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I am seeking opinions and advice about what to do about coaching favoritism in the gym. There is one gymnast on my DD's team who the coach favors to no end apparently because of a family relationship. That girl is clearly not as good as some of the others (including my DD by results), but the coach always spends much more time with her than others on the team including my DD. The coach and gym owner always have some excuse, but it never stops. It appears that they are trying to make that girl excel past the others on her team, but it isn't working. How does one effectively broach the subject without alienating the coach, owner and my DD? Any advice would be great. Thanks.
 
Maybe the coach sees that this child isn't doing as well and needs extra help. WHereas, based on results, you dd is kicking some serious butt at meets and really doesn't need extra. IF this "extra" time the coach spent isn't "accelerating her past the other girls", then why would you care? I think your assumption that the coach wants the struggling child to be better than all the others may be what is bothering you the most. I really cannot imagine that would be the case.

Some kids have natural talent and do not require nearly as much coaching as others, thank your lucky stars that your kid learns quickly and does well.

Broaching the issue with the coach is sure to lead to some unpleasantness, best avoided. Favouritism has been discussed many, many times here, and we all know that favourites do exist, but discussing it with the coach is rarely productive.

Look at the threads below this post, you will see lots to keep you entertained.
 
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There may be reasons the coach appears to be spending more time with this one girl than the others that you are not privy to. You said this one girl is stuggling so the extra time with her might be to work through problems and at least get her on par wiht the rest of the team---doesn't sound like she's close to "exceling."

The only time I would raise an issue about something like this is if there is a safety issue in the other girls practicing alone or with minimal supervision.
 
I totally agree with Bog on this.

Some gymnasts need more coach attention than others.

I would also caution you of accusing the coach of favoritism this does not usually go well for you or your gymnasts. It usually leads to hurt feelings by all.

I have DD who others over the years have seen as the kid who needs much more coach support due to lower scores than others. She however is the last of her Level 5 team of 10 girls left in gymnastics after 9 years. She has never been the most sucessful but has perservered over the years.

For now be content with the rate at which your DD gets skills. Some day she maybe the on struggling with skills or fears. Gymnastics is a marathon not a sprint......each gymnast has strengths and struggles.
 
I 100% agree with Bog on this topic. I thinks its time to sit back and relax. Remember its a marathon.

Good luck to you dd.
 
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I also agree 100% with Bog. I can honestly say that after watching my DD's involvement in this sport for over 6 years, there will be many, many, many (did I say many?) things that you will question. I've found that to save my own sanity, it was best for me to just drop her off and then pick her up at the end of practices. The coaches have a reason for the things they do. You are paying them to coach, and as long as your own DD is progressing (and it definitely sounds like she is), then it's best not to worry about what's going on with the other girls....... UNLESS OF COURSE THERE IS A SAFETY CONCERN, but it doesn't sound like that's the case here at all.
 
It think I may not have been clear. The girl is lagging at all. She is very talented and scores very well. It just looks like the gym is embarrassed with her parents (who are there friends with the coach) that with all the extra time they spent with the girl, she got beaten (unexpectedly to the coach) by two (2) of her teammates. It started off from the beginning that the coach spent more time with her than the others, now it borders on the ridiculous. They even have the girl training with higher level gymnasts, teaching her skills that no one else on her team is allowed to learn. There are a lot of hard feelings from the parents of the remainder of the team.
 
It think I may not have been clear. The girl is lagging at all. She is very talented and scores very well. It just looks like the gym is embarrassed with her parents (who are there friends with the coach) that with all the extra time they spent with the girl, she got beaten (unexpectedly to the coach) by two (2) of her teammates. It started off from the beginning that the coach spent more time with her than the others, now it borders on the ridiculous. They even have the girl training with higher level gymnasts, teaching her skills that no one else on her team is allowed to learn. There are a lot of hard feelings from the parents of the remainder of the team.

This sounds like a tough situation. But, gymnastics and coaching and judging and scoring will never be "fair". I agree with TQM in that you really can't worry about the other kids and what training they are or may not be getting. Your dd is doing great (38AA at her first Level 5 meet is nothing to sneeze at) and seems to be excelling without "all the extra attention from the coaches". There will be favoritism everywhere you go and sometimes it is out of your control.

Obviously, even with all the extra coaching that this one girl is getting it is NOT adversely affecting the other kids on the team (the coaches favorite did get "beaten" by two other gymnasts, right?). So I wouldn't really worry about it. It seems like you are a bit worried that this coaches favorite will eventually "beat" your dd and that may be the real issue.

Your dd is doing amazing, and like the others have said, does not need all that extra coaching. Count your blessings. And I would NOT get involved with this "gym drama". It will bite you in the long run. Like they say--If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.
 
Your DD is doing great, almost "perfect" so I would just "enjoy the ride"

For what it's worth...I felt (along with others) that MY DD was being favored in her old gym. As one who felt my DD was being 'singled out' I felt I had the right to discuss it, when I spoke to gym management and coach about the apparent "favoritism" and found out that what seemed like blatant favoritism really wasn't. As 'just' a parent, I have found over the years (8th year of USAG between my 2 girls) there is much to learn and things are not always as them may seem.
 
