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I took my daughter to our other level 4 girls practice last night (rant)

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melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Okay let's just say I seriously think that the gym thinks they can just cut practice and not make up my daughter's practices anytime they want and expect parents not to get made when they pay fees for 3 practices a week. We pay 150 a month which is 20 more dollars than the 2 day a week groups.
My daughter's group is called level 4 stars which is a group of 2nd year level 4s in our gym who get to work out 3 days a week for 2 hours. The 1st year level 4 group only goes 2 days a week for 2 hours each time. Well the year before last, they didn't have the stars group so even if there were 2nd year level 4s on the team, they just worked out with the regular level 4's. Anyway, Emily's group was started last June with a different coach who quit in Sept. They didn't hire a new coach to take over Emily's group but instead looped us into one of the other level 4 groups of the older girls... all girls are 10 and over and practice MW from 6:30-8:30. The other group with the younger girls practice T and Th from 5:30-7:30 and Emily's group was looped with the MW group and has their 3rd practice on F from 5-7.
Well anyway, anytime the gym had things going on on Friday such as the girls halloween party, or home meets... There are 5 of them and let's not forget Halloween that was on a Wednesday... They just cancelled practice with no make up scheduled for those hours.
Okay now you know the background, here is my rant if you guys are still following me....
Monday, we were scheduled to come in even though the gym closes for President's day to rec classes. So 5:30 Monday comes and I get a call from the coach saying our other coach is sick and she can't find anyone else to come in and help her so she is cancelling our practice and will reschedule a make up for it. (Another FYI, 2 major coaches from levels 5 and 6 just had babies the past 2 weeks and another coach and the gym owner were in Tahoe for a meet with the level 7-10s at the time) So on Wednesday I send Emily to practice and I go to school. The next day I find out they did reschedule a make up for Friday... Well that covers the Monday practice for the 1st year level 4s but the stars already have practice on Friday and well we don't have a make up for our 3rd practice for the week.
So last night, I decided to take Emily to the other group with the girls that are actually her age and the girls she gets stuck with and doesn't know well at the gym meets when they break the groups up into different sessions. The reason being is that Emily is the youngest from her group and the only 8 year old so she ends up at meets with the girls from the Tuesday/Thursday level 4 group instead of the girls she has practiced with for the past 2 years.
I tried to ask the coach but she still hadn't shown up at 5:30 and I had to take my son to swim practice since his practice was at 5:30. So I just left Emily there and told her to call if she wasn't able to attend the practice. Well the Tues/thurs coach was sick(she is also Madi's miniteam coach and wasn't there on Wed for Madi's gym practice) so Emily's current coach was coaching the Tues/Thurs group as well. Well at swim practice I didn't get called so I assumed all was okay and she worked with the girls from the Tues/Thurs group. Well when I came back to get her, Emily's coach wanted to talk to me. However, she was busy with the level 5s at this point...(remember level 5 and 6 coaches are on maternity leave and our gym was already way understaffed as is and they had 9 months to find people to help them out but just decided not to hire anyone else and try to shove all the teams with fewer coachs in an already over ratio girls to coaches situation. )
So anyway, I have been so fed up with Emily's 3rd practices being treated as though they can cancel them anytime they want(acting like they are optional or something) when we pay more a month for 3 practices than the other group. (Add this to the fact that the level 5s get 4 more hours than we do for only 17 dollars more than we pay and always get missed practices rescheduled) I don't even know what to say to her coach when I see her today and which I am sure I will get in trouble for sending Emily to the Tues/Thurs group last night. I just wanted her to have her practice made up and they didn't have to let her work out, she could have called me or Jim and we would have come to get her, I only left her because I had to get Austin to swim practice(he was already late). This is just one of the reasons I am so fed up with the gym too. I seriously cannot wait to switch gyms after this state meet. I have had it with understaffed over ratio situations and now it is 10x worse with sick coaches(the tues/thurs groups coach is sick and our other coach is really sick) and with 2 coaches who just had babies in the past 2 weeks. Then add to the fact that Emily's original coach quit and they just looped us with the other group instead of finding a new coach to an already over ratio group too. Ugh Ugh Ugh...
Do I have a reason to be mad?? Do you think I should get in trouble for this??? I am so stressed out that they will kick me out or something and Emily won't be able to compete state or something horrible like that.
 
