"Punishment" for not making a skill

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luvnlife

Not sure if punishment is the right word choice but here's the questions -

My DD (9yrold and L5)didn't make her kip at practice the other night (but has made it in the past but just not consistent yet) and the coach at the end of class told her to do 100 sit ups (believe it involved lifting here legs too) and let the other girls head home because they made one - is that the norm for coaches?
 
D

Deleted member D3987

boy...between the "open shoulder trainer" in the other post...and now this. the lack of knowing how to coach shows up way to often on this board.

who cares if a 5 year old can't perform a front limber to a stand?

and 1000 sit-ups will not a kip make. just bizarre.
 
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AlexsGymmyMom

Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
2,531
USA
boy...between the "open shoulder trainer" in the other post...and now this. the lack of knowing how to coach shows up way to often on this board.

who cares if a 5 year old can't perform a front limber to a stand?

and 1000 sit-ups will not a kip make. just bizarre.


I agree totally!!!
 
B

Billy

I have heard of assigning additional conditioning (in very small amounts!) when a gymnast doesn't make a correction or follow and instruction, but never to that extent. Boo has had to do 5 push ups for missing her vault and little things like that but never so much as 100 sit ups. That seems really excessive to me.
 

mariposa

Proud Parent
Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,528
My DDs old gym does this (though 100 seems excessive, it was usually 25-50 sits ups, v-ups or push ups) and I always thought it was normal. Then we switched gyms for a whole bunch of other reasons and I saw that it doesn't have to be the norm. I am so happy to have her somewhere with positive coaching.

Kips aren't usually consistent when they first get them. And like Dunno said, doing sit ups isn't going to get her her kip.

I would talk to someone higher up and see what response you get. Also, talk with the other parents and see if this is just the norm for coaching at her gym. It was pretty much across the board at DDs old gym. Even when my DD was in the developmental class, she had to do frog jumps for falling off the beam. Most of the team coaches did it as well, only a few didn't. If it is your DDs gym's norm, you have some decisions to make.

Make sure your DD knows that what the coach did was inappropriate and not her fault.
 

sheplaysinthechalk

Coach
Proud Parent
Judge
Jun 19, 2008
159
united states
:mad::mad::mad::mad:

I know that there are many many many many wonderful and amazing coaches out there. I just can't stand it when i hear things like this.

Why do some coaches punish with conditioning? This philosophy is ludicrous to me.

It is essential for gymnasts to be strong and well conditioned. Because conditioning is a necessary element of gymnastics, it should be made "fun" so that these kids learn to love and enjoy conditioning now and in the future. When coaches turn conditioning into punishment, it takes the fun out of it and kids dread it - and probably will for the rest of their lives because they learn to associate conditioning with punishment.

I won't go on forever about this, but I just feel very strongly that NO CHILD should EVER be PUNISHED with conditioning. What a waste.:mad:
 
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AlexsGymmyMom

Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
2,531
USA
My DD actually loves doing conditioning. I know that is not the norm but she will even do it at home! They have never used conditioning as a punishment at her gym so that may be why she likes it. At our gym you just can't move to the next skill in the progression if you have not done the one before. So if you did not get your kip you would not be able to do a squat on jump to the high bar until you made the kip and so on.

But I do think alot of gyms do use that as a form of punishment and I think it is unfortunate.
 
Jun 5, 2009
45
Conditioning is not a punishment. It should be used to help gymnasts get stronger and better. If a coach uses it as a punishment during other parts of practice how will the gymnast veiw the part of practice that is dedicated to conditing?

I have used conditioning as reminder for skills performed incorrectly.
Example if a gymnast bends their arms while vaulting over and over again I will have her do handstand pops with her shoulders not elbows back down the run way.
Or if tap swings have an excessive arch on high bar during back swing they will hold a hollow for a set amount of time.
Its more for muscle memory then for conditioning.

Sit Ups for Kips and especially 100....doesnt work maybe some glide swings or muscle ups depending on what they missed in the skill.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
Oh my two posts in the same day with the same theme. Punishment with conditioning will never help, motivate or aid a child in getting a skill. It will scare a child and undo any love for gym that they might have had and make them feel afraid when they should be feeling encouraged.

