Sunday, December 13, 2009


It must be hard to keep your child feeling normal in a sport as mad and all-consuming as gymnastics. And we know, from past tales such as Moceanu's and Sey's that parents, in their desire for their daughter's success, don't always do the right thing by them as they 'help' them along the road to gymnastics glory.

(Jetter on right. Pic from USAG )

But some of them seem to be doing a great job.  For example, this is what Jerry Jetter, Amanda Jetter's father, said after she won medals at the International Tournament of Pas-de-Calais in France;

"It's kind of surreal.  My wife and I really don't know much about gymnastics, so I don't know how to put it other than (that we are) shocked, amazed, elated and as happy as can be."

This is the kind of gymnastics parent you want, I reckon- one who doesn't know enough to get pushy and interfering, but certainly knows when to be proud and overjoyed at their child's success.  That's how you raise a gymnast who isn't a headcase, or doesn't become a headcase when they have to leave the sport.

Ad it sounds like Jetter has her head screwed on just right.  She told a Cincinnati paper that she didn't mind not having time for other, teenage stuff, because;

"If I go to the Olympics or I don't, I could still have a full ride scholarship to college.  That would be a huge plus for my parents, and I know my family supports me in everything I do.  But mostly, I love the sport, and that's probably what keeps me going."



  1. Great post, Ms. Couch. ;-) It's refreshing to hear about parents who are just happy that their child has found an activity that he or she enjoys thoroughly (not to mention an activity in which he or she can be successful!) And I totally agree that Amanda J. has a fantastic attitude about her relationship with the sport. I think it's terrific that she's thinking about college at the same time that she's thinking about the Olympics and other major competitions. College is a great way to extend your time participating in the sport that you love...and scholarships are a nice bonus, too (especially because college is EXPENSIVE in the States!)

    As another fab example of a sane gymn parent, I have to cite Jen of FullInFullOut. Read her post "Little Fifo starts gymnastics," and you'll see what I mean. ;-)

  2. Good one on THE COUCH GYMNAST - it helps a lot!

    We clearly share similar parenting experiences and views.
    I've been reading one that I'm hooked on -
    I have a feeling you'd get a lot out of it.

    Incredible job on your blog; keep it up.


  3. yep just finished college... on a four year athletic full ride scholarship... to a large D1 school that payed for everything, tuition, fees, room and board... in the end its about over a 180,000 value when you add it all together and that is not all the free clothing, travel and places i got to go to added in. Or the meetings with free food and the list goes on and on.

    College athletics are tough and hard but so much fun.