Gymnastics is an extremely complicated and technical sport. I don’t know of any other sport where you have to master so many things. Let’s think about it… soccer….run, kick a ball…Basketball…run, grab a ball and throw it….Tennis….run, hit a ball with a racket…. My husband would argue that Wrestling/Martial Arts are the hardest. I just thought about that for a second and yes, I could see how wrestling compares greatly to gymnastics. So for Dad’s out there reading this, I would say that if you want your daughters as mentally tough and gifted as your wrestling sons, put them in gymnastics. I guess that is why my husband and I are so perfectly matched. (for those of you who don’t know, my husband is an incredibly gifted martial artist and wrestler as well as a talented coach)
I got a little side tracked already from my topic so I’ll get back on it. Coach training for us is an ongoing process. We spend our entire careers always progressing and learning. For myself, I started with reading gymnastics training books and looking on in the internet for coaching ideas (there are thousands) so it’s a great source. I’ve also been certified as a Professional Coach through USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics is our governing body over gymnastics. They are extremely detailed about how to coach safely and what the best practices are for our industry. I’ve learned a lot from them. They do background checks and require two classes to take before you may become a member and then offer many classes to add on so you may progress your education. I have personally attended many coaching clinics in the state as well as last years National USA Gymnastics Congress, in Los Angeles. If you’re wondering where I am this coming week, I’ll be in Park City learning our new Junior Olympic routines. It’s a four day clinic with the master himself, Tom Knoll. He’s the one that sets the standards for gymnastics in the US and creates the routines with his partners. We are so lucky to have this wealth of knowledge coming to this state. It really helps prepare us for how to compete well.
I also learn a lot just by trial and error. I suppose that is unfortunate to the kids that learned my error coaching technique but eh it builds character, right
?! Of course I would never try a new spotting technique on an untrained student. I go to clinics that show me how to spot properly. We’ve also invited several amazing guest coaches to visit us and help us with our technique.
It’s not just me who coaches however. We have six other amazing coaches, who have all been gymnasts or cheerleaders themselves. A lot of training comes from just being an athlete yourself. I’m so lucky to have every single coach at our gym have that background. Especially in a small town. They too, look online for coaching techniques, learn from my own coaching clinics I have for them and can occasionally attend a clinic given by other facilities. We were all recently CPR certified except for our new boys coach Ronnie. He just started but he will get certified soon. We also have a coach, Kelly, who is an ER Nurse and has so many certifications that I can’t remember them all.
So as you can see, we take our training seriously and are always looking for exciting new ways to coach. We strive to be our best. That is important to us. I don’t look at these kids and say, it’s ok to be mediocre because we live a small town. I say these kids should have every opportunity to go for it all the way. Having an untrained coach will hold you back and I never want to be that coach. I didn’t grow up here so I don’t understand it when people are ok with just being so so at everything. But I do love it here because I can be my whole self. Mostly because I have time to share, learn, create and give. In a big city I feel rushed and unappreciated because there are so many people fighting for the same thing. I love this small town and the people in it. You all contribute to my life’s pursuit of happiness and that’s teaching your kids. ~Coach Carrie