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For Parents Here is our gymnastics story - New to the forum (long post)

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sppd

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Hello Fellow Gymnastics Parents,

Our 11 year old daughter took a free gymnastics introduction class at her now former gym on her 8th birthday. Prior to this she had zero gymnastics or tumbling training of any kind. Once she attended this free class she was absolutely hooked so we signed her up. She has always been extremely flexible, fit, and strong which was a plus for being a gymnast.

My wife and I were both competitive athletes growing up including Baseball, Football, and Rugby for me, and Softball and Basketball (full ride college athlete) for my wife. Neither of us are particularly coordinated, flexible, graceful, or artistic, so it came as quite the surprise to both of us that our daughter has all of those attributes (despite her moderate scoliosis).

So, anyway she very rapidly progressed from lvl 1 to lvl 4 team in a matter of months and made and competed at state within 8 months of joining. At lvl 4 state she did well at 17th overall in the all-around. Shortly after state we were approached by her coaches who told us that they wanted to have her take the following season off. The reason they stated was that she had a very good shot at making the elite program if she were to focus on training without the pressure of competition. Sounds good right? Well it was at first.

After we agreed to the coaches plans, she started this training regimen which was good at first. Our daughter was training with the lvl 7-9 girls and was progressing in her skills for a little while. We are very hands off gymnastics parents, and actually had never once stayed to watch her at practice. We have 3 other children who are extremely involved in other sports and activities, and my wife and I both work full-time jobs with long odd hours. One night I had the opportunity to actually stay and watch a portion of her practice and was a bit disturbed by the fact that several of the coaches would direct the girls to perform a certain skill, but would be so engaged in their conversations that they would not even watch or coach the skill. I didn't think too much of this, at the time. A short while later when we picked up our daughter she had a Band-Aid on her nose. We didn't think to much of this, as she said she had bumped her nose on the vault table during conditioning....until the morning when she woke up with 2 black-eyes and when we removed the Band-Aid she had a large split on the bridge of her nose (could have used a few stitches). When my wife inquired as to why we were not notified of the injury, the coach stated that it was not a big deal and that it was up to the girls to tell their parents when they were hurt. Obviously, this was not satisfactory and my wife stressed that parents should always be informed of any serious accidents that occur with their children. The following week, a very condescending email was sent to all the team parents informing them that they didn't realize that the athletes need to be babied and that going forward they would ensure that all injuries even a minor scratch would be reported to the parents. A few months later we had parent coach conferences and we were informed that starting in the summer our daughter would be transitioned back to team at lvl 7, due to her lack of mental and physical maturity...first we heard of it. The summer hours were mid-day M-F which were pretty much impossible for us to do since we both work full-time jobs. We also noticed that the coaches were no longer giving our daughter opportunities to learn new skills and were telling her she "wasn't ready" for several skills. I asked about the hours and any flexibility or "open gym" hours that could make the summer hours work, and I was told that there was no chance to change her hours, but she could sit in the lobby (not in the gym) for 4 hours each day after training until we could pick her up. (sounds like a great way to spend her summer, eh?). I felt that they were trying to push us out, so we started looking at another gym.

In March we toured another gym and she was evaluated by their head coach over a series of weeks. Her original gym trained lvl 7s Tue-Friday and she would attend the new gym Mondays and Saturdays and would work out with the lvl 7s, 8s, and 9s. After several weeks the head coach at the new gym offered her a spot on the lvl 7 team, and the opportunity to attend their team summer camp (30+ hours per week) which had awesome hours for working parents. Several of the skills that she was told that she was not ready for, the new coach said she would have in a week if she came there. We gave the original coach one more chance to offer some type of schedule adjustment for the summer which he stated was not an option for her because she was not physically or mentally ready for that may hours. About a week later (6 weeks before the new session started) I let her existing coach know that she would be attending the new gym for at a minimum the entire summer for the hours, but would like the option to bring her back in the fall if the new gym wasn't working out for her. My daughter absolutely loved it there, so despite our issues we were okay to keep her there in the fall. This is when it got ugly! Her original coach flipped out. To keep this long story just a bit shorter it involved many different phone calls including from her old coach to the new gym. We are not sure what was said but it must have been nasty, as the new gym informed us that they would no longer take our daughter, and the old gym saying she was not welcome back. My wife called the new gym and set up a meeting there and worked it all out that our daughter could start in May, but the new coach just kept re-iterating that we were not to approach him about her progression and that all communication between us and the coaches should be made through the office staff. I can only surmise that we were made out to be some crack pot crazy gym parents. Remember earlier I stated that we were basically the most hands off parents in the gym having only watched a total of 30 minutes of practice between the two of us in 3 years.

