Need Advice

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My DD has been at her gym for 2 yrs. She has been through 4 coaching changes. The latest coaching change we were basically told we could watch but not question what the coaches do. We pay a lot monthly for her. She is L4 and goes 16 hrs a week.

At the beginning of the summer we were told that they would be training L5. All summer long we have seen nothing but basic instruction. One of the coaches is constantly going back and forth and only spending 50% of the time coaching. I have been very happy with the gym and coaching that she recieved until the summer began. DD is not complaining and enjoys it. I am frustrasted because we were told that they would be training up. This will be the 3rd time she and others will be competing L4.

The coaches eat lunch on the floor during conditioning and the girls or parents are not supposed to say anything. The coaches can come and go and parents are not supposed to say anything. The parents aren't supposed to question what is going on, but I have to ask "What is going on?"

Does anyone have any advice as to what I should do? I know that I am not the only parent that feels this way, but we feel we have no options but to leave the gym. This is not what I want to do since competition season begins in just over a month.
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Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
Wow that really is special.

How old is your DD?

Does she have the L5 skills?

If she doesn't she obviously cannot compete L5 in one month regardless of how many times she has done L4.

DO you have other gyms to choose from? WOuld you consider having her try out for a few if there are.

If my child was training 16 hours a week, I really would expect that she would not be doing L4 for the 3rd year unless she had some real mental blocks or had injuries to deal with.

How did she score at L4? How does hte club do generally in competition. Do girls stay at one level for a long time?

You say you are paying a lot of money but cannot ask questions, there is something seriously wrong with that. You should be able to make an appoinment with the coach and ask what are the plans for your DD.

As for eating during conditioning, that is ridiculous. How do you "know" that parents aren't supposed to ask? It sounds like a culture of fear has been established and parents have become accepting of below standard training.

I would seriously examine why your DD is in this gym, she should progress at least 1 level every two years at 16 hours a week.

YOu are paying for a service and therefore you should be entitled to some feedback from the coaches.

Sadly it sounds like they are not very professional. I'd be out of there if I had choices, if not it's time to take hubby with you for a sit down chat.

Good luck, these issues are very hard.

The good news is your DD loves gym and still wants to work even without a challenge. If you answr some of my questions, other people will be able to give you advice, we have a LOT of parents who have dealy with gym changes.


My daughter is 10 and has been at this since she was 2. We changed gyms when the coach told me she was going no where. We change gyms and she started improving.

She started at 16 hrs at the beginning of the summer. She was doing 11 before that and improving. She has made no improvement since the summer started because they have gone back to basics and not teaching them anything.

They are not training L5. I knew she would compete L4 again, not happy about it but accepted it. They were supposed to be training L5 over the summer and never got that started. Before summer they were working on kips and cartwheels and L5 tumbling passes. Since the summer began, they have worked on none of it at all.

I do plan on watching practice for the next few days. I think I will be scheduling an appointment with the coaches about her development and their plans for her.

We don't have much of an option in our area. We are pretty limited because of distance. She loves it and doesn't want to give up gymnastics either, I don't want to break her heart.


I would make an appointment with the owner and voice my concerns and let them know with your concerns you are seriously looking at other gyms if things don't improve. Then go and look around and see what is out there that is better for you and your family. This is expensive - TOO EXPENSIVE to be told you have no voice.

Another option it to get the parents together as a united front and have an owner/parent meeting to air things out.


At my old gym the head coach left and I was with my old coach for like 5 or 6 years and my family and I were really close. They we had another coach but it just wasn't the same with out him. So they also brought in a "TEMPORARY" coach and my team mates and the moms didn't like it. So alot of the moms got together and we looked at another gym in our area and tried out there. We liked it ALOT better so we, well I stayed there (the other girls quitgymnastics all together). But I have been there for about a month and I love it. I am doing so many more skills than I even imagined I could do. They cleaned up my form and have mt doing my fulls and one and a halfs punch frints. It is something to look into if you want your your daughter to get better than what you current gym is giving her. (sorry this is so long) I hope I helped!! :)


Active Member
May 27, 2009
Region 6 (Northeast)
Based on your description of your situation, you are doing pretty much everything because of your daughter. If that is your sole reason and she really wants to say, then negotiate with the owners and try to work something out. (including a lower rate for a few less hours because 16 hrs for casual training at L4/5 is way too much IMHO)

If your daughter wants to have better instruction and to progress more effectively then definitely start looking into another gym. If moving to another gym is not feasible due to distance or whatever, and she doesn't care to quit altogether, then quitting might be an option too. (don't worry you'll get over that)

People are known to quit their jobs for less harsh treatment than you've described. Why would you put up with it if you're the one making the payment -- unless you're doing it for your daughter?


