Meet a Gymnastics Coach

Videos and Q&As with people in real roles.

Name: Maddy McClintock
Profession: Gymnastics Coach
Qualifications: Advanced Women’s Artistic Gymnastics, Advanced Men’s Artistic Gymnastics, Advanced Gymnastics for All, Blue Card

Interested in finding out more about a career as a Gymnastics Coach? Read our Career Guide


I first found a passion for coaching when I taught cheerleading at my school. I loved watching students grow their skills and confidence. It was amazing to feel like I could give back to my peers. 

I rediscovered coaching a couple years after I graduated from school and fell back in love with it doing kids classes after school.

Gymnastics coaching is the last thing I expected to do. During my teenage years, I really disliked my coach, which led me to quit the sport for a couple of years. 

Coaching is something that fell into my lap after I left school. Now I completely love the sport again.

I was really unhappy in a lot of roles that I took straight out of school. I was completely stuck in an office job that I hated. 

I wasn’t happy or passionate about it so I gave it up and started trying different things. Gymnastics coaching was one of those things that I tried and fell in love with.

Gymnastics is one of those sports that has always existed but doesn’t get a lot of attention, so I had to do my own research on qualifications. 

The only thing aspiring gymnastics coaches have to do is go to the Gymnastics Queensland website and enrol in their courses. 

I found the process seamless for someone that had only ever come from a corporate world. It also makes it easy that you don’t require prior training from any VET courses. 

All I had to do was get my Blue Card, do some Gymnastics Queensland courses, and I was ready to go.

My specialty in a gymnastics setting is WAG (Women’s Artistic Gymnastics). This focuses on apparatus such as the vault, bars, beam, and floor. 

Since becoming a Masters coach, I’m also teaching men now. I wanted to do better for these students, so I went back to Gymnastics Queensland to gain my qualifications as an intermediate MAG (Men’s Artistic Gymnastics). This has allowed me to train and coach all the men on the floor at competitions and in our gym. 

If I had my time again, I would have tried to make this a full-time career straight out of school; however, it is unrealistic for anyone to think you can go straight into a full-time role without the proper training. You need to have at least coached 1500 hours to be able to coach classes by yourself.  

There are a lot of processes to jump through in order to create full-time work for yourself in this industry. If you start your qualifications and work part-time during school, the process to full-time work will be easily attainable.

My “day” of coaching actually starts at night. A normal night starts out with getting to the gym around 15 minutes before my class and greeting all the athletes as they walk in. I have a chat with them and really get to understand why they are here. I’m there to support every person with whatever aspect I can. 


I also do standard checks for injuries or anything I need to be aware of. 

A major misconception of the job is that everyone expects good gymnastics coaches to have done it themselves or be good at the sport. Additionally, a lot of people think you have to know everything about the sport before you start coaching it. I’ve been coaching for years and I’m still learning every day.

I am in very busy roles throughout the working week, so it’s really good for my mental health. It’s so good to have one space where you feel happy and passionate. I’ve never worked a job before where I would offer to work for free besides gymnastics teaching. 

I didn’t know you could have this much fun while working. 

Going to my gymnastics class is so enjoyable to the point where it doesn’t feel like work.

The fact that everyone leaves with a smile is what satisfies me the most. The best part of the job is seeing someone happy or proud of themselves.

Seeing the confidence in my athletes makes me feel like I’m giving back.

It’s scary, but take the plunge. Everyone has to experience being out of their comfort zone at least once. 


Trust yourself that your coaching ability is good enough.

This is a role where you have to show children and adults that you are confident in your abilities. People are putting their trust in you, so you must be able to outwardly express confidence. 

It also helps to be a people person. An ability to converse with gymnasts and communicate politely are factors that are often forgotten about. 

The ability to learn while on the job is also underrated. I’ve seen incredible coaches who are too stuck in their own ways to accept that the world is changing, which limits the effectiveness of their craft. Having an open mind and always being willing to learn is so important. 

Coaching is a great way to stay socially active and among a group of people that you can connect with. 

It also allows me to stay physically fit without having to do any extra work. 

Personal development and the ability to grow into other roles is another benefit. I used to hate my corporate roles because I’d get to the top of the mountain and there would be nothing else to climb. Gymnastics allows room for further development through courses and training. 

In terms of pay, every single course that you complete through GQ grants you a pay rise, which is an awesome incentive to upskill.

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