For Parents Is this normal coach behavior?

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GymMomGa

New Member
Feb 15, 2022
1
36
New here!

This is our 2nd year on team, but we have been at this gym since my daughter was a toddler in classes. I've defended this gym many times to others who have been negative and usually have a positive attitude.

Something happened in the last week thought that makes me look at the gym owner a bit differently and wonder if my defense of the gym has been misguided. We had a meet this past weekend. My daughter had her best meet ever and got first place.

To give some background, the gym owner has been much more absent this year than last year and has left team to be run by younger high school / college age girls, who although they do the best they can, the team practice sometimes turns more into baby-sitting without a clear adult leader there. After the first meet of the year, there were many frustrated parents, some of which I know contacted the gym owner to voice their frustrations.

The Monday after this latest meet, she gathered the girls for a speech. I expected a speech congratulating the girls who did well, discussing what the judges deducted for, and what they needed to work on. Instead, it was an anti-mom tirade. The girls were obviously confused about what was going on. This is a 7-11-year-old age group of girls.

Some highlights of what I overheard her say to the girls:
- Repeated over and over your mom isn't your coach, your mom is your cheerleader ... even had the girls repeat after her my mom is my cheerleader. This I definitely take exception to because this is our first year doing Xcel and she left some of the girl's routines unfinished. For example, their last tumbling pass at the last practice she told them they need to "do something else" when they finish their roundoff until the music ended. So I had to choreograph a dance routine for my daughter to do when we were at home... because no one at the gym worked with her on it. I know some other moms were left having to come up with their daughter's routines also. She's 8 so telling her to just "do something" doesn't cut it. She got 2nd on Floor at the meet.

- Told all of the girls that one of the other girl's mom never comes to practice and that girl always wins first. Again, I'm always at practice and my daughter won first this week. And didn't get recognized for it because it didn't fit the owner's agenda.

- Had one of the coaches talk about how her gym didn't allow parents

- Said she doesn't want to hear the words "my mom said" from any girl's mouth

- Discussed girls crying and going to their mom's at the meet. Seems like this should have been covered before meet season.

Overall it just really rubbed me the wrong way. For one thing, it was over the top. Secondly, it seems like if she's got these big issues, she needs to address it directly with parents, not send it through the girls to tell their parents. It doesn't seem like it's the child's place.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
290
That does not sound normal. I'd be looking for a new gym especially if you've been defending things for years with this gym.
I wouldn't mind the younger coaches assisting with practices but if they are not capable of coaching but just babysitting, the girls will not be advancing their skills.
My dd's old gym used to talk to the girls as a group after a meet with constructive ways to improve but that speech sounds awful. If the coach has an issue with the parents, there should be a parents meeting. Involving the girls seems childish of the coach.
I would be furious about the floor routines not being finished. Did you pay extra for choreography? Even if you didn't, that should not happen.
I do somewhat agree that the parents should be cheerleaders and not coaches but you need to be at a gym where you trust the coaches and feel that you/your dd can talk with them if needed.
The girls crying and going to the moms during the meet should have definitely been discussed ahead of time. Both of dd's gyms have a rule about not interacting with parents during a meet. They're not so strict that you can't give your kid a wave, a thumbs up or something but they don't want parents coaching from the sidelines. If the parent needs to be involved, a coach or someone will get the parent.
 

jm_gymmom

Proud Parent
Fan
Apr 21, 2020
25
Umm…if she has a problem with the moms, she needs to take it up with the moms. Not their elementary age children.
Our gym has rules/expectations for the family, and from what I hear, that’s pretty standard. They are part of our handbook and also discussed at our parent meeting at the beginning of the year. Normal things like not approaching the kids during meets, no interfering with practices (watching is ok), how communication and issues should be handled, etc.
This environment just doesn’t sound good.
 

TumbleLeo

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2022
15
17
New here!

This is our 2nd year on team, but we have been at this gym since my daughter was a toddler in classes. I've defended this gym many times to others who have been negative and usually have a positive attitude.

Something happened in the last week thought that makes me look at the gym owner a bit differently and wonder if my defense of the gym has been misguided. We had a meet this past weekend. My daughter had her best meet ever and got first place.

To give some background, the gym owner has been much more absent this year than last year and has left team to be run by younger high school / college age girls, who although they do the best they can, the team practice sometimes turns more into baby-sitting without a clear adult leader there. After the first meet of the year, there were many frustrated parents, some of which I know contacted the gym owner to voice their frustrations.

The Monday after this latest meet, she gathered the girls for a speech. I expected a speech congratulating the girls who did well, discussing what the judges deducted for, and what they needed to work on. Instead, it was an anti-mom tirade. The girls were obviously confused about what was going on. This is a 7-11-year-old age group of girls.

Some highlights of what I overheard her say to the girls:
- Repeated over and over your mom isn't your coach, your mom is your cheerleader ... even had the girls repeat after her my mom is my cheerleader. This I definitely take exception to because this is our first year doing Xcel and she left some of the girl's routines unfinished. For example, their last tumbling pass at the last practice she told them they need to "do something else" when they finish their roundoff until the music ended. So I had to choreograph a dance routine for my daughter to do when we were at home... because no one at the gym worked with her on it. I know some other moms were left having to come up with their daughter's routines also. She's 8 so telling her to just "do something" doesn't cut it. She got 2nd on Floor at the meet.

- Told all of the girls that one of the other girl's mom never comes to practice and that girl always wins first. Again, I'm always at practice and my daughter won first this week. And didn't get recognized for it because it didn't fit the owner's agenda.

- Had one of the coaches talk about how her gym didn't allow parents

- Said she doesn't want to hear the words "my mom said" from any girl's mouth

- Discussed girls crying and going to their mom's at the meet. Seems like this should have been covered before meet season.

Overall it just really rubbed me the wrong way. For one thing, it was over the top. Secondly, it seems like if she's got these big issues, she needs to address it directly with parents, not send it through the girls to tell their parents. It doesn't seem like it's the child's place.
I think you should find a new gym, completely unacceptable behavior from the owner. Regarding the gym not allowing parents, I think that is pretty normal, as it can be a safety hazard for parents to be on the gym floor. If you want to spectate, you can ask if you are allowed to safely spectate from a specified viewing area
 
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