For Coaches what to do with ineffective coaches?

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Feb 27, 2007
WE have all run into those coaches that seem to be so busy but they do not get much done when it comes to their time on the floor! :mad: I believe that every coach needs to hustle and move their groups and classes at all times. There must be control and instruction going on at all times during a class or whatever you may be doing!!
My question is what do you do when a staff person seems to move in slow motion and their groups are always standing still? It is very frustrating when this person is 5 minutes into a rotation and all the other coaches are active and running several stations or circuits. What would be the best approach to handle and rectify this scene as it will and has been repetitive? :confused: :confused: I would appreciate any and all responses and suggestions.
:eek: (please note: this is a person that has been approched and spoken to several times but it seems to fall on deaf ears so it is not a first time. Therefore just saying talk to that person will not apply in this case.) I would appreciate input from administrators and owners or program directors.
Thanks DAVJAM :D


1...are you the gym owner ?
2...are you that coaches immediate supervisor ?
3...are you the head coach ?
4...are you able to get along without this coach ?
5...are you responsible for the hiring and firing of staff ?

If the answwer is yes to any of these already know the answer...get rid of them.

I am a 60 yr old coach with over 40 yrs coaching exp. and the very first thing i was told when i went from gymnast to coach was...never sit when you coach because if you sit the children and parents take that as a sign you do not care and if you do not care your athletes will not care


Jul 5, 2007
I think the owner or gym manager needs to either step in with a definitive structure for the classes or fire them. If it hasn't been done, then they should perhaps "shadow" another coach for a day. If these steps have been taken, then start looking for other staff. I have seen a lot of people who are good coaches with a more advanced level struggle when they take on beginning classes because they seem at a loss for what is appropriate. They have likely noticed that they aren't doing too well either. Also another problem is expectations, and once the coach sets an expectation for ineffective class management, it is likely to sort of self perpetuate because the kids will not necessarily respond very well, even when changes are attempted. Getting off on the wrong foot can really be bad as far as motivation and participation, if the kids don't trust the instructor they will not be as likely to try new things or take exercises seriously.


I think any behavioral corrections need to come from the owner/person who oversees all the coaches. Do you have annual performance reviews or other forms of feedback at your gym? I work for a large corporation with annual reviews so I'm thinking about what my manager would do in this situation. I would sit down with the person, say that his/her classes aren't as effective as you would like, and come up with an action plan to improve performance. This should include clear expectations of what you expect. Things like:
-X number of stations need to be set up prior to class starting
-X number of those stations should focus on drills
-all stations must be visible from the station the coach is at so she can keep an eye on all kids
-there should never be more than one child waiting to use each station
-floor work like jumps or single tumbling skills should be done as a group so no child waits
-each class should include one drill that the kids can spot themselves (like handstand holds or handstand pushups) depending on the age/skill level of the kids
-asking to see written lesson plans at the beginning of each week.

You may need to give it time, maybe have her work on one issue per month and be clear about how often she will be observed and what you will be looking for to successfully meet the goal. I would also set clear expectations for consequences if these issues aren't resolved. This might mean firing, it might mean demotion to assisting other coaches if this is a good coach who just doesn't have a good handle on how to run an effective class. It is also entirely possible that this is a coach who knows her gymnastics but doesn't have the skills necessary to plan a class and direct and discipline children so getting her some training to improve these skills could help. There are lots of training books and videos and observing/helping some of your better coaches are good ways to learn. Maybe ask her to research drills on the internet and maintain a binder so she can be more creative with stations. You could ask her to put in 1-2 hours a week on training.
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