Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Terrible Tuesdays : The apple doesn't fall far...

They say that parents treat their kids how their parents treated them as children. I suppose the same could be said for gymnastics coaches.

I recently received an email from a gym mom who spoke about her high level daughter's former coach. She spoke about her experience saying that she was, "constantly berated, degraded and demeaned on a daily basis." The mom went on to cite specific incidents in which she felt her daughter was treated inappropriately by her coach. While I've never stepped foot in the gym in question, it got me thinking. Similar things have been said about the former coach of the coach in question, as well as that coach's former coach.

If you're taken straight out of college, or even high school and thrown into an environment where you're coaching high level athletes independently, what experience do you really have? You can only coach in the way that you've been coached, which sometimes can be ultimately, detrimental to athletes. I spoke with another athlete who had experience with the coach who was nearly driven to quit gymnastics from her experiences.

It is worth noting, however, that some of others with whom I spoke really loved the gym, and one even stated that her time at the gym was the "healthiest and happiest [she's] been as an athlete." Maybe it's a personality thing.

Property of USA Gymnastics
At the end of the day, I do not know, and will likely never know what happened or didn't happen in any gym that I'm told about. Even if I did, whether or not those coaching styles are appropriate or inappropriate is not my call. But I will say that I think that it's a poor choice to throw an inexperienced coach into an environment where he/she is coaching Elite or Upper Optional athletes with little to no experience. Without being mentored and supervised, former athletes have only one thing to draw from: their experiences. And ultimately, that may or may not be a positive thing for the gymnasts involved.


  1. is it really necessary to delete the comment from yesterday?

  2. I agree. By deleting it, what was asked is pretty much confirmed who this post is in reference to.

  3. Anonymous called out someone's name when they clearly had nothing to do with this Blog or a Terrible Tuesday about "inexperienced coaches." The Editor deleted the comment for being inappropriate, baseless and untrue (the editor would know if it were true or not).

  4. I will flat out say that the gymnast in question has nothing to do with this post. Literally nothing. I deleted it because she clearly had nothing to do with the post, as she hasn't been coached by inexperienced people, which the post was about. There was no point in involving her name in speculation that was completely irrelevant.

  5. Yeah, I'm gonna need you to go ahead and calm down.