Kid wants more practice and told no

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gym law mom

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Ok, we got the summer schedule. As many of you know gymmie did not have a good state meet and did not get to regionals. So, she's been working her tail off on L9 skills----double back timers off bars, on floor, double twists on tumble trak, yurchenko timers. My gosh she even threw aside an old demon and started doing back tucks on high beam(with large mat under) and is planning to move her side aerial up to that beam. So, sounds like she is on the right track and not sitting around feeling sorry for herself.
Well, the HC decided to break all the team girls up into multiple groups for summer. Some 7s training with 9s and none of the groups have the same number of hours. Listening to him explain why he was doing this was like listening to total babble---made no sense. I get the L9s training for L10 being in the group that has the most hours(26), but then it gets very weird. Has 2 groups of current 7s/8s--1 group has 4 girls in it(1 7 and 3 8s) and will be coached by the L9 and up coaches---HC and excellent beam/fx coach and the other group has 6 girls(3 7s/3 8s) and will have the current L7/8 coaches and practice 4 hours less/week. Gymmie was very upset to be in this group----she wants MORE practice time and not less and this is less than her practice time last summer.
Talked with HC(who is also a part owner) and he said he could not move her to the group with 4(what the heck difference is 1 more kid?) but it was hard to figure out why. We did voice our complaints about not having enough coaches and he said we weren't the only parents to tell him that and also other parents have talked with him about their dd's being in a group with less gym time than a teammate.
He did claim no decision has been made on levels for next season and with all the changes coming out, they are still guessing on skills. Did say gymmie was close to being competitive on floor and bars as a L9.
So, he said if she wants more time, there are always "privates." I'm not sure where he thinks all the $ comes from.
For a coach, wouldn't you want a kid who says "bring it on"---more hours/teach me more? Seeing this schedule took alot of the steam out of gymmie's sails. She feels she is just being seen as a "loser."
Had to vent, but also looking for any ideas/thoughts on this issue. I can see this really causing friction all summer(plus unhappy kids).
 
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Tim_Dad

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Wow... well that's just... odd. Especially when the explaination wasn't made clear. Overall though, there will be less athlete to coach ratio per session, thus allowing more individual attention. Right? That may be an advantage over time.

Here's another thought - perhaps DD was put into a group that didn't require as much attention? ( Just trying to expose a positive spin... )

If the value of the training ins't the same as other sessions, then you have every right to make a stink about it. (esp if you're paying the same as the others). But, If the value is equal or greater though more direct coach-time then, the other 4 hours ins't lost. Is just wall-clock time.

After all - Coach time is what she wants, right? Wall-clock time means nothing if the time is spent waiting for her 'turn' with coach.

Again...IDK. I'm just trying to put a positive spin on it.
 
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gym law mom

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Wow... well that's just... odd. Especially when the explaination wasn't made clear. Overall though, there will be less athlete to coach ratio per session, thus allowing more individual attention. Right? That may be an advantage over time.

Here's another thought - perhaps DD was put into a group that didn't require as much attention? ( Just trying to expose a positive spin... )

If the value of the training ins't the same as other sessions, then you have every right to make a stink about it. (esp if you're paying the same as the others). But, If the value is equal or greater though more direct coach-time then, the other 4 hours ins't lost. Is just wall-clock time.

After all - Coach time is what she wants, right? Wall-clock time means nothing if the time is spent waiting for her 'turn' with coach.

Again...IDK. I'm just trying to put a positive spin on it.

With the current schedule she'll get 18 hours/week. At least 4-5 of those hours will be taken up with conditioning and another 1-2 for ballet. So, now she's down to 12-13 actual hours of working skills which is not really all that much for a kid learning L9 skills and routines. The 3 L7s in her group will be learning L8 skills and 1 of the L8s has no desire to move up, so will basically work skills with the L7s. That leaves my gymmie and one other L8 to learn L9 skills with L7/8 coaches that she no longer has much confidence in(the ones that just sat and watched her at states). The other girls on her team get 22 hours/week and will train with L9 coaches----of course he put 1 L7 girl in that group which again doesn't make alot of sense. Alot of this comes down to poor planning on the gym's part. They saw their teams growing, but did nothing about adding coaches and now we're being told 12 more girls will move into the compulsory teams. So, now its crunch time and some of the girls are going to pay the price.
 

