A Gymnastics Coaches Blog
Last Thursday I was coaching a girl named Lizzie. Lizzie is 13. I like her, she talks in a funny accent that I can’t get enough of. When she talks I listen and try not to laugh at her because of her accent, but it’s just so cute. She isn’t very talented in the sport but she wants to be. Sometimes she stops practicing and just watches in awe at anyone in the gym that is better than her, this happens a lot. I have a hard time teaching her because she doesn’t like to do what I ask her without a fight. She tells me things like, “Don’t ask me to do that, I’ll never be able to get it right” or she just looks at me, raises an eyebrow and shakes her head as if I am crazy. The truth is, I might be crazy. She isn’t good. That doesn’t mean I can just stop coaching her. I have to try. On Thursday, I lost patience. I didn’t yell at her but I felt like it. I let her bad attitude get to me. I think she knew it too. There are two words that I don’t ever want to hear while I am coaching and those words are “can’t” and “hate” Lizzie uses these words often. I try to ignore it. I try to pretend it doesn’t bother me, last Thursday it did. I had enough, I had asked her to do a trick she has done a thousand times before, something that could always use a little more practice. She refused. I told her it wasn’t an option. She said ” I can’t do it because I HATE it” I wanted to explode. “Fine” I said, “Don’t do it then. Don’t do anything, why don’t you just go sit down” This comment upset her. I could tell because then she said “Coach Annette, you aren’t suppose to give up on me” It’s a good thing she didn’t hear what I was actually thinking, which was, I’m glad you hate it, because you aren’t good at it. I hated myself for thinking that.
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