Parents’ Role in Rhythmic Gymnastics
It’s true, there won’t be gymnasts without the parents who brought them into the gym. And it’s important to understand the participation of parents and coaches in the process of rhythmic gymnasts’ development.
Coach develops a child as a sportsman using his/her methods and ways of education. Parent develops a child as a person, choosing sport for him/her as a way of development or useful activity; thus parents also take part in the education process. And it’s important to see the border between a parent and a coach; as it’s better to avoid the situation when parent becomes a coach or coach becomes a parent, as each of them has their own rights, influence on the child and authority level.
And when two adults start arguing about who of them sees better the child’s sport career, they’re discussing not the child’s values, but their own ambitions.
Without doubt, there no ideal parents and ideal coaches, and everybody makes mistakes. In the training process it may become clear that gymnast can’t keep up with some information, because parents haven’t developed some skills in their child necessary for effective training: thoughtfulness, carefulness, persistence, realistic self-conception etc. And if in such situation coach starts to teach parents how to bring up their child, it’s easy to suppose how parents will react. The same parents can do, thinking that coach makes mistakes, being too aggressive with their child, for example. And, yes, in this case parent has the right to tell to this coach “I’m not satisfied with your work!” and find another one; but parent doesn’t have the right to teach a coach how to train, as it is beyond his/her competence.
Very often parents want to attend gymnastics training and admonish their little gymnasts. But then a coach feels herself unwanted.
Thus, parents’ influence starts there where coach’s influence ends. And they shouldn’t cross with each other. Coach shouldn’t teach gymnast when and how she should greet and how to hold the fork, make her do her home assignment in order parents let her attend the gym. Parent, in his/her turn, shouldn’t admonish gymnast for her performance. Both of them should respect each other’s experience and pedagogical rights.
When parents take too much part in the training process, they upset the psychological balance of their child. The training process is a stressful process, and it’s difficult to overcome it for these gymnasts, who is criticized by the parents instead of being supported by them; as thus parents double the pressure from the adults who‘re eager to see champions in their child. The value of sport results becomes higher for gymnast, but she starts to think that she’s nobody without sport and victories, she’s not interesting, not good and not loved. That makes many children’s eyes glaze over, they think they’re not good enough to make brilliant performance in order to avoid critics and gradually they stop believe in themselves. What will achieve a person in life with such an attitude? Even the most talented gymnast will be afraid to do things which are not expected from her.
Moreover, very often, if a parent sees the problems in child’s sport life, it’s not a problem of a child, it’s a problem of a parent who wants more.
Dear parents, love and respect your gymnasts, support them, take care of their life and the rest the coach will do.
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