I would definitely make an appointment to talk with the coaches. Yes, you shouldn't be out there on the floor questioning the coaches as things are happen, but that doesn't mean you can't talk in a meeting about your concerns. She's 11, right? That's getting older for level 4, so she definitely needs to be training for the next step--if that isn't happening, you need to find out why (are they going back to basics because the girls just don't have that?? Or do the new coaches not know how to train for team?)

Geoffrey Taucer

Former Admin
Gold Membership
Former Gymnast
Jan 21, 2007
Baltimore, MD
It seems all too common for coaches to insist that parents never question anything they do. And I can sympathise to some extent; parents can be a bit overbaring at times.

However, to simply say "no questioning the coaches" is taking the easy, lazy way out and to me displays a lack of confidence in their coaching ability. I always keep myself open to questions from both my kids and their parents about just about anything. The result is that I spend a lot more time explaining myself and my techniques than I otherwise might, and I sometimes have to simply answer "I don't know, that's just what I've been told by other coaches", but it's well worth the tradeoff because my kids and their parents all have very strong trust in me. They know that I will never pretend to know something I don't.

I think, for the level of trust we as coaches require from the kids and their parents, we need to give them something in return; we can't ask for that level of trust without allowing them to question us.

So, philosophical ramblings aside, if you are not allowed to question your coaches I would discuss your concerns with the owner and/or look for another gym.

gym law mom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 23, 2006
Wow, if you had another gym option I would say run don't walk right out the front door of this gym and go somewhere else.
Lots of red flags on this one:
1. 4 coaching changes in 2 years---the front door should not be a revolving one for coaches.
2. High tuition, but you are getting.....................what?
3. Girls kept at same level(not even a required one) for 3 years!
4. Many promises made(uptraining etc) but not kept or followed through on
5. The customer(you) is told not to ask questions.
6. Current coaches acting unprofessionally---eating while kids practice. Saw that one at our 1st gym. It did annoy parents and kids.

There is really no good reason to keep girls at L4 for 3 years except $$$. The lower level teams are usually the larger ones in terms of numbers and girls drop out of the sport as they move up. Is your dd at all frustrated with doing the same routines for the 3rd year? How long do they keep girls at L5 and up? How does this gym do in meets?

I agree that you need to meet with the HC and/or owner. See if there is any plan in place for these 3rd yr. L4s. Explore all other options regarding gyms---check into Y programs, any city/county rec programs, what about T & T?

Let us know how it turns out. I hope you can get some answers and a plan for your dd.


I want to thank everyone for your suggestions. I have made arrangements to meet with one of the coaches tomorrow. This is her coach before they were all merged together. She might be able to explain things to me before I go to the head coach/owner.

I did stay and watch the practice today and am pleased to say that practice went as it should. I am still going to address my frustrations.

Thanks Again to everyone.


Oct 6, 2007
Pittsburgh, PA
The red flags are definitely going up here. 16 hours a week of l4? I don't do that much at novice op! We did... probably 8 hours a week when I did 4. The fact that there's no communication between parent and coach is bad too. :(

If there's another gym around... I would check into it at the very least. No harm in looking.


May 26, 2009
Somewhere Over the Rainbow
I really feel for you. my gym has coaching issues. My favorite coach in the whole world left. he practically ran the whole gym. he was first and foremost the level 6 coach... but he coached everylevel at least once every 2 weeks. we knew he was leaving so we asked as a team of 9-13 yr olds who was going to be our coach. we were told one coach. and ended up being coached by another. we told our parents and they all had a meeting. something were resolved by others were not. she preferred optionals over compulsories. and the girls tried to make it obvious in a nice way (trying to be mature). she didnt really listen. the parents got involved and she listened a little bit. now i think she sees the error of her ways. ut could be that now im an optional... but i think that the parent involvement helped. wow that was a long story to say that the parent meeting was crucial. but if we had optiond i maght try another gym. i think sometimes you might want to consider having you daughter get herself motivated and maybe ask the coach if she can move on if she has already done what was asked. i hope all goes well. i would like to know how the meeting goes.
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