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Normal Gym Management???

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mtbmom

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Feb 28, 2008
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Bethlehem, PA
Not sure if this is an appropriate question for this forum... but here goes anyway...

1. My daughter's gym has a policy for team members (or pre-team members which she is), that you may not take a class or try out for another gym's team. If you do, you will be kicked off the team. Is this a common and or reasonable policy?

2. Recently, fired the world glass gymnast and head coach. There was no explanation or mentioning of why (many rumors). In fact, it is as if she were never there. She is now the coach who shall not be named. Is this a normal practice for staffing changes?

3. There are two coaches for Developmental through Level 5 and two coaches for level 7 through 10. The team has approximately 80 girls. Does this seem like an appropriate coach/athlete ratio?

TIA for your help!
 

bogwoppit

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Here are my though6ts,

to number 1

No that is not normal. you are the parent and should be able to take your child to another gym to try out. However if I were going to do that I certainly would not be telling any one about it, none of their business frankly. Though if a girl actually leaves for another gym, and the grass isn't greener after all, the gym should not have to take her back.

To number 2

Sounds a bit childish to act as though a coach never existed. A bit Harry Potterish for me! Nothing you can do about this though! Coach's certainly be let go without any explanation , but usually we do not cease to use their names!:D:D

To number 3

4 coach's for 80 kids sounds low, but it depends on when the girls all train. Are they all in the gym at the same time or are the girls broken down into age/level groups and they train at different times/days. For me a ration of 6:1 in the preschool level or less, and no more than 8:1 in the team level would be normal-ish!
 

gymmomntc2e6

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Aug 25, 2007
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Ditto on Bogwoppit.

I am fairly new to the comp gymnsatics, but seems odd that you cannot try out another gym.

80 seems like a TON of girls to me, BUT, our gym is very small. We have 16 girls L3 - L8. Largest group w/ one coach is 6.
 

jasmine196

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I've never heard of any gyms in Illinois doing this, but it really wouldn't surprise me. I'm assuming that your gym is from Penn (regarding the 2nd question), and that coach that was fired was complete BS. If your gym is not the one I'm thinking, then sorry. As for the coaches ratio, that does seem to be a little high. But it really depends on how many they have in any one practice. Our ratio for team girls is about 10 to 1. Though we really try hard to have it closer to 8-1. It really depends on the level and age of the girls. The higher level and older the girls the more they are able to work a bit more on their own. As for the little ones, we like to be more towards 5-1.
 
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nettyinpa

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2. Recently, fired the world glass gymnast and head coach. There was no explanation or mentioning of why (many rumors). In fact, it is as if she were never there. She is now the coach who shall not be named. Is this a normal practice for staffing changes?
Not to pry but I also think I know which gym you're in. I heard she was fired, too (if it's the same person we're talking about). Several gymnasts followed her as well. Does seem kind of childish not to even mention the person, especially with her experience. Hope it all works out for you.
 

gym law mom

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I'll take a stab at this. No gym can stop you from trying out for team with another gym, but as Bog said I wouldn't make it public knowledge. I can understand the reasoning on going to another gym for a class. Different gyms=different coaching styles and philosophies and a child may come in doing a skill the way its taught somewhere else and be confused regarding what your coaches want/expect.

As to the disappearing coach. Ok, its obvious she's gone. Legally talking about the whys and all that can land the gym in court. A simple statement that Coach X is no longer here and we wish her the best(whether they do or not) would be appropriate.

The 4 coaches to 80 girls does sound like alot, but again as the others have said, it depends how they're grouped for practice. If they're trying to have 3-4 teams practice at the same time, then I would say its out of line as far as coaches to gymnasts, but some depends on what the levels are and the experience of the coaches.
 

mtbmom

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Feb 28, 2008
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I've never heard of any gyms in Illinois doing this, but it really wouldn't surprise me. I'm assuming that your gym is from Penn (regarding the 2nd question), and that coach that was fired was complete BS. If your gym is not the one I'm thinking, then sorry. As for the coaches ratio, that does seem to be a little high. But it really depends on how many they have in any one practice. Our ratio for team girls is about 10 to 1. Though we really try hard to have it closer to 8-1. It really depends on the level and age of the girls. The higher level and older the girls the more they are able to work a bit more on their own. As for the little ones, we like to be more towards 5-1.
I tried to PM you, but I don't have enough posts. You're right I'm in PA in the Lehigh Valley. Subject coach did land on her feet and I hope she does well. About half the upper level girls went with her.

