Welcome to our Gymnastics Discussion Community
554,231 messages... 44,365 topics... and 6,612 members
Join for FREE!
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts & High 5 Meets!

For Parents Another gym switch question

Status
Not open for further replies.

vmom

Member
Feb 15, 2008
130
Hi, all. I feel like my dd and I have a big decision to make. But, it is breaking our hearts to think of switching gyms. I need a sounding board. She loves her coaches and her friends at her current gym. They have had a strong compulsary and optional program. She made huge improvements last year. The problem is the gym is so crowded now that she is not getting very good practices anymore. She is in a 3000 sq ft building with team gym (boys and girls), rec gym, cheerleading, and tumbling classes. And our team is a large team-sixty or so. We have been promised a larger building for over a year now, but for one reason or another this has not come to pass. We have been told that they are moving the rec classes to another building soon. While I hope this alleviates some of the crowding, I'm afraid it won't solve the bigger problem. The cheerleading classes take over the floor (we only have one at the gym) and often the tumble track. The other night my daughter came home complaining that they did beam for three rotations because all the other apparatus were taken. Her tumbling coach is being pulled away to do rec classes, because they lost a rec coach. AND it has been so crowded that some girls have been hurt or had close calls.
Now if my daughter just had a casual interest in gymnastics, I wouldn't be so worried. But, my daughter wants to try for college gymnastics.So what do I do? I feel like my daughter will not have a great year if things continue this way. They can't practice complete floor routines or even leaps! She gained so much over the summer and it feels like it's going to be gone. And it's not like she has time to practice at home between 4hr/4days a week practice and school.
We have a couple of options. One gym has a great optional team, but not so great compulsary team (dd is lvl 6), due to different coaches. Dd did a camp there and loved it. She worked with the optional coaches and started to learn twisting! The other team has strong compulsary and optional teams. They keep their team small and you have to try out. I have heard they hold girls back too (don't know how true that is). They are also the team that lately has had the most gymnasts go on to college gymnastics.
Any suggestions? I hate to be the gym hopping mom. But I hate that we are BOTH unhappy with the current situation. She really doesn't want to leave her coaches and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. But, I want to give her a chance to achieve her goals. I am going to talk to the head coach too, but I have a feeling it's going to be the same old "things will be better soon". Sorry about the rant. But I guess I'm wondering-what would you do?
 
T

TeamDad

Guest
3,000 s.f. sounds small for that much going on at one time. I'd follow your instincts, they're usually right. Why not try out for the smaller gym that your DD did the camp in, it'll be alot easier to decide once you've been invited to join.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
I wish I had some advice. I've been trying to work up the nerve to switch gyms for a while. Love the coaches - not the owner. I even entertained the idea of opening a gym, but after running actual numbers and really thinking about it decided I don't need that headache either. Anyway - I would have your dd try a practice at both gyms to see which one she feels more comfortable at - and which one you are happier with to. Looking from the outside is a lot different from being there. Good luck.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
2,527
Country
USA
If the reply from the HC is the same story you've heard for awhile then contact both gyms and let your dd try a practice with each L6 team. See if you can find some time to watch at least their L7s practice since that will be her immediate goal.

Ask lots of questions at each gym from booster club to how much meet leos are. You don't want to make a change just to find out while the facility is bigger, it may have other problems/issues. I know you may feel "under the gun" about making a change since meet seasons are starting soon, but certainly weigh all the options pro and con.

Sounds like your present gym is just doing too many programs with too little space.
 

momof5

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2007
375
Hi I know right where you are at. We too are thinking of switching gyms and its tough on both myself and my dd. She has been there for 3 years and made lots of friends and had great experiences. We are both comforable there and know how it works. Diving into the unknown is scary for both of us. We are going to be running into people form the old gym a lot and what to leave these relationships on a good note. I would perhaps talk to the HC and try to get a date that these changes are going to be made. If she can't pinpoint a particular time it sounds like its not going to happen soon enough for your DD. It sounds like the first gym would be a great choice for your DD. She already knows some kids and coaches. If your DD is a L6 then she is almost out of the compulsaries and since she is looking to compete in college then a strong optional program is what you need. Good luck to you guys. I know for us the thought of switching has been very stressful.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
I agree with the others who posted--check out the other gyms. If college gymnastics is a goal of your dd's then you want to steer her in that direction. Definitely watch some practices, talk to parents and get a feel for the new gym. The gym you are at now, sounds like they are trying to cram too many activities in too small a space--not a good situation.

Good luck and go with your instincts.
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I would also say check out / try both other gyms. I would not want to risk injury or losing out on college gym.

We are with a small gym. 23 girls on team L3-8. I love the small gym atmosphere. The girls really pull for each other. All levels warm up together and then split up for class after warm-up and stretching.

