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Bar help for Club

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gym monkeys mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2007
569
I orginally posted this in the parent froum but i would like parents and coach opinions.This is a tough post for me but, here it goes anyways. My dd has been with her club since she started on team she is currently a L7 doing well except for bars. Our club is owned by 2 brothers one takes care of the boys program one the girls. Our boys program is strong and sucessful. Our girls do fine but, we have problems retaining upper level girls and coaches. I really believe in the owners and thier philosophy about gymnastics. However, our girls team is having problems at most levels with bars this is the area one of the owners coaches. Any suggestions about how to approach the owners about the need to have additional coaching help on bars (ie: the other owner coach for awhile). I realize it would be easier to walk away and find a new club. I however, dont feel like that is the answer. We also are having a problem attractiong another qualified girls team coach. Please help my daughter loves her club and we just would like to see it thrive. We recently in our area have had 3 new clubs open.:confused:
 

gmom46

New Member
Mar 5, 2008
23
I hope you get an answer, because quite frankly our team is weakest on bars all the way across the board at all levels. My dd is a Level 8 and still struggles w/giants and has not been taught release moves, etc. etc. I would love to have a great bars coach. Our coaches are good, but something must be missing if none of our girls, at any level, really have strong bar skills.

I will be interested to see who replies to you with some suggestions. Perhaps I can use them too! Good luck!
 

Scout's Mom

Member
Oct 2, 2007
89
Texas
That's a tough one! It's not unusual to see a gym be weak on one event. The question is: Do the owners see it and want to correct it?

We lived this one--our previous gym was very weak on bars. The head coach always blamed the low scores on the girls, not on coaching. They could slide by through Level 7--but only the most naturally talented gymnasts could master Level 8 bars. No one could ever do Level 9 bars.

My daughter did privates at another gym on the sly for a while. It became obvious that if she wanted to progress, my daughter would have to change gyms.

I'm now kicking myself that I didn't come to this conclusion sooner. My daughter has spent more than a year overcoming bad habits caused by inadequate coaching. As a level 9, she has had to relearn from her kip on up. It has been a real challenge.

All that being said, no gym is perfect; and you could be trading one problem for another......so I completely understand your hesitation to switch.

Good luck!
 

gmom46

New Member
Mar 5, 2008
23
Funny...but it almost sounds like our gym! We could slide by with decent level 7 scores, but once in level 8....low score! We only have 3 level 8's, but its rare they are even out the 7's! (my duaghter gets a low 7 at best, and last USAG meet was a 6.8). No giants, no releases, and a weak handstand pirouet (spelling?). Even our girls who DO giants sometimes score less than mine w/o giants (my dd's form is better).

It is frustrating, and it can't be all the girls fault if none of them score well. The coaches need to take some (if not all) responsibility.
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
Gym Monkey Mom,

tough situation, I wish I had an easy answer.

Do you have one on one meetings with your coaches/owners ever? Have you talked to him? Maybe opening lines of communication they will see that there is a problem. I hve found one the best way to ask my DD's coach, something like that is to start off the conversation:
  • "Have you ever thought of....? or .. I am sure you have thought of this but...
I think they may take the idea better that way.

Let me know if it works out! I know you are only trying to help your club!
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Funny...but it almost sounds like our gym! We could slide by with decent level 7 scores, but once in level 8....low score! We only have 3 level 8's, but its rare they are even out the 7's! (my duaghter gets a low 7 at best, and last USAG meet was a 6.8). No giants, no releases, and a weak handstand pirouet (spelling?). Even our girls who DO giants sometimes score less than mine w/o giants (my dd's form is better).

It is frustrating, and it can't be all the girls fault if none of them score well. The coaches need to take some (if not all) responsibility.
Sadly, the reason athletes in this situation can't score at Level 8 is because they weren't ready to move to Level 7 in the first place. Clubs with strong bars, almost without exception, require a cast handstand and giants in order to compete Level 7.

I'm sure all involved were so happy and excited to move to Level 7, and now there are consequences.

This is what happens when coaches are "nice" and move kids up before they are ready, instead of letting them become comfortable and sucessful at their current level. Impatient parents like to call that "holding kids back."

A coach can never win. Any complaint now is actually a slap in the coaches' face after moving the kids to Level 7, before they were ready.

Maybe asking the coach for extra bar time, or bar clinics with a judge or National Staff member would be more helpful than just complaining...after all, I'm sure the kids and parents wanted to do Level 8...and now they are Level 8s!
 

Gymmonkeymomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
Country
USA
S adly, the reason athletes in this situation can't score at Level 8 is because they weren't ready to move to Level 7 in the first place. Clubs with strong bars, almost without exception, require a cast handstand and giants in order to compete Level 7.

......


Maybe asking the coach for extra bar time, or bar clinics with a judge or National Staff member would be more helpful than just complaining...after all, I'm sure the kids and parents wanted to do Level 8...and now they are Level 8s!

At our club, NONE of the level 7's had cast handstands or giants when they moved up to 7, and only ONE of the current 7's recently started doing giants. Our L8's didn't have them either, when they moved up.

However, I have to disagree with the kids/parents WANTING to move to 8 before they are ready. I know at least one of our 8's did not want to move up and the coach pushed the issue to move her from 7 right into 8 within a month of Level 7 States. I also know that my DD and her 3 L7 teammates all WANT to stay at L7 for at least another year! BTW, asking for bar time (during practice or privates) for over a year has not gotten us anywhere!!!
 

Scout's Mom

Member
Oct 2, 2007
89
Texas
Sadly, the reason athletes in this situation can't score at Level 8 is because they weren't ready to move to Level 7 in the first place. Clubs with strong bars, almost without exception, require a cast handstand and giants in order to compete Level 7.

I'm sure all involved were so happy and excited to move to Level 7, and now there are consequences.

This is what happens when coaches are "nice" and move kids up before they are ready, instead of letting them become comfortable and sucessful at their current level. Impatient parents like to call that "holding kids back."

A coach can never win. Any complaint now is actually a slap in the coaches' face after moving the kids to Level 7, before they were ready.

Maybe asking the coach for extra bar time, or bar clinics with a judge or National Staff member would be more helpful than just complaining...after all, I'm sure the kids and parents wanted to do Level 8...and now they are Level 8s!
This is true--but a little simplistic. Yes, the girls were moved up before they were ready. But why weren't they ready? Most girls who are well coached, well conditioned, and who work hard will have that cast handstand by the time they reach level 7. At our current gym, the cast handstand is worked from Level 4 (not that they "have" it--but it is worked everyday) on up.

So without the proper conditions (whatever they are), a gym ends up with girls who have done X number of years of compulsories and are bored and parents who have paid lots of money and expect progress. Yes, there are those people who are focused on the "Number" and will push the coaches to promote to Level "X". But if the vast majority of gymnasts are weak in a certain area--the coaches really need to see what is not working on their end.

What are other's experiences with this?
 

gmom46

New Member
Mar 5, 2008
23
FYI, my dd is a gymnast who was moved from level 7 to level 8 within about 2 weeks of Level 7 states last year (completing only 1 year of level 7). The coach wanted to "see how she would do" at level 8, knowing full well that she did not have all her skills (giants, releases, etc.). For some reason he uses my dd as a "test case." And, it seems, she gets burned a bit for that.

My dd happens (thankfully) to be a gymnast who has natural good form, and thus still scores decently on beam and floor, and can vault pretty good...so only bars is her true weakness. So, she was able (last year) to qualify for sectionals in her first level 8 meet, and did make states in the first sectional...all w/o doing giants.

Please note that I did not request at any time to have my duaghter move up to level 8, nor did she want it. I personally feel it was the biggest mistake in her gymnastic career. She has since become stressed over competing, and getting the required skills. I think she would have made a very good second year Level 7 (if she repeated). Instead, she is a weak 8 (even this year).

I appreciate the response by lannamavity. Being a coach, I'm sure you were looking to give me the coaches point of view. I felt, however, that a reply from me was in order to set the record straight, and see a parents point of view. We are taught (at our gym) not to question the coaches decision. So, I did not think it was my place to quesiton him moving my daughter up a level in the same year. But, what's done is done, and she can't go backwards. She is starting to get her confidence back a little bit, but it is a slow process.

And, another FYI, our coach does not really believe in "private lessons"....so that is virtually not an option. I have also suggested bringing in a bar coach, etc. I say what I can without stepping on toes. But, in response to lannamivity, I don't think the coach was being "nice", nor was I being an impatient parent. Please also note that I don't think her coach was being mean to her. I truly believe he cares about her. He just expects alot from her and perhaps was trying to push her. But, there is a breaking point for children...she was 11 when this all happend, and it just wasn't the right move (for her).