coachmolly

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Is the L7 in the higher level group older? One of the gyms I trained at as a gymnast had a somewhat convoluted method of putting us in training groups. I was often placed in a group with higher level girls because I was older. But we also all had the same coaches and the same number of hours as the other girls in our level, just at staggered times.
I think you really need to let the head coach know that your dd REALLY wants to compete level 9 next year and she and you think the level 9/10 coaches would be best for that. You are paying and it's not fair for you or your dd to get stuck with less than adequate coaches. She deserves the best training they have available and is clearly not getting it. I would fight it if I were in your position.
 

gymdog

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For a coach, wouldn't you want a kid who says "bring it on"---more hours/teach me more?

I can't really comment on your gym/situation, but it's not necessarily unusual to have different training groups. When I was a L8, I was in a L9/10 training group. Once the decisions are made, many HCs aren't prepared to be flexible. It seems like one kid, but then everyone will want to move into that group. Again, I couldn't possibly say the basis for his decision, but that is probably one of the considerations. In our case there were specific skills - you needed to have those skills in order to be in that training group. Working on the next level of skills wasn't necessarily enough, and the skills might not even be a big skill, but ability to perform a series of skills in training, etc. They may be considering working on specific skills for this group and plan to block out that time. For all we know at this point, some of these girls could have been identified as needing more time due to certain weaknesses that will hold them back at a level that wouldn't be appropriate for their other 3 events. Or they are considering starting an elite track and have decided to see about tracking some girls. This is pretty common at gyms that decide to pursue elite programs.
 

Aussie_coach

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It really does sound like they are considering repeating level 8 for her. The fact that when you asked about the hours the thing the coach brought up was that it hadn't been finally decided. It indicates that the classes are correspondant to level. It really does sound like the 26 hour group are aiming for level 10, the 22 hour group are aiming for level 9 and the 18 hour group are aiming for level 8. The fact that they put a level 7 in the 22 hour group could mean they are aiming to fast trak her, maybe do two levels in one season.

It also sounds like the gym plans to wait and see how the kids go over summer before making final desicions as to who will do what. So even if tthey are considering repeating her she is in with a fighting chance.

Why not ask if there is any other way she can increase her hours in the gym, like an open gym time. Or just doing a few hours with this other training group while doing the rest with her group. Or any other specialist classes like an advanced tumbling group she could try with.
 

MeetDirector

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GLM -

On one hand I am glad to hear that these kind of problems are not isolated to our gym. But seriously, this is very wierd and on the surface does seem to be trying to send the girls (or parents) a message. From my experience, coomunicating this to the HC (the message part) is worthwhile since a lot of times they don't see the decisions they make from our eyes. Also, in that discussion you could always drop the safety card. I have used that on occasion and it does get some attention (lower level coach training girls with skills beyond the coaches ability to train/spot).

Hope everything works out OK.
 

gymch34

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As a coach, I would LOVE to a group of 6 or 4 optional gymnasts! Most groups are 8-10 strong at that level! (I am personally coaching mixed groups (L6/7 & L7/8, 8/9) w/ 11 in each! YOURS are VERY small groups, and it sounds like you do have many coaches ( coaches for the 7/8's and then for the 9's). It sounds like they made a good plan to split the groups, make them small, so the gymnasts benefit more.

I agree w/ the poster who said she might get more done in her small group that in a bigger group, waiting for more turns. A good coach can turn any situation into a productive one. I say before you assume she isnt going to get anything done this summer, you keep an open mind. More hours isnt necessarily better, and summer is also about lots of conditioning & basics, as well as new skills.


It does sound like the plan is for her to repeat L8. From what I remember reading- I think she had some fears and struggles at L8? I'm not sure why the HC isnt being honest about this. She should definitely be training up, and it should be open to see if she is really ready to be a L9. L9 is a tough level, w/ the bonus connections, especially bars.

It not a bad thing to repeat any level if necessary- esp. if there are fears involved. Maybe the coaches are thinking a successful L8 seasson would benefit her more than another year of struggles?
 

gymch34

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Hi,
Just wanted to add to my post. It certainly seems like you & your daughter are having trust issues with her current coaches. (And having coaches just sit & watch her @ states, I can see why the situation is that way.)

