For about a moth before her championship – under 7 years – she and her team have been training like crazy, 6 days a week, three hours each. It has been so hectic, taking her to training everyday and waiting for the three hours outside the hall for her to finish. Every day I ask her whether she still wants to continue or had she had enough and wants to stop… she’d say No I love it and I want to train.
About a few days before the championship the trainers have become to tensed up and have gotten tougher on the girls…
There I was sitting outside and I saw her training slap her on her arm. My heart fell to pieces… everything in me stopped and every sound around me went mute… I took a deep breath in gathered my thoughts. I went in and called him from the stairs. I didn’t want to make a scene, not to scare the girls. I tried to be rational and wise in whatever words came out of my mouth. I told him off in the most decent way I thought fit, taking into consideration that it would not be rational for the girls to have their favorite training fired right before the Championship. I then went out to the head of the Club team and told him, that by no means this is acceptable and if I ever saw any of this again, I will take it up with the gymnastics federation.
My biggest problem with that is that she loves him… they all do, which is absolutely fucked up! When I told her about it, apparently it wasn’t the first time and it caught me off guard. The sad part is that she found excuses for him; he only does that so we can concentrate, he loves us and says we’re champions, he doesn’t do that all the time, he just wants me to be better, he doesn’t hit that hard…! Her tiny brains have rationalized his abuse and has made her to come to believe that it’s for her own good. He has created a pseudo-positive reinforcement in their minds and caused them to believe that it is for their own well-fare, so they’d work harder. But to love someone who hurts you builds up all the fucked up physic in a 6 year-old’s head!
I tried to explain to her that hitting is not acceptable for whatever reason what so ever and it is not excusable and if he cannot use his words instead of his hands than he is not a good trainer. I told her that if I find out that he hit you again and you didn’t tell me about it, I would take you off the team. But not for this asshole I’m taking her off the team. She has been training like hell in a sport she absolutely adores and in no way this is ok.
Now my thoughts are scaring me more.
If as a child she is not afraid or hate a person, who hits her and believes his excuses or reason to do that… then no matter how old you are, she will still find excuses for abuse. How could she process that her beloved trainer is actually hurting her?
Just as people make excuses for their own poor behavior, it seems to be human nature that we often make excuses for others as well… I made a mistake and did something that upset them and they would come to believe that they deserve it somehow and if they were better they wouldn’t be screamed at nor get hit. Oftentimes a relationship doesn’t begin badly and it is hard to believe that someone we we care for and love could hurt us.