Gymnastics parents and gymnastics coaches are one of the most essential relationships that occur in our sport.
Without great relationships, regular communication, and the ability to troubleshoot problems together, things can go sideways quick.
That being said, those things above are way easier said than done.
Tough problems come up, differing viewpoints on what is best for a gymnast, or the need for productive disagreement happen often.
When recently asking coaches in the SHIFT community what they want the most help, the topic of parents was overwhelmingly clear.
And when I talk to parents in the SHIFT community, they regularly said they wish that coaches would understand some of the challenges they face ‘outside the gym’.
So, to help everyone learn more and have some productive discussions, I organized a podcast all around facing some parent-coaching topics head-on.
Diana and Chelcie of The Routine Podcast have one of the most popular podcasts we’ve ever done which was related to parenting (find that episode here). Due to their amazing perspective as a former NCAA gymnast (Chelcie) and a mother of an NCAA gymnast (Dianna) I wanted to have them on to offer their thoughts.
Eva Shute also had one of the most popular podcasts we’ve done related to culture change and a lot of that conversation revolved around parents (find that episode here).
So, I asked all 3 of them to come on and discuss really hard conversations related to
- Parents needing to have realistic timelines for progression in gymnastics
- Coaches needing to understand the parent’s point of view as they see many other kids workout out together
- The need for parents to understand how important basics, fundamentals, and mastering technique is
- The dangers of moving a gymnast up too fast in level or skipping progressions
- How parents and coaches can productively handle conflict or disagreement
- Why parents, gymnasts, and coaches must always have the same goal in mind
- How to handle toxic parents or coaches who may be acting in a way that is not in line with a gym’s cultural guidelines
This is a MUST listen to the episode for any coaches or parents who are involved in gymnastics. We hope that this open conversation can help foster discussions in the community, but also offer some productive advice on these tricky topics!
You can find it on iTunes, Spotify, and Stitcher here
The Gymnastics Parents Episode –
Handling Conflicts, Realistic Expectations, and Setting Boundaries