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Little DD told not to come back to class

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momof5

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Oct 26, 2007
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A little background story first. We moved DD #1 to a new gym in Oct because we felt that the first gym just didn't believe in her. She had tried out for their team and instead was put on preteam. Well preteam was way to easy as most of the girls were learning skills DD had done for over a year. Their L4s also practiced at the same time as their preteam and DD notice several girls that they meoved to team that had less skills then she did. She was frustrated and discouraged so we changed gyms and the new gym put her straight to team. Fast forward to last weekend she had her first meet. They were in the same session as her old gym. I never told her old gym that she was moving to the other gym. I just withdrew her from the preteam. So I bring my 4 year old to her invite only class(where the girls have been selected to workout to prepare them for team in the future). The head coach/owner who was coaching her L4's at the meet asked to speak to me. I thought for sure that she was going to ask about DD#1. Instead she told me that this would be the last day that DD #2 could do her speciality class. Because sis was at a different gym she could no longer be in her class. She could move to a preschool rec class though. They said this class was designed to prepare kids early for team and since my other daughter was at a different gym we problaby had no intention of Putting DD#2 at her gym. They didn't want to put their training efforts into DD if she wasn't going to compete for them. I was completely surprised by this. We where going to move DD this summer when her class ended for the year but we didn't move her in October because I didn't want her to have to chage just because sis did. Her little class was very important to her. I was completely surprised by how this was handled. Is this the normal way things work? She acted like I was the one doing something wrong and I just never thought it was a big deal. I mean they are two different people. Why should it matter what big sis was doing?
 

Linsul

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Sep 19, 2008
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I think the problem lies with not telling the gym about DD1 going to another gym in all the time between Oct and last weekend. That's a long time! Finding out at a meet is kind of harsh too. How long was she at the gym before leaving?

Also, a really simplified breakdown of gym programs, from a purely business perspective, is rec being the moneymaker and team being the reputation builder. That being said, a child that is in a preteam group is there to add to that competitive reputation of their chosen gym in future.

It seems they are going quid pro quo on you. You put your daughter at another gym where she could compete. Their reaction is to not put added effort into DD2 if there's any likelihood she'll use that training for another gym.
 
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ZJsMom

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I, for one, don't think it's appropriate. That said, it's not that surprising either. Coaches and owners often take these things really personally. If your older daughter had been on team, then I think you would have owed it to them to disclose that you were joining another team. But she wasn't put on their team, so I have a hard time seeing how they could be so upset about her competing for someone else.

Have you already paid for the session? If so, are they going to refund your money?
 
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Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
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YIKES!

I think it's kind of mean. I do see a different perspective thanks to Linsul's post in that DD #2's gym could be a little hurt that they didn't know DD#1 went to another team and then competed against them. Maybe they think you are a spy for the other gym? And, that the rec class is the money maker while the team is the rep builder is something that I've heard before, but I think it could've been handled differently. I mean it's only pre-team! Chances are at least 1/2 those girls they are working with and training now will not even get past L4. Some that will stay may not even stay forever in that gym! Girls come and go all the time. It does seem a little harsh and personal. Sorry for your DD and hope they find a spot soon at DD #1's gym. At leaset you'll only have to go to one location now, LOL
 

Linsul

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Sep 19, 2008
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I just want to say before this thread gets any longer that I didn't intend to sound hurtful or judgmental in my first post. Just in case it comes across that way, I was going for impartial from the gyms perspective kind of thing. I can only assume that gyms want the best for the kids, whereas with parents I'm 100% without a doubt sure of it.

As far as the gym taking it personally, I can see that. Gyms don't sell a product, because they can't promise an outcome when that relies on too many variables out of their control. They're selling a method, a training philosophy essentially. Usually that is decided on for very personal reasons or experiences. Some may take the rejection of their method (especially when it yields a walk on spot to another team) as a personal rejection. Not saying that is right or wrong because Lord knows there are plenty of reasons for leaving one gym for another; just trying to get to the heart of the personal matter from a gyms side.
 
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NYgymfan

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Wow, that is very sad and I think it is very preposterous of them to do that. If you disliked or distrusted the gym, you probably would have pulled both DD's at the same time. I think the very fact that one DD stayed is proof that you had faith in their program.