The HC / Owner knows each girl personally. What skills they have, working on, struggling with. She asked each one their favorite song and made a CD w/ all of them - that is what they work out to each day. It is usually only the team practicing. They practice 4-7 (L3's are 4-6). The rec classes start at 6 pm sometimes 6:30. So they team is already on the equipment when the rec. classes begin. The rec kids will always start on floor w/ warm up and stretching. if they finish before the team is done they will go to whatever the team girls are not using.

Our gym is only about 4-5 yrs old but in the spring season we had 2 AA State Champs (were compulsary L5, and did Novice in the spring). The first meet (Judges Cup) of this season we had 1rst and 3rd AA for L4, and 2 first AA for L6.

I don't envy the decision you have to make, but I would try each gym out, watch a couple classes and ask lots of questions then make the best choice for DD and yourself.
 
M

msl529

Guest
We have switched gyms twice. Once, to provide DD with higher quality/more involved coaching, once because we moved to another State.

I can tell you that although it feels very painful, disloyal, and confusing to make the decision (I likened our first gym-switch to a divorce), you DO get through it and over it, much more quickly than you think!

If you do decide to do it, just know that there IS life at other gyms, your DD will make friends quickly, you will meet other parents that you like, and she will get used to her new coaches. People move around all the time, and although it FEELS like it, it's not the end of the world! :eek:

Good luck to you in your decision. Follow your heart and your motherly instincts. They are right 99.99% of the time! ;)
 
B

bpatient

Guest
Hi, Vmom--

You wrote: "I feel like my dd and I have a big decision to make.. . . Now if my daughter just had a casual interest in gymnastics, I wouldn't be so worried. But, my daughter wants to try for college gymnastics."

I'm trying to understand what you see as her path forward, and how that might influence your decision. You noted that some gyms "hold girls back", but additionally, perhaps generally, athletes often spend more than one year at a given level for a variety of reasons (for example, my rather uninformed impressions include that many girls repeat Level 8 because the L8 to L9 transition can be difficult; it seems that many girls repeat Level 9; and unfortunately injuries often delay progress, etc.); perhaps some parents or coaches on this board may have accurate information on these topics. Unless your 8th grader also competes at Level 7 this winter following a Fall season at Level 6 (that's common here), it might be difficult for her to reach Level 10 before she graduates: She'd have to move up one level each year--and that allows no margin for error, no injuries, and no coaching decisions to have her repeat a level. Of course, even reaching Level 10 by the time she's a high school junior or senior isn't sufficient: only about half of the age-eligible (elites and) Level 10 athletes go on to compete in college. Because you indicated that the possibility of competing in the NCAA could influence your decision, you should discuss these issues with the coaches at the various gyms you're considering, especially what proportion of motivated 8th grade Level 6 athletes they've successfully graduated to the NCAA, and how they think that they can help your daughter to realize her dream.
 

vmom

Member
Feb 15, 2008
130
Hi, Vmom--

You wrote: "I feel like my dd and I have a big decision to make.. . . Now if my daughter just had a casual interest in gymnastics, I wouldn't be so worried. But, my daughter wants to try for college gymnastics."

I'm trying to understand what you see as her path forward, and how that might influence your decision. You noted that some gyms "hold girls back", but additionally, perhaps generally, athletes often spend more than one year at a given level for a variety of reasons (for example, my rather uninformed impressions include that many girls repeat Level 8 because the L8 to L9 transition can be difficult; it seems that many girls repeat Level 9; and unfortunately injuries often delay progress, etc.); perhaps some parents or coaches on this board may have accurate information on these topics. Unless your 8th grader also competes at Level 7 this winter following a Fall season at Level 6 (that's common here), it might be difficult for her to reach Level 10 before she graduates: She'd have to move up one level each year--and that allows no margin for error, no injuries, and no coaching decisions to have her repeat a level. Of course, even reaching Level 10 by the time she's a high school junior or senior isn't sufficient: only about half of the age-eligible (elites and) Level 10 athletes go on to compete in college. Because you indicated that the possibility of competing in the NCAA could influence your decision, you should discuss these issues with the coaches at the various gyms you're considering, especially what proportion of motivated 8th grade Level 6 athletes they've successfully graduated to the NCAA, and how they think that they can help your daughter to realize her dream.
Oh, yes. I totally understand that this is an uphill battle. She started gymnastics late and in a very rural area. And we have had the discussion that it likely may not happen. And I know a lot can happen between now and then (like she could decide to quit or get hurt etc...) I just want to give her a chance to try for her goal. To me whether or not she actually achieves the goal is not the important thing, but that she feels good about her effort. I hope that makes sense. This is a kid that loves this sport and is getting frustrated about not getting as much out of practices as she can.
 

LemonLime

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 16, 2007
776
Do either of the two gyms you are considering have gymnasts who have gone on to the NCAA recently?
 
