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Does my daughter need a pit?

gymmomca

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We are looking for a new gym. My daughter says she needs to go to a gym with a pit but the gym she wants to go to is way more expensive. My daughter also says this gym is scoring higher because they have a pit. Does this make a difference or should I go with a cheaper gym?
 

MuggleMom

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I dont think pit=better scores but I do think Pits are needed to learn higher level skills safely. It would be difficult to get past level 7/8 without a pit in my opinion (not a coach by the way im just a parent). Once you need to start doing more twisting and double backs (off bars or on floor) a pit is very helpful in letting them learn safely. Same with flipping vaults they are much easier to learn with a pit. Up to level 7/8 though if you didnt have a pit it wouldnt be the end of the world.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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What level are we talking here?

I'd say below about level 5, a pit should make no difference. At levels 5-7, I'd say it's useful but not necessary, and there are workarounds if you don't have one.
Above level 7, I'd consider a pit to be must-have equipment. As a coach, I'm not crazy about teaching twisting without a pit (though it is doable); however I'd flatly refuse to teach any sort of double-salto without one.
 
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gymisforeveryone

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What level are we talking here?

I'd say below about level 5, a pit should make no difference. At levels 5-7, I'd say it's useful but not necessary, and there are workarounds if you don't have one.
Above level 7, I'd consider a pit to be must-have equipment. As a coach, I'm not crazy about teaching twisting without a pit (though it is doable); however I'd flatly refuse to teach any sort of double-salto without one.
I agree with this 100 %. If she's young and low level, and you think you could move her elsewhere when she gets to higher levels, then you can go to the cheaper gym. But I would recommend the gym with the pit otherwise.
 

MILgymFAM

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Are gyms using their pits again? My D didn’t have a pit at her gym until we moved last month, but the gym here has their pit closed down as a covid precaution. They aren’t expecting to open it any time soon.

OP- my D much wishes that she’d come up with a pit. She’s only used one for about eight months, four years ago. If you think your child is in for the long haul and indications are that she’ll get to upper levels, I think it’s a reasonable want one a gym.
 

MuggleMom

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Our gym currently has the Pit open but to be honest i am not 100% sure they are letting the rec kids in it right now (I could be wrong I havent seen alot of rec classes due to lower head counts in the gym etc and being encouraged to not stay for practice if you dont need to) but we had the pit closed at first but they started using it pretty soon after returning to gym. I secretly hope that the rec kids arent using it just to reduce the number of people in there any given day (and there are plenty of things for them to do without the pit), but thats just my selfish wish I keep to myself.
 

gymgal

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Like others have said, it depends on her current level and how far you think she will go - is this her dream sport and she is in for the long haul or do you see her topping out at 5-7 or doing high school gymnastics? If she is looking to go to the high levels and possible college, I think it is essential, not just for learning the skills but just as importantly for reducing stress on the body during training. The less numbers on hard surfaces, the better it is for the body.

Another thing to consider is whether this gym has a friendly agreement with a gym that has a pit. It is not common but it does happen. Also, some gyms don't have traditional pits but do have resi"pits" that can help with training and reduce stress on the body.
 
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M2Abi

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I agree that at the higher levels the pit is a necessity for safety and reducing impact on the body.

Our gym is using our pits now, but didn't right after re-opening from COVID.
 

alattejavatoo

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Pits are a safer way to to learn skills. They minimize the stress on your daughter’s body, for one thing. I don’t know how long your daughter has done gymnastics, what level she is at or how far she wants to go, but as a former gumnast who remembers the sport before pits were standard, I would not take my daughter to a gym without pits.
 

katrid11

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Our gym is not using the pits right now but working around it. I would not have my daughter at a gym without a pit for higher end tumbling. When I was young our gym had a pit and that's where all the aerial skills were learned until you moved to a mat in the pit, then mat on floor, etc. The pit really does help on jarring landings when you just aren't fully ready to even work on a mat.

Sure they can use belts etc. but a pit is a required gym element to me.

The other thing to check is the safety around the beams (mats, distances, etc) and the arrangement of the trampolines & tumbletraks. I have seen some gyms where they just barely get in the equipment and others that really do have it padded well.
 

cogymmom2dd

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Not necessarily. IMO, pits are disgusting. A bunch of sweaty kids landing in foam that absorb said sweat and bacteria, breeding grounds for fungus and other nasty organisms
Our gym leases their space and the landlord will not allow for them to drill into the ground to put one in the ground nor do they have the configuration to allow for raising all of the equipment for an elevated pit.
They do have a raised tumbl track that has a foam pit but nothing for bars or vault. They do have air pads and other alternatives that work just fine and are a more hygienic option.
 

gymjunkie

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I've coached at gyms with and without. It was always hard to watch a kid break a bone simply because the gym lacked a pit. This is generally an issue for L7+
 

Parker Toliver

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I grew up without a pit for a while but as I advanced a pit was very necessary. I would say a pit is a must if over the bar release skills have begun and if you are doing a decent dismount such as Twisting doubles etcetera. Other than that stay away from crunches and have patience met with perseverance. Patience with a crunch is stagnancy. Basically wasted time with no valuable life lessons.
 

ldw4mlo

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Our gym has a pit. Can't use it due to sanitizing issues with Covid. No idea when they will be able to use it again.

Tumble track used every practice. Strap bar as well.
 

Em09

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Oct 13, 2020
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We are looking for a new gym. My daughter says she needs to go to a gym with a pit but the gym she wants to go to is way more expensive. My daughter also says this gym is scoring higher because they have a pit. Does this make a difference or should I go with a cheaper gym?
A pit is not needed, but it helps with learning flight skills and it helps with every apparatus. My gym has one, and it does help, but if it is out of your affordable zone then you should just stay within your price range.