WYC 002 Gymnastics – Diane Renzi – Do what you can, with what you have, where you are

Pic - Diane Renzi

What does it take to be a winning youth coach? Listen in as Diane shares coaching stories and discusses her journey to becoming a successful youth coach.

Diane was an all Big-10 gymnast at The Ohio State University, and has coached 50+ level 10 gymnasts; in 2 years at Solon High School she took the team to state, where they have never been before or since. She is married to a fellow-Ohio State gymnast and has four children ages 17-22.

Twitter: CoachRenzi@kidpeach

Listen Now:

Listen in ITunes: Itunes link

Listen in Stitcher: Stitcher link


Coaching/Leadership Quote

  • ‘Do what you can, with what you have, where you are’ – Theodore Roosevelt

click to tweet!

Coaching your own Kid

  • 2 keys: Separate your home time from your gym time; Wait for your child to ask for advice vs. forcing your advice on them

My ‘Cringe’ Moment

  • As an ex-athlete Diane expected all the kids to be wired like she was – she had to learn each person is motivated differently

Coaching AH-HA Moment

  • No matter what effort the child brings to the gym – I, as the coach, will always bring 100% to each practice. I am here to support you.

Teaching Children & Keeping it Fun

  • Understand the age of who you are coaching. Don’t hold kids to standards that are too high for their maturity.
  • Educate your athletes – teach the standard, then have a fun competition to challenge them to perfect that skill.

Coaching Resources

  • Diane’s best coach always made each kid feel like they were the favorite.
  • Youtube videos:

‘The Gymnastics Minute’ by USAGymnastics

Tammy Biggs

Mary Lee Tracy


  • Breaking a known team rule – Have a predefined consequence where the punishment fits the crime.
  • Kids not listening to the coach – You have to first find out the reason why – ‘Anyone can coach the kids who wants it – The coaching takes place when they don’t want it – how do we motivate them?’

Reward, Recognition, and Teambuilding

  • Teach the kids and parents: To enjoy the successes of others doesn’t take away from my own joy
  • Diane creates team competitive contests where she intentionally pairs athletes with different strengths
  • With parents: ‘The best jury is an educated jury’ – Be open and honest with the parents

Inspiring Story

  • Diane coached one girl who had a particularly bad temper – Diane pumped positivity into this girl and went on to see her turn around and succeed
  • ‘I have my Rosella back’ – A dad thanked Diane for turning around his daughter’s attitude and bringing back her joy.


  • Winning is the desire to do your best
  • Michelle Kwan: ‘I didn’t lose the gold, I won the silver’
  • As a parent – you should be the one congratulating the kid for winning the silver
  • Diane encourages her athletes that win multiple medals to share some of the extra medals with their teammates that worked equally as hard

 The One that Got Away

  • Diane thought her daughter had given up on one of her routines – but she misunderstood the situation and didn’t ask questions first.

 Coaching/Leadership Motivation

Parting Advice

  • The most important thing you can do is build the confidence in your athlete

Interview Links

Ready to be an Awesome Youth Coach? Sign up for our free weekly newsletter @ WinningYouthCoaching Newsletter

[email protected]

View more posts from this author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Facebook