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OK - I will try to be as short as possible, but I have to go back a little ways for you to know where I am coming from:eek:! BTW, I just posted this whole thing, and got booted out right at the end - ARGH:mad:!!!

Our gym hired a new HC about six months ago. He seems very nice, is very knowledgable as a coach, and is loving with the kids (lots of hugs and kisses). Great - right?! When he was hired, he was watching team (L4-9) practice and picked my dd (who was level 4 at the time) from all the girls and asked the assistant coach who she was and said she was amazing, and he was going to "keep his eye on her". The assistant coach told me this, and I thought "Okay, that's cool". Not to downsize my dd's abilities, she is a good gymnast, but not the best out there. She does have unbelievable muscle structure, though. She is 4'6" and 67lbs of pure muscle - you can practically see every muscle in her body! So, I figured that is mostly what drew him to her.

OK - Now to fast forward to the present...... My dd was just moved to level 5 and last night was her first practice as level 5. Everything went fine until conditioning at the end. Even then she had her bar dips (30) done before part of the optional girls, and she is only used to doing 10 of them! Then they had to do a handstand against the wall and dip down & touch their head to the floor and raise back up (10 times, I think). Well this was not a part of dd's level 4 conditioning, so she was watching the other girls to see exactly what she was supposed to do. Some of them were dipping their heads a little and then raising back up, some were touching their heads to the floor and falling over, etc. Then HC came over to her (and her only) and said (after making her start over 2 times) "You could be a great gymnast if you tried, but your not trying". She then said that this was her first day as level 5 and has not done these before, and wasn't sure exactly what she was supposed to do. At that point, he said "That's no excuse, if you are not going to do what you are supposed to you need to go home ---- go get your stuff and go home!" Well, my dd is a tough cookie, so she stayed and didn't really let him get to her. I did notice at the end of practice, he was hugging her and talking to her, but you know about the "gymnast brain fade" where you ask what he was saying, and dd says "oh, I forgot":rolleyes:!

On our way home, I talked to dd about this, and she was very frustrated (but calm - I was the one almost crying:() that he treated her that way - and understandably so! I told her that I was very sorry this happened to her, and if he was as nice as he seems, he will probably get home and realize that he was a little too harsh with her (I would sure hope so). We had a long talk about the subject, but I won't go into the whole thing, since I have already written a short novel:rolleyes:!

So - My thought is that either he sees all those muscles and thinks she can do anything, but forgets that she is only a 10 year old girl, OR maybe he just had a bad day, and I am overly emotional:rolleyes:! What is your opinion???

THANK YOU:):)!!!!!!!!!!!!!


We tell DD that no-one can make her do anything that she doesn't feel comfortable doing. Our first priority is that she doesn't get injured. Our second priority is that she trusts her coaches. If there is no trust, then there can be real problems. Confronting a coach can be extremely problematic, but I will not ever that that stand between me and my DD's safety and mental well being.

We try and teach her the proper etiquette for handling these situations which is to be respectful. We also want to be notified so that we can confront these things as adults and get them sorted out. It's not easy, but there's more at stake than gymnastics and it's important to atleast try and develop lines of communication to let the coaches know that we are in this together and that we as parents are here to help and support them, but we are also there to help and support our daughter and her happiness and well being is important to us.


Oh, I'm really sorry this happened! I am wondering, did he act like this just out of the blue, that one day? Maybe he was having an 'off' day, we all do.

Ask your dd how often he has been this way w/ her. If it was just the one time, I'd wait & see how it goes over the next few days/weeks. If, however, he seems to have decided to make her his personal punching bag, you might want to talk w/ him. If he has decided it's time to do the 'tough love' thing w/ her for whatever reason, you would want to know about it as well. I hope it was just an isolated incident! :(


Nov 3, 2008
Region IV (Missouri)
I can never advocate bad behaviour -- especially from a coach, but something did come to mind.

Since the coach sees your DD's strength and ability, and she herself is new to the gym, perhaps to demostrate how "dedicated" of a coach she is, she chose a girl she saw was strong enough mentally and physically to take come direct-talk in front of others. Just a thought is all. I'm personally not sure how all this "be tough, get with it or get out" crap is at all helpful. I mean, athletes that don't perform -- don't do well. And that's that.

I think sometimes coaches forget who pays the salary. It's gym, not military training. Perhaps next time your DD can say "Please coach...teach me how?! I really want to do well!" We'll see what old iron-sides says then! lol.

Nice to hear that your gym has a tough conditioning regiment though. None of the gyms I've visted or dd belong do. And frankly, it shows in the higher levels.
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Thank for your replies! It helps to talk to someone not directly involved. It's not the end of the world or anything, his harshness just really surprised me! That didn't seem like his style. At dd's prior gym she had a strict coach, but the only time he used the "go home" method was when he meant it because of blatant disobeying or defiance. My dd has never had to be told to "go home", so I think it threw her off, too!

I just told dd that if she goes and does her best, he will figure it out, and that most likely he didn't mean to be so hard on her. She has practice tonight, and is excited to go, so that's really all that matters, isn't it?!:)


Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
I think that would have upset me/my DD as well. Hopefully coach was just having an off day. Hope she had fun at practice today!


I'd say the coach had a bad day. IT happens. I know sometimes they have bad weeks! Don't we all? I would be on the lookout though to see how often that type of behaviour happens. Talking a child down and then being all huggy and lovely next is a little unsettling if it keeps happening. If it's only once or twice a year no worries. Kudos to your daughter for handling it so very well.


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
What really concerns me about this coach is your first comment - that he is loving with the kids and gives lots of hugs and kisses. This would send off alarm bells to me immediatly. Under no circumstances is it acceptable for a coach to kiss a child, even on the head. Unfortunatly for those hard working honest male coaches out there there are a number of male gymnastics coaches who sexually abuse young girls. In this day and age coaches need to be extremely careful with how they act with young children and shouldn't even be hugging the kids unless the child initiates it themselves. I would keep a very, very close eye on this man and his releationship with your daughter and other members of her team.


I think that would have upset me/my DD as well. Hopefully coach was just having an off day. Hope she had fun at practice today!

She has been back a few times since this episode, and he has been nothing but nice to her, so hopefully it was a bad day! Maybe it was a test to see if she would fall apart under pressure?! Her prior coach did alot of "testing" like that.:rolleyes:


momofagymmie - Thanks for the kudos, she has always been a tough one, especially when it comes to gymnastics! If it had been me at that age, I probably would have ran out crying:eek:!

Aussie_coach - Thank you for your concern. We have never had coaches (male or female) that did not give the kids hugs, etc. I don't see it as innappropriate in our case. Yes, the extremity from one emotion to another was a little surprising, and I will keep an eye on that. Not to mean that I think that kind of thing does not happen, because I would be the first one to get my daughter out of there if I suspected anything. I see what you are saying though, there once was a coach in our area that had some suspicious practices, and needless to say, when I was looking for a gym, my daughter did not go there!!
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