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Answering Your Gymnastics Culture Questions (Community Q&A Part 4)

Today on the podcast, we are wrapping up the Q&A podcast series, answering people’s questions directly from the community. 

We have saved the best for last. 

Man, if I got a dollar for every question I get about motivation, burnout, coaching culture, frustrations with parents, and building a good culture in gyms I’d be a millionaire. 

But I am very happy to answer them, so I wanted to collect all these types of questions and try to answer the best ones. 

I’ve gone through a lot of ups and downs with cultural stuff myself and I know how hard it is as a coach to feel frustrated, burnt out, and not happy with your job. 

I discuss dealing with tough parents, and parents who may be overwhelming, or a little bit helicopter, talking about dealing with athletes who are unmotivated, giving attitudes of practice and how do you discipline them in a healthy way, that’s not going to be problematic. 

We talk a lot about getting younger junior staff to be motivated, and the underlying cultural problems that cause this.

Finally, what is the future of gymnastics?

What I think is really important to change in terms of education, and making sure our values are aligned with why we are coaching so that people are happy moving forward in the sport. 

The cumulation of this podcast series has been very popular and I thank everyone for their support and the questions submitted for the cultural things that we can work on to make everyone happier working in gymnastics.


  • Brianne asks: Our coaches and myself struggle so much with parents who are constantly putting a lot of pressure on their young kids, and oftentimes seem like they’re overbearing, trying to coach their kids to do what they think is right. It’s making our coaching staff miserable. What can I do? Or what can we do?
  • Tim asks: Gymnastics coaching right now is so hard in our day and age and honestly feels like I’m always looking over my shoulder, stepping on eggshells at practice or worried about something related to a safe sport complaint and I find it’s not fun to coach anymore. Any advice for this burnt-out guy would be helpful.
  •  Steph asked: How do you handle kids who are misbehaving in practice, we have one gymnast who always seems to be talking or is upset is crying, giving attitude, ignoring the drills, and not putting in any effort for strength or skills. It seems like she is just there for the social aspect to be with her friends not actually doing gymnastics.
  •  Tori asks: Our gym turns over staff, particularly young junior staff is so much and it feels like no one, particularly our younger coaches wants to work anymore. They call out all the time. They’re going through the motions coaching, and then oftentimes they leave after six months ago in gym hop or find somebody else to work for. What do we do to make this generation less lazy and more committed to their work? 
  • Dan Lonsdale asked: If you had a magic wand and you could wave it to change one thing in gymnastics, what would it be? 

To listen to the podcast on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher click below:

Answering Your Gymnastics Culture Questions (Community Q&A Part 4)

If you missed parts 1, 2 or3 click the links below:

Answering Your Strength and Conditioning Questions (Community Q&A Part 1):


Answering Your Injury Questions (Community Q&A Part 2):


Answering Your Flexibility Questions (Community Q&A Part 3):




Hope it helps!

– Dave

Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science