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Alternative programs that keep a gym profitable.

What programs does your gym offer? (other than gymnastics)


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JBS

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With the current condition of the economy, lots of franchises, and more for kids to do; many gyms are suffering from low enrollment. What has your gym done (added) to stay profitable?

Please vote in the poll and respond with more detail.
 

Aussie_coach

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I think the questions here will have differing answers based on location. I read a lot about USA gyms not accepting adults students because of higher isurance rates. Where I live, every single gym I know of has adult programs, there is asolutly no difference in the insurance requirements of adults to kids.

On the other hand open gyms are unheard of and considered very dangerous. If students want to learn they are part of a structured class or private.
 

JBS

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I think the questions here will have differing answers based on location. I read a lot about USA gyms not accepting adults students because of higher isurance rates. Where I live, every single gym I know of has adult programs, there is asolutly no difference in the insurance requirements of adults to kids.

On the other hand open gyms are unheard of and considered very dangerous. If students want to learn they are part of a structured class or private.
Yes...very true.

We dropped all adult gymnastics classes at both of the gyms I have run. However, it's just gymnastics, aerobic style (exercise) classes can be run with minimal insurance requirements.

As far as open gym, it just depends how you run it. We always have coaches on the floor and the general rules are:

  • NO Running
  • NO High Bars or Beams
  • NO FLIPS!
At the last gym I was at we would run preschool open gym at the same time as regular open gym (we had a 4000 sq. ft. dedicated preschool area). We would have 40-70 kids in the gym (plus parents for preschool open gym). We ran a 10 to 1 ratio. It was extremely safe.

EDIT: It was $10/child for an hour and a half.
 
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Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
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Yes...very true.

We dropped all adult gymnastics classes at both of the gyms I have run. However, it's just gymnastics, aerobic style (exercise) classes can be run with minimal insurance requirements.

As far as open gym, it just depends how you run it. We always have coaches on the floor and the general rules are:

  • NO Running
  • NO High Bars or Beams
  • NO FLIPS!
At the last gym I was at we would run preschool open gym at the same time as regular open gym (we had a 4000 sq. ft. dedicated preschool area). We would have 40-70 kids in the gym (plus parents for preschool open gym). We ran a 10 to 1 ratio. It was extremely safe.
WOW! Our open gym has 200+ middle schoolers every friday night, with maybe 3 or 4 coaches. Disconcerting to say the least.

Our gym offers rec T&T & gymnastics, cheer, tumbling, athletic development and ice skating and seems to be doing well. There is also a fitness gym and a cafe area.
 
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NYgymfan

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I think the questions here will have differing answers based on location. I read a lot about USA gyms not accepting adults students because of higher isurance rates. Where I live, every single gym I know of has adult programs, there is asolutly no difference in the insurance requirements of adults to kids.

On the other hand open gyms are unheard of and considered very dangerous. If students want to learn they are part of a structured class or private.
Interesting perspective. Its a shame that lawyers and insurance people seem to ruin the fun a lot here in America. "Risk management" is just another way of saying we're taking away fun stuff that weve always done for years but we have to stop cuz there's a 1 in 1,000,000,000 chance that someone might scrape a knee. But I guess you can argue the economic side of it too, and if there were enough demand for adult gymnastics classes that the gyms would find it worthwhile to offer them even tho the insurance costs more.

Open gyms are a lot of fun, altho I usually go with another gymnast who teaches me stuff and spots me.
 
K

KBT

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Yes...very true.

We dropped all adult gymnastics classes at both of the gyms I have run. However, it's just gymnastics, aerobic style (exercise) classes can be run with minimal insurance requirements.

As far as open gym, it just depends how you run it. We always have coaches on the floor and the general rules are:

  • NO Running
  • NO High Bars or Beams
  • NO FLIPS!

I've been to open gym with these types of rules, too. You had to be a certain level (I think level 5 or 6) to use the high bar or beam.
 

Aussie_coach

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So how do open gyms work exactly? Do the kids just work on whatever they want to work on, or is there some kind of structure to it?
 

skfleming255

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Jul 29, 2007
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Our gym usually separates the girls into levels 2 & 3 and then 4 & up. The 4's & up usually work on their own, unless they are needing to be spotted on something. They work on the skills they are working on for their level. The coaches will watch every child on every event to give them some advice, critique, etc... All girls work only on things that the coaches know they are capable of doing. That way it is relatively safe. We usually do a 2 hour open gym every Friday for team members only (another safety precaution).
 

JBS

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So how do open gyms work exactly? Do the kids just work on whatever they want to work on, or is there some kind of structure to it?
At ours, they do whatever they want. We have one area that is for running tumbling (RO-BHS and up), an area for basic tumbling, and one section for building forts and messing around.

Over half of the kids are non-members that have no formal training in gymnastics. They just love to build forts with the mats, jump on the trampolines, jump in the pit, use the rock wall, and slide down the zip line.

