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gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
How much more can a gymnast take. Our optional team has had a tough year and we may be at the end of Gymbabis career now. First our coach died unexpectedly, that was horrible, and she wanted to quit then. One of the compulsory coaches was able to get her to keep trying for a while. The gym changed hands and the new owner (a good friend) brought in a great optional coach. In the weeks that she worked with them I saw all the optional team girls make huge improvements and they were believing in themselves again. The new coach was supposed to return to her old home long enough to pack up for a more permanent move to our area, she left last friday, and has now apparently decided not to come back. These girls were already wounded, now they are completely heartbroken. None of them want to keep going, and I can't blame them. Gymbabi doesn't even want to go for another couple of weeks to see if we can get another coach. I wouldn't want to keep opening up for that kind of disappointment either. They feel like they did something wrong and all the assurances you can give as parents don't mean squat when they were the ones who got deserted.
 

bogwoppit

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Wow, now that's a tough year for her and her team. I feel for you, but I don't know what to say.

Maybe a few weeks off would be good, and give the chance for the gym to get things back on track. Hopefully the coach who upped and left could be encouraged to at least write to explain herself to the girls, she does at least owe them that and an apology.
 

Eveningdew

Parent/Coach
May 17, 2007
53
California, MD
Just when you thought your own gym had it's problems, tragedy at another gym strikes and minimizes your own to sheer pettiness. My heart goes out to the girls right now. Maybe a few weeks of a sabatical will help heal their hurts while the hunt is on for a new coach.

We had a similiar situtaion happen a few years ago, (minus the death) where our head compulsory coach upped and walked. Not a single word to the girls or parents. Girls were in tears and didn't understand what they had done to make her leave. The pre-team coach stepped up and got the girls focused again with her love and care. There is now a bond with her and those girls from the pre-team who are now 5/6's. My dd did make the comment, "now that she's gone, maybe the yelling will finally stop." That was a sad but revealing comment about what was going on behind the scenes. Pride got in the way and feelings were hurt.

We wouldn't see the abandoned coach again until the end of the year party where she showed up and was meet with encircling arms and tear eyes from the girls wanting to know where she went and if she was coming back.

She told them no and you could see the anger and hurt that was still present, it was truly sad.

Somehow the girls will get through this but it won't be easy. My prayers are with them and all of you.:weepy:
 

JBS

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I agree...I would give it a few weeks and see if the passion for gymnastics comes back to her.

Very tough situations...and the current coach does owe everyone an explanation if he/she is not returning.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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GBM, my thoughts are with you, the team and your dd. They just have had a really tough year losing the coach/owner and now having a good coach walk out. I agree with the others that the coach that just left does owe the girls an explanation. Obviously you can't force her to come back and if she doesn't want to be there, its not a good idea to try and beg her to come in and coach.

After all the personal loses this year, I think any coach coming in will have a hard time getting the girls to make an emotional connection----they've been down that road twice and have been hurt. I think it is a good idea to let your dd take a couple of weeks off and just see how she feels. The passion for the sport may still be there but is being overshadowed by so much disappointment and loss.
 

audra

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I hope the girls get some type of closure from this coach, even though she has not been with long she will hopefully understand their feelings of hurt and be sympathetic to that. This was probably a very difficult situation for her to come into as well and maybe it was more than could handle emotionally. With time I'm sure she will let the girls know exactly why she left the way she did.

Time off does seem like it may be what your daughter needs, but remember also that the only other people who know how she feels are her teammates. They should be a great support for each other right now so maybe don't pull out all together yet. These girls have been through a lot together and if given time will probably get each other through and find their passion for the sport again. If she chooses not to practice at the gym right now encourage her to keep in touch with her teammates, those still in the gym and also ones who may have already chosen to leave.

Tragedies and Life's struggles are what makes us stronger individuals!!
 
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bpatient

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I’m sorry that your had daughter has had such a difficult year.

I don’t want to seem (or to be) insensitive, but your post raises a question that eventually will be of interest to the parents of most gymnasts: When is the right time to leave the sport?

If I remember correctly, your daughter is a dedicated gymnast who is not quite ready to compete at level 9 as a junior in high school. No matter how much she loves the sport, her days as an active gymnast are numbered—and that’s true whether or not she’ll be able to find a place to compete in college, as she hopes, after a senior year at level 9.

It’s easy to see the benefits associated with continued participation. Might there be an upside to leaving the sport now? I can imagine a few: developing new interests in activities that—unlike, say, doing back tucks on a balance beam—she might actually be able to continue for many years; devoting more time to her studies during a watershed year for college preparation and college applications; even developing a social life to fill some of the hours that she’d otherwise spend in the gym. At some point the argument in favor of leaving may become convincing; at some point there may be no choice.

I’ll be very proud of my daughter if she achieves what your daughter has achieved. I hope that gymnastics will help my kid stay grounded (!) through the difficult early teen years. After that, it will just be a question of when she—like every one of her teammates—moves on.
 
