WAG Coach likes my DD least

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Jan 28, 2015
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Hello wonderful gymnastics community. My DD (12 yo, L 8) recently told me that everyone in her group knows the coach likes her the least of everyone. That the coach is constantly talking about how everyone is now better than her and passing her by. I don't know what is true but this is my daughter's perception. It is true that some younger girls are passing her by and also true that she has passed others by. She has her path which has been maybe less consistent than others. I like her coach but I'm not in the gym...

Some history: DD was a child prodigy gymnast-- coach thought she could take her elite (years ago). Got some injuries which gave some fears and slowed down, now repeating 8. Not elite track. But enjoys gym and still does very well in competition. Has a group of really close friends in her training group. Wants to do well and has no desire to quit or change gyms.

So two part question:
1) Any suggestions for making my DD feel better directly? What to say to her?
2) Would you do anything else? Talk to coach? My DD said please no and I don't want to betray her confidence as the most important thing is that she feels she can talk to me.

Thank you!
 
Tough question. She should not have to win the good graces of a coach. Is that your desire? Is that her desire? I'd simply suggest be herself while working hard everyday and being a good teammate.
 
i don't know but what happens in school when teachers like other students more or other kids like other friends more or bosses like other coworkers more? unfortunate facts of life and out of ours/their control?
 
Hello wonderful gymnastics community. My DD (12 yo, L 8) recently told me that everyone in her group knows the coach likes her the least of everyone. That the coach is constantly talking about how everyone is now better than her and passing her by. I don't know what is true but this is my daughter's perception. It is true that some younger girls are passing her by and also true that she has passed others by. She has her path which has been maybe less consistent than others. I like her coach but I'm not in the gym...

Some history: DD was a child prodigy gymnast-- coach thought she could take her elite (years ago). Got some injuries which gave some fears and slowed down, now repeating 8. Not elite track. But enjoys gym and still does very well in competition. Has a group of really close friends in her training group. Wants to do well and has no desire to quit or change gyms.

So two part question:
1) Any suggestions for making my DD feel better directly? What to say to her?
2) Would you do anything else? Talk to coach? My DD said please no and I don't want to betray her confidence as the most important thing is that she feels she can talk to me.

Thank you!


Jeez Louise, I would be very direct with the coach. She doesn't have to like your daughter, but she needs to pretend like she likes them all the same. Belittling a gymnast is not acceptable. The coach may not even realize she's doing it, but it is still wrong.
 
If the coach is truly saying belittling things to your daughter, I would switch gyms whether she wanted to or not. I would ask your daughter exactly what is being said. I would also talk to coach if you like him/her and have a good relationship and see what s/he says.
 
Geez. I really feel for her. Kind of similar situation: my middle daughter was very good. Prodigy might be a stretch, but very talented and quick skill acquisition. Skipped a bunch of levels and scored high. She also got sick and had an injury. She is 11 and level 8, but wow, some of her events look terrible, and I worry for her confidence. We had her in a gym with coaches who made those kinds of comparisons constantly, and I think it really destroyed her confidence. It was hard and almost pointless to say anything to them because they would just deny it, even though it was definitely happening and the other girls confirmed it was happening. We moved her. I think she's in a good place, but her confidence on some of the events is just completely shot. I wish I had some good advice. This sport has such a huge mental component too! Hearing that she's worse than the other girls takes a toll.
 
i don't know but what happens in school when teachers like other students more or other kids like other friends more or bosses like other coworkers more? unfortunate facts of life and out of ours/their control?
To an extent, this is true. However, I have never heard of teachers making those kinds of comparisons and statements to the extent that it seems to occur in gymnastics. "So and so is really passing you up in math. You better step it up." or "You are a terrible math student." If I did, I would have to address it. That's inappropriate and unacceptable.
 
I would move her but at 12 it seems she should have some say in her gymnastics. If staying is the only option I still think having her work a being a good teammate is really the only option. I would like to beleive talking to the coach would be productive but in reality, it seems that it may make things worse. I would love to hear more of your thoughts and what direction you are leaning.
 
Agree with gymbeam. Send a message to an admin to have your name changed if it is real.

As for the dilemma, I wouldn't be so worried about the coach "liking her the least" because as tomtnt related, this is part of life. You are not always going to connect well with everyone you work with. However, the comments would be a concern. Is your daughter saying that the coach is actually saying this in her presence or are the other girls telling her that the coach is saying these things to them? I would want to know exactly what the coach is saying and attempt to confirm it with another gymnast or parent, particularly the intent of the comments.
 
