The most important element to become a gymnastic coach is to gain gymnastic experience. Once that is done, the next steps to internships, assistant coaching, and as head coach just take planning and perseverance. Coaching gymnasts in all aspects of gymnastics starts with gaining personal experience. Typical experience to become a gymnastic coach is to have previously belonged to a high school or college gymnastics team.
Gymnastic experience is the single most important feature for those who want to become a gymnastic coach. Whether experience is gained through a private gymnastic company, a school team, or a paid sponsorship, the more experience one has, the better chance he or she will have of becoming a coach. The gymnastic sport relies heavily on winning competitions to build a reputation. One desiring to enter the coaching field will ideally have several medals and ribbons, showing that he or she knows how to compete. That knowledge is the first step to building a winning team, which is what anyone involved in gymnastics aims for.
Reading books by coaches and watching videos of other teams also prepares one to become a gymnastic coach. These instructional tools provide a different perspective than a gymnast's view. They illustrate the challenges gymnasts present and how to overcome them.
Locating a mentor helps build a foundation to become a gymnastic coach. A coach mentor can be followed around and observed in order to learn techniques in handling gymnasts and training. Gymnasts typically begin at young ages; therefore, a gymnast coach hopeful should be prepared to work with gymnasts from ages three to 23, depending on the job he or she is offered. Working with more than one mentor to incorporate several gymnastics age ranges will help increase the applicant's resume value.
Taking classes in human development, physical movement, and psychology prepares future coaches to deal with their students. Each gymnast comes with his or her own set of personality traits and things that motivate the gymnast to try harder. Understanding how the human mind works will help a gymnast coach get the most out of the team, while at the same time, not injuring the team member's self-esteem. The ability to motivate team members to strive to be at their best in every meet builds a coach's popularity and financial worth to gymnastic organizations.
Any practical experience that can be gained will help get a coach hired in the future. Those who hope to become coaches should volunteer at youth camps or offer to intern during summer programs to build their resumes. In addition, interning gives the coach hopeful a bird's eye view of the head coach's style, which can be studied and copied later.