A note from Coach Mike...

Dear Boost Gymnastics Team Parents,

I would like to introduce myself to you and let you know my goals in teaching your child. I have coached gymnastics for over 28 years. In that time I have worked with the world’s best coaches, learning and analyzing what works best, and have developed a coaching regimen that I believe will be of the greatest benefit to the girls. It is my sincere hope in explaining my philosophy to you that we can be on the same page.

My main goals are:

  • Teaching strong basic gymnastics skills that can be developed into advanced skills at the correct time;

  • Being a positive influence now and in the future; teaching life lessons through the trials and tribulations of competitive gymnastics;

  • Teaching the girls how to be excellent team players in a sport that is typically all about the individual; 

  • Guiding the entire coaching staff so that we are all working toward these common goals.

It is important to me that you let your daughter own her gymnastics. This is about her goals, her growth, and her development as not just a gymnast, but as an individual. The way this will happen the best is that you as parents put more responsibility onto your daughter. She must be responsible for leaving the house on time, grabbing a water bottle, having proper snacks, and gathering everything she needs for practice each day. I understand that your daughter might come straight from school each day, but the responsibility to pack a bag in the morning should be entirely hers. This applies to all the team gymnasts, including the compulsory athletes. Team members as young as seven are expected to take on these responsibilities, not just the older girls. ALL of the girls being more independent is an important piece of creating a successful team experience.

Communication: I will expect your gymnast to be responsible for all of the communication in regards to her gymnastics. This is not a ploy to excuse myself from communicating with you. I will truly enjoy sitting down to discuss your daughter’s gymnastics, but I want her to own it. She needs to communicate with me (or her coach) in regard to absences, illnesses, and/or injuries. Please help her foster that part of her life. If you have a question, or would like to discuss how your daughter is progressing, please contact me by email to set up an appointment.

Do not coach your gymnast. That is my job. Your job is to be a source of encouragement to your daughter. There will be days when practice will not go well. Gymnastics is full of successes and failures. Mistakes are an integral part of the learning process, and there will surely be days when your daughter will feel frustration. Be assured that both myself and your daughter will be working towards fewer and fewer of those occurrences. My suggestion is to check in with your daughter to make sure she is still enjoying the sport. If the time comes when she is no longer enjoying it, then we need to talk. When you have the opportunity to see her practicing or at a competition please do your best to refrain from asking her specifics such as, “Why didn’t you do the layout today?’, or “How come you aren’t sticking your beam dismount?” If you must ask questions, ask her if she had fun, and then tell her you enjoyed watching. Leave the rest to us.

I will teach the girls to be lined up and standing at attention at the beginning of every practice. From this time until the end of the practice I expect dedication, hard work and team work. Trust

me, we will have times of fun and games and joking, but the overall theme is work. Every single turn, every single detail that can be thought about should be and will be. Gymnasts that show lack of effort will be asked to sit down until they feel they can return and put forth the effort I require. You will see times in the gym where gymnasts will be standing in line waiting for a turn. This time is best spent listening to corrections given to the other gymnasts and learning as much as possible. I will be constantly giving the girls examples of when specific drills or skills will be used in the future for more complex skills. There is much to learn standing in line and listening to the corrections given to others.

I will be giving the girls an enormous amount of technical information and guide them to be better thinkers. This is a long term approach which will take a little while to completely understand. I’m a firm believer in this process and the details that this sport requires. My approach is based on working with top level gymnasts for the past 28 years. I will make every effort to make sure these girls don’t fall victim to the common mistakes of past gymnasts.

In order to achieve the goals I have set forth I will continually be testing their physical and mental abilities. This sport is way more mental then physical, and the mental is the most difficult if not trained properly. My strategy is to make this part of the sport the easiest to control with constant guidance and training, to the point where my coaching cues are no longer needed and they have become self-guided. In order for this to happen, I will be demanding a lot of these girls; attention, effort, hard work, and concentration. The more they bring these qualities the better the experience and the results will be.


Mike Durante CoachMike@BoostGymnastics.com