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gymgramma

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Do they have a "team make up" policy? At our old gym, you needed to get a written slip from the front desk to attend a "team make up class" and then it had to be with a similar level - for example: the level 4's could make up w/level 5's and the 5's with the level 4's. At the current gym, they make up a missed practice at a practice on a day they don't usually come to gym. for example, the 3 & 4's practice on T/Th, so they make up on a M/W. the 5's & 6's come M/T/W/Th so they make up on F.
I bet those coaches at your gym are ALL stressed out too.
 

bogwoppit

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Sounds like a crazy situation for everyone. I wouldn't worry too much about the coach, she is not going to throw Em out because of this. If she asks, just explain why you dropped her off and that you had made sure that Emily knew to call you if she couldn't train. Also that it just so happened that you had to rush to get Austin.

Now based on the fact that Emily is changing clubs very soon I wouldn't get embroiled in the whole political scene at the gym. Costs, make up courses and lack of coaches will not be a problem for you after states.

So, take a huge deep breath, a few in fact, sit down chill out and try to not worry. I know we parents do, it comes from feeling "out of control" of our kids lives. In two months you will be able to look back on this post and say "now that is exactly why we left"!

Good luck.
 

gym law mom

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ITA with Bog(such a wise parent). Simple explanation about the other night and leave it at that. I wouldn't stir things up with states right around the corner---your dd will feel the stress of it all.

You know you have a plan to remedy all of this---you're leaving. Only way, I would get into all of the issues would be if this was the only gym around and you had no options. Let dd have fun at states and let all of this go.

You may be getting alot of phone calls from other parents once your dds are officially at the other gym all wanting to know if they ought to try it too.
 

Mom to 2 gymnasts

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Oct 29, 2007
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I have had to deal with coaching issues recently too. Our gym tried to have parties during our practices and once we brought it up, they moved the pactice times us with the party following. I personally would tell my gym that they either need to reschedule those practices or credit your tuition for them as long as it is them cancelling it. Since you are moving gyms it is a mute point thought really so I wouldn't bother to make waves this close to state. You have every right to be upset about it. I probably wouldn't have dropped my daughter off first without talking to the gym to make sure it was ok but I wouldn't think you would get into trouble for it. You never know though. We too are switching gyms after state and I am not confident that our current gym would keep my dd on team if they knew so we have to keep it quiet until after state. Should businesses be run like this?? no but unfortubnately all we can do is not give them our busines.. Good luck and let us know how it goes!
 

Aussie_coach

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Wow, it sounds like the coaching issue is a major problem for your gym. As a coach I have to say they are probably very stressed aswell. To have coaches leave, have babies and get sick and be left with not enough coaches to coach the classes is incredibly stressful and can leave you forgetting important things. Good gymnastics coaches are hard to come by and when you lose a coach it is hard to replace them.

In itself 6 hours a week is not very much for a competitive level 4 athlete, let alone 4 hours a week. In Australia our levels are fairly similar to your skill wise and it is reccomended that all competitive level 4-6 athletes train 8-16 hours a week.

Make ups can be difficult to schedule with competitive girls because there is a strict coach-gymnast ratio so simply placing the girls in another class will affect that ratio. It is also often pointell to put them with another group. Placing them with a lower group often means they will be bored and learn very little and placing them with a higher group will mean they are out of their league.

What many gyms do is ensure that the fee's per hour for team girls are significantly less than for recreational kids, as it is so much harder to schedule make ups. You have told us what her prices are compared to the other team girls but why are they like in comparison to rec girls?

On the whole though constantly cancelling their friday class is very unprofessional. Regular training is essential for competitive gymnasts, you have paid for it and you have been lead to expect it will be available. Cancelling once or twice for a major event is fine but this should be a rarity. If it is happening more than once a term it means their training is being neglected. The gym may feel that the practise is unnessesary as the other level 4's train only 4 hours a week.

As for leaving your daughter with the other level 4 group that day, if you were in our gym we would have accepted that. You did pay for 3 classes a week, your daughter is of an appropriate age and level for the group and I think you do have a very valid point of her becoming more comfortable around the girls she competes with.

We would also accept that you had to race out on that day, we are a gym which meas most of our clients are children. We understand the pressures involved, you had to collect your other child, you would have stayed and asked but you could not.
 
