Are the parents in your gym close?

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Claire

Member
Jun 12, 2009
55
I was just wondering if you consider the parents at your gym close? I have noticed at meets that some other gym's parents seem really close and cheer their gymnasts on together. Our gym parents seem to get along, but are not really close. We don't sit together at meets. Sometimes, parents who know each other sit together, but not as a team. For those of you whose parents are close, is there anything you think your gym does to encourage this. Is there anything our gym could do to encourage parents to get to know each other better?
 
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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I think the parents at our gym are pretty close, for the most part. We sit together at meets, in our matching shirts : ) and cheer all the girls on. There area couple that sit apart from the rest but sometimes they sit with us too.

We have a very small team (18 total levels 3-8) and I think that makes a difference. I have not been able to watch as many of the other level girls ( my DD is L4 and had her first meet last weekend) as I would like because my DH and DS don'thave an interest in staying for other sessions and we normally take one car. We only have 4 level 4's and each ones parents cheer for the others.

If you have a large team maybe you could try getting the parents of your DD's level together to see if there is an interest in getting matching tees to wear or go out to lunch of dinner after the meet, we do that sometimes too.

Because we are small the entire team warms up together then splits up by level, but they all stop to watch and cheer if someone is close to or gets a new skill, they are all very supportive of each other and the parents seem the same. Parents will high 5 & hug other kids who get a trick or are frustrated and upset.

With a couple exceptions everyone supports and cares for every kid on the team. We have lots of siblings too, not sure if that makes a difference.
 

Claire

Member
Jun 12, 2009
55
We do have a very large team. I'm sure that is part of the problem. We also have girls from different groups competing at the same level, so the girls and parents don't really know each other. For instance, my daughter is competing level 4 this year. Her group is level 4, but she will also compete with girls from another group who were training level 5, but are repeating level 4. She doesn't really know these other girls at all. Last year, she competed prep silver with girls from 3 different groups within our gym. But I still think there might be ways for parents to get to know each other. I think it is healthy for the gym. Sometimes, I think gym owners and coaches might be afraid for parents to become too friendly because they start complaining about things or comparing treatment of their gymnasts, but I think that it is good for parents, gymnasts, and the gym as a whole. When parents are friends, it is a lot harder to make snide comments about each other's kids or be jealous about other kids' achievments. I also wonder if it makes it harder to jump to another gym, when you have such a great support system. This website is such an awesome support group for parents; why can't that also happen at individual gyms?
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
16,710
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Canada
It certainly is a challenge. At our gym we have girls training in different groups who compete together so often the parents, and maybe even the girls do not know each other that well. I think it really takes one friendly parent to pull it all together. We also have a language issue, most parents here speak only French and I am very British! I keep trying though as I think that team spirit amongst the parents is as important as that amongst the kids.

Do you have a parents meeting at the beginning of the year? It does give a chance for the parents to meet each other, but it also gives you a chnce to talk about team spirit and how you know the teams that do the best have the best supporters. I know our parents will cheer for girls from other clubs when they do a good routine, we often meet the same girls year after year. Good sportsmanship is very important in gym and if it encouraged in the gym it can carry on at home. Ask the parents to sit together, tell then they can make a poster to support the TEAM (not just their child), we find the younger siblings love to hang about and make posters during the meets to wave.

Some parents are just stand offish and too concerned about their child and they are hard to fix, but if the majority can be encouraged it will change the overall spirit.

My oldest trains in our highest group, but due to her ongoing (read never ending) injury woes she will compete with 4 girls from another group.

One of the reason s that this place works so well is that we all can share our different experiences and support and advise without being enmeshed. The perfect gym experience really.
 

canadiangymmom

Active Member
Jun 26, 2006
566
Ontario, Canada
I had to really think hard in order to answer this. I don't know! With the exception of 1 meet, just this past May, Bean has never had another child her age and level, or even a different age and level, competing at the same time. So there haven't been any other parents to join me, and no other kids to cheer on!

