Why do some parents feel like they have to resort to sabotage???

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MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
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I'm a little urked and frustrated right now. It just seems like I run into so many parents that feel like they need to sabotage other kids chances in order for their own kid to get ahead. Whatever happened to healthy competition and just leaving it up to talent and/or hard work? I don't understand why some parents have to resort to trash talking, intimidation and just plain sabotaging other kids chances. What is wrong with people???? Is winning really that important???? And do you really want to "win" by beating up or knocking down the other person? That just seems like cheating to me...

Sorry for the rant...I just don't get people sometimes. Some days I just want to walk away from this life as a sports parent.
 
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gymdog

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These things should be brought to the attention of the gym owner or head coach, but it's typically worse in the lower levels. I have experience with gyms where the drama is high, and I still wouldn't say we had a whole lot of problems with "sabotage" though. Maybe I just can't remember. Most people are going to chill out or get out of this, it's not sustainable behavior on any side of the equation.
 

gymjourneymom

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Sorry to hear you're seeing the "ugly" side of gymnastics. Yes, it is ultra competitive parents that fuel this fire, not necessarily the kids(to start with). They really just need to get their own lives & stop living through their kids. I really hate to see the parents setting this poor example. You get the parents who make nasty comments to their kids about yours & in turn the kids repeat them to yours. Their kids start getting that negative attitude too, proving the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. I've felt funny talking to the coach about it in the past, b/c the whole thing is so immature. I feel like I'm being dragged down by them, by having to "tell on them". If you know what I mean? But it is like poison to team spirt. I know it's all so frustrating! The phrase...'gymnastics is a marthon, not a sprint' applies here, as well as in training aspect of the sport. If you stick around long enough these people usually end up doing themselves in at some point. People will see them for what they are, trouble makers. Sometimes they change gyms b/c their "amazing gymnast" needs a "better gym" or "better coaching". Or they make their kids so crazy, the kids end up quitting the sport. Hang in there! There are good people in this sport, you just need to find them & hang with them.(((Hugs )))to you & DD.
 

bogwoppit

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This is one of the reasons I think parents should only be in the gym for limited time, some nuts cannot handle watching a team practice, heaven forbid another child should be more talented or have a better night.

Sadly the world is full of them, and sports do attract the "my kid is better than your" type. Thank goodness DAni has a wonderful and supportive Mom behind her who loves everything she does, not just the medal winning stuff.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Thanks guys for the responses. It's just certain parents talking crap to the other coaches about who THEY think should move up or not--like it is the parents decision regarding any other kids???!!! Parents have no say in who other than there kid should move up or not!!!! These parents put ideas in coaches heads and try to manipulate them to hold back others so that their kid can move up. It's crazy!!!! I try to ignore it but it can be hard when people intentially do things like that. The good thing is that one coach isn't at our gym anymore (looooong story) so now it doesn't matter. But it still hurts to think that parents would go that far and do that and then you find out that your kid may not move up because of what another parent is saying. These parents need to mind their own business!!!!
 
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cathiann

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That's just nuts! I think if I were a coach, I'd be ignoring everything a parent might say about who should move up, etc. If they want to be coaches so badly, they need to go through training and get a job. I haven't seen any of that at our gym--but parents do talk about who's doing well and who might move up--never seen a parent talk to a coach about it though!
 
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gymgramma

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Hmmm, I wouldn't think much of a coach who listened to the parents as to who should move up. Hopefully your coaches are like ours and the "whole pkg" is looked at - the previous season, how hard the gymnasts works, current testing on needed skills, etc
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
I think it's perfectly normal to feel competitive and want your child to be great at something and even find it difficult to deal with when they aren't, but normal people don't act on those feelings.

I'm a very competitive person by nature. My DD isn't in competitive gymnastics, but I can totally see myself being competitive and I'm not afraid to say that. I would just never act on my feelings. I'd never say anything mean about another kid or parent to anyone especially in front of my own child.

I've been around a lot of crazy gymnastics parents over the years and I think that's what the difference is. The sane ones might have thoughts of jealousy at times, but they just know how to behave themselves.
 
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CoachGoofy

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As a coach, this whole thing saddens me. Part of my job is "gatekeeper" for preteam-I'm who the kids have to impress-and it's just depressing when a parent tries to raise their kid in my eyes by comparing another child unfavorably.

It's especially unfortunate for THEIR child, because we don't like dealing with parent drama as coaches either! We like the girls to support each other, not to be picking up that attitude, & it makes us hesitate.

We're really fortunate, though, in that we have very few dramamamas.
 

UnoMas

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Aug 16, 2008
3,736
we have a little of this kind of mess going on at our gym too.

I have thought more than a few times "How did I get in to this kind of a crazy situation???" where parents go completely psycho about their 5,6,7,8 year old gymmie moving up/scoring first place/ all that mess.

But, my girls LOVE being at the gym, and as long as they do, I will deal with the psycho moms and hide in the leotard rack as necessary...;)

Sorry to hear you are having similar issues. You're not alone though!
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
we have a little of this kind of mess going on at our gym too.

I have thought more than a few times "How did I get in to this kind of a crazy situation???" where parents go completely psycho about their 5,6,7,8 year old gymmie moving up/scoring first place/ all that mess.

