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owendonovan

I'm not sure if I'm burnt out or just disillusioned. Over the last 15 years I have coached in 3 separate gyms, small, medium and large. I coach boys gymnastics and love the coaching aspect of the job. I don't mind doing the administrative side of coaching either. I have donated 100's of hours to the programs I've developed, including being a meet director and all that entails. I have no illusions of becoming rich from coaching. My problems are these; the never ending battle for floor and vault with the girls team (boys seem to always get the short end of that stick) seems fine for the girls to share the floor when the boys are on it, but when the boys need a little time when the girls are on there's no space. This has happened in every gym I've worked. Coaches showing up to work drunk, hungover, or high. When I've shown outrage at this kind of behavior I become labeled a troublemaker, with owners usually saying that they need that coach because they don't have a replacement. (this has happened at 2 of the 3 gyms I've worked at). Parents wild expectations of their 7 or 8 year olds and me as their son's coach. Some parents routinely have gone behind my back to schedule privates with usually unqualified rec coaches after I have told them their child doesn't need any private lessons. 1 boy broke an arm another tore an acl. So, I just don't know if I want to continue coaching. I've recently moved to the west coast and I'm not sure if I'm going to find myself in a fit of frustration again. Is this burnout or have I just landed in the wrong gyms over and over?
Thanks for any input.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
215
I do feel you. I've encountered just about everything you listed. Except that I'm a girls coach. For me I took a short break and really searched for a program that I felt had the same goals and personality that I have, it took a long time but now I've been at the same gym for 12 years and I can't ever see myself going anywhere else. I've been offered jobs for a big jump in pay to switch to another program but in the end I realize that I don't do this for the money. As coaches we are an extremely lucky breed, we get to do something that we LOVE for a living and I don't know many other adults that can say that. Sure they may make a little more money or have a bigger house, and maybe nicer cars...but I'm truely happy with my life and thats all that matters to me.

Would be nice to get paid like NFL or NBA coaches though :D
 
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BlairBob

BTDT, in fact I'm in a bit of the same bind. I'm not that interested in moving away from Sacramento to coach which limits options. I don't necessarily like many of the gyms around here because of who runs them or how their programs run ( I've either worked for them or turned down positions at many ).

I love coaching but it's grueling when it isn't paying the bills and I'm killing myself to keep it up. Add nutty parents that don't know I'm killing myself in the process and crappy owners and it doesn't help much. I'm a boy's coach too so I know those issues all too well.

Personally, I would fire in an instant any coach on anything upon stepping into a gym that way. Instant bad PR as many parents would be up in arms about that.

If you want to keep up for it, find a nice gym and not just a gym because ya need a job. I have done that and it was horrid experience for 9 months, in which I wanted to leave after 2. It completely changed me as a coach and took a long time to get over.

Here's a good clip I like to watch and it's one I often think about in my relationship with gymnastics and coaching.

YouTube - Peaceful warrior - Words of wisdom
 
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LasswadeCoach

People have turned up to work drunk or high?!

I cannot believe that, if that happened here they'd be put in jail!!!!

Thats unbelievable!!
 
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owendonovan

People have turned up to work drunk or high?!

I cannot believe that, if that happened here they'd be put in jail!!!!

Thats unbelievable!!

Yes, on numerous occasions, not only showing up drunk and getting caught, but also getting into physical and verbal fights with adults that were taking class. I was the only person in my gym that seemed to think this was a problem. There is a culture of protecting the employees at the expense of the children's safety. I've only checked out 1 gym here in Los Angeles so far. I interviewed with them and all was going well until they asked me about my marital status. I told them I was in a long term relationship with a man and the interview ended about 15 seconds later, despite being armed with over 20 letters of recommendations from parents. Another gym here in Los Angeles was looking for "European" coaches (russian) so I didn't even bother talking to them. I appreciate the responses here and feel less like I'm seeing things the wrong way. Hopefully I can find a gym that can appreciate a patient, empathetic, good coach that has built 3 large programs in the US. Otherwise it's one less boys coach in an already dwindling talent pool.
 

cftmoonlight

Coach
Jan 31, 2008
191
Region 5
I think all coaches suffer from this. For me stems from parents whining, to kids quitting before reaching their full potential, and dealing with all the mental issues. Just got to take a break every now and then. Luckily I don't have to deal with drunk coaches or anything. They would be fired so fast at our place. That is inexcusable.
 
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BlairBob

Best bet is to look for more liberal minded gyms which are typically not going to be foreigner gyms, IMO. This is going to be tough because much of the gymnastics world is conservative or ranging from religious to ultra religious.

If you're interested in rec, Jeff Lulla is a very nice man north of LA a bit. There is also some men's programs down around San Diego. Look up Steve Butcher. There might be a few more gyms out in Orange County.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Yes, on numerous occasions, not only showing up drunk and getting caught, but also getting into physical and verbal fights with adults that were taking class. I was the only person in my gym that seemed to think this was a problem. There is a culture of protecting the employees at the expense of the children's safety. I've only checked out 1 gym here in Los Angeles so far. I interviewed with them and all was going well until they asked me about my marital status. I told them I was in a long term relationship with a man and the interview ended about 15 seconds later, despite being armed with over 20 letters of recommendations from parents. Another gym here in Los Angeles was looking for "European" coaches (russian) so I didn't even bother talking to them. I appreciate the responses here and feel less like I'm seeing things the wrong way. Hopefully I can find a gym that can appreciate a patient, empathetic, good coach that has built 3 large programs in the US. Otherwise it's one less boys coach in an already dwindling talent pool.

