WAG Good Coaching Does Exist

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Tay's Mom

Proud Parent
May 30, 2019
My heart aches for all gymnasts who are coming out with their abuse stories. Such horrible experiences so many have endured...originating from a place of love - for they must have loved the sport or they could never have made it so far. So I want to ask for your positive stories. Lets let it be known that YES, there are great coaches too in this sport; let the gymnasts who are suffering know that there are other options - not all gyms are horrible; that they CAN find an environment void of abuse, yet still succeed.

My daughter Tay tumbled into gymnastics at 3yo after attending a birthday party at a gym. I knew nothing about gymnastics. Tay and her 5yo sister were in the experimental stages of trying different activities so we decided to give this a shot with a rec class. And since they had had such a good time at the party at this particular gym, I signed them up there. Besides, it was clean, huge, the equipment seemed newer (or at least very well maintained), and I loved that there was a giant glass wall in the lobby, filled with chairs, for parent viewing. My older daughter eventually bowed out for other sports, but Tay stuck with it. She was invited to teams at age 6. Her dad at first said no, but a year later she joined the competitive JO teams at Lvl2. Now at age 13, she is training Lvl8. I cannot tell you how grateful I am that this was the gym we randomly picked.

The owner/head coach is a former gymnast himself, and was a coach at another gym before opening his own place some XX-years ago and making it a success. Likely successful because he and his entire staff of coaches lead with encouragement, motivation and positive reinforcement. They are highly respected by the gymnasts because they have earned it by giving it. They work hard and practice many hours, but the coaches understand that the boys and girls in their program are children to be developed and not robots to be programmed. And I am free to watch and observe all this at any time and all the time if I choose, through that giant glass wall. It is a true family atmosphere that even shapes the parent-relationships with positivity. Know that my daughter and I are close, and talk sporadically about things that happen in other gyms, what happens in hers, how her coaches make her feel and whether or not there is any uncomfortableness, shaming, punishments or negative vibes. There is none. And honestly Tay has had very few injuries (that is probably due to a little luck!) - but those injuries that she has had have been supported by training only up to doctor's orders until written release (they take SafeSport guidelines very seriously). Tay is strong and excelling (two state titles earned in compulsories, many all-arounds, plus countless medals for various events over the years). She has goals and potential to reach them. She still loves this sport, and most importantly she is happy. No gym is perfect, and there are occasional bad days, but on the whole, I know we are very blessed.

George Young, and entire coaching staff @ MidMichigan Gymnastics
(Admin: feel free to remove if name not allowed)
My dd competed club old L4-10 for 12 yrs. I’d say all but the last 3 yrs (which correlated to a bad gym) were overwhelmingly positive experience. And even the last 3 yrs weren’t all negative, just a lot of negative at that gym to deal with....but there were some good as well (but I’d definitely never recommend anyone go there....just overall not nice).

She is now on D1 team and that experience has been a wonderful experience with amazing coaches. So positive stories exist. And I hope that those become the norm more and more.
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