Jan 22, 2008
437
I can see your frustration. We typically only have classes cancelled because of weather. We too are under staffed and I can see the strain on the coaches, gymnasts and administration. Remember our coaches can only do so much and the administration is the person who should get the brunt of your frustration. That being said last year when we had classes that needed to be cancelled I kept a running total and every once in a while I would remind our coach and just say when do you think we can work them in. She had a plan to save the hours till the month of our year end show. I kept a running total and we had like 8 hours saved. She made up those hours and actually gave us more preparing for our show.

Now this year we have already missed 4 hours because of weather. Our coach knows I keep a running total and she has a plan that the girls are going to use the extra time to prepare for a mini-meet they are going to be hosting for L3. So maybe she will pack in some more extra practices when it gets closer to States when more time is needed. You may even suggest this to help.

BTW does your gym know you are leaving after this season?
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Thanks guys... for all the support and suggestions....
Firstly... NO, the gym doesn't know we are leaving after state yet and I won't tell them yet because I also feel like Emily deserves her banquet and yearbook as well from the gym. I am not the only parent moving their child at the end of this year. It really seems our gym is money hungry. They push private lessons on all the parents if their child is struggling. And really the only reason we have tons of girls struggling on skills is that there is not enough coaches and too many rec classes and too many girls on the team to the number of coaches.
The gym owner says a few missed practices are kind of built into the program and I am like mmmmm Not... that is just free money in your pocket.
Friday's only has team girls that are in the gym and well... then they don't turn the heat on up in the viewing areas of the gym for the parents because they obviously are trying to save money.
The thing that gets me... My daughter is pretty darn good... She has all her level 5 skills and she is only 8 right now so she has plenty of potential to develop it. She has been going to this gym since the beginning so 3.5 years and I have been paying them for over 3.5 years and 2 years on team.
The rec class prices are 46 dollars a month for 1(1 Hour) class a week and then if they take 2 (1 hour classes it is double that which is what I pay for Madi's miniteam 2 so 92 dollars a month and a 4 dollar discount so 88 dollars and add that to the 150 a month I pay for Emily a month plus her other fees for meets and stuff. I give them a lot of money and they should be coaching my daughter to mine and other parents liking. Some children get completely ignored and the gym definitely picks favorites and treats them like favorites as well.
Other fees are Miniteam 3, 2 days a week for 1.5 hours each (105 dollars a month)... level 4 133 a month 2 days a week 2 hours each day, level 5... 169 a month and 4 days a week and 2.5 hours a day and not sure on level 6 and up prices since I haven't gotten there yet but as you can see it doesn't go up fairly at all. I think Madi's level is actually the biggest rip off and we get screwed out of any classes that fall during holiday times such as the entire Christmas school vacation and Spring break with no make up options for those holidays. They say they are built in since some months have 5 weeks built into them so they are making it up that way in that they really only pay for 4 a month and if there is 5 in one month then that is a bonus for the month that classes fall due to holidays. However, Madi's class is 2 days a week so I know that there is never full 5 weeks in a month.
Snow days get made up for rec classes but teams have a no make up policy really. So if the girl is absent and sick... She just won't be able to make it up.
However, my complaint was that the coach cancelled, not me... So I feel as though I should still get my practice.
I didn't talk to her yesterday because I had school. I am kind of hoping she forgets about it, lol.
Anyway, We got one of our big meet schedules last night and my daughter is in the 1st session for level 4s ages 6, 7 and 8s so she will be with that younger group so I am glad I sent her. Otherwise she would be at an away meet and a big one with girls she doesn't know and the other coach from our T/Th level 4 team. The rest of her teammates will compete in the afternoon session.
 
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fruitcake

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Aug 1, 2007
30
midwest
I understand some of your frustrations with missed practices--we run into that on meet weeks because we have practice on fri and sat which of course doesn't happen on a meet weekend. then since coaches get paid for the meet, IF they are salaried, they in essence get double paid. However, I know our team costs don't even cover our practice expenses. Our head coach/owner did a complete analysis/breakdown of the program this fall and gave it to the families. It broke everything out--team percentage of utilities, building costs, office expense, etc. So I know that they aren't making money off the team parents. I doubt if any gym is "making money" on their team. And our team costs are more than yours--level 4 is $150 for 7 hours and level 5 is $225 for 13 hours. Have you checked with the new gym to see how they deal with issues like missed practices/snow days? It may not be better, just be prepared so it doesn't but you after you move.
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
Actually Fruitcake... My daughter's level 4 is 150 dollars for 6 hours. The 1st year level 4 is the 133 for 4 hours.
The new gym's level 4s are 140 dollars for 9 hours and the level 5s are 215 for 15 hours a week.
So we are jumping up quite a bit in price but they have an open door make up policy where you can come anytime the gym is open and practice... Plus open gyms are free for team members where our gym charges 5 dollars for anyone who come to open gym who is a student of the gym and 5.50 for non gym members....
I know that teams don't really bring in the money but we also 5 meets a year and charge everyone at the door. Plus privates which are going on non stop at our gym because the parents are talked into it.
 

