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Friday, February 3, 2012

Coaching Confidence

This morning I received an email from a parent of one of my younger athletes (I coach both college athletes, and children ages 1-14).  The email took me a little by surprise, but not in a bad way.  This little gymnast came to me September looking for help with her tumbling.  She was a team competitor at another gym who was struggling with her coaches and having trouble overcoming fears.  This little girl has such a big heart, and a passion for gymnastics, I couldn't help but love coaching her!  She starting improving tremendously in just two hours a week.  After a couple of months, her mom came to me and told me that she pulled her from the other program.  They were tearing her down and destroying her confidence.  She said she just couldn't send her there anymore.  

I didn't blame her at all! Having spent over 20 years in this sport, I have seen good coaches, some bad coaches, some great parents and some terrible ones... and I knew enough to understand what this mom was going through, and how she was trying only trying to protect her kid.  Anyway, she started bringing her daughter to me 3 days a week, a 45 minute car ride each way.  

I half expected this to end pretty quickly.  But it hasn't.  3, sometimes 4 days a week, this little girl shows up, works hard, and never stops smiling.  She even started interacting with the college girls recently.  Asking them for advice on skills, giving them hugs and even congratulating them on their practice.  My heart about melted the other day when she said, "Good job on vault, Kat," to a senior on our team who is getting her skills back after suffering an injury this fall.  

Long story short, here is some of the email I received this morning: 

"She said she is feeling more comfortable and it seems like she is really making progress with overcoming her fears.  Her confidence and self esteem are back.  I just wanted to let you know how great you are."

This is why I love coaching.  This is why I get up in the morning.  This is why I don't have a day job... because enjoying what I do, making a difference in people's lives is way more important to me.  This email made my day, and completely verified what I'm doing with my life.  

I love gymnastics... and I love sharing that love with others.  End of story. <3 

Have a wonderful weekend, all!
Love True-
Allison

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