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sun

Coach
Gymnast
Jun 29, 2017
111
27
My head coach brags to me about not needing to lesson plan for her Xcel Diamond/Platinum groups, winging it is enough.
When I'm out and she subs for JO, I give her a lesson plan, and she will reuse a single day's lesson plan for months.

One gymnast did her first ever double pike (never tried double tuck) from airtrak into open foam, in the next practice was asked to try it from spring floor to an eight incher. Landed short and broke her leg on the first attempt.

Another of her gymnasts was doing a clear hip on high bar, slipped while opening towards handstand and landed completely stretched, middle of her back folding over the high bar, then crumpled to the floor. Head coach put a brand new rail in without chalking it. Out for 3 months to recover.

More than 50% of their plat/diamonds have chronic knee pain or low back pain in day-to-day life, and icing takes place regularly on all 4 events.

They do not spend any of their 12hrs /week on strength training, and they don't do any sort of consistent stretching, no preventative work. Just skill repetition in training season and routine repetition in comp season, verbal corrections all day.

First meet of the season:
2nd place Bronze
1st place Silver
1st place Gold
1st place Platinum
1st place Diamond
We train in a very competitive region.


I have to admit, I'm jealous. I have a fantastic co-coach, and this is our first year coaching developmental 6/7 in the US. We've both been coaching compulsory for 10 years. We try so hard to keep everyone safe and happy, but push them and train them to be great as well. Not pushing through 3/10 or greater pain EVER, meeting up outside of work to periodize our strength training (I admit, we're new at this), and changing things up when we aren't getting the results that we want. We're nowhere near out of ideas to keep improving our team, but I'm really discouraged when our head coach seemingly just clocks in, clocks out, and wins team awards easily, when we're fighting tooth-and-nail to get 7th place out of 10 teams.

Please share any thoughts you have about my situation, I'm honestly mostly looking to just vent... It doesn't feel fair. I hate working myself to death to place in the bottom 3, and then have our xcel staff come to me like I'm some technical expert whenever they need help when they win meets easily and regularly.

Not giving up. Back to training in 2 hours :)
And no matter how harsh or disappointed I might sound or be.. I'm so proud of our athletes. I've never worked at a gym with as much parent support as we have, and the athletes are very hard working and respectful. These are things I'm very grateful for :D
Maybe comparison is the devil >_<

/rant
thanks for reading


I
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,294
Wisconsin
We try so hard to keep everyone safe and happy
Not pushing through 3/10 or greater pain EVER

The two above make it hard... but they are extremely important. Sounds like you are doing things right.

Old school coaches will just push and drive all day long... this wins.

It's much harder to win taking the above into consideration.

Basically... you are stating that other things are more important than winning. Keep up the good fight... totally possible to win the way you are doing it too... you just have to figure it out.
 

sun

Coach
Gymnast
Jun 29, 2017
111
27
Thanks, and sorry for the sarcastic response. I hate watching this happen and get rewarded in front of me. I think my experience as a gymnast instilled in me that winning is the priority, but I can't coach that way.
I'll keep trying to balance wellbeing/winning. I needed the reminder that wellbeing =/= winning meets, no matter how much I want that to be the case lol.
 

3cats

Proud Parent
Nov 5, 2018
121
43
You may be competing against some teams that train like your head coach/xcel coach. It can bring in some short term profits.

Also if you recently took over this program it will take a year or 2 for your results to materialize.

I'm not a coach. Just a parent. I believe there needs to be a balance of constructive and strict feedback days and "fun" days. I love that you have lesson plans. Make sure that meet weeks are "mean judge" picky. (By this level in their careers they can tell you who those judges are and what they are looking for)And post meet weeks have a little room for fun. Above all I believe that uptraining is huge in JO success. Your athletes need to be performing skills in practice a level above what they are competing at least some of the time. I have no idea what the right percentage is, bc I'm not a coach. But every team who wins is able to do skills above what they are showing the judges. 20 percent? 90 percent? Who knows. But I honestly believe part of that is the "fun" part. For my gymnast, she loved uptraining. She didn't care about how pretty it looked but man she came home beaming when she could tell me that they started working on blank and blank skill. Its why she quit artistic gymnastics, bc they stopped uptraining her. They wanted perfection. That's not her thing. She likes her T&T bc now she dictates her uptraining schedule. She'd like a little more of the picky coaching now though. She misses having someone tell her where she needs to improve.

It's a balance. It sounds like you are on the right track.
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,162
Here are some other factors to consider...
Sometimes a bunch of talented gymnasts can win despite the coaching not being great. Especially if it is a big team that can still function with plenty of members when others go down with injury. I know US comps have massive teams. I have always worked with either teams of four or six with three scores to count. So you had to make sure everyone was able to perform and well on multiple events.
A 'winning culture'. That team is used to winning, the mental space of those kids is different at comps as they know they can win. Your kids are under-dogs in a sense and it will take a while to get that belief they can win too. I have inherited talented groups of kids who were not winners and it was harder getting the results they should be getting that my comparatively average kids who had been winning - different mindset and confidence at competitions.
Keep doing the right things and tweaking but allow the program time for positive improvements to show. - Also look into ways you can build a better competitive mindset with your athletes if you feel it is week point.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,294
Wisconsin
A 'winning culture'. That team is used to winning, the mental space of those kids is different at comps as they know they can win. Your kids are under-dogs in a sense and it will take a while to get that belief they can win too. I have inherited talented groups of kids who were not winners and it was harder getting the results they should be getting that my comparatively average kids who had been winning - different mindset and confidence at competitions.
This is just awesome... very true.
 

ReluctantGymMom

Proud Parent
May 11, 2020
267
32
I’m not a coach but I deal with a few large meets for our area, I’d just like to add that diamond meets don’t have many gymnasts usually, so, if your gym has a good number, the odds are they’re going to take first. And if your gym has the equivalent of level 6s training gold while some gyms have the equivalent of level 4s training gold, yours is going to do better (we have several gyms in our area that do this, and it shows, but the skill variety in each level of xcel is very wide).

If you’re in a competitive region, training level 6/7… and this is your first year training this
Level… you’re at a disadvantage that you’ll make up for with time. Our region has a team crushing level 6 at every meet, as they should, because the team is huge and the girls are either Uber talented 8 year olds who have won everything at every other level or girls who are on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th year of level 6 and are winning everything.

But is your philosophy to win level 6 or keep the girls healthy and prepared for upper level Optionals? :) if your girls are happy and healthy and getting prepared for future levels, you’re doing well
 
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