Thanks again for your input. I'm sure there are indeed parents who want their child pushed up, but I am not one of them. And, I'm also sure there are "nice" coaches who just move them up to keep the parents happy. Good luck to them all.

I keep my fingers crossed for my daughters future improvement. I have faith in her that she will perservere.
 

ZJsMom

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Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
May 11, 2007
998
Pacific NW
Country
USA
This is true--but a little simplistic. Yes, the girls were moved up before they were ready. But why weren't they ready? Most girls who are well coached, well conditioned, and who work hard will have that cast handstand by the time they reach level 7.
I think Scout's Mom hit the nail on the head here. If one kid's not ready, look at the kid, but if everyone in the gym's not ready you have to look at the coaching and figure out what's missing. If everyone on this team is struggling with one event, which seems to be the case, there does seem to be a need to try something new.

I also think Scout's Mom was right to mention conditioning. This occurred to me too. Bars is really the one event where you'll see lack of conditioning the most. Is it possible that the problem here is insufficient conditioning?
 

gym monkeys mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2007
569
Thanks parents for all the good info. I had not considered it before, because I am a parent not a coach but I do believe our conditioning program could use tweeking. I will say in defense of our club and its parents we are not pushing to have girls moved and being number one is not the goal. I want a happy well adjusted girl who has personal goals for gymnastics and is happy meeting them. This may sound odd and don't get me wrong I love to see my dd on the medal stand but, when she is not that is okay also if she has done her best. Thanks again for some ideas some of which are very strongly conveyed.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
If the parents and athletes truly did not push for the move, then there is a real cause for concern...and the situation is much more unusual than the scenario I suggested.

Did the coach discuss the fact that the girls were behind on bars, but they would move up regardless? Was there a plan to deal with this in place? Were the kids given the option to repeat? Is there a gym in the area causing pressure on the coaches to push the kids though the levels in hopes of mainaining the program?

It sounds like there needs to be communication and a plan put in place to deal with this.

I still think that going to the coach in the spirit of helping would be the best bet. If that doesn't work, then it may be time for a change. Moving kids to higher levels knowing that they are at a disadvantage isn't keeping the gymnasts' interest in mind.
 
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gmom46

New Member
Mar 5, 2008
23
In my daughters case, as i stated in other email, I did not push for the move up, nor did she want it. There was not option to stay as a level 7. And, yes, he knew her bar skills were lacking. My daughter is one of his longer standing girls on the team. He really does care about her, but I think he does indeed use her as a test case to see "what if". He does feel that she has the capability, and quite frankly, she does. Her problem is some fear issues that are holding her back. It was a bad call on his part, at least in my opinion. But, my daugther is getting by. And, she is working to get all her skills. She will just be an 8 for a few years. My fear was her confidence in herself. But, I am handling that as her parent.

Its too last to discuss w/the coach about the move from 7 to 8, since that was last year. But, I think they now know that was an error (one of the other coaches mentioned that to me, and I said I already KNOW that!).

As far as bars, she knows what she needs to do, and we are working on it. He obviously is aware that her skills are not quite what they should be.

Looking for another gym is always a possibility, and never too far from the thoughts. But, my daughter loves it here....its her home....its what she know....i have left that decision up to her....for now.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
Country
USA
Did the coach discuss the fact that the girls were behind on bars, but they would move up regardless? Was there a plan to deal with this in place? Were the kids given the option to repeat? Is there a gym in the area causing pressure on the coaches to push the kids though the levels in hopes of mainaining the program?

It sounds like there needs to be communication and a plan put in place to deal with this.
As a whole, my DDs' team is weak on bars. They all move up without having all their skills in place.

I think you hit the nail on the head about COMMUNICATION, which is a sensitive issue around our gym. Quite often, parents are seen as overstepping our bounds if we ask too many questions, sit and watch practices, etc. My older DD started Level 7 without a good clear hip. My younger DD trained a full year on L5 skills and the few times I did dare to ask about her progress, I was told "she'll do fine". Obviously, that was not the case when I saw her w/o her jump to high bar, meet after meet. It wasn't until this week when I finally approached the coach with some specific concerns and suggestions (thanks to the coaches/parents here who responded to my Level 5 help thread) that something is being done. Did the coach not realize that after a year, this kid STILL could not consistently jump to the high bar? She is making progress even after only a few days because someone is now taking the time to work with her on HER needs, not just the needs of the entire group she trains with (small L5s and L4s).
 
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