We are now just over a month into the new gym and could not be happier. They made good on the one week promise, and my daughter at the end of week one had already tried for the first time and gained a new skill, and is getting close on several others. I have been watching practice a little bit now, and am totally impressed with the new coaches and their attention to each and every one of the athletes on the team. It is obvious that despite whatever was said about us, they have formed their own judgement of us, and the coach regularly seeks me out at pick-up to discuss our daughters strengths and weakness and has assured us that she was definitely physically and mentally ready for the training she is receiving.

We have absolutely loved the great information on this forum, and hope to be very active members going forward.

SPPD
 

dancingimmie

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Wowee!! That is a crazy story. I'm so sorry you had to go through that but I'm glad it all worked out in the end. This is why people are so nervous about changing gyms.
Good luck to your dd in her new gym!!
 
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sppd

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Wowee!! That is a crazy story. I'm so sorry you had to go through that but I'm glad it all worked out in the end. This is why people are so nervous about changing gyms.
Good luck to your dd in her new gym!!
Thank you! We were a bit blindsided by how dramatic the gym switch would turn out. It's too bad that I didn't find this forum before hand, but throughout it all she is now at an amazing gym, and it allowed us to find this great forum.

SPPD
 

e'smum

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i'm curious if there is another sport where it can get this ugly when moving teams/ gyms? i agree, this is why parents usually don't switch on a whim.

that's crazy that they didn't call you immediately about that injury. did you get her checked out for a concussion?

i will say one thing - i find it weird that she was working out at both gyms at the same time. i've never heard of that being "allowed". usually you go for a week long evaluation and, from my experience, gyms require you to let your home gym know that you are trying out there. if they don't ask you to tell them, then they will (as a courtesy) call your home gym and let them know. then you choose one. the whole foot in both doors is tricky and i'm guessing what set off the old gym. and if you choose a new gym, the old gym isn't usually very nice about it.

but it sounds like a gym switch was what your family needed and the most important thing is your dd is happy and the new coach is communicating with you. best of luck!
 

twinmomma

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i'm curious if there is another sport where it can get this ugly when moving teams/ gyms? i agree, this is why parents usually don't switch on a whim.

that's crazy that they didn't call you immediately about that injury. did you get her checked out for a concussion?

i will say one thing - i find it weird that she was working out at both gyms at the same time. i've never heard of that being "allowed". usually you go for a week long evaluation and, from my experience, gyms require you to let your home gym know that you are trying out there. if they don't ask you to tell them, then they will (as a courtesy) call your home gym and let them know. then you choose one. the whole foot in both doors is tricky and i'm guessing what set off the old gym. and if you choose a new gym, the old gym isn't usually very nice about it.

but it sounds like a gym switch was what your family needed and the most important thing is your dd is happy and the new coach is communicating with you. best of luck!

Yes. My son left a travel baseball team after a considerable amount of drama with coaches and coach's wives, and when I gave notice to the coach was told that my son was "no loss to the team" and have been talked crap about since. We actually pulled our son from little league (he was playing little league and travel ball) in order not to have to come in contact with that coach anymore.
 

e'smum

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Yes. My son left a travel baseball team after a considerable amount of drama with coaches and coach's wives, and when I gave notice to the coach was told that my son was "no loss to the team" and have been talked crap about since. We actually pulled our son from little league (he was playing little league and travel ball) in order not to have to come in contact with that coach anymore.
wth?!? :mad: that is ridiculous! i can't believe any parent would say that to another parent about their child! :( take away the coach part of it, talk parent to parent and how you would want someone to treat you and your kid. is that too much to ask? i'm so sorry to hear that!
 

sppd

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i'm curious if there is another sport where it can get this ugly when moving teams/ gyms? i agree, this is why parents usually don't switch on a whim.

that's crazy that they didn't call you immediately about that injury. did you get her checked out for a concussion?

i will say one thing - i find it weird that she was working out at both gyms at the same time. i've never heard of that being "allowed". usually you go for a week long evaluation and, from my experience, gyms require you to let your home gym know that you are trying out there. if they don't ask you to tell them, then they will (as a courtesy) call your home gym and let them know. then you choose one. the whole foot in both doors is tricky and i'm guessing what set off the old gym. and if you choose a new gym, the old gym isn't usually very nice about it.

but it sounds like a gym switch was what your family needed and the most important thing is your dd is happy and the new coach is communicating with you. best of luck!
No concussion thank goodness!

