Saturday, September 20, 2014

Diaries of a Gymnastics Coach- September 2014

As you may know, I was offered a job as a gymnastics coach at the gym I have belonged to my whole life.  After agreeing to move on from gymnastics, I have begun my third month as a gymnastics coach!  These are my stories as I learn how to be the best coach I can be and learn how to help my gymnasts become the best they can be.

I knew the gym would be opening soon, so I texted my coach to find out when he would need me.  After ignoring my texts for three days, it turns out I was put on the schedule for 6 days a week- and the other day the gym is closed.  I have been working a lot of hours, but I don't mind because I love coaching and spreading my love of gymnastics.  Each time I coach has been a learning experience.  With so many variables that can happen in the gym, I am learning how to handle each and every situation, and I know I still have a long way to go, but my coaching has improved a lot!

One of the hardest things for me to learn was how to handle the children.  I have a very good grasp of the gymnastics- how to spot and how to give technical instructions- but I can not seem to grasp how to care for the drama that comes with coaching young children.  I am never 100% sure how to handle the different emotions of kids.  Whoever calls children two-dimensional have never dealt with children.  There are so many different reasons that children can cry or become unresponsive to adults (or you know, almost adults), and I have not been able to get a grasp on how to react and how to handle each situation. It is something that I am trying to work on, and will hopefully come with time.

My coach's biggest critique this month has been my time management skills.  I will get to an event and not really know what to do, so we will move on in ten minutes.  In an hour and a half class, we quickly run out of events to go to!  I have been working hard on spending more time at each event, and as I work more, I am learning other drills to do and more skills that my gymnasts can do, so I have been able to do more with them and spend more time at each event.  I tend to get bored if we spend too much time at an event, so I assume my gymnasts do also, which is why I am in such a hurry.  I have been working very hard to spread out my time better.

One of the hardest days in the gym was the other day.  The head coaches were out, so other coaches came in to take their places (one of which has not been in the gym for at least two years).  The head coach that hired me took one boy group, so another new coach (let's just say he is not the best...) and I took over the group.  The group (I now know) was full of autistic boys.  We are trying top get them to vault when all of a sudden I hear one boy scream.  I turn around to see the boy screaming into another boy's ear, and watch as two other boys start to beat each other up!  We quickly separate the four boys and another runs away screaming and hides.  It was so difficult to get the boys to calm down and continue with the class.  After that train wreck of a class ended, the replacement head coaches sent the other coaches home but me and the other new coach.  Halfway through the class, while I took our group of five girls to bars (the event we need at least two coaches on), he just leaves.;  He comes up to me and says "I'm going to leave now," and just left.  It was so bizarre.  I had handled groups on my own before so I was not concerned, but I was just so confused.

Everyday I go into work, I get excited to learn more and to help my gymnasts get better.  Coaching has been pretty abusive- I have been kicked in the face, head, every limb, punched and hit- but all the mental and physical pain is worth it when I help a gymnast achieve a goal.  Seeing the face of the little girl I helped get her back walkover was priceless, worth all of the pain in the world.  I am so excited to get back into work on Monday and help more girls achieve their goals and dreams!

Check out last month's diary! Diaries of a Gymnastics Coach July 2014

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations! I am sure nothing is hard and discouraging when you love your job :)
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