The upcoming Olympic Games bring to mind the power of dreaming and the role a good coach plays in fostering that dream. The ABC Family show “Make It or Break It” explores this relationship quite profitably.
When the lead gymnast at The Rock Training Center, Payson Keeler, injures her back at Nationals, she is told that she will never compete again. Instead, she receives experimental back surgery and returns to gymnastics within a few months. However, she is told that she can no longer be a “power” gymnast and now she has to become more of an “artistic” gymnast.
This concept is completely antithetical to Payson’s idea of herself as a gymnast. What does Coach Belov tell her? He says that she doesn’t need to see this dream or even believe in it; all she needs to do is show up. Her coach tells her that he will believe in the dream for her. He takes her to the ballet and teaches her to paint continuous lines with her body. After a few months of showing up, she dances a powerful and moving routine to Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
Coach Belov gives an excellent example of what a coach should be. He takes responsibility, not just for his gymnast’s conditioning or technique, but for her mindset. When Payson does not believe it is possible for her to achieve her Olympic dream in this new style, Coach Belov tells her that he will harbor her dream for her. What a lovely image: a dream harbored in a safe port while it awaits the fair winds that will carry it safely to its destination.