A key component to your child’s success is you. USA Gymnastics coined the term “Athlete Triad”; Athlete, Parent & Coach working together to achieve the best possible experiences and outcomes. First, last and always is the Athlete, the center of our attention and focus.
Coaches perform a delicate balancing act every day. Their ability to walk this fine line comes from years of experience, education, planning, successes and learning from mistakes. Some days, an emphasis will be placed on technical corrections while others will be focused on strength and speed, form and execution taking a lesser role. Overall, the training plan will be a complete picture. However, taken as a snapshot it will be incomplete and out of context of the coaches’ grand plan.
Parents play a vital role as the supporter, both of the athlete and the coach. When your child needs a little encouragement, it is your job to give them a hug, tell them how wonderful they are and send them to train with a renewed confidence. It is your responsibility as a parent to know your child’s goals, dreams, challenges, limitations and achievements. After all, you are in the child’s corner for life. It is your challenge to effectively communicate to the coach and listen, seek to understand, and do what is best for your child. We are a sum of all of our experiences. Our mission is to provide a fun, safe, nurturing, challenging and rewarding environment for athletes to have a healthy experience both overcoming challenges and learning from failure. Just because you can, doesn’t always mean you should. Parents are driven to do what they perceive as the best thing for their child. This may not be realistic, healthy or focused on the long-term best interest of their child/athlete. In the end, the parent has the choice whether or not to support the coach’s decision, compromise with the coach or find another coach with a more congruent philosophy.
Below is an overview of the Athlete/Coach/Parent Triad.
This relationship is an exercise in compromise, communication and discipline.
The athlete must always remain at the top of the pyramid, the purpose and motivation for the existence and necessity of the coach and parent.
First and foremost, the athlete is essential, or we would not exist. The athlete must have the desire to train the sport, the dedication to face and overcome obstacles and the perseverance to push on when the going gets tough. The athlete is on the team to learn from their coaches, from their teammates and from themselves. The athletes must make mistakes, make corrections and drive themselves to transcend beyond their perceived limitations. In our sport, athletes compete individually, against themselves. However, they are not alone…their coaches, their teammates and their parents are by their side lending support and cheering them on. In the end, the athlete will learn and remember the sum total of the entire experience in the sport.
The coach is a mentor and a guide. The coach plans the training and competitive cycle for every athlete on the team. The coach leads by example and the team follows in their footsteps. The coach is constantly learning and striving to find new ways to teach, motivate, inspire and propel their athletes to the next level of performance. The coach is a communicator and mediator interrelated to the athlete, the team, the parent, the coaching staff and rival teams.
The parent supports the athlete, the coach and the team. The parent is a spectator, allowing the athlete and the coach to perform their roles. The parent is a role model for the athlete, demonstrating disciplined behavior, showing respect and performing their duties to the highest level. The parent is strong enough to watch their athlete fail and tender enough to give a hug when they need one. The parent will occasionally cross the line with the athlete or coach and be humble enough to apologize and return to their territory. The parent is an advocate for their athlete, but does so in an appropriate manner. The parent provides balance, encouragement, and love.