If it was me, I probably would have told them just to avoid awkward moments. But don't most gyms usually state the rules in advance? I know I've heard that some gyms will kick girls off team if they find out the girl was "visiting" another gym, but don't they usually say that from the beginning? If not, I think you have a right to be very upset. And the most sad thing is that your DD really didn't do anything to deserve to be treated like that.
 

momof5

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Oct 26, 2007
375
Linsul. Actually I thank you for your prospective. I, of course tend to only see the parent side. They are going to refund my money. At first they said no, then I fussed a bit and now they are going to refund my money.
 
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flippersmom

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As long as they are refunding your money.

I would have to say I could honestly see DD's old gym and current gym both doing this. It is an unfortunate situation, but old gym is probably hurt. I know owner at old gym was hurt by our decision to switch to gym much closer and will no longer speak to me. DD #2 will probably be better off getting into new gym and starting to get trained with their methods. If it has worked out for DD #1, I'm sure it will be fine for DD #2 in time.
 

Gym-Nice-tics

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May 14, 2008
115
US
I can see why the gym was upset. As Linsul says, it's kind of like being rejected personally when kids leave your gym. I've lost a few kids over the years to other gyms and I always feel like it's an insult to me, that I'm not doing a good enough job, etc. I understand why you switched gyms, don't get me wrong, but it's still hard from a coaching stand point.

I also understand why DD2 was kicked out. Inappropriate, yes. But competitive teams don't want to see their work move to other gyms. If they are putting all this work into developing a beginning level gymnast, then they want that gymnast to represent them, not another gym.

I'll never forget. I brought a gymnast up from a rec class that I thought had potential into my level 4 program. She ended up competing half a season as a four, doing really well. I trained her at five for a whole season and she kicked serious butt, placing first on bars and floor in the state, and second in the all around. We went to level six the next season for half of the season and then bumped her to seven. I worked hard on creating her floor routine and it was AMAZING. she got like a 9.7 on floor in her first meet at seven and a 37 AA. She never returned to our gym after that. She went to another gym, continued to use the routine I created. It was rough. I had put my all into her, and she just left. So I can understand the owner of the first gym not wanting to keep her around.

Sorry if this comes off as negative, because i don't mean it too. Should he have kicked her out? No, especially if you already paid. I'm just trying to explain the reasons and emotions behind decisions like that.
 

gymdog

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Jul 5, 2007
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I think without a doubt they should at least refund the money. Personally I think gym switching is inevitable and I don't really think of it as "wasted time" per se, that's a little harsh. I would have some reservations about the situation but honestly "wasting" time with a child wouldn't be my immediate concern. If you're having retention problems, then the common denominator in those situations are the gym. Some people will switch for unreasonable reasons no matter what you do, but in general I think you have to balance some things against having good business practices, and kicking people out in the middle of a session is kind of unprofessional. If they've paid for the session and their child isn't a disruption, and you have no reason to believe they are badmouthing you, then I wouldn't do it.

But I can see why they might be concerned you'd be telling people about the other gym, etc. It's a complicated situation. Those would be more the concerns I'd have. It is a little weird.

I think gyms should be notified in a team or even preteam situation when you decide to change gyms. If only because you might be able to not burn bridges should you decide to return someday. Personally I would have probably switched them both sooner rather than later IF that was the ultimate plan, although I can see why you'd want to finish out the session if it goes by session like that though.
 

Blackie6

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Awwww Gym-nice-tics, what a story. I can see why you would feel hurt. Sounds like you really spent a lot of time with your gymie trying to help her reach her potential. I'm sure it must have hurt seeing her compete for someone else with your routine, but you should still be very proud for knowing it was all your coaching that got her there in the first place! She may not have had a choice, it could have just been her parents decision or just some silly reason you'll never know.

