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especially head coaches, team directors, and owners

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ZJsMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
Pacific NW
Country
USA
Our girls team program is in a major transition period having had a 100% turnover in the coaching staff and a major exodus of gymnasts. My dd has not been happy and has been asking to look at other gyms. Currently, there's a circling of the wagons and a bit of paranoia going around our gym. I know for a fact that even calling another gym has gotten back to the owner and coaches. I'd like to be able to gather some information without having it get back to the coaches. I think it's completely appropriate, if we do decide to pursue another gym, that the new coaches contact the current gym. I don't think they need to know we're asking though before we even get to the point of going to try out another gym. For all I know, the initial discussion might result in us finding out that the team program is full, or that the schedule doesn't work for us, or that it's just not a right fit for another reason and we don't want to pursue it any further. So my question is this: if I call for the team director in question and don't give my name, would that be appropriate? If you received a call from a parent who wished to remain anonymous, at least initially, would you think that was weird?
 
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gymnut1

Guest
Personally I would understand. I'm sorry it sounds like a stressful and upsetting situation - best of luck.
 
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newbiecoach

Guest
I wouldnt find it strange, you are just inquiring about their team program. For all they know you live out of state and are moving there soon and looking for a new team. Just make it seem like you are calling all the gyms in the area.

I wouldnt provide much information more than level interested in and that you want a new gym. If they ask and pressure to find out who you are and if you are from a certain gym than the new gym might not be any better than where you are now.

Sorry your stuck in this situation! I hope things improve for you and your daughter soon.
 

Gym-Nice-tics

Member
May 14, 2008
115
US
Several of the gyms in our area will call the person's original gym to inform them that there is someonelooking at their gym. They will often give the name if they receive it.

As a team coach, I actually appreciate that. Sometimes you don't know if someone is unhappy, and if it is a fixable issue, then it helps get the ball rolling so you can make progress with the gymnast. It's also nice to know where you stand. Through the years we've had several girls come to practice one day and the next day they are gone... No good byes, no explanations, nothing. I understand that a gym will not be perfect for everyone and that there are many reasons for switching gyms, but it's nice to know what is going on.

If you are really worried, just refuse to give your name or your current gym. We get calls like that occassionally. It's not weird. We understand why they do that.
 
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Linsul

Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
876
Pripyat
I wouldn't think it's weird to want what you're asking. Good luck though, there are eyes and ears everywhere it seems! When I moved out of state and interviewed for my current job, they knew I had not applied anywhere else! What do you say to that at an interview rofl? Just be confident in your duty as a parent to find the best gym for your DD and your buck. If someone thinks they are rocking your world by 'calling you out' that's all you need to say. Seriously it's none of their business and nothing that should put you on your back foot if it's found out; though I do understand your desire for discretion.
 

Tim_Dad

Member
Nov 3, 2008
414
Region IV (Missouri)
I know one gym wanted to get all the local gyms to support not allowing parents and kids to gym hop. To enforce this, they had to get a letter of reccomendation from their former gym.

Um - That would be called "Collusion" and is very much against the law.

Patrons that are denied service based on pre-existing agreements between competing businesses could be called "restraint of trade" and that violates anti-trust laws.

Personally...If my family were shopping around, and HC found out about it... I could honesly care less. If he or she found out, and said something about i: I'd tell em to Sit & Spin. Plain and simple.

It's about Gym training for my DD and that's it. I wouldn't sacrifice researching training opportunities to spare the feelings of an insecure coach. Forget that news. If HC were that insecure, that would certainly tell me that I DON'T want them coaching my daughter. I'd want a coach that was accomplished and confident of themselves.
 
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ZJsMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
May 11, 2007
998
Pacific NW
Country
USA

Not the same gym, but I can relate to what this family is going through.

Several of the gyms in our area will call the person's original gym to inform them that there is someonelooking at their gym. They will often give the name if they receive it.

As a team coach, I actually appreciate that. Sometimes you don't know if someone is unhappy, and if it is a fixable issue, then it helps get the ball rolling so you can make progress with the gymnast. It's also nice to know where you stand. Through the years we've had several girls come to practice one day and the next day they are gone... No good byes, no explanations, nothing. I understand that a gym will not be perfect for everyone and that there are many reasons for switching gyms, but it's nice to know what is going on.
I don't have a problem with there being some discussion later down the line. I think if we're at the point where the gym has a spot for her and we say we're interested in taking it, I would be okay with the new gym talking with the old. I just don't know why her current gym needs to know before it gets that far because it may never get that far. In terms of talking to the current coaches about fixable issues, there has been some discussion, but the fundamental problem is that the entire program is in transition. There are structural issues that no one coach can address and it has become clear to us that it may be a matter of years before the program gets back on its feet.

Um - That would be called "Collusion" and is very much against the law.

Also, business patrons that are denied service based on pre-existing agreements between competing businesses is called "restraint of trade", and violates anti-trust laws.

Personally...If my family were shopping around, and HC found out about it... I could honesly care less. It's about Gym training for my DD and that's it. I wouldn't sacrific training opportunities to spare the feelings of an insecure coach. Forget that.

I agree. Some people seem to forget that this is a business and we're paying our hard earned money and plenty of it for a service and if we're not happy with what we're receiving, we have the right to comparison shop. I just can't picture this type of reaction in any other situation. Can you imagine calling a new Dr. or dentist to ask whether he or she is taking new patients and then having your current Dr. confront you about it?

The reality is, though, we might end up staying at the current gym and I don't want my kids to be put on the spot because the owner and coaches have found out we were looking.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
the biggest problem with gym-hopping is the gymnast trains with one gym and the coaches put a lot of work into them and then they hop back or elsewhere.

they are the grass is greener over the hill types.

i really didn't like the idea because of privacy concerns.
 

gymdog

Well-Known Member
Coach
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
5,121
Um - That would be called "Collusion" and is very much against the law.

Patrons that are denied service based on pre-existing agreements between competing businesses could be called "restraint of trade" and that violates anti-trust laws.

However, you'd likely have to prove they denying services based on that because most gyms have a clause that they reserve the right to deny services at their discretion (of course if you deny services based on a protected class and it is shown it is only because of that, another problem). If it's just the "culture" to have such a letter, that probably wouldn't inherently violate laws. However I've never heard of such a thing as requiring a letter. It is true that most people are friendly in the gymnastics community and don't want to burn bridges over a bad switch. They'll usually make sure the other coach is aware in my experience. It could damage their own reputation to not make sure things are above the line. And I do know of situations where gyms declined to take a gymnast based on extreme behavior at previous gyms that they were aware of. That is unusual though. I can think of one, maybe two instances in my area over the last ten or so years. Most gyms will accept a gymnast (if there's space at the level in question), they just want to make sure no one involved is being blindsided.

ZJsmom, it kind of depends on the individual situation how you handle it of course, but I think it's pretty impossible to make the whole transition without some awkwardness in them knowing. I would recommend your daughter try a workout at any gyms you consider. So it may require some time off while you make a final decision at some point, although you should be able to find out things like whether they have space in their optional program at this point without providing a lot of information. I would check the websites...some gyms have a lot of info about their team, team schedule and team policies on there. It's hard because right now we're in the optional season, and sometimes these decisions do end up being sort of a transitional period.
 
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