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For Parents New toCompetitions

cyn5351

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Oct 23, 2020
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USA
Hello
My 6 yr daughter just started competing so I am brand brand new to this and have no clue what I'm doing. ha! I have a question.... well couple.....

Few weeks ago, at a meet, our gym sent only 1 coach. Coach whom I love but I do know that she is stretched very thin. During this meet, she had Level 1 & 2s competing at the same time. My daughter and her team mates were competing on the vault the coach was with another group. The vault mats were very low and thin which seemed to throw several girls off. Other team coaches later noticed and rearranged the mats for their girls.

So my questions....... is it a requirement for a coach to be with each group at each apparatus as a safety precaution?

In my mind, their coach is there to ensure their safety and is their advocate. I do not blame the coach in the least, I want to take it up with the gym. Again, in my opinion they should have sent more than 1 person to work with the girls.
I recently found that the gym is charging entry fees that are greater then what is published for the meet. I questioned this practice and was told the additional funds are for coach expenses, etc. If that is the case, shouldn't there be more than 1 coach at a meet?

I've spoke with other parents who were also concerned about the oversight and were not happy when the overcharging was mentioned. and overcharging by $125 per athlete. this is a small gym

Am I within my parental rights to bring this up? or will I become "that parent"?
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Yes, 100% your gymnasts should be supervised by their coach at the apparatus. He having two groups is ridiculous, and dangerous.

As to meet fees, yes coaches need to be paid. Most gyms give a breakdown of costs.

If you become "that parent" over this, then likely this is not the right gym, for anyone.
 

MuggleMom

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Former Gymnast
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Dec 22, 2016
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Virginia
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Each group should have its own coach. Some meets if we have girls in different sessions there is only one coach but each group during a session has a coach always. That would be a huge concern for me.

We have escrow accounts for meet fees and they break out the "meet fee" and "expenses" seperate for each meet so its clear. The "expenses" are estimated over the season and they tend to over estimate so you dont end up owing more money. For each meet they post what came out of escrow showing the meet fee and expenses. At the end of the season any money left over we get back. People should absolutely be paid appropriately for their time and expenses but I think it should also be transparent.

I looked at last years escrow for my daughter. Our local meets had about a $20 expense per kid and the travel meets were about $75 expense per kid. Now we are a larger gym and are sending more girls to compete so that's more people to share the expenses. The meet fees themselves are usually around $125-$150. Keep in mind if its not a local meet you are also paying the coaches hotel room, meals and hourly wage. If you are local then its meals and hourly wage.
 

Carly

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Jan 3, 2016
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Each group should definitely have their own coach at meets. Sometimes we've had to bring two coaches for the same level because the girls were split into 2 groups in a single session. I thought that the host gym would communicate to the gyms attending how many coaches that they needed to bring for each session and level.

We always pay extra for meet fees to cover the coaches expenses. The gym never gave us a breakdown of costs. It was a one time fee paid at the beginning of the season. We did get money back one year for overpayment.

I think that it is within your rights and is not being "that parent" to say something. It was very unsafe for them to not have a coach at all times. I would think, but don't know for sure, that it would be mandatory to have a coach there. Safety is the one thing that I won't compromise on for my dd and the gym.
 

cyn5351

New Member
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Oct 23, 2020
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50
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USA
Thank you everyone for your response. Again, this is all new so not sure what the norm is or how to go about discussing it with the gym.

Just a little more info. This was a local meet that the gym only sent the 1 coach to. She was responsible for 2 teams competing at the same time. Myself and all the other parents are paying $100 plus OVER the competition entry fee. So I think we are more than entitled to have multiple coaches on site if this situation comes again.
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Now its a matter of how to bring this up to gym management

This was my daughters 3rd competition ever. She is 6 and a Level 1. Her coach told me after the fact that she had the highest scores for all Level 1 & 2s in the meet (Floor 9.3, beam 9.4, Bars 9.5 & vault 9.75). Her prior meet was also all 9s. Of course at that level there is no placement etc. They are telling me she is very talented. If she can master the skills this spring, they may have her skip level 2 and go to 3 in the fall. Thoughts?
 

MILgymFAM

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Feb 6, 2014
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A few thoughts..

1. There should always be a coach for each group. That said, at your daughter’s age it’s even more important. My daughter has rotated without her coach a couple of times but she was in high school.

2. Yes, you need to pay coaches fees for meets, but yours do seem high and also unwarranted if they didn’t even have their coach with them for the meet.

3. I would broach it by whatever is the common/accepted means of gym communication for your gym (in person, email, phone), but I prefer email in general because I like a record of communication. I would let them know that you are concerned about the lack of a coach for the group at meets, and ask if it’s possible to either get a season coach’s fee list up front, or a breakdown of the costs. I know others have said it is inappropriate to ask, but we have been given a break down more often than not at gyms we’ve attended, and a local meet shouldn’t have that high a cost unless there is only a couple of girls.

