I’m so excited to share an amazing conversation I had with Diana and Chelsie, hosts of The Routine Podcast, related to some absolutely crucial advice for gymnastics parents. As many people in gymnastics know, the relationship between coaches, gymnasts, and parents is one of the most important for long term health and success in the sport.
There are many situations where parents and coaches may not see eye to eye, creating friction and stress for everyone involved. We have all had situations both good and bad. Great situations where parents are happy to help, support their kids unconditionally, and are able to not get their own personal emotions wrapped up in training.
However, we have also all see the opposite. Times when parents overstep the boundaries and ‘coach from the stands’, live vicariously through their athletes and push way too hard, or are unable to see the reality that getting new skills in gymnastics takes years of work and patience.
Before we get too carried away here though, coaches aren’t off the hook either. I have seen good and bad examples of coaches working parents. There have been times when I see coaches who are open to hearing parent feedback, and completely involve parents as part of the team for their gymnasts. I have also seen not so great examples (including myself) where coaches keep parents in the dark, don’t value their opinion, and seem to just blame ‘crazy parents’ for all the problems going on.
Chelsie was a competitive JO and NCAA gymnast and had her share of tough times ranging from toxic gymnastics training environments to big injuries that required surgeries. Diana is her mother and was with her every step of the way. Now, they hose The Routine Podcast where they dive into all the latest gymnastics news and conversations.
I listen to their podcast and heard hints about how they may have changed their approach to Chelsie’s gymnastics career now that they can look back and reflect. I asked them to come on the podcast and share their story, as well as offer advice to coaches, parents, and gymnasts who are in the thick of their careers.
They had some amazing advice to offer including
- How parents can maintain boundaries, and not live vicariously through their athletes
- How parents can keep healthy sources of motivation and not push their kids too hard
- What coaches need to do for better communication with parents
- How to be an advocate for a gymnast’s health in the gym
- Tips for long term success with competing, getting recruited for college, and managing injuries
I feel this is an absolute must-listen episode for everyone in gymnastics. I learned a ton from hearing their perspective, and really appreciate their honest/humility to share. Click below to listen on iTunes, Spotify, or Stitcher.
Hope you have a great week!
Dr. Dave Tilley DPT, SCS, CSCS
CEO/Founder of SHIFT Movement Science