Ways to be involved in gymnastics besides coaching?

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bribri514

Hey everyone! Yesterday I had a meeting with my advisor at school. We talked about future plans and stuff. I am working on a major for health education. I really want to coach and teach someday. However my options are kind of limited. I really want to be a gymnastics coach, but the communication barrier realistically makes that almost impossible. Ideally I want to start a program for Deaf/HoH/CODAs (children/siblings of deaf adults)/pretty much anyone who know sign language. But that's a long term goal. In the meantime can anyone think of any ideas to get involved in gymnastics at this level? Without having to directly communicate with athletes? Thanks!! Happy fall everyone!!
 
Well, the only thing I can think of is maybe being an example person- the coach will sign to you what skill/conditioning to show, so the gymnasts can see. That could at least help some coaches out who are maybe males teaching a female team, and such and such.
 
how about judging?

There's a judge in my state who has significant hearing loss. Judging vault, bars, and beam definitely wouldn't be a problem, but I'm not sure how floor would work with the floor music issue. The state judging director in your state could give you some information about that, though-- judging is a definite possibility!
 
For some reason judging never cross my mind. That is such a good idea. Thanks!!!!
 
Hmmm. Have you ever tried coaching along with someone maybe? I'm not necessarily doubting your interpretation of the situation, since I don't know, but I've had multiple coaches who don't really even speak english. It's not perfect maybe, but it still works. There's only so much that needs to be communicated and if everyone can establish a set of common communication, it sort of works? I am guessing the issue would be them communicating things to you, but I wonder if maybe you could work with older kids.
 
other options

manage a gym, photography, book-keeper, partner with someone who actually does the coaching but you own the gym and work with some of the kids, teach it at a school for the deaf, sale reps for a leo or gym company, work for the state USAG, work for a gym magazine...etc
Where there is a will then there is a way. Don't let anyone tell you it is impossible. :)
 
Gymdog, I've definitely thought about that. I think part of it might be a safety issue though.

emandelsmom- Those are great ideas. I've thought about working at a school for the Deaf but there is not a single Deaf gymnastics program anywhere in the US. I think a lot of that is because there is an idea that Deaf people have too bad of balance for gym, a lot of my Deaf friends have said that to me! I want to work against that but I need to get some gym experience I think. The state USAG is a really good idea too!

Thanks everyone, this is really helping get my brain going on ideas :)
 
Remember a guidance counselor is not the end all of job placement or decisons. I am a firm believer that if you have a desire and believe in yourself then you can do it. :) I have several friends who are deaf or were raised by deaf parents. You can do lots for this sport. Be creative. Think outside of the box. Look at what you can teach others about the sport. With a partner, you can be a great coach. A lot of coaching is demonstrating to the gets and putting them in the correct postion. Children can easily pick up some sign language esp if they are gymnast. They are used to paying attention to their body and others bodies. :)
Like I said, believe in yourself. ! you can do it!
 
I have it - you need to go round giving inspirational lectures (using whatever medium works for you) about your achievements. Schools, colleges, sports dinners, etc etc. You have so much to offer.
 
I have it - you need to go round giving inspirational lectures (using whatever medium works for you) about your achievements. Schools, colleges, sports dinners, etc etc. You have so much to offer.

I totally agree with this!! You would be a great motivational speaker!! Even if you had to use a speaking interpreter, people could learn so much from you! Also, what about teaching how to sign the gymnastics skills?? I am sure key words like "tight", "point toes", and "great job" would just be a few that every coach should learn and teach their gymnasts. That way if they are across a crowded gym, the gymnast could see the signal before hearing it.

With what ever you choose to do Bri I am sure you are going to be amazing at it because you have incredible passion and drive :).
 
I definitely don't think coaching should be out of the question. Get started working alongside another coach and as you and the gymnasts develop a system or communication you can begin working independently. You would be an asset if the gym ever had a deaf child interested in taking a class and I think a lot of parents would be appreciative of the non-gymnastics experiences you could provide for their child, things like communication, effectively working with people who are "different", maybe even a few words in sign language. I think it has the potential to work really well. You could also offer to teach a class for hearing impaired children, siblings, children of hearing impaired parents, etc. The need could be greater than you might think and with a little publicity you might be able to help the gym bring in additional income. You could be a great asset to a gym!
I just saw it advertised that Inside Gymnastics magazine is looking for interns, so if you're good at writing that could be an option for you. I'm not sure what the details are, but you could keep that in mind. You could also check into positions at USAG that would still keep you involved in the sport but present you with less barriers in communication. But only if that's what you really want to do. I really see no reason why you shouldn't continue to pursue coaching.
 
