The Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks Department is offering training for high-school-aged gymnastics enthusiasts who would like to train to become coaches. Drawing on the popularity of the sport, the Sandy Springs Gymnastics Center in Hammond Park is expanding its programming to offer a Coach-in-Training (CIT) program for aspiring gymnastics coaches ages 15 years and older.

The six-month program will involve attendance in training sessions, as well as time spent weekly shadowing gymnastics coaches and their classes. Coaches in training will participate in training sessions on first aid and CPR; leadership; child development; conflict resolution; teaching and coaching children with special needs; health and safety; event-specific gymnastics progressions and spotting techniques; gym policies; and staff responsibilities.

“The goal of the CIT program is to provide high school students, who have an interest in coaching or gymnastics, with a pathway to gain the experience and training needed to move into an instructor role within Sandy Springs Recreation and Parks programing,” said Johanna Godleski, the city gymnastics coordinator, in a press release.

Godleski, who will oversee the CIT program, has competed in both rhythmic and artistic gymnastics. Godleski is the recipient of more than 30 Georgia State Championship medals in rhythmic gymnastics and was a member of the USA National Team. She has more than 15 years experience coaching all ages and types of gymnastics.

The CIT program is an unpaid internship, but volunteer hours  CITs spend in the program are eligible to meet community service hours requirements.  Interested candidates should contact the Godleski at 770-206-2037 or

John Ruch is an Atlanta-based journalist. Previously, he was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.

One reply on “Sandy Springs Gymnastics Center offers coach-in-training program”

  1. Ms. Godleski,

    As a former gymnast, training since age 6 and multiple Junior Olympic All Around champion I can tell you that “Enthusiasts” who would like to become coaches isn’t where you get coaches from.

    Can I recommend you go to the many Universities in this state and look for those who are committed to coaching and have the proper training. If your program is a non paying position to fill a gap without ever becoming a paid position then the City is taking advantage and putting youth at risk with this CIT program.

    That logo being used for this story cost our little corporate town $100k. How far could that money have gone toward providing a proper coach for Recreation and Parks?

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