I like to joke that I work everywhere. I am employed by two different gyms, I counsel athletes from around the world, I coach gymnasts and cheerleaders, and I coach at summer camps around the United Stated. My goal is to spread my talents, love, and expertise to as many athletes as I can. I love every gym, athlete, and coach so imagine my surprise when I got a call from one of my clients this morning saying that their personal coach didn’t want me giving private lessons to their gymnasts anymore.
The reason shocked me even more. I was told that I may have conflicting coaching styles.
What does that even mean? I am a positive coach that inspires and builds the kids self-esteem and confidence. I have learned the same techniques from USA Gymnastics clinics, videos, camps, and training sessions. The routines I teach are the same, they come straight from the book. I do not change technique the gymnast learned from “their” coach I only work to help the gymnast improve.
The only thing I can possibly imagine is that they do not want anyone coaching “their” gymnasts because they must believe that they are the only one capable knowing the correct technique. They must believe that I don’t know technique nor any other coach in the area for that matter.
USA Gymnastics has done a wonderful job spreading coaching techniques throughout the coaching community. They do this so every coach has the opportunity to be the best coach they may be. The knowledge is out there.
Gymnasts go to camps, state clinics, and conventions to learn different techniques from other coaches because “shocker” some coaches may know more than others. The goal of coaching is to help athletes become the best that they can. And if one coach’s ego is so big that they now prohibit external advice, then their gymnasts will suffer.
Gymnasts and coaches grow because of others’ advice, technique, and coaching styles and to not want outside influence simply means that they think they already know everything.The truth is that the best coaches have no ego, they want to learn from others and if they are doing something wrong, they want to know so they can change. They do not prohibit their athletes from getting outside help, they encourage it. The best coaches bring in outside help. They want to know others’ secrets. They want to empower themselves with the knowledge from others.
Sometimes athletes need an outside point of view, they may need the same correction said differently, or they just may need a change of scenery. It doesn’t mean that you suck as a coach, it just means that someone else can help. It doesn’t make you less of a coach, it makes you a better coach. And isn’t that the point.