 girls going to the national training center for "evaluations" by the national coaches. Yes, if your kid can handle the practice and everything else, this gym will get them to Level 10.

Owner is not in much and the folks at the front desk really screen who gets his time when he's there. To make an impression, it would have to be a group of parents because while he would listen to 1 parent, I doubt he would take any action unless alot of us say "enough" and I don't know that I could convince that many parents to meet with him. Some have the "kiss butt" syndrome---don't rock the boat and you're kid will move up.

BTW--Full time coach came in tonight. He is being told to take at least the next 10 days off(I know its killing him---he loves coaching and his girls). My daughter did her tsuk tonight---1st time ever with NO spot. She has been doing 1/2 ons since last year, but this is a big step and as a mom I would feel so much better if someone was spotting her. She said after she did about 4 or 5 it wasn't scary and she cleaned up the RO, so the tuck was "easy" according to her.
 

audra

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CB Booster Club
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Feb 5, 2006
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What an unfortunate situation- how long has the full time coach been out?
It sounds as if there is not enough communication between the parents and management whether it be the team director or the owners. Someone needs to let you know whats going to happen and what the plan is for the future.

As a manager and a coach, we appreciate parents coming directly to us. When things are left without communication parents start to talk and situations get worse because each practice you will just get more frustrated, and when your gymnast is frustrated it will be hard for you not to agree with her.

Before it gets worse I would try to get a meeting with the team director and/or the owners to work out a solution, parents may have to be open to switching schedules for the time being but I'm sure there is something that can be worked out. Maybe the part time coach may need some help on what drills she can be using for new skills- there are many coaches who do not spot and feel everything can be taught using drills and progressions.

The comment that only the optionals count that concerns me because your optionals come from your Compulsory Team and there has to be a base to build from. Is this a new feeling since the coach problems or is this an on going feeling. If it has been a problem, you and your daughter may want to evaluate if this is the gym for you!

Good Luck and please let us know how things turn out!!!!
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Thanks for the thoughts Audra. We've been in this make shift coaching situation for about 1 month now. They have swtiched some practices around, but have basically stuck to the normal practice schedule. I know parents wouldn't mind changing the schedule, but the problem may be if the part time coach could make it on other days. The Level 5s practice 3x/week--2 of their practices are with the Level 6s. The 6s have 4 practices/week--so they do get 2 by themselves. The real problem is when the 5s/6s practice together---that 1 coach is stretched very thin.

I know the part time coach has asked the team director for help and was told the girls don't need spots for the skills they're learning. I appreciate the coach who is trying to keep everything going saying she doesn't feel comfortable teaching some skills. Kids pick up very quickly when the adult is not feeling confident--classroom, gym etc.

Mac posted in another thread about how structured his gym is. That is how ours normally runs also. The coaches don't have to do all that much while the girls stretch and do their run at the beginning of practice because they have a set routine(yes, they do change it up from time to time). After that the girls would split--Level 5 with one coach for bars while the 6s do beam with the other. They have set drills and all the coach has to do is say x no of leaps on this beam, then BHS on that beam etc. Now, the structure is lost and that I guess is what is really throwing everyone.

As for the split between optional and compulsory, I've heard parents complain about it since my daughter was in pre-team and have said the same thing, "your optionals are only as strong as your compulsories."
 

audra

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Feb 5, 2006
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Sounds like it is time to ask for a meeting with the owners. If the part time coach can't help with splitting the girls and switching practices how about the full time coaches. It sounds as if they are expecting you as parents to understand that this is a temporary situation and give up certain things you have gotten accustomed too. That should be coming from both sides, owners coaches, gymnasts and parents. Not only the L 5/6 team. A coaching staff should work as a team, and everyone should have to give up a little. Unfortunately it doesn't sound like the team director is being supportive of the part time coach. Who sounds like they are trying to do their best but is in need of some help. Hopefully that coach will get the support they need because someone who feels like they are taking on too much may just give up eventually and where does that leave the team.

Good Luck please keep us updated!!
 

katvernay

New Member
Dec 13, 2010
32
Region 7
if you have a pit, the girls shouldn't really need to get spotted on vaults, especially half-ons/tsuks, so i wouldn't be overly concerned about that. we learned yurchenkos strictly by progressions, although there was always a bit of standing there for the first couple times over. (come to think of it, the only girls who ever got real spotting on vault were fhs entry ones)

bars i can see it being an issue, but there is something to be said for going up and trying it (depending on how close she is by herself - that's a judgment call for a coach that knows her and her abilities). I can almost guarantee the coach isn't enjoying being out and being unable to spot either, and if he/she has prove himself a good coach, I see no reason to leave. I do think it would be appropriate to bring up concerns with an appropriate party because if the inability to have another physically able coach out on the floor is hindering workouts, that is a legitimate concern
 

bogwoppit

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if you have a pit, the girls shouldn't really need to get spotted on vaults, especially half-ons/tsuks, so i wouldn't be overly concerned about that. we learned yurchenkos strictly by progressions, although there was always a bit of standing there for the first couple times over. (come to think of it, the only girls who ever got real spotting on vault were fhs entry ones)

bars i can see it being an issue, but there is something to be said for going up and trying it (depending on how close she is by herself - that's a judgment call for a coach that knows her and her abilities). I can almost guarantee the coach isn't enjoying being out and being unable to spot either, and if he/she has prove himself a good coach, I see no reason to leave. I do think it would be appropriate to bring up concerns with an appropriate party because if the inability to have another physically able coach out on the floor is hindering workouts, that is a legitimate concern

HOw on earth do you find a thread this old to drag up from the depths?? Hardly relevent any longer!
 

dunno

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lol...the coaches have probably moved on 5 times over since 12/06. lol.
 
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