Opinion on my daughter's work ethic

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I'm having trouble deciding what to do with DD. She was placed on level 5 when she was 8 (Jun '06) but after a few months we decided to move her to 4 because we thought she didn't have the work ethic or maybe lacked the passion to inspire the work ethic. I've since discovered the problem was that she had a coach that treated her and most of the other girls like dirt and though I think the coach was sincerely trying to motivate the kids it did the opposite to DD. She took the attitude that there's no way I'm going to do what you want me to if you treat me bad.

She did well on 4 and was re-assigned to level 5 this May but she would have had the 'Nasty' coach and she decided she didn't want to do it anymore. Well....after 2 months she wanted back in the gym so I signed her up for a rec class (Jul '07) at a different gym where she is allowed to work at her level. Now for the last month she's been begging to go back and join level 5 at the new gym.

Gymnastics is such an intense commitment financially and time wise that I don't want to let her go back just to have her not give it her all. I just wanted some opinions on the matter.

I figure I have 2 choices. 1) Let her go back to Level 5 or 2) Make her wait until next season (Jun '08) but have her prove that she's serious by having her condition regularly at home so she can pick up where she left off.

Sorry for such a long and rambling post. I'm just having a hard time deciding what is right for her.



I'd ask around to possibly whoever is in charge of the Compulsory or competitive program about an evaluation or simple information about their program. This includes who is coaching it, what they are like, availability, etc

I don't recommend gym hopping, but if your child does not get along with the coach, or vice versa; it's gonna be a long drawn out event. Part of this really is seeing if a certain gym culture is right for you as a parent and your child. This culture being made up of the atmosphere provided by the coaches and competitive program as a whole.

gym law mom

Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
We went through the "nasty" coach issue recently. It does affect their work ethic and passion. Usually my daughter puts out close to 100% at practice, but once the whole beam series issue got out of control she would back off when they got to beam. She knew if she got up there and balked on the series or simply didn't throw it, she would be yelled at or told she would be moved back to L6 at the next practice.

As adults we don't like a workplace where even though you put in the time/effort, its never good enough and your work is criticized. In places like that you have alot of turnover and decreased production. Is your dd happy at the new gym? Have you watched a L5 practice and talked with the coaches? Don't know when their competitive season starts, but it may not be practical for her to start competing right now. I would say do some research at this new gym and talk with your dd. BlairBob had a good idea in asking the L5 coaches for an eval or tryout. Work ethic changes as children mature also. Once you get all the info then you should be in a better position to make a decision.
Oct 1, 2007
Campbell, CA
Before you start gym shopping/hopping, have your daughter watch some older girls at a higher competitive level in your own gym. Explain to her that the higher skills the girls are performing were the result of a lot of hard work and dedication. Stress that she can get there, too, if she dedicates herself and is willing to do the hard work.

At the same time, point out to your daughter other girls who are smiling and laughing. Notice their camaraderie and the banter between . Show your daughter that, surprise, these girls are having fun and enjoying the practice.

Talk to other parents who have girls of the same age and at the same level in your gym. Do the same with the parents of older kids in that gym. They may have insight on the 'nasty' coach. Talk to that coach yourself. Let them know who your child is. Be friendly, it might rub off.

Your daughter will mature when she understands that some coaches just have a certain style to their approach. Like in real life, not everone is sweet and good natured. Some of the 'nasty' coaches can be the best ones. Their approach is not necessarily personal and acquiring a thicker skin is a skill that your DD can use in both JO and elite levels. Some coaches believe they need to act and sound like disciplinarians especially with girls they perceive to be young and unfocused, immature and not dedicated.

Talk to your daughter frankly about these things.

Good luck

A Proud Gym Dad
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