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|