I think judging is an excellent idea! You could also join a booster club/ parent group as a volunteer and help run meets. There is a lot to do as far as computer work and ordering awards, managing food or concessions or consignment, soliciting ads and sponsors- everything is done by computer now so you don't have to worry about dealing with the telephone.
 
Bribri you've already done so many things that others thought you couldn't! You have proven to so many what you are made of:D!!! Please don't stop now!!! Don't let anyone tell you "you can't be a coach". If you want to coach...I have COMPLETE faith that you will find a way to do it & you will be BRILLIANT at it!!!:D I would LOVE for you to coach my DD!!!!!

I also love the lecture idea & the judging idea...but you can do them ALL:D!!! There are NO LIMITS for you BriBri never forget that:D!!!
 
Are you deaf? or HOH? Do you sign? lip read?

Hi Bella's Mom!!!!! I'm profoundly Deaf and have been since birth. I use ASL (American Sign Language) and a mix of other signs (like Signed Exact English, it gets kind of complicated, please PM if you have further questions about it!). I've been very very lucky, my mom is an interpreter (she sometimes lurks on this site) and a Deaf ed teacher though hearing. I have lived in a very small town and was really blessed with the opportunity to pursue gym with a very understanding and accommodating coach. After a few years he learned sign and I was able to stay with my team all the way through level 10. I now am starting my 2nd year of college. I've had some setbacks and have been training and competing again the past few years. I'm starting to be more injured and am looking at other paths in gymnastics.

And everyone else, thank you so so so so so much. You are all way way too wonderful, I appreciate all kind words and support!! I just want to coach so bad but understand how important communication is. I really promise to start a great Deaf gym program someday! And I'll in part have all the excellent people here to thank :)
 
Oh Bri puuleease! You so so want to coach! You should coach. You so so wanted to do gym - you did gym ........ and then some!

I was thinking about you last night when I was coaching. Shouting in the gym is not encouraged at all. I stood in the middle of 6 beams and realised my group had developed it's own sign language. They do a move and look at me - I point to something (a knee a foot tummy or butt) or show an arm position and they know the correction to make. They are 6. On bars it was the same. When I looked around the gym I saw every coach doing the same, we even seem to have a universal sign for 'turn your front foot out' using a flat hand and 'chest in' using our shoulders. In the past I have also used cards that I put by each station with the drills to do.

You can so do this!
 
Girl, I think if you are situated where there is a decent sized Deaf population, then you would be doing a remarkable service by coaching Deaf athletes. I mean seriously....how many gymn coaches do you know that are able to sign??? That's quite a specialized combination and you should definitely shoot for the stars.

I am one of those people who don't see the Deaf as handicapped. The Deaf culture is so vibrant and ASL is such a beautiful language. So I see NO reason why Deaf kids shouldn't be able to excel at gymnastics. Whatever modification they would need on floor because of music would be something that didn't affect the beauty and athleticism of the sport.

You've obviously impressed a lot of people on this board who seem to knwo you pretty well. I'm pleased to meet you. You sound like quite a young lady.
 
I see no reason why you can't coach. A Deaf program would be groundbreaking and AWESOME. And hearing kids can learn a lot from you too, even if they do need an interpreter to start out.
 
JUDGE! (I mean, coach and everything else too...but definitely judge!) Judging is an excellent way to be involved and it pays pretty good! There are many areas of the country hurting for judges and you would be able to start as soon as you passed your test. I can't say enough great things about judging and how it has made me a better coach and probably a better person. Even judging floor shouldn't be a problem, as the deductions for with the music are so small, you could always rely on the other judge for those. After you see enough compulsory routines done correctly you don't have to hear the music to tell if the kids are on beat anyway...I don't think I hear the music half the time anyway.

Best of luck and if you need more specifics about starting to judge please PM me!
 

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