For Parents Coach switch has me concerned

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Proud Parent
Oct 31, 2016

This may be more of a vent, so I apologize in advance.
My daughter's level 2 team coach just recently left. She was also the main compulsory coach. This coach was tough. She was no-nonsense, strict, and had high expectations, but the girls seemed to thrive on this kind of coaching. The 7 girls on her team are only 5-7 years old, and they seemed to need the structure and clear expectations. My daughter has had her for almost 2 years, starting when she was in the mini-preteam. When this coach left, many of the girls cried and had a hard time adjusting. They were heartbroken.

The new coach is so different. She took over the old coaches duties all around, so she is the L2 coach and also the main compulsory coach. One mom said it best when she said the girls went from "drill sergeant to Disneyland". The girls seem to like this coach because she is so nice, but maybe that is part of the problem. Since the other coach ran such a tight ship, these little ones seem to be taking advantage of the lax style. Many of them are playing around at stations, and totally forgetting about form. At the first practice with her, it was so crazy and out of control that I was worried someone was going to get hurt. Watching my daughter, it looks like she's almost not trying, totally floppy and way less effort than she used to give. It's only been two weeks and I feel like she's regressed already. This coaches practices look a lot like the kinder or rec class, with circuit style activities and more playing than the kids were used to previously. She also works on all 4 apparatuses each day in a 2 hour practice, plus all the playing and quick warmup, which is so foreign to us. The previous coach warmed up and did stretching and conditioning for the whole first hour, and then worked on 2 apparatuses each practice. I'm worried that my daughter will not only continue to lose focus on form and straight/tight limbs, but will also quickly lose skills.

Also, there was no introduction to the parents from the gym or the new coach. We have no idea what her experience is, or where she came from. I plan on asking, but the gym has a policy for team parents that to talk to a coach they have to make an appointment at the desk. I don't want to seem too crazy over this.

I'm trying to have an open mind, but it is so hard! We really miss the old coach! I even thought about leaving to find another gym over this. Should I be concerned, say anything, or just let it ride?


Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2014
I think it would be reasonable to request a meeting with the new coach, just to meet her, introduce yourself and find out more about her in a casual way. You might be able to glean more information about her coaching philosophy, goals for team, etc. this way. Try to hold off developing judgments until you've actually talked to her personally.

Ps. It's hard to lose a coach that is not only good and tough but well loved. How you navigate this change as a parent will directly affect how your dd navigates it. While you're gaining more information about the new coach, be careful to not undermine her authority to your dd. In the end her philosophy and coaching approach may totally work. Or it may not. But you can't know that right away and definitely not without even speaking to her.

Good luck!
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