I was just reading Tom Burgdorf’s Parenting an Athlete newsletter and he brings up the topic of male coaches vs. female coaches.
He notes that in most cases the female coaches tend to be more compassionate while the male coaches tend to be more tough.Â While this is true in many scenarios, I know that in the gym I coach at it is the opposite!
My coaching partner is male and he is a pushover. Don’t take that the wrong way – the girls adore him and he is technically an outstanding coach – his coaching style compliments mine very well. I tend to be more strict (but I try to be fair and sensitive, too) and push the girls a bit more. Oddly enough, we both are parents of gymnasts (his daughter is a level 10 and mine is a level 4) and bring a very different perspective to the whole coaching situation.
At the optional level we have a similar situation. The male coach is technically fantastic, but sometimes you have to check his pulse and make sure he is still breathing. He is very stable, even keeled, and has a very dry sense of humor. He can thwart a teenage temper tantrum without ever raising his voice and is very sensitive to the girls’ needs. The female coach has a much tougher style that produces results but often produces tears, too. She has a sensitive side, too, but she is definitely considered to be the toughest coach in the gym.
Like Tom said in his newsletter, the most important factor is to not to select your child’s coach based on whether they are male or female, but rather if their coaching style is compatible with your child’s personality and learning style.