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Changing gyms

Gymmamabear

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Mar 11, 2013
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How do you convince your child to leave a gym that is no longer working for them? Due to coaching changes the current gym is not working at all, the girls are actually regressing. No change is being made to coaching. My daughter however does not want to leave because of her friends. Despite complaining about going to practice or not wanting to go at all. Girls are getting hurt, she can't get new skills, last years skills have been lost, but she refuses to leave. I think she is afraid of change. How does a parent gently encourage a child to give something new a try? She is not by any means happy at her current gym. Teenager, high level, so she has a mind of her own, not a child that can easily be swayed. Or is this a decision she has to make herself?
 

txgymfan

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Girls are getting hurt, ...... Or is this a decision she has to make herself?

This is the most important part of your post. Athletes are getting hurt due o ineffective coaches, therefore we are done with this gym.

When it’s a safety issue you must make the decision as a parent. Either she can change gyms or pick a new activity.

Gymnastics is a dangerous sport when everything is done correctly. Never ever stay at a dangerous gym.
 

GymDadWA

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If it is a friends thing maybe she could do a trial at another gym with a friend, if they both like it they could switch together. There would obviously have to be some behind the scenes communication with the other family on this and some discreetness.
 
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flippin out

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Sep 26, 2011
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This is the most important part of your post. Athletes are getting hurt due o ineffective coaches, therefore we are done with this gym.

When it’s a safety issue you must make the decision as a parent. Either she can change gyms or pick a new activity.

Gymnastics is a dangerous sport when everything is done correctly. Never ever stay at a dangerous gym.
Exactly this!
 

bookworm

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I always made the decisions to switch gyms when I saw it wasn’t working as I was the one paying for it. My oldest wasn’t happy at first when she moved but was on board once she got to the new gym and started getting effective coaching and new and better skills. They keep in Touch with their old friends via text etc and some even changed gyms too
 

gymnastmom05

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We went through a gym change recently. It was pretty gut wrenching (it had been the only gym my daughter had been at since she was 5 - she was 13 when the change occurred). Due to sudden changes at the previous gym and really a feeling of us (parent and gymnast) having more commitment to the gym/team than the owner, it was time if my DD wanted to continue spending all of her free time (and all of our money) to do gymnastics. She wasn't 100% on board with the idea but we pretty much left her with no choice. Fast forward 5.5 months and she tells us all the time how much better her new gym is, how she's a much better gymnast and her future goals look more realistic because of the gym change. It was hard. She cried, I cried, her old teammates cried but it has worked out. A higher level, teenager deserves safe, trained and committed coaches/owners. They sacrifice too much for anything less.
 

OrchidZ

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May 4, 2018
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There are rules to continue gymnastics - or at least should be. One of those rules is, "Gymnasts must be taught in a way that minimizes the potential for injury and keeps them learning." We're not trying to bubble wrap them, of course, but they should be training in a way to minimize injury. She's not progressing. Regressing. Kids getting hurt. Those break the rules. 3 times over.

Convincing isn't necessary. Time for GymMamaBear to live up to her name. "Train well or be done. If you can't train well here and don't want to quit, you will move." The end. She may be the first or one of the first to leave, but she won't be the last.

Here's the BTDT. I wanted my gymmie to be the one to make the choice. I thought it would be empowering. I had people telling me, "Yes, but there comes a point where you have to be the parent. They don't always know what's best for them." Those people were right. I knew better. I waited until my girl was ready. It was a mistake. She had several injuries that cost her a year, and then catching up took another year on top of that. It's not worth it.

In your girl's case, it's pretty straightforward. High level competitive gym isn't a social event. If it's unsafe or not helping her grow as an athlete, it's no longer the right place to be. Delaying it risks injury and makes it harder when she does finally make a change.

They sacrifice too much for anything less.
Nail on the head there.
 

ldw4mlo

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Based on the information you gave...... if it were my kid.... I’d give her 2 choices

A different gym (and she could have a say) or be done with gym.

Her choice.

This is parenting. If she could make these kind of decisions on her own. She could of moved out at like 10.
 

momnipotent

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Apr 5, 2012
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I agree-it’s not safe and it’s a waste of money. The choice my children would have to make would be to change gyms or retire and pick another sport because I’m not paying for upper level optional money for unsafe and ineffective coaching or for them to hang out with friends.
 

ausnat83

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If there's a safety issue, it's no longer a decision to be made by consensus. This is why kids and teens have parents.

Her feelings about it are not invalid - be willing to listen to her, acknowledge that leaving friends and a place we're accustomed to is difficult, and even that you struggled with the decision because you understand she enjoys being with her friends and that change can be scary. Explain your reasoning - it came down to safety, and that's an area where you have final say and responsibility. Lay out her options (a new activity sport - maybe even have some concrete suggestions, or a new gym) and give her some time to think that over if she needs it. You can empower her in the long-run by modeling rational, responsible decision making without dismissing her feelings, and teaching her that leaving an unsafe or detrimental situation can be difficult and scary and still be the right thing to do.
 

M2Abi

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I had to make the decision to switch gyms for my daughter. It wasn't unsafe, but she was regressing rather than progressing. I was unwilling to spend large amounts of money for her to hang with her friends. She wasn't happy about it and made the decision to quit gymnastics rather than switch. 6 months later she was willing to try another gym.
 

gymmom10

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Dec 16, 2012
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I also think the decision is simply too huge and scary for a child (teen) to feel comfortable making themselves. Fear of the unknown. Years ago I waited for my daughter to come around and I finally made the decision myself. I think she was actually a little relieved when I told her that we were switching and calmly listed the reasons and told her the exact plan that was in place for transition. I also felt that there are times when you just have to be the parent and this was one of them. Good luck.
 

John

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I switched my daughter. She was sad about leaving good friends but happy about the chance for better gymnastics. If your daughter loves gymnastics she will be good with the change after it happens. Either way, she will be safe and moving into her new future.
 

InbarSquirrel

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Jan 28, 2013
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Glad to hear Gymmamabear that you will consider the gym switch.

I waited for my L9DD to make the decision this past Spring; looking back she wished I would have pulled her out sooner. It was hard with being 11yrs at the time to have a voice while wanting to please the previous coaches. Deep down she felt depressed, stressed, zero confidence...

She is at a gym now that trains completely differently than the previous as in no rope climb punishments/threats instead she's given positive feedback and drills for skills she struggles with. My DD now 12 has fallen back in love with gymnastics and embraces the environment she is at today.
 

rosettasmom

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My daughter had a gym change for similar reasons. One of my referees was not making the decision sooner. She ultimately decided in our case, but even she wishes I would have done it for her.
 
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