These two coaches give the coaching profession a bad name. Their bosses need to be informed and the parents need to make it clear that they are NOT PAYING to have their child abused!

We have to advocate for our kids and reassure then that it will not happen again. I cannot imagine sending my gymmie back to be reabused.
 
E

Epomanic

I think this coach needs to be better educated in how to coach! Conditioning must be presented to kids as a tool to improve their gymnastics NOT A PUNISHMENT.

At my gym, if a gymnast needs extra strength help to make a skill, we call it rewards. A (small) strengthening or drill assignment is given as an optional "reward" for the gymnast when a weakness is identified.

For team kids, we also offer an additional conditioning session for gymnasts who want to get ahead - it is 100% voluntary. Many of the girls who are regulars at extra conditioning find themselves picking up new skills quicker, and begin to see the benefits of hard work.

Obviously a certain level of conditioning is required for all serious gymnasts to avoid injury, usually we try to keep it as fun and exciting as possible with games and variety. Explaining to kids what conditioning is for really goes a long way - never underestimate your gymnasts!
 
C

cathiann

Let me (again) chime in with everyone else--conditioning is necessary for gymnastics, but shouldn't be a punishment. Yes, if she's having difficulty with a skill, some conditioning might be needed to build up muscles she might need. But sit-ups for a kip?? That's just bizarre.
 

sportzmomov3

Proud Parent
Jan 6, 2009
156
Metropolitan USA
I'll say it too - conditioning should not be presented as a "punishment!!!"

But I'll add that core work (V-ups, sit-ups, rope climb) does help with bars - it seems counterintuitive on an event that is done with your upper body, but it's those abs that help with the skills on bars (along with shoulder strength and flexibility). Being able to pull yourself up or over the bar doesn't come from your arms, but your abs. So, while the conditioning isn't inappropriate, it's definitely ABUSIVE when it's presented as the punishment for not being able to execute a skill!

Quite honestly, I'll disagree with the posters who recommend talking to "higher ups" because usually they already know this type of conduct is happening and have turned a blind eye - I'm sure yours is not the first such experience...

The well-being of DD is first priority and Mother or Father should trust instinct (I feel like I'm being repetitive today - but I feel so strongly about this!)

Good luck...
 
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gymnut1

I never punish with conditioning. But I do explain what skills the conditioning is for. That really helps them keep going.
 

coachmolly

Coach
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
When I was a gymnast my gym had monthly conditioning tests. If we didn't meet the requirements, we had to do extra work in addition to our conditioning at the end of practice. The extra work corresponded to the requirements we could not meet. So V-ups for leg lifts and extra leg lifts with a coach, there were also rope climbs which I think were for presses, and I'm not sure if there was anything else. I'm not sure if that would be considered punishment or just remedial work designed specifically for problem areas. Most girls had extra work in at least one area though, so you had others to work through it with.
I don't think it's okay to punish an athlete for not making a skill if they are giving an honest effort. Maybe some drills to do when waiting in line, conditioning designed to help everyone with a problem area letting them know it will help them, or individualized conditioning plans for each girl to focus on specific problem areas, but forcing a kid to stay after for not making a skill is ridiculous.
Just curious, what methods do you think are good for punishing (for lack of a better word) girls who are not listening, messing around, misbehaving, not listening to the coaches, etc.? I usually just explain why it's important to listen and pay attention and how it will help make them better and not get hurt, but with some kids that doesn't work. So I'm always looking for new ideas on how to treat them fairly but still let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. The gym owner suggested sending them to the office if they just won't listen but I feel bad about that since their parents are paying for class and expect their child to be participating and learning. However, other parents don't like to see one bad child disrupting the entire class either. So what do parents like to see for their own kids as well as other misbehaving children in the class? This is not for something crazy like missing a skill, but for behavioral problems.
Thanks in advance!
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
I HATE WHEN PEOPLE DO THIS! (remedial work or extra exercises for the child to do in order to gain strength and awareness is another story). If an entire group isn't behaving or the child isn't showing any interest at all, I offer conditioning/exercises or just sit down, but I try to make it a choice and be very even with it.

