Replacing Athletes With New Athletes...

Discussion in 'Allstar Cheerleading' started by Cheer Dad, Jul 28, 2014.

  1. WhatAmIDoingHere

    WhatAmIDoingHere Cheer Stalker

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    Sad thing is nothing has changed with the gym or coach in question. Team moms are still used as the first line of communication. My CP no longer attend that location but have chosen a satellite location that is healthier for them. In fact in some regards I think it's gotten worse. To tie in with the latest conversation in the "Negative Publicity and Athlete Safety" post, I feel like it's time for an all-star sport overhaul. Protection of our CP should always be priority number 1. And I think that's getting lost in the chase for rings and jackets.


    @justpeachy I'm so sorry to hear what your CP is going through. I think about you guys often. She will continue to be in my thoughts and prayers.
     
  2. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I don't want to minimize anything that has happened to anyone's child and I do pray that your kids get better and get the help they need to heal.

    However, I think we are talking apples to oranges when we compare aggressive (and possibly emotionally abusive) coaching tactics to WIDESPREAD SEXUAL ABUSE.
     
  3. catlady

    catlady Slow your roll, Sparkle.

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    I applaud you both for taking your kids out of a situation that wasn't good for them. When it comes to coaches it's hard, the same coach that is said to be horrible by some, will be lauded as the greatest by others. My husband is from Indy and we used to get in heated discussions over Bobby Knight (I'm old, you may be too young to know him). I could take BK's yelling, it was just the all in your face, chair throwing, verbal abuse, etc.... seriously, can you even process what they're trying to communicate at that point? But, to this day there are athletes, parents and fans that will defend him and call him the greatest there ever was. I tend to believe when it comes to winning coaches that could benefit from behavior modification, parents/fans/athletes give that poor behavior the credit for being a winning coach instead of their strategy. I wish I believed a governing body could protect our kids, but liability, relationships, and reputation seem to be the common obstacle for all governing bodies.

    @oncecoolcoachnowmom their posts are very appropriate for this particular thread that has a history of discussing coach behavior. Perhaps you thought this was a different thread?
     
  4. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    I did! That's my fault. Sorry. There was a comparison made between both situations in the JERRY thread.
     
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  5. WhatAmIDoingHere

    WhatAmIDoingHere Cheer Stalker

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    Maybe my point was misunderstood or I didn't articulate it clearly. My point with that statement is that abuse is abuse in any form. It has long lasting detrimental affects. And at some point (maybe it's not now) it's the responsibility of the people in charge (organizations, parents, coaches, etc) to stand together and say this has to stop. After all this is a sport where kids are supposed to have fun.
     
  6. quitthedrama

    quitthedrama I buy my Insta followers

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    And yet so many more athletes have had very positive experiences within the same atmosphere. Coaching styles are subjective and one coach may not be at all good for a particular athlete. I think we would be hard pressed to find any coach who hasn't been blamed for "ruining" a kid. This is true across any sport. We left a gym where we weren't happy, but there were others who absolutely love it there. I think it's very dangerous to expect a governing body to step in on what is deemed "bad coaching" by some.
     
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  7. luv2cheer92

    luv2cheer92 Moderator Staff Member Bracket Winner Video Curator

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    I would agree that I wouldn't expect them to discipline/ban coaches based on that alone. However, I do believe that the potential of verbal/emotional abuse is something that can still be addressed. Providing training or resources on coaching/sport psychology, how to tailor your coaching style to different athletes' personalities, motivational coaching, positive vs. negative reinforcement, etc could be beneficial. It's definitely not an issue unique to cheer, but I do think there are things that can be done to help coaches understand the impact they may have on athletes just based on what they do or say. Coaches should know how to and be able to adapt to the different learning/personality styles of athletes, and not punish them because they respond differently to their preferred coaching style than other athletes.

    So essentially I agree, but I do think there are things that can be done to address these other issues that are prevalent in all youth sports.
     
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  8. oncecoolcoachnowmom

    oncecoolcoachnowmom Bestest Newbie '14

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    Unpopular opinion alert:

    Parents in these questionable settings often approve of the way coaches treat athletes - until it's THEIR KID on the receiving end.

    Parents will watch a child get called names, threatened with being pulled from the air for a smaller athlete, being told "omg your tumbling sucks you're done."

    ... and be totally cool with it. Even agree with it. Be in the group chat like "Wow they pulled Becca, tough but has to be done, stunt group not solid. Not going to win Summit with her in the air."

