Coach teaches her athletes to believe

Posted at 5:53 PM, Jan 19, 2016

“Believe” is a word posted on the wall at Gymnastics World, which is partially owned by Joan Ganim, Brecksville-Broadview Heights High School’s gymnastics coach. 

Ganim began participating in gymnastics long before women’s participation in sports was popular. She was a member of Kent State’s recreational gymnastics team in the 60s.

“We did not have the best equipment,” Ganim recalled. “We had practice at crazy hours. When everyone was having fun in the dorms, we were practicing.”

In 1969 she started a program at Brecksville-Broadview High School, but stopped when she started her own family.

“My principal, God love him, said mothers of two children need to go home and take care of children and not coach,” Ganim said.

After a hiatus, she ultimately returned to the high school and has led the program to 15 state titles. Her athletes said they’ve learned more from Ganim than simply how to be a good gymnast.

“She’s taught me a lot about confidence,” explained junior Brielle Marlow. “That helps me outside of the gym because there are other situations where you get nervous like tests or school and those are opportunities for me to relax.”

“Everything that goes on with gymnastics, school, life, confidence, respect, any problem you are having I can go to her and she is like my second grandma ,” said junior Tessa Phillips.

Phillips added, ”When you feel like a coach cares about you, you have that extra confident and that extra 'umph' to be a little bit better.”

While Ganim teaches her athletes technique, the way she coaches her athletes to be winners is by showing them how to believe.

Phillips explained, “If you believe in yourself and you believe in your teammates that is how the job gets done “


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