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My dd is ten years old and just moved to level 5. The HC at her gym has been there almost six months and coaches levels 5 and up. He overlooks level 4 sometimes. When he first came to the gym he was watching practice (L4-9) and picked my dd out of the whole gym and asked the assistant coach who she was, and said she was amazing and he was going to keep his eye on her. She is a good gymnast, but not the best out there. She does have unbelievable muscle structure, though, and tends to get "noticed" because of that.

Her first practice, he jumped all over her because she did one conditioning exercise wrong (it was one she had never done before)! He told her that she could be a great gymnast if she tried, and that if she cannot do what she is told, she should go home (and actually told her to get her stuff and leave)! There is alot more to it, but I am trying to keep this short! She is a tough cookie and stayed until practice was over, though.

Would you maybe tend to expect more from someone like her? He does not seem like the type to handle things this way, so I am completely blown away. My dd is frustrated because no one was doing this exercise correctly, but she was the only one singled out.


More than likely, he is just holding higher expectations for a seemingly stronger kid. Which is actually kind of absurd when it's an unfamilar movement, especially if it's new or not exactly gymnastics.
Sep 21, 2008
Gymnastics clubs are like movies.

This on is PG (you know.. parent guidance suggested).

Help put things in perspective for your daughter.

I dont ever bad mouth a coach and their style unless it is harmful to children. Personally, I dont like singling out a child like he did, and I certainly wont put extra pressure on a child because I think they will be good.

My philosophy is that I share my passion and dedication for the sport and the gymnasts will latch on to it. They will see my hard work for them, and they will want to work hard to. It needs to be fun, and give back to them for all they put into it.

Please dont let one coach with his ideals affect your daughters love for the sport. If she does love it, tell her to enjoy it and listen and learn, and put all the negative stuff aside. Just remind her that he's trying to motivate her, and that if she cant do it yet, she will one day if she practices. If she wants to get better at it, she will.


Jul 5, 2007
If he's a main coach, then I would watch the situation carefully. If one exercise one day is going to produce such an overreaction (and I can only go off your interpretation, you might want to schedule an appointment to try to get his line of reasoning for it) then it's going to be a long hard road for your daughter, regardless of the intentions behind it or her personality. Eventually such negative "motivation" breaks girls down and burns them out. Some coaches will say "oh some of them need it because of their personality" but this seems to require some level of imagination as I have yet to see the person constant negativity and singling out completely works out for in the end for with no problems.

Of course different athletes require different coaching styles within reason but constant negativity and telling kids to leave over doing one new exercise incorrectly when everyone is doing it incorrectly, just means you incorrectly taught the exercise and is not a reasonable way to motivate them or magically figure the correct thing out. I might completely stop an athlete I perceive as not trying or playing around while doing the exercise, make them sit for another explanation or a cool down period, and then come back and try it again, but unless it was a continuing problem, I wouldn't make them leave practice over it. Trying but failing no matter what the talent level would just result in a re-explanation and encouragement to practice it, or breaking the exercise down into an easier part.

But, it could just be an isolated incident, or your daughter could have possibly misperceived something. I would keep an eye on it.


The part of your story which makes me feel uneasy (as a parent and Primary Teacher and coach) is the fact the coach goes from asking her to leave (unreasonably in my opinion) to hugging her (inappropriate in this situation). This 'all or bust' 'extreme positive to negative' behaviour is very unsettling to children. It confuses them as they don't feel secure emotionally (does he like me/believe in me/ cross with me?)
Children need to know where they stand. They look to adults for consistency. Long term it is this which will affect your daughters confidence if it continues.
Oct 27, 2008
Colby, Kansas
You know without being there and seeing the situation I will say that as a coach you have to learn how to push each individual child. Different kids take different types of motivation and as a coach its hard to find. He may have been thinking that no one has ever pushed her like that and wanted to see how she would react. I have certain kids who need stern pushing or they will give me nothing. And I learned this because we went to another gym for a camp and I said why would you do your dismount for him another coach but you won't do it for me. Because he made me and you don't. I had just always been laid back until that point. Now I push some kids with different buttons like they do with us. I bet he just wants to get the most your dd has to offer. He probably just thinks she is capable of more than she gives. But without being there its hard to tell. Just my long 2 cents.


Thank you everyone for your replies! My dd's prior coach was very strict, and the only time he used the "go home" option was when he meant it due to blatant defiance or disobeying. DD has never been told to "go home", so I think that is what threw her off so much! Hopefully it was just an isolated incident, because he normally is very nice and very willing to explain things to help them to understand what they need to do.

All that aside, dd has practice tonight and is excited to go, so I guess that is what it's all about:)!
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