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ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
Ugh. Just feel like complaining. Last night at practice DD's coach really rubbed me the wrong way. I know that I'm just being sensitive, but I can't quite shake the feeling of being unhappy with her.

DD's old coach for developmental was very positive and encouraging. She always greeted the girls in the lobby and walked them onto the floor. She always talked to the parents after class and had positive things to say. She was great.

DD's new coach just gives off this general vibe that she hates children and she'd rather be anywhere than with them. She never smiles, greets the parents, says anything nice to the girls, she rolls her eyes etc. She makes lots of corrections, but not in a nice way. It's not like "Good job, now straighten your legs this time." It's more like "Straighten your legs that looks terrible." She also talks to them very sarcastically. In my opinion sarcasm isn't a good option for kids this age.

DD is the little baby in her group. Last night one girl picked her up while they were waiting in line and the coach yelled at my DD and said "You are 4 years old, not some baby who needs to be carried." I understand they don't need to be goofing off, but this other girl came behind her and picked her up. It's not like DD asked to be picked up. And I think 4 years old is still kind of a baby. Not a big deal really, I just don't like the tone of voice she uses.

This coach is new to coaching and just a high school kid so maybe she just doesn't know that her tone of voice and negative attitude is coming across badly. She is much better at making the girls do the skills correctly which I do appreciate.

I just feel very strongly that I want my child to have a positive experience in gymnastics. It's not like these kids are going to the Olympics or something. Most probably won't last past level 6.

Okay that's the end of my complaining. I feel better now.:rolleyes:
 

jago

Proud Parent
Jan 7, 2009
152
ellabella,

You are certainly not being overly sensitive at all! This coach is apparently having more than just a bad day. Has she been negative in the past and how "new" is she to coaching? Perhaps she is in a staffing position that she isn't well-suited for and doesn't understand the sensitive nature of not only 4 year olds but all children, even teens. Actually, I'm sure that she wouldn't appreciate her supervisor at the gym talking to her in that manner. Maybe that is the way her coach spoke to her as she trained, but that doesn't excuse her behavior.

This rubs me the wrong way also, as I have a 4 year old gymmie that is in love with gymnastics and I know that this would completely break her heart. She is at a wonderful facility with great coaches and I'm hoping that this continues for as long as she loves what she is doing (which I suspect will be for some time, as long as doesn't run into coaches such as the one you wrote about.)

I would speak to the director (or another person in a leadership position) and let them know the situation and your (and DD's) feelings.

Let us know the outcome! Good Luck!
 

jago

Proud Parent
Jan 7, 2009
152
ellabella,

Another thing or two ...

I'm sure that you aren't the only parent that feels this way. If any mom heard this they would react just the same way as you are. I'll bet that the others girls have let their moms know that they aren't as happy as they have been with their previous coaches.

Anything that isn't good for team morale isn't good for the gym. The owners need to know.

And we all need to vent from time to time!
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
That would worry me as well. Abby's developmental coach at her old gym was awesome! She was just the right mix of keep them in line, but also have fun with them. She will always be one of my (and Abby's) favorite coaches. If they had had a whole bunch of her as team coaches at her old gym, we never would have left. LOVED her. She really cared about her girls and wanted them to succeed.

New gym, devo coach is the owner. She is AWESOME with the little ones. Very positive, yet really good coaching. She also coaches the level 4s and my daughter loves her. She expects a lot, but makes things fun and is SO encouraging. You frequently hear her scream with delight when a girl is doing a new skill or something the right way. The girls all love her.

I would probably be too chicken to voice my concerns with the owner in person, but maybe an email? Because she is new, maybe she doesn't know any other way. If she was a gymnast recently, she might be coaching the way she was coached and not know any better. I noticed that a lot of the newer coaches that were young (college age) at Abby's old gym were very strict, negative, etc. I think it was just all they knew. ???

You definitely want your little one to be somewhere where she is encouraged in a positive way to do things and where her coach truly wants her to succeed. Good luck!
 
C

cathiann

Is this the first time you've seen her like that? Perhaps she was just having a bad day. If this is the first time, then I'd start attending practices and watch and see if it's a normal thing. If so, then I'd talk to the HC about it. But I agree with everyone else--that is NOT how I'd want my child talked to.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I would monitor the situation, if she continues to be negative I would speak to the owner. If she is new to coaching and is very young she might not realize what she is doing. Everyone has a bad day ( not that it is ok to take it out on the kiddos) but if it is normal behavior, it needs to be addressed. Would not want your DD to lose her love of gymnastics due to this.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,891
I would expect, at any gym, the coach for young children to appear to love teaching children. The children should love being around her, feel safe with her and she should be a strong role model for the little ones. When I think of my kids young gym years, they did get carried, even by the coach, they got a LOT of praise and they did learn and progress. They still love their preschool coaches and they still love my girls.

I would really keep an eye on this, what reason is there for your DD to continue if someone is being mean to her and her friends.

