10 Things Gymnasts Wish Their Coaches Knew

Anna RobertsonAerobics, Auckland-Northland, Central-Wellington, e-News, Men's artistic gymnastics, Midlands, Regional, Rhythmic gymnastics, South Island, Trampoline, Women's artistic gymnastics

After spending 20+ hours a week with our coaches, they know us pretty well. However there are a few things that they possibly don’t know that we wish they did, or maybe they do and just don’t let on…

1. When you’re in a bad mood, we’re in a bad mood
We know we can sometimes tick you off, we don’t mean to but it happens. However, when we come to an apparatus and we sense you are in a bad mood it’s automatic that we head that way too. We do know however that it works in reverse and the attitude we bring has an impact on our coaches too – we’ll keep working on that.

2. Some of us don’t have a plan and that’s ok
Yes, there is a lot of us that dream about making it to the Olympics, the Commonwealths, Worlds and more, there are other gymnasts who strive to gain a scholarship to an American college and then there are others who just want to get as far as they can, see where gymnastics takes them in their future with no real goal in mind.

3. Bars and morning training do not make a good match
Waking before the crack of dawn is hard enough as it is, no matter how old you are or how many times you do it, let alone when it gets below freezing. Swinging ourselves around a wooden pole when we can’t even feel our hands is even worse. Perhaps an ex-gymnast will invent heated bars…

4. We’re going to have some bad days
Everyone has their bad days, but even on those days we’re still giving our best efforts. We’re not always going to be perfect and unfortunately, on a bad day it can come off like we’re not giving it everything we’ve got – usually we are, the effort is just hidden under a frown.

5. Not every skill is for every gymnast
We know you have our best interests in mind, however sometimes when you mention that we have to put a certain skill into a routine and you see that funny look on our face… Yes, we think you’re a little crazy and wonder have you really thought this skill through for us?

6. Some skills scare the living daylight out of us
Following on from not all skills are for every gymnast… the thought of some skills just makes us want to turn and run for the nearest hills. Help us overcome those fears and who knows where we can get to.

7. We don’t always know what your corrections mean
We know you feel like you’re banging your head against a brick wall, but sometimes we really just don’t get it. Sorry.

8. Not every one learns at the same pace
Nope we don’t and some apparatus don’t scare us as much as others but we are all different and learn differently.

9. That blank look on our face
It doesn’t always mean we are not listening… (ok sometimes it does) and it doesn’t always mean we don’t like what you’re saying… It doesn’t always mean we are being rude… Sometimes we are just so tired that getting any expression on our face is a real challenge in itself – again sorry.

10. We are so grateful for the lessons you teach us
We may not say this very often but we really are grateful for all the lessons you teach us in the gym. Gymnastics is more than just putting on a leotard and turning up to practice. It’s so much more than putting our bodies through what can sometimes be called the ridiculous. Thank you for teaching us respect for others and ourselves. Thank you for teaching us about consistency and discipline. Thank you for teaching us about determination and perseverance. Thank you for teaching us teamwork. But most of all thank you for everything you give of you to us – it really does mean a lot.