Saturday, March 21, 2009

a job

I was surprised the other day when a friend in conversation asked if I ever thought about coaching gymnastics again.  And I hadn't.  But then I started to.

And I wondered, "Maybe I could get a job coaching gymnastics right now."

Here's the thing about men's gymnastics:  It's not nearly as popular as girls'.
This means that there are less students, but also that there are less coaches.  And for gyms, the latter seems to be more of a problem.  When you have a quality coach who is dedicated, you can generally build a good men's program.  Parents can send all of their children to the gym at once instead of just the girls.  The joy of a single drop-off and pick-up location for all 2.5 kids!  Soccer moms everywhere rejoice.

The other thing is that most programs have their programs set on a schedule similar to the school calendar.  So, I knew going in to the process of looking for a coaching job that I would probably find a lot of people who would really want to hire me... for the summer or fall.

Really, what are the chances that I would walk into a gym and they would be in desperate need of a coach the next day?  If they didn't have a coach back in the fall, they would have adjusted their program to meet the abilities of their staff.

But, I called a bunch of area gyms anyway.  You never know until you try (which applies well in this case but is NOT an axiom that I would suggest applying to life's circumstances broadly).

Well, it turns out there were a bunch of people praying to a God who answers prayer.  I got calls back from a few places.  I set up two "interviews" for today.  The other place I talked to on the phone was trying to hire for summer and disappointed that I won't be around.  One of the two places I actually went to today said pretty much the same thing.  "Please give us a call if you've ever around more permanently."

The other place was The Victors Gymnastics & Cheerleading.  I saw the first half of Psalm 127:1 printed on their home page, so I suspected that the owners were Christians.  Turns out most of the staff is, too.  My 'interview' with the owner and head coach was mostly him telling me his testimony about how he was a successful businessman and God had completely taken everything away from him and his wife and then Jesus rescued them and they somehow started this gym from scratch with no money.  They see themselves as really being in a type of youth ministry, living the gospel, and they've seen God do really amazing things through it.  And not only that, but they're also really successful at gymnastics.

Well, it turns out that they used to have a really great boys team coach, but he left a few years ago and they haven't been able to replace him.  The boys' team has completely dissolved.  They have a few classes for younger boys, but the guy currently 'coaching' them has a background in cheer and tumbling, not gymnastics.  So those classes are mostly "let's go have fun throwing ourselves around in the gym" instead of "let's learn gymnastics."

So, the owner starts getting excited about employing me to actually coach gymnastics with these boys.  The problem is that I'm only around for 2.5 months.  But my secondary purpose is to also teach the current 'coach' a thing or two about gymnastics so that the program can continue to develop after I'm gone.  And if there is significant interest among the boys, they may look into hiring another men's coach again.

God is so good!  I start in two days, Monday night.  Miracles happen.

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