Gymdad I'm going to have a little different opinion than others, but I think it's normal for you to be frustrated or concerned that a coach is playing favorites. It happens and it's frustrating for parents and I disagree that if a child were struggling that they should be given extra attention, especially at the expense of others. Each child pays the same amount of tuition and should be given an equal amount of attention. I feel like the coaches job is to help every child be the best they can be, not try to have the group all equal. Help them all equally as needed. They may all need different things, but the attention should be equally divided as much as possible.

I'll use my own child as an example. She really struggles with level 5 vault and I would never expect the coach to spend extra time with her to catch her up to everyone else. She should have equal turns as everyone else and she'll get it when she gets it. I especially would not want the other parents to feel like my child is holding any of their children back because she needs extra attention.

There is also a difference between a coach occasionally giving a particular child extra attention as needed and them making a habit of giving one or two kids the most attention. It does not happen at DD's gym and I would be inclined to say something if it did happen. I have seen a situation where a coach was giving certain girls the majority of his attention on a regular basis. It really isn't good for the gym atmosphere and team unity.

All of that being said, I have also seen a crazy parent or two who IMAGINES their child is getting less attention than another child. I knew a mom who would actually count how many turns her DD had with the coach. She would then report to the owners that her DD had 7 turns during the rotation with the coach and the other girls had 9 turns. Yeah, that's just crazy.

Not sure what the situation is at your DD's gym, but hope it works out.
 
This sounds like a tough situation. But, gymnastics and coaching and judging and scoring will never be "fair". I agree with TQM in that you really can't worry about the other kids and what training they are or may not be getting. Your dd is doing great (38AA at her first Level 5 meet is nothing to sneeze at) and seems to be excelling without "all the extra attention from the coaches". There will be favoritism everywhere you go and sometimes it is out of your control.

Obviously, even with all the extra coaching that this one girl is getting it is NOT adversely affecting the other kids on the team (the coaches favorite did get "beaten" by two other gymnasts, right?). So I wouldn't really worry about it. It seems like you are a bit worried that this coaches favorite will eventually "beat" your dd and that may be the real issue.

Your dd is doing amazing, and like the others have said, does not need all that extra coaching. Count your blessings. And I would NOT get involved with this "gym drama". It will bite you in the long run. Like they say--If it's not broken, don't try to fix it.

Have to disagree with the idea that coaching will never be fair and it's beyond our control so just deal with it. Gyms are a business. Gymnasts should be treated as equally as possible. It is within a parents control for our child because we can choose to seek services elsewhere. There are gyms out there that really do value all of their gymnasts equally (we are at one of those gyms) and help every girl achieve their very best.
 
Honestly don't let someone elses drama become yours. If your DD is doing well and getting what she needs from the gym to excel then just worry about your DD. If this girl weren't there and your dd was still getting the exact same attention she is now would you be happy? YES then leave it alone if NO then talk to the owner and vent your thoughts.

This girl may be good but maybe its because of all the extra coaching that she is where she is. You never know unless you want to ask and point out it looks like favortism. This family could also be paying extra for extra time too.

In the end you can either complain, leave it alone and worry about how your own DD is doing and not about what someone else is getting, or look for somewhere else.
 
What are your options though?

How happy are you with the gym? Is it the best fit you can provide for your daughter? If the coaching is good, and your DD is doing well, then I think this one thing you aren't happy with is worth putting up with for all the other pro's.

You could raise the issue, which more than likely will lead to bad feeling and won't solve the issue as they'll still have to deal with their friends and their child. Like I said, if you're otherwise happy, what's the point of risking making you/your child feeling uncomfortable there.

If you think your child is suffering for the favouritism, you could move her. Is there another gym of equal or better fit where your child may be just as happy? Is it worth the upheaval for the sake of one girl?

A lot can happen in gymnastics, as I've learned recently. The favourite could quit, through being pushed, or if she's not doing as well as her parents expect they may take her out, or to a different club if they perceive it's the coaching that's at fault. Or she may move to different training times and not be coached with your DD any longer.

Has your DD noticed? has she said anything? If she has I would discuss it with her, point out the pro's and cons above, and ask her to give it 3 months. If it's still making her really unhappy or affecting her training it may be worth having a rethink.

It sounds like your DD is doing well. I'd leave it alone, at least for now.
 
It think I may not have been clear. The girl is lagging at all. She is very talented and scores very well. It just looks like the gym is embarrassed with her parents (who are there friends with the coach) that with all the extra time they spent with the girl, she got beaten (unexpectedly to the coach) by two (2) of her teammates. It started off from the beginning that the coach spent more time with her than the others, now it borders on the ridiculous. They even have the girl training with higher level gymnasts, teaching her skills that no one else on her team is allowed to learn. There are a lot of hard feelings from the parents of the remainder of the team.

huh? is she lagging or isn't she? i'll chime in but i need to understand that.:)
 
How does your DD feel about this? Does she bring it up to you, without being prompted? Does she feel like she is being ignored? If I felt as though it was negatively affecting my DD's time and my money, I would probably say something. I wouldn't outright say, "You're playing favorites!", though. You can think of a way to bring this up and resolve it in a positive manner. Good luck with whatever you do!
 

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