And Linsul, seriously, I loved your response because as a parent it is always nice to get another perspective on situations from coaches, owners, ect.... I didn't think you were trying to be hurtful at all. It's one of the reasons I love this place.
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
I'm hijacking this thread a little bit, but it's a related situation/story. My DD who is 4 is at a gym that I would not have her compete for if she ever reaches that point. They just don't have a very good team. Level 4-6 is pretty bad. If they have a kid who scores well it's because that kid is pretty talented. They look much better at Level 7,8 and sometimes 9. Their Level 10's don't score well at all and look sloppy. Most of their upper levels leave when they realize this and then go on to have great success at the other gym.

My DD is only 4 and it's not an issue yet and may never be an issue. I'm not the type of mom to drive the extra half hour for a 4 year old who might change her mind next year and want to quit. I do know that if she ever competes we will move gyms. This thread has me feeling bad now. Her current gym is very, very sensitive to kids leaving for this other gym. They are nice people and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She is on a developmental team so they obviously have plans that she will eventually be a part of their team. Their system is developmental, preteam and then level 4.

Would it be nicer of me to leave now rather than later?
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Ellabella, your situation is a bit different, you are the mom of one 4 year old in one gym, no split loyalties (from the gym's perspective). Continue along the path you choose, when you are going to leave, tell them.

After all you are a consumer buying a product for your child. Parents can, and will always, let their chequebook do the walikng and talking. Gyms and coaches need you to be there and to be happy.

Momof5, it sucks, but as long as they refund your money I'd have no issues with them. Coaches have feelings too and I imagine they are surprised to find out at a meet that your loyalties are spread thinner than they thought.

It's life eh?
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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As upsetting and irritating as the situation might be for you and dd2, I don't think the gym acted inappropriately. Signing on to pre-team means you are making a commitment to that gym, with the assumption that your child will progress to team. I am not a gym owner or coach but I envision an owner viewing it like this: If you switched dd1, it showed that you didn't have the confidence in coaches and the gym philosophy. Very few parents would have their daughters in 2 different gyms so the logical assumption is that you will switch dd2 at some point. They aren't willing to waste a spot on a child with whom they know will not be progressing to their team. It takes that spot away from another child. Add to this that you sneaked behind their back and switched dd without an explanation - it showed you were unwilling to work it out.

Also I remember seeing a post a few days ago saying how your dd didn't do very well at her first meet, in which the old gym was present. That may have been fuel to their belief that she truly wasn't ready to move to team. I am not saying that assumption is an accurate one - but in their eyes, they were right, especially if their philosophy is to view the whole child, not just the skills. Some 7 yr olds just aren't mature enough to handle the pressure of team practice and competition. They may have seen that. You mentioned previously that she had some problems with crying at practice. Sounds like the new gym has worked through it rather saying "wait a year". But the old gym may have seen it as a need to mature more. It's just different philosophies.

I hope all that didn't sound harsh. It's not meant to be. Just trying to give the owner's possible thought process - right or wrong, it doesn't matter. That's how they feel. It sounds like you made the right choice for dd1. Sounds like she's doing well in the new gym. I wouldn't fret it - just transfer dd2 to the new gym and leave the old gym behind.
 
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Gym-Nice-tics

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May 14, 2008
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I'm hijacking this thread a little bit, but it's a related situation/story. My DD who is 4 is at a gym that I would not have her compete for if she ever reaches that point. They just don't have a very good team. Level 4-6 is pretty bad. If they have a kid who scores well it's because that kid is pretty talented. They look much better at Level 7,8 and sometimes 9. Their Level 10's don't score well at all and look sloppy. Most of their upper levels leave when they realize this and then go on to have great success at the other gym.

My DD is only 4 and it's not an issue yet and may never be an issue. I'm not the type of mom to drive the extra half hour for a 4 year old who might change her mind next year and want to quit. I do know that if she ever competes we will move gyms. This thread has me feeling bad now. Her current gym is very, very sensitive to kids leaving for this other gym. They are nice people and I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings. She is on a developmental team so they obviously have plans that she will eventually be a part of their team. Their system is developmental, preteam and then level 4.

Would it be nicer of me to leave now rather than later?

As she is four years old, I would wait and see what happens. A lot can happen in two years. Perhaps a new coach could join the group that can turn the team program around, or perhaps the coaches will just turn themselves around and all of a sudden you have a good team. I've seen teams go from nothing to pretty darn good in very little time.

