Yuri (gambit2309) wrote in gym_coaches,

Gymnast?? Coach?

I posted this in another gymnastics community, but this one might be better for it. Thank you for reading.

OK... so this is kind of a long story. Well it's really not, but I like details. I would appreciate lots of responses and opinions. Ok, well let's start at the beginning. I started gymnastics when I was 15 years old. Originally just for my high school team. All the local high school teams work out at a city gymnastics club. Additionally, some of the club coaches are also high school coaches, so it's all very interconnected. But anyway, when I first started, the men's head optional coach kind of took me in and trained me. So I never had to train under the high school coach. This was very fortuitous because I got wayyy more practice and a far more experienced coach. I'm not sure exactly why he took me onto his team.

So I trained about 4-5 hours a day 5 days a week, originally just to be able to compete for high school but by the end of the first season I was also competing on team as a Men’s Class 1 (now it's called Level 10 if anyone knows anything about men's gymnastics). Anyway, I wasn't really a Class 1 but that's the class I competed. I got good really fast apparently. Giants, blind changes, pirouettes, free hips, a vault over release on high bar. Tsuk fulls on vaults, double backs on rings and all that stuff. Nothing to fancy, but good I guess for a year or two of gymnastics.

People would be like, omg you've gotten so good so fast, can you imagine where you'd be if you started just like 5 years earlier or like when your were 6. My coach would say the same thing after I learned a new skill "too bad you didn't start a few years back." Made me feel really depressed, but also even more determined to get better and better. While other gymnasts jacked around during practice, I worked my ass of every day. My coach would say I didn't know when to give up. After my first season on team I won gymnast of the year, which is like this really huge thing at my gym.

Ok, so. About a year after starting I was asked to start coaching boys classes at my gym. So I started doing that too and still working out and competing. My senior year I applied to the air force academy and was hoping to do gymnastics there, maybe just as a vault specialist or rings or something, I wasn't expecting much. I just wanted to be able to continue doing gymnastics. Well, suffice it to say I didn't get into the academy for whatever reason. I had the grades and fitness testing and everything, and they said they ran out of room. So I said screw it and went to a University really close to my house to save money before medical school. The first year of college I continued working out and competing full time for my team because I hadn't reached the age maximum for Class 1 yet. I also got really into coaching and began coaching the compulsory girls team at my gym. After the first year of college I couldn't really do gymnastics anymore because I was coaching so much and taking more than a full load at my university. Additionally, if I wanted to compete more I would have had to go Elite, and that would pretty much have meant cutting back on school and quitting coaching to train. And cutting back on school or quitting coaching wasn't an option for me. So I told myself that I would be satisfied with coaching and working out when I could for fun.

Then...and I won't go into the details, but I and a lot of other coaches had some salary disputes at my gym and I got mad and decided to go coach for another gym that offered me a lot more money and better hours. Since I didn't really have an argument with the coaches at my gym, just with the salary people from the city, I was invited to work out whenever I wanted too, as was traditional for former team members. The catch with the new gym was that they are a lot less competitive and the head coach has totally different ideas about coaching and success and stuff.

Anyway, I've been at this new gym for about 5 months and it's just been really frustrating having barely any hours to coach these girls, watching them loose skills or not get them at all because they are hardly ever in the gym, and getting really bad gymnasts to train who have no determination at all. Throughout this whole process I've been stepping it up at school and have had barely any time for my own gymnastics and it's been really depressing.

Sometimes I'll watch a gymnastics routine on TV or something and just break into tears because I think of what could have been if I had started earlier. And so that brings me to today. Today was my first meet with my new team that I coach. They did so horribly compared to my standards. I mean I guess I couldn't have expected more considering what I get out of them in practice, but it was just so depressing and frustrating for me. I got really mad and just hated the whole day. I started thinking, I just wanna quit this gym and find a more competitive gym, some place where the girls will actually work and not just socialize, and where the head coach will have a philosophy more similar to mine and push the girls like I know they need to be pushed. When I say these girls did bad...I mean bad. Scores form the 4's to the 7's with just barely any 8's.

I got home all depressed and started thinking. Why am I reacting this way? What is making me so mad and upset? I mean I knew this program was wayyyyy less competitive than my old gym. I knew it was way different, and I knew the head coach’s philosophy was way different than mine. So why am I reacting this way. And then I had a thought. Am I really upset about these girls not doing well, or am I projecting my own regrets about not having started gymnastics earlier. I mean it shocks me to think that I'm trying to live through these girls, because that's not what gymnastics should be about. On the one hand I loveeeeee coaching, but I can't get over this sadness/depression/regret of not having succeeded in my own gymnastics career. It's not even so much that I wanted to win nationals or to go to the Olympics or something. Nothing like that, I just HATE not knowing what could have been. If I had started when I was 5 and quit when I was 10 that would have been good enough for me, but at least I would have known. Now I will never know... and it eats at me every single day.

How do I get over these feelings and continue coaching without regret. And how do I keep from projecting my own failed dreams onto my girls.
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