My four high school gymnasts and I just returned from our trip to New York for the USAIGC High School Invitational. We had a great trip!
Again, we were able to see some of the sights like Central Park and the Guggenheim. It turns out that each year we do something just a little bit different with our time in the city, which is a great thing for an annual trip.
This year, I included some more leadership objectives. I relayed to my girls that whether they see themselves as leaders or not does not matter; the little girls who look up to them see them as leaders and role models anyway. This is a role that they must take seriously.
This much is true: we don’t get to choose who looks up to us. We don’t get to choose who we inspire. The only thing that we can do is control how we handle ourselves through adversity, and how we carry ourselves in any given situation. This may be difficult for teenage girls. They are on display everyday in the gym, and they are working through their own difficulties, fears, mental blocks, etc. The kiddos who look up to them look to them for guidance on how they should act and handle adversity.
Contrary to the unattainable societal standard, gymnasts are not perfect. The youngsters know that the older gymnasts will falter, stumble, fall. It’s in how the high schoolers handle themselves, pick themselves up, dust themselves off, work through problems, and keep moving forward that will really show the little ones looking up to them what it is to be a leader.
I am proud of all of my high school gymnasts. They push themselves, problem solve, and try to be their very best in and out of the gym. It’s very hard to be on display when you yourself are learning. My girls do a good job of it, and prove that a perfect result is not what we are necessarily striving for; we are striving for a perfect effort to make oneself better. Good job, girls. I’m proud to be your coach.