But, my girls LOVE being at the gym, and as long as they do, I will deal with the psycho moms and hide in the leotard rack as necessary...;)

Sorry to hear you are having similar issues. You're not alone though!
My dd loves gym also and handles herself amazingly well for all the crap that she has to put up with sometimes. I guess as mothers we naturally want to protect and defend our kids and we sometimes forget that they are capable of shrugging some stuff off and/or not letting it get to them. Kids are pretty resilient and we have to give them more credit, I guess. Every couple months or so I will "check in" with dd and ask her how she is liking gym and if there is anything that bothers her or what not. So far, she loves it, and is realistic with her goals. She knows that she needs to ignore certain people and their behaviour and focus on her own self and skills. She's a good kid. I will just have to learn to deal with these psycho moms in the meantime.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

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Jan 9, 2008
781
On the flip side I have to confess that last year when my daughter first started competing that I did the opposite, some of the girls who they placed on the team with my daughter who were really good I did complain to the head coach that my daughter did not belong with them and that my daughter needed to go back to developmental program. The head coach disagreed with me and said she is where she needed to be that she would be bored with rec classes. It turned out that she was right the other girls moved up this year and my daughter stayed behind and they all had a really good year. Now I will just keep my mouth shut and let the coaches make the decisions they have alot more experience than we realize. How did the coach handle this parent? I would have no respect for a coach who would hold a child back or move a child up based on a crazy parents opinions.
 

mariposa

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One of DDs coaches just was talking with another mom and I about just this. That it happened to her when she was young because she always did well, but worked hard, etc, yet the parents of gymnasts that didn't work as hard as her were mad that she was doing well. She said she had parents that hated her. I can't even remember how it came up, but it did.

I think that in any sport you will have the extreme parents, actually in anything those types of people's children decide to do. Remember she scene from Akeelah the Bee? The dad that was so mean about other kids that did well at spelling bees? Happens everywhere. Best thing you can do is be honest with your kids about what is going on and just ignore the crazies as best you can.
 
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flippersmom

Guest
We have two different set of parents at our gym.

One set (only 2 and sometimes one other mom) who will talk about the girls, girls from other gyms, what girl did what to who, etc.

Then the rest of us if we get there early sit in the corner and talk about our other kids, different places we have lived, and just the plain old crazy of our lives.

Then the other two moms wonder why no one will sit and talk to them!! Well, when I've heard you talk about my friend's kid, and my friend says you talk about my kid, I don't really feel comfortable sitting with them!

When at all possible, you and your daughter should surround yourself with the good people. I know it's impossible to keep all the bad out, but it will help you make it through the day (or practice!)
 

MdGymMom01

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Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
When at all possible, you and your daughter should surround yourself with the good people. I know it's impossible to keep all the bad out, but it will help you make it through the day (or practice!)
Thanks flippersmom. I have been trying to not hang out too much with that mom at practice. I usually don't stay and watch--usually just get there 15 min before its over to watch for a bit. Most of the moms are laid back and very supportive and don't really stay to watch either.

Thanks again everyone for your support and words of encouragement. It can be difficult when the kids are friends, but the parents don't necessarily see eye to eye or don't get along. And trying to talk to the parents about the issues is like talking to a brick wall. What do you do? Tough situation...
 

gym mom

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Sep 8, 2007
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florida
((BIG HUGS)) to you and your dd sorry about the problem @ the gym.If I heard another parent making negative comments about my dd I think I would have to come unglued .Gymnastics is supposed to be fun for the kids ,but then we have the crazy parents that ruin it.
 

gymjourneymom

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I especially hate move up time for this very reason. Some parents become crazy obsessed about who is moving up & who isn't. It's a gossip fest!!! I swear the parents make the whole process much more stressful on the kids...making them feel like not moving up= failure & moving up=success. This is so wrong & I hate it!!! It makes it even more difficult on kids who aren't moving up, b/c they may already be having those feelings anyway. And NO gymnast is a failure!!! As you get to optionals you realize it's not uncommon at all to repeat some levels. Parents really need to lighten up & stop stressing out their kids & their team mates about moves ups. Seriously, as they go up in levels & the skills get bigger & scarier you just never know how kids will be effected. Some just need that extra year...it's not a bad thing & parents need to realize that. Last year after being state champ 2 years in a row, my DD almost didn't move up b/c of fear issues. It was the talk of the gym & I hated it!!! People I didn't even know were coming up to me saying "I can't believe your DD isn't moving up" when nothing was even official yet! DD was already stressed out, she didn't need to be hearing gossip spread about her. She did move up & it has been a rough year with her fear issues. She has gain much confidence over the season, she has her skills, but she will most certainly repeat L7 next year. She needs a season of being strong in her skills, why would I push her into another year of struggling as a L8??? We are fine with her repeating(most importantly she is fine with it). But I already know the gossip mill is going to start spinning once again. Why is it anyone else's business???? Sorry to rant...but I feel strongly(can you tell;)), about parents butting out of other gymnast plans & goals. The only discussions regarding move ups should be between that child, her parents & her coach. When people start on me, trying to get me into a "move up" gossip fest, I tell them what I've stated above. Can we start a CB movement here??? Lets all pledge not to feed the gossip mill about move ups this season. Who's with me???? Maybe we can have a positive impact on all of our gyms!!!
 
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MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Can we start a CB movement here??? Lets all pledge not to feed the gossip mill about move ups this season. Who's with me???? Maybe we can have a positive impact on all of our gyms!!!
Sounds like a great idea gymjourneymom!!! I'm all for it!! It would make for a much more positive stress-free upcoming season for all!!!!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Can we start a CB movement here??? Lets all pledge not to feed the gossip mill about move ups this season. Who's with me???? Maybe we can have a positive impact on all of our gyms!!!
I'm Geoffrey Taucer and I support this message!
 
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