    But the second their own daughter becomes the target, there is a problem.

    Because on some level, I think people can get addicted to approval and affirmation from coaches.

    They don't mind others being spoken to in a nasty way because they are addicted to staying in that staff member's good graces and that person approving of their kid.

    But everything falls apart when the kid is now on that person's bad side.

    That's probably a big reason why people stay in places where they know a style or attitude doesn't work for their kid. Or is hurting them mentally.
     
  9. justpeachy

    justpeachy I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    Thank you for saying that. I know that many with firsthand experience understand why I needed to post this story. My daughter certainly is not the only one, I just seem to be one of the few bold enough to say it out loud. I'm proud of you for taking your baby to someplace more healthy. Wishing y'all the best.
     
  10. justpeachy

    justpeachy I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    I want to address the timing of my post. My daughter has not stopped having nightmares about a few situations that occurred in her previous gym since we left 3 years ago. There have been times when they lessened, and times when they were worse. Recently, the nightmares became frequent again. I did not realize it at the time, but her solution to this was to drink monster and coffee all day so she would not sleep. It took about a week before that caught up to her and something terrible happened. To protect my daughter’s privacy, I won’t go into that, but I will say that she is currently hospitalized and will be for a long time. The fact that this occurred around the same time as the news about Jerry Harris is purely coincidental. However, I have spoken with the mother of Jerry’s victims and she does not have an issue with my opinions or postings. She agreed with me that abuse is abuse- no matter the vehicle for the trauma to occur, the result is the same. I do not post to compete with, or take away from, anyone’s hurtful situations. In fact, I wish to add to that discussion in order to educate people in a way that I wish I had been before my daughter was harmed.

    Here is a list of characteristics of a toxic relationship that I pulled from the internet:

    Domination: attempting to control another’s actions and always have their own way. The abuser may use threats and/or manipulation to get their way.

    Verbal Assaults: Berating, belittling, criticizing, humiliating, name-calling, screaming, threatening, excessive blaming, shaming, using sarcasm in a cutting way, verbal abuse disguised as jokes. The abuser may then belittle you for being hurt by their words and taking it so seriously.

    Constant Criticism/Continual Blaming: This can be difficult to identify. The person might put you down under the guise of humor, similar to verbal assaults, or claiming they are just trying to help you to be better. Engle describes this dynamic’s effects, saying “When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased, and blames you for everything that goes wrong, it is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of the abuse that do the damage.”

    Abusive Expectations: When someone places unreasonable demands on you. Usually they react strongly when you do not meet these expectations.

    Emotional Blackmail: Coercing another to do what you want by playing into their fear, guilt or compassion (ie: one partner threatening to end the relationship if they don’t get what they want, silent treatment, guilt trips, making you feel selfish when you do something they don’t want you to do, asking you to give something up as a way of proving your love/friendship/loyalty to him/her). Again, this blackmail may be subtle or overt.

    Unpredictable Responses: This is characterized by drastic mood swings, sudden emotional outbursts for no apparent reason and inconsistent responses. They may react to a situation fine one day and then explode at the same situation the next day. This causes others to feel constantly on edge-waiting for the other shoe to drop. This behavior is common with alcohol and drug abusers/addicts or those with various forms of mental illness. This form of emotional abuse keeps you in a hypervigilant state, needing to be ready to respond to the other’s explosions or mood swings.

    Constant Chaos/Creating Crisis: This is characterized by continual upheavals and discord. The abuser may deliberately start arguments with you or others or seem to be in constant conflict with others. The phrase “addicted to drama” fits here. This behavior may serve to distract from their own problems, feelings of emptiness or feel more comfortable for those who were raised in chaotic environments.

    Character Assasination: Constantly blowing someone’s mistakes out of proportion, humiliating, criticizing, making fun of someone in front of others, or discounting another’s achievements. This can also involve lying about someone to negatively influence others’ opinions of them and gossiping about their mistakes and failures.

    Gaslighting: This term comes from the classic movie Gaslight in which a husband uses a variety of insidious techniques to make his wife doubt her perceptions, memory and sanity. The abuser may continually deny that certain events occurred or that he or she said something you both know was said or he or she my insinuate that you are exaggerating or lying. The abusive person may be trying to gain control over you or avoid taking responsibility for his or her actions. This often results in the abused doubting themselves and less likely to speak up when future abuse happens.

