Thrush and Lindsey Raymond, former Park gymnasts themselves, took over the program last season as interim coaches in the wake of the midseason dismissal of the former head coach. They were recently hired by the school on a permanent basis
How do you and Lindsey divide responsibilities? We’ve worked together for four years as assistants. We complement each other so well. I do more of the behind-the-scenes stuff and we both tackle the coaching aspects in the gym.
Talk about the transition from assistants to head coaches. Last year we had to step up in the middle of the season and take over a program we loved. It happened a little sooner than we might have expected, but we are just so grateful for the opportunity.
How did the team respond to the change? I don’t think there were any lasting effects. The team really picked themselves up and did a great job of moving forward.
Park has a tradition of great gymnastics. How will you keep the program at a high level? We’ve learned from a lot of great coaches. We’ve just kind of picked the best things that have worked for us.
What is the biggest hurdle you’re facing? Finding a spotter to handle the skills that require greater technicality. Lindsey and I can spot plenty of the basics, but we don’t have the technicality for the harder skills.
How different is being a head coach from being an assistant? There is a lot more going on behind the scenes like dealing with parents and hosting meets and dealing with judges. We never had to do all that before.