I appreciate everyone's input. Not happy at all with the management at this gym.
Biggest problem with this gym is that coaches leave and don't seem to be replaced. Of course the latest debacle only makes things worse. Also, not thrilled with the coaching my daughter's received. Hopefully, by summer, we'll have a new plan.

Thanks Clara...
 

mtbmom

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Feb 28, 2008
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Bethlehem, PA
Not to pry but I also think I know which gym you're in. I heard she was fired, too (if it's the same person we're talking about). Several gymnasts followed her as well. Does seem kind of childish not to even mention the person, especially with her experience. Hope it all works out for you.
Sounds like y'all are right! Yeah, its a real bummer. Looking into other gyms in the area, but just not sure what to do at this point.
 

bogwoppit

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I have to say the dish on your gym is all over the internet concerning the firing of the coach. I am in Quebec and I guessed right away that you are in the PA area. I would be unhappy too. Any club that loses coach's that often must have a problem somewhere.

I hope it works out for you Clara, it is hard to leave a child in a place that seems so badly managed.
 

Aussie_coach

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1. It is understandable for a gym to ask that gymnasts on their team do not take classes at another gym. The coaches will want to monitor all aspects of their gymnasts coaching and they can't be sure that classes at another gym are teaching skills safely, warming up gymnasts correctly and teaching skills with the correct technique. It can take a long, long time to undo something that was taught incorrectly and an injury due to unsafe practises can put a child out of training and competition for a long time, sometimes even permenantly.

It is possible, though, that the policy is there to scare girls and parents away from trialling at another gym and seeing that the grass is greener on the other side. This is a very bad way to hag on to gymnasts and if the coaches are so insecure that they need to do this then maybe it is time to search for a new gym.

2. It isnt normal to have a coach leave and then not mention her, but you would not know the full circumstances of her departure. Why was she fired? Perhaps she did something very unethical or even dangerous. This is probably not the normal treatment of a coach upon leaving but there could be special circumstances involved.

3. The coach gymnast ratio's are only high if there are too many kids per coach at anygiven time. In recreational level gymnastics there is often 2 coaches to several hundred kids. But each kid trains 1-2 hours a week so each class still has a safe number of participants and veryone still gets the individual attention they need.

Remeber that a gym does need to make money, there are a lot of costs associated with running a gym from paying coaches, administration staff, cleaners and so on. Paying for the venue, equipment costs, insurance and so on. Team girls generally train many, many hours a week and in order for their paremts to be able to afford the costs the hourly fee needs to be fairly low. Team classes can't be as small as we would all like them to be or the classes will run at a loss.

For the lower level classes it is fairly normal to have 10-14 gymnasts to a coach. This would include level 1 and pre levels classes. Any more than about 15 to a coach and it becomes poorly supervised, but 12-14 is not abnormal and these classes do need to have a high gymnast/coach ratio in order to cover the costs of the higher level team classes.

For lower level classes (ie level 2-3 or pre team) up to 12 gymnasts to a coach would be ideal. If you have smaller classes at this level, you are either very lucky or paying a lot. For the compulsary levels (level 4 and 5) up to 10 gymnasts to a coach is quite safe and successful with a god coach. And for optional levels (7-10) you would want 8 gymnasts to a coach as the maximum.
 

mtbmom

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Feb 28, 2008
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Bethlehem, PA
I have to say the dish on your gym is all over the internet concerning the firing of the coach. I am in Quebec and I guessed right away that you are in the PA area. I would be unhappy too.
Thanks Bog!
Where on the 'net? I've googled her name, the gym's name, fired, etc. All I get is a certain type of vault and our gym's home page.
 

mtbmom

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Bethlehem, PA
1. It is understandable for a gym to ask that gymnasts on their team do not take classes at another gym. The coaches will want to monitor all aspects of their gymnasts coaching and they can't be sure that classes at another gym are teaching skills safely, warming up gymnasts correctly and teaching skills with the correct technique. It can take a long, long time to undo something that was taught incorrectly and an injury due to unsafe practises can put a child out of training and competition for a long time, sometimes even permenantly.