Perhaps you'll find that she loves the gym she's at... and that she might not be a good fit at another gym. Perhaps she'll end up hating gymnastics before then (hopefully not) and you won't ever have to make that decision.

If you stick around and then decide you DO want to leave, make sure you speak to the coaches or the owner if he/she is involved with the team program. Maybe even express concerns sometime prior to leaving. The more communication between parents and coaches can help situations like this. It especially makes leaving a lot easier, less feelings are hurt and people are not blindsided.
 

ellabella

Member
May 26, 2008
176
The similarities that I was thinking of were coaches on here talking about hurt feelings when kids leave. People usually leave when they discover for whatever reason that this gym is not for their child. I already know that and when I read coaches on here talking about feelings being hurt it made me see their perspective and I felt bad. As if I am just using them. Which as I customer I have a right to do.

Unfortunately the coach is also the owner so unless he sells the gym there will not be a change of coaches.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Ellabella---If your little dd is happy and doing well at her current gym then I think keeping her there right now is fine. All the terms of developmental and pre-team sometimes get taken a little too seriously. It sounds good to the parents and the gym has a product to hook you. So many of the girls in my gymmie's pre-team classes never made it to team. They found another activity, went to another gym, had financial issues etc. Any gym that counts on 4 and 5 yos being their future is rather naive. As she gets older and if you see that desire to continue with competitive gymnastics and there is no improvement in the team performance, then that would be the time to consider moving. I just get rather annoyed with adults who try and make parents/kids feel guilty about going to another coach, league, gym whatever. Its sports and it happens everyday.

Momo--Yes, in a way I can see your old gym's point. That being said this whole issue with DD2 could have been handled much better. They could have approached you and asked you what your plan was for DD2---were you planning on keeping her at that gym or leaving at the end of the session? They could have explained how they saw things from their side and at least offered to let DD2 finish the session. Really its a little girl caught in the middle and I don't think the adults were acting like adults. Hope she has a great time at her new gym.
 

momof5

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Oct 26, 2007
375
gymgal- DD didn't do as well as she wanted to but she didn't do terrible either. If you look at where she placed with her old gym at the first meet she placed under 3 of their girls and over 3 off their other girls in the same age division. At the meet this weekend only one of the 6 girls from the old gym beat her. I think that might have showed them that they made a mistake and that she was ready for team.
 
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GymmomOR1127

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Momof5 - I guess I can somewhat see both sides of this situation, but I do think the gym handled it poorly. Did they not think about the possibility of what this might do to your younger dd? I think there should have been a little more of a conversation than "this will be her last day". And, yes maybe you could have had more communication with them about dd#1 and moving her.

We have a mom at our gym that has two daughters on team, one at our gym and one at another gym in the area, and it has always been okay. It was just a matter of whom each child worked better with.

I hope younger dd is not too hurt, and is okay with the move (if that is what's going to happen), but it may all be for the better, anyways:).

Gym-Nice-Tics - Sorry about what happened to you, that must have been really hard to have put all that into her and have her go - and not know why:(.
 
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socko

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As someone who moved her daughter's gym this past fall, I can see exactly where you are coming from. I informed my daughter's gym mid-month of the intended move and the gym's reaction was totally inappropriate and unprofessional...the coach walked into the gym and announced to all that my daughter would no longer be coached here by anyone and that they (the gym) was "better off without her" ...this is all as my daughter is sitting right there!! I had paid through the end of the month but we never went back after that. This move came after MONTHS of pleading with her coaches to do some actual coaching. There had been a lot of attrition of the coaches who could actually coach the big skills she needed and the gym's position was that "any of our coaches is capable of coaching every level", and they were not. We are now at a gym that is capable of coaching higher level (9 & 10) gymnasts and she is getting the training she needs...she has actually gotten 10 new skills since the switch!! My bottom line on not informing the gym is that if I had to do it over again, I would have kept my mouth shut and just left. My daughter was horrified to think that her former coach could behave in this manner towards a child because it was actually MY decision as her parent to move her to the new gym. Gym coaches and owners have to remember that as parents , we are the consumers , and if we feel like you are not delivering a quality product, we will take our money elsewhere.
 
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