In this circumstance I would not talk to the coach about it, as it is a personality issue and she will have a hard time changing who she is, I would talk to the head coach or owner about your concerns. Make sure you are specific and objective, make sure you talk just about your DD and how this is affecting her.
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
Just to clarify DD has never said she doesn't like this coach. She does like her. I've asked her many times if she likes her, is she mean, etc. DD never has anything bad to say.

To answer the question if perhaps the coach was having a bad day, I think it's more her personality. I don't think she's mean necessarily, just very unenthusiastic. She could be saying positive things that I just don't hear when they are across the gym. DD's old coach was very loud and you could always hear what she was saying. She was enthusiastic, encouraging, excited for them etc. You could really tell she loves kids. She talked to the kids in that kindergarten teacher voice, where this girl talks to them with sarcasm and like they are much older. Either she really doesn't like kids or perhaps hasn't had experience working with them.

This coach is a high school kid and is fairly recently retired from gymnastics. Ironically DD's father was this coach's coach for about 5 years. She must have learned from him!:rolleyes:

I am not the type of person to complain. My kid seems happy and if she ever complained then I would have to make myself step out of my shell and say something. It must not bother her in the least. She has told me before if she didn't like a particular coach. They had a sub one day and the lady was really mean. DD cried and didn't want to go back. Luckily that was just a sub. It was DD's first day on preteam. Sub didn't know this and when she asked DD to do something that she didn't know how to do DD just stood there. She's too shy to speak up and say "Hey I've never done that." So she just stood there with a confused look on her face. Then the coach said "If you aren't going to do it then get off the mat." I was so furious. The next practice that coach came up to me and told me she was sorry that she didn't know it was her first day. Still I don't think that's the way to talk to any little kid. How about being adult enough to pick up on the fact that maybe a child of her age didn't understand the instructions or needed some prompting.

I'm at every practice so I do watch what is going on. I talked to a few other parents about how they felt and we all have the same feelings. The biggest complaint from the others is that the coach gives us no feedback. She never talks to the parents at all. The other coach always took a few minutes before her next class to answer questions and give a little report to anyone who was there about their child's progress. Another mother whose DD is 7 was standing with me when coach spoke harshly to my daughter and she too felt like it was a mean. She also commented that she felt like the coach is a little harsh on my DD. She treats her equally, but DD is much younger than the others. I don't expect her to get special treatment, but she honestly can't be expected to always have the same understanding or attention span of 7 to 9 year olds. There is just a big difference developmentally. Skill-wise she belongs in this group, but not always maturity wise.

The girls have gotten increasingly rowdy lately too, but it's the coaches mismanagement of the group that causes it. There were 11 girls there on Thursday and she will often have 10 waiting in line and of course they are going to goof off. That's a long wait! The optional team works out in the morning so there is plently of space and she could easily set up stations to keep them busy while waiting. Sometimes she does it and all the kids are engaged and behave beautifully. Other times she just doesn't for whatever reason and then she gets upset with them when they don't stand perfectly still.

Whoa that was a novel. Sorry! I just have a lot to say once I get started.
 

Gymgirlsmom

New Member
Aug 15, 2009
25
the gym-no kidding LOL
DD had a coach like this before she quit. She was horrible and never put a smile on- and she was working with 5-6 year olds! (DD was about 5 at the time) I know you don't like to be "that mom" and complain about every little thing- but what are we paying for? LOL. I guess she doesn't know the kids very well and the only thing she can be is up tight. I agree, that is no way to talk to a 4 year old. I know how 4 year olds think, my twins JUST turned 5 last month. Anyway, if things don't start to get better, talk to the owner. Keep us updated!:) Sorry you had to go through with this. Not fun!
 

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Sounds like this coach needs alot of maturing and that will come with time and working with more experienced coaches. I agree with some others that she may be coaching the way she was coached. She may not be all that interested in working(high school is a weird age) and just going through the motions or feel she shouldn't be "stuck" with a young group. Lots of variables here.

If the negative attitude and disorganization of the class continues then it wouldn't hurt to mention it(even in a note) to the HC or owner. This new coach may be very good with some help from another coach. Remember it is your money and time. Little ones tend to not say the coach is bad unless it gets REALLY bad.
 
Jul 11, 2009
54
I agree with alot of the posts. I feel it is something that needs to be addressed. You should be able to go to your DD practice and enjoy what she is doing and not have to worry about if your daughter is being talked to in an inappropriate manner or not. She may not even know she is acting that way. Could be how she was taught or might be too big of a class for just her - could be alot of things - but you will never know unless you ask. The HC may think all is well since no one has said anything.
 
D

Dallas Gym Mom

Gym Law Mom is right. The little ones will not complain about a coach being mean to them. One of the other parents told me that he had seen my DD sitting in the lobby when she was supposed to be training. Found out that HC was yelling at her and sending her off the floor because she could not do her back tuck. (Instead of teaching her how.) She never complained about the coach, just sat there and cried. I talked to the coach who told me she could do it if she wanted, but she was lazy. Needless to say we switched gyms and with a supportive friendly coach she was doing them in a jiffy.
 
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