It is possible, though, that the policy is there to scare girls and parents away from trialling at another gym and seeing that the grass is greener on the other side. This is a very bad way to hag on to gymnasts and if the coaches are so insecure that they need to do this then maybe it is time to search for a new gym.
Thanks Aussie Coach!

I didn't mean the former, to actually take classes at another gym. I meant the latter; to trial another gym.

There was another girl on developmental team who trialed at another gym. That girl's mom told her "good friend" who immediately tattled to the coach regarding the girl trialling at another gym and she was kicked off the team immediately. Definitely, scared my daughter. She was terrified to trial at another gym today, but I promised her I would not tell anyone and if someone saw us I would tell them it was all my fault... That seemed to help.
 

bogwoppit

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Thanks Bog!
Where on the 'net? I've googled her name, the gym's name, fired, etc. All I get is a certain type of vault and our gym's home page.
Hey Clara, you won't find much by googling, but it's out there....

GGMB, one of the biggest, most knowledgable and rudest boards on the web has a thread all about the coach and the club, there are 109 replies in the thread with 6000 views (yes, you read that right!), Discussing the ins and outs. It's not an easy board to get onto and I couldn't copy all the stuff. But, it's clear that things are not right.


The following is a quote from GGMB.... and just a small slice of the huge outpouring of emotion that surrounds this coach and her style of coaching.

"HOW CAN YOU FIRE NATALIA YURCHENKO?


By allowing Mubarak Simmons into your gym!"

"The only thing holding up LVSA gymnastics was Natalia Yurchenko. What a mistake it was for that organization to Natalia go. It is certain that LVSA will go under without her. The sooner, the better. Natalia may not push her gymnasts, but she is a good mentor and a good coach. Her program was lacking a good bar and vault coach. Many of Natalia's gymnasts will be following her ....wherever that may be is the big question. She will find a place to train her gymnasts and then I would assume try to start her own program elsewhere. How devastated Natalia must be knowing that many of her gymnasts are trying to get ready for level 9/10 states in less than a week. Not to mention, Annette Miele training for Elite. It's a shame that Gattaca and LVSA owners would stoop so low as to let Natalia go before the season was over. That just tells everyone what a bullxxxx organization Gattaca is. Quite sly of the owners of LVSA to pull this xxxx 1 week before level 9/10 states knowing that many of the gymnasts will stick around and pay for yet another month or two so they can finish up the season. LVSA-Gattaca won't be in business much longer in Allentown. The mystery question is Where Will Natalia Yurchenko end up? Parkettes? Or will she venture further away? Good luck to Natalia and her gymnasts."
 

mtbmom

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Feb 28, 2008
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Bethlehem, PA
Hey Clara, you won't find much by googling, but it's out there....

GGMB, one of the biggest, most knowledgable and rudest boards on the web has a thread all about the coach and the club, there are 109 replies in the thread with 6000 views (yes, you read that right!), Discussing the ins and outs. It's not an easy board to get onto and I couldn't copy all the stuff. But, it's clear that things are not right.


The following is a quote from GGMB.... and just a small slice of the huge outpouring of emotion that surrounds this coach and her style of coaching.

"HOW CAN YOU FIRE NATALIA YURCHENKO?


By allowing Mubarak Simmons into your gym!"

