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For Parents Would you report emotional abuse -- has anything really changed?

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gymjunkie

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There is a coach at our gym that I would probably put into the category of emotionally abusive. Multiple talented gymnasts have left our level and others because they couldn’t deal with her. My kid tolerates her because she knows she’s moving from this coach soon, and because she’s come to the conclusion that this is a character defect on the coaches part. We looked at other gyms, but people absolutely flood our gym coming from other gyms with reports of abusive coaching and love it here because the coaches are so nice comparatively, so there’s no where to go. A lot of gyms in our area (and I’m willing to drive an hour easy) have lost all their coaches or needed to close due to Covid. We’ve had frequent meetings about this coach and the owner knows all the complaints about her - she is bizarrely harsher and ruder on the kids she wants to do well and leaves the rest alone - that’s how she’s driven off some really good talented gymnasts ‍♀ The only reason I don’t pull my kid out is because I do see her making changes and a real effort to modify her coaching over the last year, but lord she was not meant to work with small children.
That's exactly what I am talking about. Many stay at abusive gyms to avoid gyms that are far more abusive. It's either that or quit the sport for too many gymnasts.
 

Gymsanity

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' Some would say you are attempting to gaslight me right now'
WOW! Had to Google that one! OMG, that takes crazy to a whole new level! That's such the norm unfortunately these days. Try and have a calm exchange of ideas with someone until they disagree and out comes the character assassination and vitriol! You win, I won't comment on this again. Congrats.
 

gymjunkie

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' Some would say you are attempting to gaslight me right now'
WOW! Had to Google that one! OMG, that takes crazy to a whole new level! That's such the norm unfortunately these days. Try and have a calm exchange of ideas with someone until they disagree and out comes the character assassination and vitriol! You win, I won't comment on this again. Congrats.
It's not disagreement that led to my statements. It's the fact that you minimized emotional abuse with an athlete. Look back at what you wrote. Hopefully you will see it.
 

Flippin'A

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The gymnastics world is one that can warp your perspective on what "normal" looks like. I say this from experience. If you're in an abusive culture and everyone around you is acting like it's normal you believe that it's normal. This applies to gymnasts, parents, and even coaches. That's why leaving it up to each individual kid (and parent) to recognize abuse and leave isn't an effective way to deal with it. It's also why having a reliable system of reporting is vital-- the families that free themselves from this way of thinking have a responsibility to do their best to make sure that other gymnasts won't have to go through the same thing.

That being said, it's easier said than done given the retaliation and victim blaming that still exists in the gymnastics world. I wouldn't hesitate to report emotional abuse, but my DD wouldn't lose a major part of her future plan if she had to leave the sport. I can't fault teens and their parents for hesitating to report in the current system if their possible college or elite careers are on the line. One more part of the massive cultural overhaul that still has to happen. I don't think market forces are going to fix this one. If they were, it would have happened by now.
 

JessSyd

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abuse, verbal or not, is not just "a different style". it is a violation of the human right's of the kid, no matter if done by a coach, teacher or parent. it is just wrong.

Exactly this. This has been recognised by the gymnastics governing body in my state, and they have put together a campaign based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It takes the rights of a child to feel safe and respected and translates these to how that should look in the gym in simple, young child-friendly language.

There have been issues in the past, in Australian gymnastics, and this (along with extensive documents about child safety for the adults involved, of course) is an effort to make sure that kids know right from when they first start in the sport that gymnastics is supposed to be a safe and respectful space for them.

Some examples:

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gymjunkie

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Exactly this. This has been recognised by the gymnastics governing body in my state, and they have put together a campaign based on the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. It takes the rights of a child to feel safe and respected and translates these to how that should look in the gym in simple, young child-friendly language.

There have been issues in the past, in Australian gymnastics, and this (along with extensive documents about child safety for the adults involved, of course) is an effort to make sure that kids know right from when they first start in the sport that gymnastics is supposed to be a safe and respectful space for them.

Some examples:

View attachment 7917
View attachment 7919
View attachment 7918
And would you say that this is leading to more reporting? With all of the media reporting happening in the US, I would hope to see more of it while the athlete is still active in the sport. Reporting it after you retire (and some retired gymnasts are just blogging about it and not actually reporting it) is still better than nothing, but from my perspective that is all that is happening.
 

JBS

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Some would say you are attempting to gaslight me right now (but I'm sure it's just my perception and you are actually trying to motivate me).

I would disagree with you. @Gymsanity is just posting an opinion / experience. This forum is for people to post their opinions and experiences.

Here is a nice article...


From the article...

"It is also not emotional abuse to speak one’s mind with blunt honesty."

I have read this entire thread and there is no "gaslighting" going on here. Here is another article...


This thread is shut down.
 
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