For Coaches Doing gymnastics without a car

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Nov 15, 2022
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THE FACTS

  • When I was a child, my parents drove me to gymnastics
  • When I was a child, my patents drove me to meets
  • When I grew up, I drove myself to gymnastics
  • When I grew up, I drove myself to meet
... flash forward 15 years ...
  • I coach gymnastics in a city with phenomenal public transportation
  • I have been offered a coaching position that requires travel by car
  • I do not have a car

MY QUESTIONS

  1. Is it possible to "climb the ranks" as a gymnastics coach without a car?
  2. How do coaches with cars afford their cars? (My current coaching salary does not cover the cost of car ownership.)
 
How do coaches with cars afford their cars? (My current coaching salary does not cover the cost of car ownership.)

Yeah..... that is pretty much the biggest problem/challenge with being a coach these days: living on coaching income.

Every car I ever owned while coaching was mostly paid for by my parents. I only just last month (at age 35, and 3 years after I quit coaching) bought my first car that I actually paid for with my own money -- which I could only afford because I got it absurdly cheap from a family friend.
 
I had some coworkers for awhile who didn't have a car and were coaching DP (then JO). They rode the bus to and from work, ubered in emergencies, and carpooled with the rest of the staff to meets. I would have found it unbearable personally but it worked for them.
 
My first real coaching job was 1/8th of a mile from my apartment... had a bike... walked a lot though. My parents helped me with the down payment on my first car... I lived in an apartment with 3 other people to split rent with. Still I had to go to two payday advance places to get enough money for rent sometimes.
 

MY QUESTIONS

  1. Is it possible to "climb the ranks" as a gymnastics coach without a car?
  2. How do coaches with cars afford their cars? (My current coaching salary does not cover the cost of car ownership.)

1. I would say that you would be at a disadvantage.
2. I make good money through gymnastics now. Back in the day... cheap car (4 cylinder Ford Ranger)... lived close to work... didn't drive very much.
 
I've been walking 3 miles to and from bus stops to get to the gym 5 days a week for the last 3 years, carpool to meets. Before that, I saved up for a used 2008 Volvo that I got rear-ended in and totaled, and before that my parents paid for half of a 2002 WRX that I took to a mechanic who totaled it in a test-drive.

Car stuff has always been stressful for me. I guess I've been able to "move through the ranks" in that I started coaching classes at the YMCA, then level 3/4/5, now 6/7/8 and rec staff education. Most of this was done with a car, and life is a lot harder without one.
 
Thank you for all of your input!

The good news: My gym is willing to accommodate my transportation needs. They say that car rentals and Uber are covered under the competition travel stipend. In the short term, it looks like I can still enjoy my car-free life!

Based on what you fine folks have told me, it seems that coaching with out a car is possible but not glamorous. And at some point in my coaching career, I will likely need to throw down for a car. Right now, my coaching income is far too low to even think about buying a car. But car ownership might be a worthwhile investment if it opens the doors to higher paying coaching positions.

Note to self: figure out how to make more money.
 
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