27 Don’ts for Gymnasts’ Parents

Gymnastics in and of itself is beneficial for gymnasts at all levels of participation. Here are 27 things parents of gymnasts should avoid doing so they don’t interfere with those positive benefits:

1. Don’t compare your gymnast’s progress with that of other gymnasts.

2. Don’t become overly ego-involved with your gymnast’s success or lack of it.

3. Don’t take judge’s scores too seriously, especially at the lower levels.

4. Don’t forget the need for fun in gymnastics.

5. Don’t stand for unacceptable behavior from your gymnast during practice or competitions.

6. Don’t participate in gossip about anyone in the gymnastics community.

7. Don’t interfere with coaches and their coaching duties during practice or competitions.

8. Don’t pressure your gymnast regarding skills or competition.

9. Don’t set unrealistic goals for your gymnast.

10. Don’t predicate your love or attention on your gymnast’s competitive success.

11. Don’t base your own ego or self-esteem on the success of your gymnast’s progress or competitive success.

12. Don’t lose your long-term perspective about the importance of your gymnast’s participation in the sport.

13. Don’t let yourself care too deeply about your gymnast’s competition results.

14. Don’t undercut your gymnast’s confidence in their coaches or coaching.

15. Don’t show any negative emotions while watching your gymnast practice or compete.

16. Don’t try to make your gymnast talk with you immediately after a gymnastics meet, especially if they performed poorly.

17. Don’t do or say anything to make your child feel guilty for the time and money you are spending on their gymnastics or any sacrifices you feel are making for them to participate in the sport.

18. Don’t badmouth your gymnast’s coaches, your gym or other gymnasts in front of your gymnast.

19. Don’t attempt to coach your gymnast yourself.

20. Don’t alienate your gymnast’s coaches.

21. Don’t predicate your support for your gymnast’s participation in the sport on any expectation of a monetary return like receiving a college scholarship.

22. Don’t try to recreate your own career or live out your own sports dreams through your gymnast.

23. Don’t do anything to make enemies with other gymnast’s parents.

24. Don’t expect anything more from your gymnast except their best effort.

25. Don’t ever do or say anything that will cause your gymnast to think less of you.

26. Don’t use sarcasm, threaten or use fear to try to motivate your gymnast.

27. Don’t expect anything more from gymnastics than physical fitness, life skills and fun for your gymnast.