catesmom

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Nov 9, 2007
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Melmonette- i think that a lot of what you are feeling is coming from the way that some girls at your gym are obviously being treated. And rightfully so. We never want to see our dd's treated any differently than others and some times it seems that way, and in your case it seems like it actually is the case. I know at our gym we don't make up any missed practices. But my dd goes 4 days a week so when practices are cancelled sometimes we just say YEAH! When you change gyms it sounds like you will be much happier. I can already tell that the coaches at the new gym are more responsive to your concerns.

I think when you are in the new gym your concerns with these things will not bother you so much.. This current gym has really pushed all your buttons and I recognise it as Mom survival mode. When things get as out of hand as what you have been experiencing you just can't take it anymore. I am almost positive that in the new enviornment you will see these concerns disappear.

I also think that what some of the other posters have said is true. Our team is small and I know that the rec kids, and the cheerleaders and the tumblers pay the lions share at our gym. The obvious problems at he gym you are now attending has made it almost impossible for there to be a team atmosphere there, and I can tell you that if it wasn't a case of "we're all in this together" at our gym it would be much harder to enjoy.

I'm hoping that the next few weeks will not cause you anymore concerns and that you will be able to get out of there and to a better situation for you and the girls. Know that you have our best wishes and feel free to RANT anytime you need to. Thats what we are here for;)
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
thank you all for your support.
I am glad to listen to all your opinions.
Yes we are done with the gym... We are just finishing up with state and off we go and I am sure the gym won't even miss us as the owner sort of treats their paying customers as disposable. There are always more paying customers to replace me and my daughters and their gym will continue to perform well without us but it still hurts that I have to take my daughter away from a team she loves to spend time with. It is a good thing a few other teammates are coming with us in the switch. I really do love some of the coaches.. They are very good but they are just strapped down with too many girls and not enough of them. Our team has a very good chance at winning state because 13 of our girls are second year level 4s so we can put up big numbers when we hit.
I will be happy for the girls if they win state and happy for the team and the coaches too. So as you can tell I am so conflicted even though I know the best thing for us is to find a gym with better ratios and addresses our concerns. However sometimes I feel guilty for leaving at the same time:( because this is where we started our gymnastics journey and Emily has learned a lot here and some of her best friends are at the gym.
But thank you all again for the support and I know this is the best decision to leave after state, I will just make sure we pick the gym that best meets our needs. There are 2 others that we still are going to let the girls try out. They have both invited our daughters to workout with their girls for a week for free and for us to come and watch even before that just to see how they do things.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

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Jan 9, 2008
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Your fustrations sound very familar, once again we are at the gym where the girls are struggling to compete all around( all of them have competed all around except my daughter and another teammate who weren't able to qualify for states and quess who is hosting states our gym. We practice 10hrs weekfor 200.00, practice is on Friday and Saturday. We often have missed Saturdays due to meets there is no makeup. They have not even attemped to offer privates for my daughter and the other girl in an attempt to get them to compete all around and qualify for states. I have mentioned bringing her in for privates and I was blown off. This is why along with my daughter being upset by not competeing all around I am considering leaving. I have even talked to parents who have girls in higher levels who do not compete all around and they just accept this. I am also torn about leaving because my daughter has been there for over 3 years and is close to everyone and they have a very strong parent association. :confused:
 

Aussie_coach

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Just remember guys that gymnastics is an individual sport. The team part of it is very exciting but every child must be getting from it what they need. It sounds like some of your daughters are being neglected. Every gymnast in every gym is equally important. If they are the senior elite who is on the national team or the little 5 year old rec kid who is strating out for the first time. Every gymnast has the right to be catered for.
 
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