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gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Ups And Downs

Well, Gymbabi kept limping along so she could at least finish her high school season. Our gym was able to get another coach, who so far, seems to be a much better coach. Kristen has thrown herself back into workouts and is again thinking about at least trying to get on a college team as a walk on.
The old coach never made any effort to contact the girls and explain why she left. The girls called her one day and begged her to come back, but were told she wasn't being paid enough to make it worth her while. The new gym owner promptly called her back and offered her more hours and some additional benefits but to no avail.
Our new coach is much more personable than the one that left. He also has coached an elite team prior to coming to us. He is pleased with our little team and has a lot of really great ideas for building our little gym into what it could and should be. The girls are naturally having some little issues transitioning to him but given time I know we'll see great things.
Gymbabi is concentrating this year at school on getting and keeping her grades up. She had been running about 3.0 and this year she's a 3.8+. She is looking at colleges and this summer we will probably go around the state and actually see the ones she hasn't seen yet. Plus she will hopefully get some time with her Uncle, who as a college Professor and retired administrator, can help her make some informed decisions about what to look for. If she decided to quit gym now that she has worked with the new coach and still didn't feel it anymore, I could live with that. It's just that I knew that it was the situation dampening her passion and worse, making her feel like she would never be good enough. Does that make any sense?
 

audra

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I'm glad to hear she has stuck with it! Hopefully she will want to continue, College gymnastics is great and can really add to college experience. Good luck on a great season.
 

Monkeygirlsmom

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Feb 10, 2007
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wow it sounds like a rough year for your dd and the girls!!
It also sounds like you have a strong girl on your hands she sounds like a great kid!!
 

bogwoppit

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Good for her for persevering well things were so tough. She is learning some very adult skills at a young age. You have raised a very smart cookie, pat yourself on the back.

As for the coach who wouldn't come back, a blessing in disguise, she also has shown the world what kind of person she is, hard to get work in this field if you mess with the community this way.
 

gym law mom

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Nothing but good thoughts sent to your dd!! She certainly deserves them. She is certainly a very mature and tough young lady. I so hope something will play out for her as far as college. As I mentioned in a post long ago, we had a girl at our old gym that did make a Division 1 team as a walk on in her sophomore year. She had been a L10, but surgeries on both knees(ACLs) disrupted alot of her competition and I don't think she ever made it to JO Nationals. Her senior year of high school, she didn't even compete--just came in and practiced what she could.

When she went college hunting she looked for schools with gym programs as well as good reputations for her area in academics. As a freshman she just hung around the gym team and trained what she could at a local gym and made alot of progress. She is now a junior and competing in her 2nd season. She is a specialist---I think mainly beam, but in college most of the girls don't do AA. She's an example of a girl who did make it work even though no college had seen her compete when she was in club gymnastics.
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
We have heard that some colleges may offer scholarships to hard working walk-ons, after seeing what they can do for the team. So we haven't given up hope completely. Our new coach says gymbabi should have no trouble getting a walk on spot. He also said that lots of scholarships go unclaimed because people don't try for them, thinking you have to be basically an elite before a school will look at you. In reality there are usually only about 5-10 elites going off to college per year. That leaves lots of spots available to other gymnasts. I read somewhere that it is really hard to get a gymnastics scholarship, but I think it's probably more of a problem just to get your kid seen by a coach. I've noticed looking at rosters that many of the kids on the team are from clubs local to the colleges, so maybe they are just more visible. The club coaches surely have an "in" with their local college coaches.
 
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bpatient

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Our new coach says gymbabi should have no trouble getting a walk on spot. He also said that lots of scholarships go unclaimed because people don't try for them, thinking you have to be basically an elite before a school will look at you. In reality there are usually only about 5-10 elites going off to college per year. That leaves lots of spots available to other gymnasts.
If I remember it correctly, it was reported on a college gymnastics board that about 250-270 scholarships have been offered to the pool of 500 to 550 "recruitables" in each of several recent years.

A helpful and very knowledgeable forum member patiently explained that each year's recruitables include the elite and Level 10 athletes who are between their junior and senior years of high school, plus the few Level 9 athletes who hope to be considered. She indicated that the ratio of eligible recruitables to scholarship offers varies from year to year, and that some recruitables who don't receive a scholarship offer may find walk-on spots—but most won't. She wrote that two factors play a role in determining whether less accomplished L10 or L9 athletes receive offers: (1) how many scholarships are available in a particular year, and (2) who's in the recruiting pool. I suppose that athletes with excellent academic qualifications may have an edge at some schools.
 
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bpatient

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It's interesting that a L9 can walk on even though perhaps half of the age-eligible L10 athletes don't receive scholarships. (Last year, it seems that about ten L9 athletes joined NCAA teams, but I don't know how many of them walked on.) It's not clear how many girls who reach a high skill level and stick with gymnastics through high school actually want to compete in NCAA and remain healthy enough to do so, but here's what happened two years ago:

Incoming Class of 2005-2006: 257 Athletes listed in freshman class with approximately 32 walk-ons from a list of 505 [elite/L10 plus a few L9] Recruitables.
 
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