- Nov 21, 2022
Big topic I know. Being old...lol... 65, and having coached forever, I have experienced many situations. For myself, I was D-1 gymnast, back in the day, however, times are much different. Obviously it's gotten extremely more competitive. I look at kids through my own personal lens, which is something I am also cautious about doing. I do not like to box kids in because they can change. That being said, when I see and/or coach kids, that I am pretty sure will never make it to level 8 even, but they want to do gym in college, what am I supposed to do? Tell them the truth? Personally, I feel there is so much to gain, and any level that is perfect for each child, is not a loss. At the same time I do not want to discourage them, by saying that they could never do this level or that, but I also don't want to lie. In all of my years coaching, I have seen a lot. I have seen kids with natural ability, and no drive. I have seen kids with lots of drive and no ability. Then there are the ones that are in-between those two groups. I have watched, as a gymnast with a lot of drive, has been beat out by a gymnast with no drive and lots of natural ability. I have rarely seen one with the whole package, fearlessness, power, quick twitch muscle fiber, and desire. So, when leveling, the kids for the next season, how do you all handle this? I can deal with the getting of skills and conditioning parts, but assessing a gymnasts drive is a hard thing do. You have the gymnasts opinion of what that means, the coaches opinion and then the parents opinion. I have kids with talent, but not much intrinsic drive. I have kids with not much natural ability, and some drive. I have only one that is fearless, with a little drive, and a natural athlete.The parents don't get what this takes. I am not yelling at kids to do stuff, so I want to place them properly. In short.... within reason, I feel like the desire has to come from within the gymnast. I can assist in that, but I cannot make that. Thoughts?