Have you talked to the HC about this? I really think if you & your daughter were truly happy w/ the coaching, maybe # of hours wouldnt be such a huge issue? (Could be wrong here....)

If the coaches were that lazy @ states, Im sure they are exhibiting the same behaviors at the gym! Perhaps if HC knew this, (s)he could keep an eye on things, talk to them w/ out mentioning names, etc?

Good luck!
 

Scout's Mom

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In my experience, groupings are the greatest predictor of success/progress (or lack thereof) in the gym.

I spent two years listening to absurd reasons from the head coach/owner as to why my daughter was in the group she was in. I never believed him, but allowed myself to hope for the best because my daughter did not want to leave her friends.

I so regret allowing valuable time to pass and allowing my child to feel like less. Ultimately, it was a group change that was the "straw that broke the camel's back" and I decided that this gym would not received one more penny from me.

There are good gyms (thankfully) that will keep your child back for various reasons including needing to be more clean on basics, needing more emotional maturity, etc. Repeating a level at these gyms need not feel like punishment--just providing your child with a greater foundation in order to be more successful later.

Don't make any decisions solely based on levels. If I were you, I would very carefully observe and decide if these coaches have your child's best interest at heart (whether that means she's an L8 or a L9 next season). If not, don't sit back and hope that it will get better--it won't. You will never be able to get the wasted time and your child's self-esteem back!

My heart breaks for your child....good luck!
 

gym law mom

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Thanks for all the responses. To try and summarize a little---ok it turned into alot! My gymmie does see this grouping as a "you'll repeat L8" and she's only 12. The L7 placed in one of the groups with the L9/10 coaches is the same age as my gymmie and spent 2 yrs as a L7, but she also has 2 hour privates EVERY week with the HC who will be one of the coaches for this group. Hmmm---gotta wonder bout that!

As far as skills, the current L8s are really all over the place. Not all competed tsuks as L8s(did fhs/full) and are in the group with the L9 coaches. I would say they all were fairly equal on beam skills---not great which is why gymmie wants to work with the L9 beam coach. As I said, the HC feels she is close to having all skills to compete floor and bars as a L9(needs a consistent double twist on floor and to add a pirouette to her bar routine---did a shootover this year)---ok probably work on the double back dismount too.

Coaches, its not as great as it sounds. The L7/8 coaches also coach the L6s so they will have at least 2 other groups to work with. This has been a problem all year and even the girls have started complaining they don't get enough time and they need another coach. As far as deciding on levels, that is "officially" done after skill testing at the end of August.

Gym Dad--Glad(in a sad way I guess) that we're not alone in this. There is a safety issue I was not aware of until recently. The bar/vault coach for the L6-8s has had a back injury since last fall and cannot spot on vault. So......if my gymmie is doing a tsuk and gets in trouble, the coach cannot "save" her. I know there are falls that no coach can do much about, but when the HC worked with them on vault (which wasn't often), my gymmie felt much more secure when doing her tsuk. He can step in and flip her higher if needed etc. I can't believe the gym would knowingly put a coach who isn't physically up to fully coaching vault in this position. Talk about begging for a lawsuit!!

Gymch34---As far as I know gymmie didn't have any huge fear issues this year except going back to her former gym to do states. Yes, she did have some beam "issues", but seems to have gotten past that. Doing back tucks on high w/mat, side aerials(will try on high w/mat tonight) and asked the L9 beam coach to help her w/the bhs-bhs(always had problems with hand placement). L9 coach watched for about 3 minutes, made the fix and now she's doing them on low beam. She LOVES bars--toe shoots, shoot overs(competed as L8), is trying straddle backs w/spot. She competed a tuck tsuk and basically hates that vault. Has been doing yurchenko timers and now flipping them again into the pit, but HC without coming right out and saying it, feels current coach can't safely work those and gymmie would have to be coached by him to fully get them for competition and as it stands right now---she won't be.

