Development Zone®


PCA Resource Center

Tough vs. Abusive Coaching

Share This Resource

Melissa Rinehart is the Head Women’s Gymnastics Coach at the University of Denver and coached the team to a 2021 NCAA Big 12 Championship. Rinehart was a gymnast at the University of Florida from 1989-92, going on to coach in 1993 at the University of Florida and then the University of Michigan from 1994-98. Since 1998, Rinehart has been coaching at the University of Denver leading the team to five team appearances at the NCAA National Championships (2019, 2017, 2009, 2008, 2001). In 2019, she was selected as the National Head Coach of the Year and in 2021 led the University of Denver to their first ever Big 12 Conference Championship.

In this video, Rinehart discusses the difference between tough and abusive coaching. She states that cursing and throwing things is a clear sign that there is abusive coaching happening. She also urges parents to assess if their child is unhappy every day going to practice. If they are, that may warrant another conversation diving deeper into the situation as a sign of issues.