    The same descriptors can be used to describe a toxic gym environment. If you can understand why people have difficulty leaving a toxic relationship, then perhaps you can also understand why they may also have trouble leaving a toxic gym environment. When you look around and and the behavior appears acceptable to a group of people, you wonder if you are crazy because you have an issue with it. When the person doing the abusive behavior is celebrated and practically worshipped, you tend to wonder if you are the one with the problem because you don’t feel that way too. When the person doing the abusive behavior sprinkles in sporadic doses of seemingly authentic love and attention, you do start to wonder if you are crazy to think that someone is capable of being so loving and so awful at the same time. Well, they are. When the person doing the abusive behavior also affords you the opportunity to experience a “dream come true” situation along with all the accolades included, it is hard to reconcile the bad with the good. Some terms to google: gaslighting, crazymaking. The concept of people staying in harmful relationships is nothing new and by now the information is readily available enough that we should all have a degree of knowledge about how that works. I can understand how these concepts are completely foreign and unbelievable to someone who has never been in such a situation. The fact that one cannot comprehend does not lessen the experience of the one who endured the abuse. I’m beyond happy for those of you out there that are unable to relate. But that doesn’t make the ordeal that mine and many others went through any less real or traumatic.

    I will also say that every person who appears happy in a situation may not be. Sometimes, the good is weighed against the bad and a person decides one is worth more than the other. That doesn’t mean that later on there won’t be resulting consequences. Some people simply don’t understand that they aren’t being treated right, and an even larger group of people don’t have the strength to stand up to it or walk away. I’m sure it’s even more difficult to find the courage to leave when you see vocal people like myself dragged to hell and back for talking. That’s the very nature of the toxic relationship, isn’t it? If they were easy to leave, nobody would be in one. The same goes for the gym environment. Education and support will go a long way to change that. Thank you to those who have supported me. This has not been an easy road in so many ways. I don’t want anyone else to go through this.
     
  11. Keep_Believing

    Keep_Believing Moderator

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    I have worked with emotionally disturbed youth and youth who have endured abuse and trauma. Many times when teens or adults are hospitalized there is an underlying psychiatric disorder such as bipolar. Your daughter's situation is heartbreaking. I pray things get and stay better for her.
     
  12. justpeachy

    justpeachy I'm an announcer on CBS for Worlds (or should be)

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    Thank you. I hate this discussion and this being what me and my kid are known for. But I do want to bring awareness so maybe others will act sooner than I did.

    Her diagnoses are depression, anxiety and PTSD, brought on by several very specific instances. There is no underlying disorder.
     
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  13. luv2cheer92

    luv2cheer92 Moderator Staff Member Bracket Winner Video Curator

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    Thank you for sharing your story, I can't even imagine how difficult it is for everyone involved. It is incredibly important for all forms of abuse to come to light, be discussed, talk about warning signs, and letting athletes know that it is ok to speak up. I really do hope more people listen to stories like this and don't just brush them off because the abuser didn't always do something criminal or think it's just some jaded cheer mom who's daughter didn't get what she wanted. As like you said, the end result for the person being abused is generally the same.
     
  14. TealArmySparkle

    TealArmySparkle When all else fails.... I shimmy

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    Thank you for sharing your story, as it is speaking out against abuse no matter what kind that will foster change in this sport. I am so sorry to hear about what your daughter is going through, as being made to feel like you are not good enough to the point of believing it, especially from those you look up to is something that no child should have to go through. You’re daughter is an absolute warrior and I pray things get better for her soon.

    You are entirely correct that experiences like these get swept under the rug far too often. What one person may perceive as a fantastic coach who can do no wrong may not match up with another’s experience. The negative impact this can have on a child’s confidence, especially when they are not believed can be absolutely devastating and last far beyond exiting the sport or switching gyms.

    I also highly relate to this post as I myself had an experience in my late teens with less than adequate treatment from an assistant coach that I am still dealing with the effects of this today. Whilst this programme had some amazing coaches, many of whom I still keep in contact with, one coach in particular made my life a living hell for the better part of two years. I don’t know whether it was out of a twisted sense of loyalty or the yearning to be praised and liked by this coach, I stayed through it all and refused to speak out about what I was going through as I didn’t want to negatively impact upon the programme. Thankfully this coach is no longer involved in the sport but it is the countless others like them that remain who must be held accountable. I pray that the current situation brings about the overdue changes needed to the sport as it is high time that athletes and their mental and physical wellbeing come first above all else.