Um...what does your marital status have to do with your job...and why would you give them more information about yourself at an interview like that? It's illegal to discriminate based on ***ual orientation in California...so I'm going to guess you are talking to some stupid gym owners.

There are a lot of good clubs in LA and San Diego...many good men's programs who could use the help. You should be able to find place. Maybe you have been settling too soon. Make them work for you and really spend some time doing your research.

There are lots of opportunities all over Region One as well...so don't count that out either.
 
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BlairBob

Considering Region 1 is the prime region for MAG with Texas close. I'm just remembering what I think are the numbers off of USAG's website last I looked.

Honestly, I have gotten some flak at interviews for stating that I'm single without a GF ( and I'm getting near 30 ) but all you need to state is single. I prefer to be very private about my personal life even at gyms when the other coaches get very open with their private life. My friends say I'm a commitment and relationship-o-phobe but I consider myself to just be busy, uninterested or picky. In the past years, it's been very easy to forego much of a social life because of letting gym encroach upon it. On my downtime, all I wanted to do was relax or hang with friends. Ehh.
 

Valentin

Coach
Nov 12, 2007
375
USA
Hi

BlairBob i hear that. My girl friend broke-up with me last week after 3 years. Main reason is because i am 100% work focused. I suppose the fact that i told her that didn't help haha. In reality i have 1 lifetime to achieve my goals (to coach and Olympic athlete). When i feel that i am on the right track than i can allow myself some more time for other things. However i totaly understand your position and how you feel.

owendonovan wow what you describe sounds really stink. Can i ask which clubs you have approached in LA?
I think have a solution for you however, come to New Zealand. Its totaly liberal, desperately needing more MAG coaches who are keen, and able, and not a bad place to be. Not to mention i can immediately point you in the direction of a full time job, coaching MAG. Just let me know. If anything i have a feeling our club is going to need another coach soon, plus someone with a lot of administrative experience to run the club, so if you are interested this could be you.

Unlike yourself i haven't done a lot of gym hopping, luckly for me. However last year i went to work in the US in LA (hence why i asked which clubs you have approached) to coach, and boy did i not enjoy coaching at that club. I enjoyed the work, i jsut didn't enjoy the atmosphere. As a matter of fact i think it was probably a negative influence on me, which i am now going to have to work around and correct.
Anyways i think The YouTube video BlairBob posted really sums things up pretty well, its good advice really.

So don't despair, you are not alone. Keep searching for the right place, and if worst comes to worst, maybe you can look at starting your own gym. With all your experience that should not be to hard.

I wish you a happy resolution to your dillema. Keep us posted on your thoughts, and what you plan to do. I am sure these are issues that many coaches face, and such a thread is a valuable piece of information.
 
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gracefulone

BTDT, in fact I'm in a bit of the same bind. I'm not that interested in moving away from Sacramento to coach which limits options. I don't necessarily like many of the gyms around here because of who runs them or how their programs run ( I've either worked for them or turned down positions at many ).

I love coaching but it's grueling when it isn't paying the bills and I'm killing myself to keep it up. Add nutty parents that don't know I'm killing myself in the process and crappy owners and it doesn't help much. I'm a boy's coach too so I know those issues all too well.

Personally, I would fire in an instant any coach on anything upon stepping into a gym that way. Instant bad PR as many parents would be up in arms about that.

If you want to keep up for it, find a nice gym and not just a gym because ya need a job. I have done that and it was horrid experience for 9 months, in which I wanted to leave after 2. It completely changed me as a coach and took a long time to get over.

Here's a good clip I like to watch and it's one I often think about in my relationship with gymnastics and coaching.

YouTube - Peaceful warrior - Words of wisdom

Are you a peaceful warrior fan too? I love the other books in the series, especially "Journeys of Socrates" I think it's one of the most well-written books ever~
 
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owendonovan

Thanks everyone for the input, I really do appreciate your kind thoughts. I'm leaning towards taking this season off, looking into opening my own gym, and see how I feel in the spring. If I were single I would happily try another country like New Zealand. I, as well as you all seem to know, that @#$uality has nothing to with coaching, but it's just a real hot button topic here in America especially during an election year. I just have such hard time getting my mind around that having anything to do with all the good I've done for many boys. It was Broadway gymnastics that I got the cold shoulder from Valentin.
 
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BlairBob

It's off-topic but I am a fan of Dan Millman. I enjoyed the movie and the first book but haven't read any of his other work. I missed getting to meet him when he was showcasing the movie and I've missed a few of his talks in Marin. However, I did meet him once at Region 1 Congress.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Thanks everyone for the input, I really do appreciate your kind thoughts. I'm leaning towards taking this season off, looking into opening my own gym, and see how I feel in the spring. If I were single I would happily try another country like New Zealand. I, as well as you all seem to know, that @#$uality has nothing to with coaching, but it's just a real hot button topic here in America especially during an election year. I just have such hard time getting my mind around that having anything to do with all the good I've done for many boys. It was Broadway gymnastics that I got the cold shoulder from Valentin.

Huh...I actually know for an absolute fact that the gym you mentioned doesn't discriminate based on orientation, but you probably wouldn't want to work there for about a thousand other reasons, believe me.

Good luck to you!
 
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