What makes a great coach? Opinions on that vary depending on who you talk to ….
As the parent of an Artistic Gymnast, I often find myself watching the incredible feats of Oakville Gymnastics Club’s Acrobatic gymnasts as they practice high flying skills and perform beautiful, intricate floor routines.
When my daughter came to Oakville Gymnastics Club in 2013, we weren’t even aware that there was an Acro program. Between then and now the Acro team has outgrown the facility and is making plans to move to another OGC facility to train! Most of that growth has occurred in the last couple of years with the arrival of Acrobatic team coaches, Greg Boosey and Scott Middleton.
An unfortunate injury while working as an acrobat for Cirque du Soleil’s La Nouba Florida show led Greg Boosey to the conclusion that it was time to stop performing. Having previously coached acrobatic gymnastics with Scott Middleton in the United Kingdom, Greg’s desire to pass on his knowledge of acrobatic gymnastics was rekindled and the coaching duo ultimately ended up at Oakville Gymnastics Club.
Greg is incredibly pleased with how far the program has come in such a short time. He is very proud of the hard work that his team puts into achieving their goals. That team includes the coaches who work hard to help their athletes achieve those goals.
One of the highlights of Greg’s coaching experience at OGC occurred last year, when all 5 training partnerships made it to the World Championships in Putian, China. He said that it was a “fantastic trip” and that they all made great memories that he will cherish forever.
Greg’s hope is that he can help his current team, a much bigger team, achieve success at the 2017 Pan American Games in Florida and then again at the 2018 World Championships in Belgium
Greg told me, “Our Gymnasts are working very hard in the gym every day. They amaze me with how they keep so positive. It is very tough to remain on a high throughout the entire year.”
According to his athletes, Greg (and Scott’s) belief in them is what keeps them motivated. Having coaches that are just as excited to see them pick up new skills as they are to be doing them, gives the athletes a great sense of pride and the confidence to push themselves to be their best.
“Fabulous. Amazing. Encouraging. Perfectionists. Determined. Motivating.” All these words are ones that OGC’s Acro team came up with to describe Greg and Scott. It is clear that they all love and respect their coaches.
The affection for Greg and Scott is shared by the athletes’ parents as well. Karin Kacvinsky tells me how her daughter, after an extended absence, desperately wanted to get back to the gym. She credits the support her daughter received from Greg and Scott as one of the reasons Kiara was able to get back to doing what she loves.
Coaching acrobatic gymnastics requires a lot of different skills. One of those skills involves knowing the personalities of your gymnasts and being able to match them with the right partner or partners. Greg and Scott have a knack for doing this. They are also able to adapt training methods to suit the different personalities and needs of the athletes in each partnership and group. Success at competitions of all levels shows that the coaching duo knows how to keep their team calm and focused.
Greg and Scott are described as being perfectionists. They are strict but also encouraging. They have taught their athletes respect and have built a tight-knit team made up of close friends who support each other and cheer each other on.
When Kiara Kacvinsky was asked to share something about Greg and Scott she said, “They always believe in me when I don’t believe in myself. Whenever I am down or having a hard time, they always help me back up. Being with the team, Scott and Greg always makes me happy”. Kiara’s mom, Karin, added … “they believe … and she is one happy girl in that gym.”
…. So what makes a great coach? We really have no need to look any farther than to Greg Boosey and Scott Middleton as examples of great coaches. Supportive, encouraging, strict and professional with respect for their young athletes, a strong belief in what they can achieve and an intense desire to help their athletes achieve their goals. It is the perfect recipe for success and OGC’s membership is excited to watch Greg and Scott push their team to the top of the podium!
Article by Kim Hughes Nash