There's a lot of people working with kids who are more comfortable with adults (and no I don't think this has a lot to do with being a parent, I'm certainly not and won't have school age children for awhile), and I get that, but you need to learn some coping skills. Some coaches are getting way overinvested and take a child not making corrections personally. it's ridiculous. I can always tell the coaches who are "above" rec classes but also don't want to learn about kids or realize how LITTLE some of these kids are or how high the expectations are. Yeah, it's team gymnastics, expectations should be high, but we need to have some sense of scale here. People just boggle my mind sometimes. I can't post in the parent forum but I read that thread with the limbers in preteam and it horrified me enough I felt sick.

I try very hard NOT to single anyone out. And to find something positive the child is doing as often as possible. If the child is not strong, weaker than the rest of the group - so what? Watch that child during conditioning, push them a little to "fight" with encouragement, and tell them how proud you are of each gain in strength they make and what your next goal for them is. I mainly coach girls, although I sometimes work with boys, and I know things can get a little different with them - they tend to not take things nearly as personally and often take a lot "more" in order to listen as a group. But I'm just going to talk about girls here.

Finally, coaches and instructors need to recognize the difference between behavior and safety issues and not being able to do gymnastics. There are consequences for behavior and safety issues, but you can't punish a child for not being able to do something in gymnastics. It's silly. Attitude issues may be a gray area, and this is where some discretion has to be exercised based on individual personality, but in general my feelings towards attitude issues are that you can never control a child and how they're going to approach this sport, you can only put an environment in place that will hopefully encourage them to make their best of their time in the gym. If despite best efforts they clearly don't want to be there, then there are natural consequences: progress will stall, you won't get to move on to the next skill/drill that other can work on, and so on. We should be trying to teach kids life skills here and part of that is accepting a system of natural consequences and accepting that we may see a child struggle before they succeed, whether due to attitude or developmental ability.
 

sheplaysinthechalk

Coach
Proud Parent
Judge
Jun 19, 2008
159
united states
Just curious, what methods do you think are good for punishing (for lack of a better word) girls who are not listening, messing around, misbehaving, not listening to the coaches, etc.? I usually just explain why it's important to listen and pay attention and how it will help make them better and not get hurt, but with some kids that doesn't work. So I'm always looking for new ideas on how to treat them fairly but still let them know that their behavior is not acceptable. The gym owner suggested sending them to the office if they just won't listen but I feel bad about that since their parents are paying for class and expect their child to be participating and learning. However, other parents don't like to see one bad child disrupting the entire class either. So what do parents like to see for their own kids as well as other misbehaving children in the class? This is not for something crazy like missing a skill, but for behavioral problems.
Thanks in advance!

At our gym, kids are made to sit on the bench away from class for x amount of minutes. Or, I've heard coaches say something to the effect of "you need to go tell HC that you aren't paying attention in class" or "let's go call your mother and tell her that you aren't working today"...(that would be like sending yourself to the principals office)...or they might have to miss out on something fun during class...i've also witnessed a child actually being sent home. (the child was pinching, kicking, hitting, etc and never stopped with multiple warnings and bench sits). Misbehavior is not tolerated at our gym. It's just that way. If a child wont follow the rules, it's just "too bad, see ya later" kind of. I stay and watch a lot. There really aren't any huge behavior problems in our gym...

children are never punished at our gym for not having a skill...they just continue with drills and the philosophy is basically "they will get it when it comes - don't push it". Sometimes if a kid is having trouble, a coach might work with them privately while the other coach supervises conditioning...
 
Mar 5, 2008
2,233
North America
I agree that conditioning is NOT a good punishment. I think that some "good punishments", for lack of a better term could be things like:

- having the misbehaving kids go around the gym and pick up all the left behind empty water bottles or trash at the end of their practice.

- just have a sit down talk with them and let them know what is expected of them.

That is all I can think of for now.
 
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