It sounds like the coach is disappointed in your daughter for not living up to their inital expectations. Instead of adjusting their expectations which were probably too high to begin with, they put your daughter down and look for the fault in her. Maybe the coach wants to light a fire in her to work harder and surpass these other girls again.

In any case - you need to talk to the coach! It is absolutely not ok to put someone down like that! The coach might not even realize what they are doing to her!
 
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So...I'm a gymnast, so I have a little bit of a different perspective. I started gym when I was 3. I had tons of energy, pretty natural technique, and loved the feeling of flying, so skills came quickly. However, form was an issue, I'm not naturally flexible and I have issues straightening legs, pointing toes...my right toe actually won't point fully. But anyways, when I was 8 I was invited to join our gyms Xcel team, started competing when I was 9, In Xcel Bronze (I think about JO level 2/3). Around this time, a new coach joined our gym. Our head coach had always gotten annoyed with my sloppy form and my inability to pay attention (ADHD for the win), but she dealt and we had a good relationship. This new coach (let's call her M) couldn't stand it. She HATED my form, my inflexibility, my struggles with being graceful. Most of all, she hated the energy, the constant movement and chatter. This all came to a point quickly, and it started with belittling, in front of all of my teammates. On the nights I didn't practice, she talked about me to the other girls, and my teammates would come up to me and say "Oh by the way on Wednesday, M said she didn't even know why you did gymnastics, because your gymnastics is ugly". That was on a good day. I always asked my teammates what she said, because i wanted to know. Between the ages of 10-12 she repeatedly threatened to break my arm. Drown me in the pit. Get me kicked out of the gym. When I was 10, she decided I was going to repeat a level, instead of moving up with my friends. I still don't know why, I had competed skills well above my level, with no bonus like a RO BHS BT on floor while my teammates all did RO BHS. I placed in two events at state. I worked hard in practice and consistently scores 35-36 AA at meets, higher than some of my teammates who were moving up. When my other coach, G, told me that M had recommended I stay down a level that next season, I cried because I had competed almost every skill required for the next level, and had every other skill I needed mastered. Basically, I stopped loving my sport. I dreaded practice every day and spent half of practice crying in the bathroom. "What took you so long?" M would sneer. "You're lazy, no wonder you aren't good". I repeated the level, and barely improved, I wasn't allowed to work any harder skills (my gym doesn't really uptrain, and I couldn't compete anything harder in that level). The crazy talkative kid that was always laughing just stood there silently. Finally, I was moved up, and my 12 y/o season was rough (new skills, new rules) but I easily qualified for state. At state, I missed the AA score for regionals by 2/10ths of a point. I was so disappointed, but I tried to be happy, it was my highest AA score that season by more than a point. And then I heard it. "Did you actually expect her to go to Regionals. She doesn't deserve that!" M to my teammates. I was crushed. We had reported her several times and nothing happened. I found out that M was going to be the new head coach and decided to switch to high school gymnastics. It was the best switch I ever made.
Anyways, this was long and definitely goes in circles but a lot happened. Your gymnast DOES NOT deserve to feel like this. Just being a gymnast is incredible. Whether you can switch gyms or not, something needs to happen. Give her lots of hugs from me.
 
First, if she told you no to talk to the coach, don't. She is learning how to handle the situation and has clearly stated what she desires at this point. Has she heard the coach say these things? Does the coach coach her differently? Does he make disparaging comment towards her?
 
Hello wonderful gymnastics community. My DD (12 yo, L 8) recently told me that everyone in her group knows the coach likes her the least of everyone. That the coach is constantly talking about how everyone is now better than her and passing her by. I don't know what is true but this is my daughter's perception. It is true that some younger girls are passing her by and also true that she has passed others by. She has her path which has been maybe less consistent than others. I like her coach but I'm not in the gym...

Some history: DD was a child prodigy gymnast-- coach thought she could take her elite (years ago). Got some injuries which gave some fears and slowed down, now repeating 8. Not elite track. But enjoys gym and still does very well in competition. Has a group of really close friends in her training group. Wants to do well and has no desire to quit or change gyms.

So two part question:
  1. Any suggestions for making my DD feel better directly? What to say to her?
  2. Would you do anything else? Talk to coach? My DD said please no and I don't want to betray her confidence as the most important thing is that she feels she can talk to me.

Thank you!
There is absolutely no excuse for a coach to act that way. You should confront the coach immediately.
 
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