Why I still coach


Focusing like a laser and getting to your most important work requires a constant re-balancing of priorities and reassessment of skills, opportunities, and strategies.  It’s a continual effort to put your best work forward and peel back the effort in those areas that no longer serve you.  It’s taking risks, evaluating opportunities not just for today, but for the future.  It’s the privilege of getting to be selective and the sense that time is running short to be what you’re made to be.  It’s the recognition that the number of things you want to do and should do add up to more time and certainly more energy than actually exists.  It’s the light bulb that finally goes off that real contribution doesn’t come from cramming ever more into a week/day/year, but rather in being ruthless in deciding what gets your focus and attention.

Which brings me to this topic—why do I still coach gymnastics?  Why do I still allow the time and energy necessary at this time in my career to do something that supposedly I was qualified to do when I was 15 years old (I’m sure video footage of that teaching would surely prove otherwise).   Why do I put on the staff shirt and yoga pants and hang out alongside college kids and teach the same handful of skills I’ve been teaching for 25 years?  I am struggling with this—if I’m taking things off my plate, why does this remain?  Why do I want to add more of it?  Why am I writing this now rather than doing other work—who knows?  Here’s what I do know:

I coach because it’s the most complicated, intense work I’ve ever done.  It takes more thought, preparation, and expertise in multiple disciplines than any other work I do –and I work with some heavy hitting projects and people.  The stakes are high—these are young children, older children, and teenagers – what you say and do can stay with them for a lifetime and shape who they become as adults, parents, and leaders.

I coach because I’ve seen it done so poorly by others it makes me cry and seen it done so brilliantly it also makes me cry.  Because I’ve seen coaches like John Good build some of the best men I’ve ever known.

I coach because it’s a facet of my work where I simultaneously feel mastery and endless challenge.

I coach because it taught me how to parent and vice versa.  I’ve had parent/coach mentors like Lynne Horn say “parents are pretty easy, if we give you our kid for four hours, just come off the floor and tell us something about their practice”.  Simple, brilliant, endlessly helpful.  Or when trying to understand why a parent is so unbelievably appreciative of your efforts and generous with you like Nancy & Kevin Moody who told me “anyone who does right by your child and helps you get through the teenage years is someone you’ll do anything for”.  I didn’t get it then, now I do, because it’s any port in the storm time for us and we’re looking to constantly build our team.  Thank goodness and I see you Coach David, Coach Jay, Coach Tyler, Coach Chris, Coach Jones, Cody, Coach Block and so many more – we can’t do it without you.

I coach because I’ve had the privilege of studying at institutions like the University of North Texas, the George Washington University, and Michigan State University (2x grad school dropout), and I’ve never learned as much as when I was trying to figure out the right mix of psychology, physics, and communication techniques that were going to get an athlete over a skill development hump or a terrifying mental block.

I coach because in a deal with my husband I necessarily gave it up for 5 years as my “career” took off and I had to prioritize my time expenditures.  I did the next best thing and coached the best I could those professionals who were a couple rungs below me on the corporate ladder but way ahead of me in passion, skills, and aptitude.  I hope I taught them something that mattered – they certainly did teach me.

I coach because many of the north stars in my life yell at me when I’m not teaching enough, like Lesley Kovacs who just recently said my time spent in administration is a “soul—crushing waste of my life, and I better get back to teaching before I rot” (which I may be paraphrasing a bit, but I got her message).

I’ve had the honor of coaching/judging/choreographing at really high levels in the sport.  I’ve been a snob not wanting to waste what I thought then was my vast coaching talent on non-serious athletes.  I’ve since learned that I love working with anyone who has a body and would like to understand how to make it work in a multi-planar fashion.  Increasing someone’s movement vocabulary (one of my favorite phrases) is just about the coolest thing ever.

I coach athletes with cognitive impairment because helping someone figure out how to find the vertical axis on a forward roll and support a sometimes uncooperative body with two arms just might translate into the confidence needed to navigate an unforgiving world.

Most importantly I coach because it’s the only place I’ve never received feedback that I should “work on sitting still & talking in a lower voice” — some variation of which I’ve received on every report card and performance review  my entire life, whether in preschool or as a VP.

I coach because it’s how I learn.

Move It Media manifesto of sorts…


Thank you to all of you who have purchased and shared

Gabustle Make My Body Hustle and Other Silly Ways to Move Anywhere 


and downloaded the narrated version with music on iTunes.

For those of you who haven’t yet, thought I’d share the introduction describing why I wrote this book to celebrate Natural Born Movers ™:


Hi Friends,

You’re probably very busy growing up right now, but I wanted to take a minute and tell you why I wrote this book.  I was a kid that loved to move.  Sitting still was pure torture and I’m still not very good at it, even though I’m old.  I can do all kinds of work without sitting still.  In fact, I do my best work when I move around.  Then, I had a son, and he was always moving.  In fact, he might light moving even more than me.  I realized that was true of all his friends too and most every kid I know.  

You see, we’re all Natural Born Movers™.  I know–sometimes we need to be still.  When your teachers, parents, and others need you to sit still, it’s important to do it.  I just don’t want you to feel badly that you can’t stand sitting still.  I wrote this book to celebrate your love of movement.  

We can move and still communicate, listen, and learn from each other.  In fact, I think movement helps us do all of these important things.  Not only can we express stories, ideas, and feelings through movement, but sometimes we can communicate better with each other when we’re in motion.  Often our best conversations are when we are taking a walk or playing catch with a ball.  Have you ever noticed that?

Like I said, sometimes its important to be still.  But, I bet we could fit a lot more movement into our life without things falling apart.  So, I invite you to move, communicate, create, dance, play, and have a great time.  I bet it improves your learning, communication, energy levels, happiness, and ability to get everything done you need to do.  That’s not just my opinion, that’s science baby!!

This book is about funny words and funny movements.  There’s also videos online where you can watch some of my friends from the Happendance Professional Dance Company create some movement to the words in this book.  You can also buy the music from that video to create at home.  You can copy what they do or you can do it your own way.  Just because they’re in a book doesn’t mean they’re the boss.  You can even make up your own songs to go with your dance.  Add a costume or an instrument even–live a little!  I just want you to be silly, have fun, and get some movement in your day.

That sums up what we’re all about at Move It Media, LLC — Building healthy communities and celebrating Natural Born Movers™.  Enjoy your day!

Move It Media just distributed the Gabustle Soundtrack with Narration through TuneCore – available soon in stores!


Move It Media is excited to distribute the soundtrack and book narration of Gabustle Make My Body Hustle and Other Silly Ways to Move Anywhere through TuneCore.  Buy the music from composer Dan Combs and the narration of Missy Lilje and have a dance party with your favorite Natural Born Mover™ today!!

I just distributed my music through TuneCore – available soon in stores!.