Being as hands off as we were since we juggle the sports and activites of 4 children, we were not as aware as we are now of all of the "expectations" lol. The new gym was only attended 2 days per week simultaneously for 2.5 weeks to allow all of the team coaches to evaluate her, and to make sure our daughter felt comfortable with the switch also, and the new gym never made mention of the need to include the old gym in the loop.

In baseball, football, and basketball the other sports our children participate in you generally just switch to the different program and thats it.

We have now learned that gymnastics has a very different and distinct culture, and if we had to do it over, we might have done things slightly different.

It all seems to have worked out!

SPPD
 

suebee

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I agree that what upset the new gym was probably your telling the old gym that you would consider going back to them in the fall. I think that's probably the thing that both gyms felt you did "wrong."

It sounds like you're in a better place. I'm glad!
 

e'smum

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No concussion thank goodness!
We have now learned that gymnastics has a very different and distinct culture, and if we had to do it over, we might have done things slightly different.
SPPD

absolutely - there should be a parent training class and a test before you dip your toe into the waters of gymnastics. i made many faux pas myself as a newbie. this board has helped me tremendously as well but i didn't find it until last year and we'd been in gymnastics a couple of years already. :D
 

SuperMama

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What a whirlwind you and your family have been through with the gym change!

Glad your daughter is now happy and thriving!

Welcome [emoji4]
 
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sppd

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I agree that what upset the new gym was probably your telling the old gym that you would consider going back to them in the fall. I think that's probably the thing that both gyms felt you did "wrong."

It sounds like you're in a better place. I'm glad!

Thank you!

At the initial decision to change, it was made because of the ridiculous summer hours, we were willing to live with the other non-sense because my daughter loved her original gym. I guess until this all went down, I looked at the gym as a business that could not provide a service for us at hours that worked. What I know now would have certainly made my approach a little different.

SPPD
 
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amiandjim

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Glad the new gym worked out! But, yes, as you have seen, most gyms won't allow that sort of thing (switching for summer and coming back). In fact, many won't let you come back at all after you leave, although some will. I think for most gyms, the perspective is "if they are serious and dedicated, they will make the hours work." Navigating the sport of gymnastics is not for the faint of heart, that's for sure! Welcome to chalkbucket and I'm sure you will learn a lot here!
 
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NY Dad

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My wife called the new gym
Another dad! I think we're starting to take over

i made many faux pas myself as a newbie.
I joined CB about the same time my dd joined pre-team so most of my mistakes (at least the ones I'm aware of) have been on CB. In one of my first posts I asked how to spot a handspring. (The answer is... don't). I would rather ask a bad question and learn something than learn a harder way.

I'm starting to consider a gym switch for my dd and given everything I've read, just the thought of it makes me nervous.
 

amiandjim

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Not to hijack, but NY gym dad we have switched gyms twice and no drama. The first time we even went in and said goodbye to all the girls and coaches.
 
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e'smum

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Another dad! I think we're starting to take over


I joined CB about the same time my dd joined pre-team so most of my mistakes (at least the ones I'm aware of) have been on CB. In one of my first posts I asked how to spot a handspring. (The answer is... don't). I would rather ask a bad question and learn something than learn a harder way.

I'm starting to consider a gym switch for my dd and given everything I've read, just the thought of it makes me nervous.

well it's a good thing i wasn't on here b/c i would have shown you how i spotted both my girls while they were learning BWO and BHS. they were only in tumbling classes though as they were doing dance (and one continues to dance). and i learned how to spot from a gymnastics coach.

good luck with your gym decision. i swear it's easier to move and use that excuse as a reason to change gyms! lol
 
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MILgymFAM

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i will say one thing - i find it weird that she was working out at both gyms at the same time. i've never heard of that being "allowed".

I do believe we are the only people I've run across (on here or in real life) that had an arrangement like this that was explicitly allowed by both gyms/HCs and understood by all parties. It only lasted about 3 months, but everyone was honest and upfront and there were no repercussions at all.
 

ldw4mlo

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Not to hijack, but NY gym dad we have switched gyms twice and no drama. The first time we even went in and said goodbye to all the girls and coaches.
Us too. No drama. She still gets hugs from her old coach if they see each other at meets.
 
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