4. Levels.. well, we’ve never seen levels 1 & 2 compete or even really exist in the areas we’ve lived, and I’m not sure I’d be willing to pay for competitions at those levels at all. You’re required to start at L4 and L3 is often used to get practice at the whole thing. Anything before that seems like either a money grab or pandering to parents imo. I wouldn’t worry about moving up too fast at those levels myself.
 

M2Abi

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Jan 21, 2016
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Yes, there should be a coach with each group. I've never seen a meet where a group didn't have a coach with them. Without knowing the size of the team or other specifics, it's hard to determine what reasonable additional fees for a meet would be. Total competition fees for us were more than an additional $100 per meet, but we're at the optional levels (6-10), we always had four coaches at a meet, and some meets were travel meets.
 

Muddlethru

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Mar 16, 2011
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There definitely should always be a coach with each group as many have stated above. I am also a little confused as to how your daughter and her other teammates managed at each event without a coach overseeing them? The coach would have to let them know the order in which they are suppose to compete and line them up accordingly. The list has to be given to the judges by the coach as well. At Level 1 and only 6 years old, this would be hard for them to do on their own. Someone had to be giving them the “go signal” to take their turn to compete?

As far as your daughter doing two levels in a year, I don’t see any issues with that. My daughter did one fun meet at 6 years old and then did Level 4, old Level 4 that is. Many kids still to this date skip Levels 1 and 2, and some Level 3.
 

GYM0M

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Jul 23, 2013
1,287
I would give your gym the benefit of the doubt....this time. It is likely that they were unaware that the girls in your daughter’s session were going to split into two rotations. As for the competition fees, you and your DD have the disadvantage of being in what I call the ‘give’ more group of small gyms. My DD has come up from a small gym as well. Our coaches estimate their expenses for ALL meets for the year, then divide the total expense and add a certain amount to each member registering for a meet. This allows for your gym to take higher level gymnasts to meets as well. If your DD sticks with it, you will reap those benefits as well in no time.
 

katrid11

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Sep 1, 2020
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On the coaches thing - yes 1 coach per rotation especially little kids. We have had a girl fall off the low bar and the coach just missed catching her. Can't imagine sending the girls to vault without someone.

As for the fees - it depends on the structure. We used to pay an annual fee that paid to have X coaches at each meet including hotels when needed. On top of that we paid the individual meet fees. Now we moved to a monthly cost that includes the coaches costs for meets. We will pay meet costs when they come up. This is something you need to understand so you can anticipate costs. If they want to charge extra at each meet that's fine - just a different way to handle the same costs.

As for skill level - there are new skills at each level. To go from Level 1 to Level 3 means adding several more skills to the routines like a RO and RO BHS. Can it be done - yes. Is it easy - not necessarily. Next years L3 will still have the RO BHS, front hip circle, handstand to kickover, etc. New will be the handspring vault (over mat). It is something to ask later on this year how kids will be assessed for the next level(s). Asking about the process is always helpful. Asking to put your child in X level - not so much. Remember that while a child maybe very talented, there is a progression the coaches like to follow to ensure the strength, positioning, and flexibility is there for later on.
 

alattejavatoo

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Oct 6, 2020
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Others have addressed the coach meet/fees so I’ll just answer the question about skipping levels. I am not a fan and in 90% of the cases, I am against it. It would depend if your daughter learns the needed skills easily and has solid technique or if she struggles. It would depend on what skills she has, is close to getting and what she is learning now.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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May 6, 2013
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I've never seen girls rotate without a coach, and it's even worse at that age. I would really want an explanation. Gyms typically get the rotation order ahead of time, and I've even seen coaches raise an issue with the meet director when a team was split more than there were coaches and it's always fixed.

As others have said, paying more for the meet is normal, though that is quite a lot more. I would just ask what is added on to the meet fees. It could be that other fees we have separate, you have built into your meet fees.

I don't really even consider it skipping when it's levels 1,2, and 3. None of those levels are required and many gyms do not compete at all until level 4. Also, 1 and 2 are very similar, so if she can get the 3 skills, I'd say to go for it. Seven year old level 3s are not uncommon at all.
 

cogymmom2dd

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Feb 9, 2020
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USA
How big was each group?
I know that sometimes bigger groups are split at meets even if from the same gym, so maybe they weren’t expecting the girls to be split if it was a smaller group.
Typically, the host gym should be sending out info to all of the competing gyms with a minimum number of coaches on each roster. Our gym is very transparent and forwards all of the parents that info once it is available.
If the groups were smaller, maybe the mandatory coaching requirements only stated one coach so that is what the gym sent.
However, if the group was split up, the coach should have advocated for them to all stay together because she wouldn’t be able to be in 2 places at once.
In my area, Level 1 doesn’t exist and level 2 is usually equivalent to pre-team or rec league. L3’s usually start competing at larger meets, but technically USAG says level Levels 1-3 aren’t mandatory. My DD 1 was level 3 between ages 7-8. L4 is where the mandatory mobility requirements start.
And yes, coaches need paid too. I think that $126 per kid is excessive. I think that our fees are around $50 per kid per meet regardless of if it is local or not.