F

flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Oh, yes. I totally understand that this is an uphill battle. She started gymnastics late and in a very rural area. And we have had the discussion that it likely may not happen. And I know a lot can happen between now and then (like she could decide to quit or get hurt etc...) I just want to give her a chance to try for her goal. To me whether or not she actually achieves the goal is not the important thing, but that she feels good about her effort. I hope that makes sense. This is a kid that loves this sport and is getting frustrated about not getting as much out of practices as she can.

I agree with you. Whether or not she can actually achieve her dream does not matter as much as being given the chance too. So many girls are over looked since they are too old, too tall, not as natural as some others, etc. Will they all be elite gymnasts or college gymnasts - absolutely not - but that is ok. They should however be given the chance to reach THEIR full potential whatever that may be - and of course a few will always beat the odds.
 
B

bpatient

Guest
Whether or not she can actually achieve her dream does not matter as much as being given the chance. . . . They should however be given the chance to reach THEIR full potential whatever that may be - and of course a few will always beat the odds.


I cannot disagree, but I admit to having a somewhat different reaction to vmom's original post, for the reasons discussed below. Little girl dreams inevitably give way to more mature dreams that are quite inaccessible to children: Some of the 17,000 athletes in this year's crop of Level 4s undoubtedly dream of Olympic glory or perhaps--like Vmom's dd--of collegiate gymanstics, but I'd be surprised if (m)any of these kids dream of becoming, say, pediatric cardiologists, chemical engineers, or of starting a business. At some point, we move beyond childhood dreams. Dvmom's post raised the always-poignant question: "when?"

It seems likely that the coaches at the various gyms can suggest the answer. I haven't read enough of vmom's posts to understand if her daughter might be a Level 6 with Level 9 skills, or if she is now (as my daughter was) really a Level 6 with Level 6 skills. Vmom seems to be well aware that if it's more like the latter case grabbing the NCAA's brass ring will be rather difficult. One gym, she wrote, may "hold girls back", which makes it hard to understand how her 8th grader might charge through the levels that girls at that gym regularly repeat in time to jump to the NCAA. Her daughter had a great time and learned some new skills at a camp at a second gym, but that's hardly an indication that her child would progress more quickly there: that is, after all, pretty much what you'd expect at a camp. Finally, the third option seems to be to remain where "she loves her coaches and her friends."

Honestly, it's that last aspect of gymnastics that I value the most. My child has wonderfully compassionate coaches, and she's surrounded for hours each week by genuinely nice kids that help her to grow in just the ways that I appreciate. I could take her to one of the nations top gyms (well, at least according to meetscoresonline; there are undoubtedly caring coachs and nice kids there, too) with a still-reasonable drive, but that would take her away from the environment where she has thrived. I'm not going to mess success.

It's too early to tell if my sixth-grader will want to chase the NCAA dream, but if she stays healthy she'll have 5 or 6 years at Level 10 before she leaves high school, and perhaps a more straightforward path to collegiate gymnastics than vmom's eighth-grader can see. However, like vmom's daughter and all our daughters, my child will be an ex-gymnast soon, and MY dreams involve looking well beyond her brief gymnastics career. During her gymnastics training, dd will spend more hours with her coaches than with any adults except those in her immediate family. The way I see it, good coaches--great coaches--do more to help children than just to train their gymnastics skills. My kid's coaches are great. She loves them. I wouldn't want her to leave them to chase what could well be a charming but unrealistic childhood dream because I know that she'll have bigger dreams some day, and that her coaches and the environment they foster at her little gym will help her to achieve them. They way that I understand it from vmom's brief posts, unless the coaches at one of the other gyms very enthusiastically lay out a realistic road map to the NCAA after evaluating her skills, keeping the child with the coaches she loves could be a good option.
 

vmom

Member
Feb 15, 2008
130
Hi, guys! I'll answer some questions.
Lemon-Lime, the gym with the strong compulsary and optional program (gym 2) has had several go on to NCAA gymnastics. Their HC helps coach the local college team. Gym 1 has had a period of time in which they have not had any that I know of. However, having watched some of their practices and meets, their level 9 and 10 gymnasts are doing skills way beyond what the level 9s at the current gym have.
RBW, please do not feel that I am offended by your posts. I appreciate them and you have valid points. I guess I should say dd's BIG dream is making it to college level gymnastics. She has even said she would be happy just making it to level 9 or 10, whether or not she actually makes a college team. Her immediate goal is to have a decent year at level 6 and make it to optionals. Her coaches did talk about skipping her up to level 7, but I did not force the issue. I thought it would be better for her to have a good year at 6 while training up for 7. As for life outside of gymnastics, she wants to be an architect! She is still at the same gym, but is very unhappy, despite liking her coaches. I am researching options, but it may be too late in the season. If so, she says she'll make the best of what she has now and we'll keep an open mind for next season. Thabks guys!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.