things coaches hate

This is a rant. Consider yourself forewarned.

I spend about 15-20 hours of my week coaching various types of circus arts. Most of the time I love my job. Some of the time I want to stab myself in the eye.

Things that make me crazy:

  1. I saw this on Instagram/YouTube/Pinterest. If you saw an awesome new move on the internet, and you send it to me ahead of time with a request to work on it, that’s fantastic and I’m all for it! If you saw something cool that you think you could do with a little help and you bring it to class, I’ll do my best in the time we have to try it. If you try something new and potentially dangerous while I’m busy helping someone else (and then freak out and want me to untangle you), you’re making me want to quit my job.
  2. I already did that trick. That’s nice. Do it again. Repetition is how we get our tricks looking presentable and seamless and perfect. It’s how we make our splits that much deeper, our wraps that much cleaner, and our transitions looking graceful.
  3. I can’t do that. Maybe you’ll surprise yourself and be able to. Maybe you actually can’t. I still want you to try — if you never try, you will definitely never succeed.
  4. I don’t want to do that skill because someone else does it really well, so I will never look as good/perform it/enjoy myself knowing I’m not the best. No one is the best at everything, and you’re ruining your day / the other student’s day / my day by complaining about it. You may not ever perform the skill, but the cross-training is helping every other skill you do. Suck it up.
  5. Does this look right? or What do I do next? If you’ve just learned a trick, or you’ve been away for a while and just come back, then absolutely please ask me to check before you do an incorrectly-wrapped drop. If you’ve done the drop perfectly three times in a row and you’re about to do your fourth, please stop taking attention away from other students who genuinely need my help.

Lest you think I’m a permanently miserable curmudgeon…. (I promise, that’s only before 11am.)

Things that make me happy:

  1. When a student surprises themself, and does something they didn’t know they could do.
  2. When a student just quietly plugs away over and over and over at a trick, so that it improves. Maybe not every time, but over time.
  3. When a student is scared and asks questions and complains and then does it anyway. (I might be biased — I do this a lot.)
  4. When a student genuinely loves training, regardless of the outcome, and is there to just challenge themself and enjoy being upside down or in the air.
  5. When a student who has been working on a trick for a while finally gets it. The pure joy of that moment is what I live for.

Not sick of me yet? Check out my circus artist page, or my Instagram.

One thought on “things coaches hate

  1. Corollary to #4: when someone accuses another of showing off. I’ve met very few people in circus who are actually showing off, most of the time they are just loving life and you sound suuuuper bitter when you accuse them of showing off!

    Also (and I’ve only heard this one on the ski hill, really), when someone watches another doing a skill and failing and they say something like “I’ve seen better on YouTube”. My god, someone is literally risking death and injury to try something amazing, and all you’ve got to say is to compare it to another persons highlight reel??


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