Grandmother coaches student in gymnastics

Starting at only 18 months old, junior Toria Thaw has been a gymnast virtually her entire life. Just like any athlete, she needed to practice and train to get to where she is now. With the help of her grandmother JoAnne Thaw, who is also the gymnastics coach at the high school, Toria has an advantage when it comes to practice outside of school.
“We record all of our competitions, and she’ll go over that every night and tell me what I can work on at practice that will improve the scores,” Toria said.
While Toria has done gymnastics from a very young age, she felt forced into it as a child.
“I didn’t really want to,” Toria said. “But it was good because it was me wanting to quit because it was hard, so for them to make me push through it taught me a lot of lessons.”
Although it may not seem like it, gymnastics is much more than doing cartwheels and handsprings. It requires a considerable amount of hand-eye coordination and balance to be able to perform stunts safely and correctly.
“It teaches so much more, for example, they get stronger they get more confident they get more flexible,” JoAnne said. “So we worked on her strength and I know whether she stayed with gymnastics or not, it would help her be a better athlete and whatever she does.”
Finding a good balance between being a coach and being a grandmother may seem like a challenge, but Thaw and her granddaughter have very few issues with it. Avoiding favoritism can be a struggle when relatives work in close proximity.
“We separate it when she’s at home, you know we have dinner together we go out together we go shopping together it’s, it’s not what I do with the other girls, so it’s different,” JoAnne said. “I work real hard not to have that and I always tell the girls that my favorite [team members] are the hardest workers.”