She would not be allowed to do any of this stuff in an open gym--- ours are really more for rec kids with lower level coaches. Only way she can get more hours per HC is for us to start forking over the $$ for privates every week. Oh yes, her current coach says all the decisions on the groups was made by the HC and she can't do anything about it.
 

coachmolly

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I feel very strongly about unfair groupings in the gym, it happened to me for years and really inhibited my progress. It wasn't until I switched to a new gym (the one I previously mentioned in this thread) did I begin to progress. Both gyms had training groups. Gym 1 had 3 groups:
Group A worked with the head coach and his partner in crime. They were the ones hand picked to be his path to success at higher levels. They got to train longer hours, learn new skills, and were given some pretty cool opportunities.
Group B was the feeder group for Group A. They were the young talented kids. They were often called to work with the head coach, especially if they were exceptionally small and talented, and progressed faster.
The above two groups typically also contained the kids whose parents gave the most money, did the most fundraising work, etc.
Group C was the group for the girls head coach viewed as too big, too fat, not naturally talented enough, etc. We were forced to compete USAIGC and work with a coach who was a very nice lady but whose coaching methods were outdated and aimed towards creating high school gymnasts, not upper level optionals which I wanted desperately to be. Head coach never even saw my gymnastics before placing me in this group, he just saw that I was not teeny tiny.
I felt a great deal of bitterness about these groupings and my parents often met with the head coaches only to be told changes in my group placement would never happen.
When I switched gyms I was so far behind from the group I had been placed in (and because my former gym was not a credible facility in the first place) that I was pushed back 2 levels. I ended up quitting gymnastics not long after, largely due to injuries, but I was left feeling disappointed in myself and the coaches I had put up with for so long. I loved gymnastics more than anyone else in any of the gyms I attended, but that didn't matter. I wanted more than anything to compete in college gymnastics, even Division III, but that never happened because of a situation where coaches arbitrarily group kids to suit their best interests.
Sorry to write about myself for so long, but the main point I want to get across is unfair groupings can lead to a waste of time and talent. Your daughter sounds dedicated and driven, so don't settle for coaches who are just "okay" for her. Fight for the ones who are willing to help her get where she wants to be and learn the skills she wants to learn. To this day I regret putting up with bad coaching for so long and my parents feel terrible about it as well.
Groupings can work out great and really be beneficial for the gymnasts and coaches, but that is not always the case and sometimes it can have a totally opposite effect. You mentioned the coaches were limited in their spotting ability of the upper level skills, that is a sure sign that your dd should not be in their group. I wish you and your dd the best and hope that somehow she can get herself into that next group.
 
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Well, the HC decided to break all the team girls up into multiple groups for summer. Some 7s training with 9s and none of the groups have the same number of hours. Listening to him explain why he was doing this was like listening to total babble---made no sense. I get the L9s training for L10 being in the group that has the most hours(26), but then it gets very weird. Has 2 groups of current 7s/8s--1 group has 4 girls in it(1 7 and 3 8s) and will be coached by the L9 and up coaches---HC and excellent beam/fx coach and the other group has 6 girls(3 7s/3 8s) and will have the current L7/8 coaches and practice 4 hours less/week. Gymmie was very upset to be in this group----she wants MORE practice time and not less and this is less than her practice time last summer.
Talked with HC(who is also a part owner) and he said he could not move her to the group with 4(what the heck difference is 1 more kid?) but it was hard to figure out why. We did voice our complaints about not having enough coaches and he said we weren't the only parents to tell him that and also other parents have talked with him about their dd's being in a group with less gym time than a teammate.
He did claim no decision has been made on levels for next season and with all the changes coming out, they are still guessing on skills. Did say gymmie was close to being competitive on floor and bars as a L9.
So, he said if she wants more time, there are always "privates." I'm not sure where he thinks all the $ comes from.
For a coach, wouldn't you want a kid who says "bring it on"---more hours/teach me more? Seeing this schedule took alot of the steam out of gymmie's sails. She feels she is just being seen as a "loser."
Had to vent, but also looking for any ideas/thoughts on this issue. I can see this really causing friction all summer(plus unhappy kids).

This is probably not the case but is it possible that they are grouping more by strength and agility than skills? That is how my sister's gym groups. Her current training group has her plus 3L10s 2L9s and 1L7. They rotate coaches though so the head coach does work with all groups at different times.

EDIT: After reading the rest of the thread and your other post I would bring up the vault safety issue specifically with the head coach and ask him how that will be addressed. I don't think it is unreasonable for her to expect to have a coach competent of teaching and spotting her intended vault.
 
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