At the meet in May, when all the level 6-9's competed in the same flight, I had to sit alone in a "handicapped seating" area because I was on crutches and the main seating was upstairs! I know I could hear everyone cheering for each child, and my kids and I cheered for the whole team, but I don't know how close any of the parents are.
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
At our gym, parents tend to cling to each other in cliques. The closeness depends on the level (the lower the level the more divided) and the seniority at a certain level in the case of upper levels. And, parents from different levels typically aren't close at all.
 

NotAMom

Active Member
May 27, 2009
894
Region 6 (Northeast)
One of the reason s that this place works so well is that we all can share our different experiences and support and advise without being enmeshed. The perfect gym experience really.
I couldn't have said it better. There is no way I can get the same "bond" and can share the same experience with the entire community back at the gym. I hate to sound negative but my experience tells me gymnastics is a very possessive sport for everyone involved.
 
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gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
From what I am reading I think the size of the gym may make it easier or harder for the parents to be close. Since we are so small, all the team girls train together at the same time. The higher the level the more days you go, but always at the same time.

They split into levels after warm- ups and then are back together for conditioning or tumbling depending on the day.

Don't get me wrong, there are occasional issues but for the most part it's like an extended family.

We try to have a Booster Club meeting once a month. We also have had team picnics where we all get together outside the gym. We have all gone to a local water park together etc.

Again, this works for us because we are small. If you are at a large gym where your DD might actually compete with girls she doesn't practice with I would talk to the HC or owner to see if it is ok to arrange meetings or outings by level, that way you could get to know each other.

I think it makes a difference
 
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cathiann

Guest
I think so--some get together on their own and go out, etc. We always sit together as a team--so much more fun that way! I will definitely miss them once Beth is done (hopefully when she graduates--not having quit before that!). This is my social circle now too. I know I sound hopelessly idealistic, but our gym really does have great parents--the Optional kids and parents frequently go to watch the other levels compete too--and we all sit together (as much as we can) when that happens too.
 

Granny Smith

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 21, 2007
1,444
Country
USA
It seems that there are groups/cliques of parents at our gym. I know I have my few good friends that my dd has seems to rise through the ranks with and we always sit together. I am very nice to the other parents, but I don't feel it is always necessary to sit with them. We do cheer on the whole team when they are up though and support all the girls during the meets. ;)
 

Ingwe

Active Member
Proud Parent
Apr 14, 2009
760
Region 8
At our gym, parents tend to cling to each other in cliques. The closeness depends on the level (the lower the level the more divided) and the seniority at a certain level in the case of upper levels. And, parents from different levels typically aren't close at all.

This is our gym to a tee!
 

pixie flips

Member
Sep 30, 2008
384
Region 3
I feel bad for the girls at Pixie's gym because the parents just don't cheer. You can't even hear them cheer for their own girls all that much. All the gyms that our girls compete against have *HUGE* cheering sections some with matching shirts and they cheer for all their girls. So, all you hear is yelling, cheering, clapping after all the other girls have done their routines and when our girls finish you hear crickets along with the courtesy clap. It's really embarrassing. Even at the meet our gym hosts, our parents are out cheered.

I'll clap like mad and yell "way to go _____!!" or "good job _____!!". Just so our girls know that they are appreciated. I often feel like a giant goof because everybody stares at me when I do it....because it's just me doing it.

Along with the courtesy clap, the girls do cheer for each other, when it comes to awards, so that is good. It sounds like there are more cheering for their accomplishments then.

I just wish we had more of a cheering section in the stands. I'm all for wearing matching gym colors t-shirts. I may even get one with gym colors and put Pixie's name on it and wear it by myself, lol.

I always thought it was because the other gyms were the bigger gyms but from what many of you are saying that isn't really the deciding factor. Maybe it will get better as Pixie advances to other levels?
 