Coaches are allowed to set up stations and drills for children needing help, but there is absolutely no spotting. Anyone who would like formal training or spotting must enroll in our class program.
 

Mom2Brats

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Oct 13, 2008
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North Las Vegas, NV
Oops, I missed a couple. Our gym also has child-care (for ages 5+) In December they are having a couple drop-and-shop nights and a Parents' night out. We haven't done it before, but I'm assuming it's kind of like open gym, maybe a little more structured?

Our open gym is pretty relaxed. 6+ can't have parents on the floor and 5- is at a different time and must have parents. There usually aren't that many kids there, though. Maybe 30? is the most I've seen for the older group and there are coaches around, too so it seems pretty safe.
 
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bribri514

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Our gym is through the rec district in the town its in. So we have a pre school program, rec classes, team, open gym etc. We don't have any other classes in the gym except for ski and snowboarding stuff. The town freestyle ski and ski team are some of the top in the country, way better than the gym team, so sometimes we have to battle them for equipment.
 

CreateMagic

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We run a full, licensed pre-school during the day (from 9-1). Its nice for the kids too that they get gym time everyday!
 
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newbiecoach

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We do birthday parties, and parents night out fairly regularly. This year we did some thanksgiving camps, black friday shop and drop, and we have a new years eve sleep over.
We have an adult tumbling class, they go on all events but its up the coach to decide, you can use the tramp/tumble trak if you are over 20 but if you know what you are doing the coach will let you.
We dont do open gyms and I am not sure why as I would think it would bring in a lot
We also have a play room with Wii, Dance Dance Revolution and other active games.
 

eeyoretumbles

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Jul 13, 2008
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rainy washington
I call 2 gyms my home, well now 3 :] haha. The one I've been at the longest, they have open gyms but only for an hour for about 10 bucks. They seem most popular with little kids who have to be accompinied by an adult, and some team girls. The open gym starts out with the kids spliting up into the gym, they usually only open up a certain part, then later are allowed to go out. The team girls, or ex team girls, are allowed to do whatever they want. This gym also offers, all types of dance, there is a preschool program, and lots of clinics.

The next gym has something similar to an open gym. It's called a high school class, but really it's just an open gym with one coach able to spot you if needed. It costs 20 dollars a session, [for one and a half hours] but if you get a punchcard for 6 or 12 sessions it's a lot cheaper. The punch cards never expire, and you can come in whenever you want. This benefeits the gym a lot. At the open gym there are really no rules besides don't be stupid, and the general gym rules. It's mostly high school girls, and now a lot of skateboarders and snowboarders come and goof off because there preppy girl friends bring them [grrrrrr] and they basically just play on the tramp and text the whole time. There are about 5 of us who used to be on the team and work out. This gym also has a yoga instructer come in and that class seems popular for the adults.

The third gym is a rec. gym. This gym is actually quite popular and the coaches are great, plus they have a brand new facility. They have open gyms every Saturday I think, and they shouldn't be too expensive. Other classes that are offered are adult classes, and this is really popular. We actually have some adults come in who used to be national champions. Other than that there are no other unusual classes, this gym seems to do fine. Hope this helped!
 
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BlairBob

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FWIK, there are 2 major gymnastics gym insurance companies in the U.S. It's basically one or the other except I know that some city gyms use different insurance companies.

One basically will cover adults doing gymnastics on apparatus and the other covers young adults to 21 on just FX and not necessarily rebound devices.

Adult gymnastics classes are a nice thing but it's not really a program that is going to bring you any real profit. It's a nice thing to have basically for some of the parents and adults in the community and coaches or HS kids who are longer competing in the gym but still love it there.

I use to run open gym as let team kids do whatever with a WU first and keep the rec kids in gender or same age groups and rotate them every 15m staying around with them. Towards the last 20 or 30m of gym I'd let them basically go anywhere in the gym so long as they were doing something safe.

I try to move around the kids and adults doing classes and ask them why they are there and what they want to work on that night or towards.

Generally I warmup adults with something active and we do " joint mobility " no static stretches which irks them as they like to sit on their duff and socialize for the first while and thats what the other coach does. I explain the static stretching idea but if they don't like what I'm saying...well, I don't really care.

We do some HS basics and some floor basics and they let them on about their business. I get real critical on fx basics but if they don't want to refine their technique, I don't care and I will probably tend to ignore them in general unless they are being unsafe.
 

Tim_Dad

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Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
Our gym is in the 'talking stages' about adding specialized gymnastic apparatis clinics on a monthly basis.

Vault Clinic, Bar Clinic, Beam Clinic, etc.

The idea, as I understand it, would be a 4 hour intensive training clinic, with members of the existing coaching staff and an outside 'expert' coach. Such as, an known elite, or NCAA coach, or ex-national team gymnast.

The clinics would be available to local gymnastics athletes, not limiting it just to our own. The BIG question is the ability / feasability for parents to pay the extra cost. Again, still in talking mode.
 
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