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Flippers Mom

Member
Jul 20, 2009
200
Region 3
We just changed gyms in May. At Flippers old gym where there were only 6 girls on team, we were all very close at the lower levels. As Flipper moved up and left the other girls behind, none of them competed at the same time nor made the effort to come cheer her on. At her new gym, there are a couple of families with kids at her level and age that have made a concerted effort to make her feel welcome and even invite her over to their homes. We haven't actually competed for the new gym. It will certainly take some time to feel as close to this group as we did at the other gym where we had known the other families for years, I am encouraged that a couple of the families are making a huge effort to include us (partly because without Flipper, one of these girls would be competing alone this year, too!). We used to compete against this gym and I believe the families sat together and cheered for everybody.
 
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Midget's Dad

Guest
Our gym seems to be a mix, we have a group of parents that all get along that spans all the levels. But then there are a few smaller groups outside of that larger one.

That said, several of the parents are really good at dragging newer parents into the big group.

We do sit together at meets, moving en masse sometimes to be closer to whatever apparatus the girls are on at the larger ones.
 
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nettyinpa

Guest
I would have to say that we all get along very well. All of the girls currently on the team have been together for 4-5 years. I think the level 7's ahead of us are the same way. I can remember them as level 4's, all wearing team t-shirts to meets, making posters, etc. We try to sit together at meets though some parents prefer to sit away from the main group, maybe just to focus on their dd and not hear everyone else. We carpool to meets, too, and also have a lot of parties throughout the year.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
Everybody seems to get along well at my daughters gym. I think because it is small and the team practices together. They all seem to cheer each others kids. I have not run into any competitive parents that act like their kid is better than yours.
 

gymfan4ever95

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Mar 29, 2009
635
North Carolina
Country
USA
I think our parents are pretty close. We have 3 mom's that stay at the gym during almost the WHOLE practice and they take turns playing with my coaches little kids (ages 5 a 15 months). Those three are also very supportive of ALL the gymnasts, not just their kids. Whenever I get a new skill, like, TONS of parents saw and they all congradulate me, and i really like it. My mom isn't at the gym a lot, but her and all the other moms with a exception of a few, get along really well and sit together at meets. They cheer us all on and it makes us feel special to have more than just one or two people cheering for us! But yes, we also have a very small team (about 16 girls).

Our gym doesn't really do anything to encourage this. I think just all of our team parents are very respectful and nice to everyone, and our coaches didn't do anything to encourage it (that I know of)!
 

T.Gymnastics

Member
May 26, 2009
316
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I would say the parent are pretty close, the usually sit together, and if a parent wants to watch their child someone else will video for them, we all like to go out to eat afterwards and the parents all sit together. i also feel like my coach last year was pretty close to us and our parents included her in thier circle too. You can always hear my dad cheering the loudest for eveyone haha and then the other parents join in. and congratulate you after the meet!

Oh and also i think part of that is that my teammates and i are all suuuuuuuper close i am over somone from the gyms house (or they are at mine) way more often than my school friends, and way more parties =] i think that may have kind of made the parents closer.
 
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jls1969

Member
Sep 27, 2007
105
For the most part our team gets along. There are a couple who act like they support everyone, but will not behave nicely if their child scores lower than someone else's. We do not all sit together and I normally do not wear a shirt with our gym's logo on it. I love cheering for all of the girls---they have worked so hard and they all look so great doing their routines--for me it is easier this way. I tell my dd gymnastics is a competition with herself---every meet she should try and score a little bit higher in at least one event. This makes it less competitive for us and therefore it is easier on the relationships :)
 

gymjourneymom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 9, 2008
1,331
Country
USA
In general the parents at our gym all get along. There are a couple of over bearing types, that the rest of us just roll our eyes at. But we do all manage to pull it together & be supportive of all the girls, no matter how obnoxious their parents are,LOL! Some parents are better friends than others. I have 2 VERY close friends that I think I will always be friends with, even when our girls are done with this sport. But even in my friendships with them, I can't talk about some of the things I talk about on here. My friendship with them...they are like sisters to me...and we do have some minor 'sibling rivalry' issues. Always good to have an outside the loop, open minded perspective & I get some many goods ones on here! Everyone here has a new fresh perpective to bring to the table!
 
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