"The only thing holding up LVSA gymnastics was Natalia Yurchenko. What a mistake it was for that organization to Natalia go. It is certain that LVSA will go under without her. The sooner, the better. Natalia may not push her gymnasts, but she is a good mentor and a good coach. Her program was lacking a good bar and vault coach. Many of Natalia's gymnasts will be following her ....wherever that may be is the big question. She will find a place to train her gymnasts and then I would assume try to start her own program elsewhere. How devastated Natalia must be knowing that many of her gymnasts are trying to get ready for level 9/10 states in less than a week. Not to mention, Annette Miele training for Elite. It's a shame that Gattaca and LVSA owners would stoop so low as to let Natalia go before the season was over. That just tells everyone what a bullxxxx organization Gattaca is. Quite sly of the owners of LVSA to pull this xxxx 1 week before level 9/10 states knowing that many of the gymnasts will stick around and pay for yet another month or two so they can finish up the season. LVSA-Gattaca won't be in business much longer in Allentown. The mystery question is Where Will Natalia Yurchenko end up? Parkettes? Or will she venture further away? Good luck to Natalia and her gymnasts."
Thank you very much for the info you were able to give. I appreciate it. It is nice to see that the gymnastics community supports Natalia. She is a very nice lady. I hope she doesn't go far. I know she is temporarily at a gym nearby but don't know if she will stay.
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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Nothing surprises me in this sport! I've heard it all. I heard of a gymie from our former gym that was not allowed to take a family vacation one summer. If she did, she would not be moved to the next level. So guess what? The entire family stayed home! To me, that's crazy! How do these coaches get away with that? Another coach (from the same gym) would not allow a gymnast (my dd) from competing floor at one particular meet. The reason: She would most likely score in the 7's because of tumbling issues, and since scores start at the bottom and tend to increase during a meet, she was afraid that my dd would "hold them back" a few points. I was on the verge of filing a complaint with the USAG.
 
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mellin

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This whole topic, as the previous poster mentions in reference to ggmd, has become very ugly both in and out of the gym. Natalia has her many supporters but also some very vocal and passionate detractors. These two groups have become very close to an all out feud at the gym. The gym tried to come up with a rationale stating "philosophical differences" were behind the firing and stated that natalia did not "support" all gymnasts (i.e. she would "give-up" on some). It is the "given up on" that form the vocal core of Natalia's detractors. Most at the gym feel that, quite simply, 1) there was a conflict between natalia and gattaca, 2) the gym needed to make a "her" or "them" decision, 3) natalia cost the gym money in the form of compensation, 4) the gattaca people promise to give the gym money (basically assumed to be in the form of manure). When you add those 4 things together...Natalia loses. The gym used the "no gymnast left behind" sentinment as a ruse.

and, yes, the gym has lost several higher level gymnasts with others playing a "wait and see" game.

the only reason for talking a wait and see approach (and i repeat the ONLY reason) is because, in all fairness, Natalia's "assistant" coach gabby is VERY capable and well liked.
 

bogwoppit

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It sounds like a very sad situation for all involved. This is a children's sport, but it also affects the careers of some obviously talented coaches.

Hopefully it will not all end badly as some of the GGMB posters stated. Gattaca, from what I can gather, is like a double edged sword, great for men's programmes but not so good for the women.

Thanks for your input, insider info is always the best.
 
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mellin

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It is a sad situation which, so far, andf this is MOST important, the girls are handling well. Wish I could say the same for parents.

You do raise a point that it has been very difficult for us to research though. Gattaca came to the gym about a year ago and only for the purposes of doing whatever it is they do (some say sponsor individual gymnasts, others say sponsor the gym as a whole, others say coach, others say all three) for the boys team. However, at an introductory meeting the head gattaca guy sort of started "talking smack" about the girls coaches and how the girls team could be doing "so much better than they are". Basically, setting up a confrontation with Natalia and basically, if not in name but in practice, making themselves "gym management".

None of us at the gym have been able to find out reliable and unbiased information on Gattaca. On the web there is basically Gattaca propaganda (basically in the form of trashing USAG) and press releases. Their presence in the gym is welcomed by the boys, welcomed by some of the girls and regarded with suspicion by the rest. I am not kidding when I say that the day after Natalia was fired, two big framed posters featuring the Gattaca logo suddenly appeared in the parents observation area.

When Natalia was fired, the gyms owner told a parents meeting that it was NOT becasue of Gattaca and that Gattaca has nothing to do with the girls program. A week later the story changed and that Gattaca may be a part of the self inflicted "coaching shortage" at the gym.

My question for anyone is simple. What are these guys really about? Our perceptions, in the absense of reliable information, is that they dont play well in the sandbox, they remove obstacles to their goals (not sure what those are other than their own published stuff) and that they really don't like anyone who has anything to do with previous "gymnastics establishment".

We who are left behind do not get enough information to make an informed decision about these guys.
 

bogwoppit

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From what I can gather from another thread on GGMB, Gattaca is run by two men who will do anything to get what they want. The intention of Gattaca seems to be to promote young athletes and provide some financial support to certain gyms that become training centres, like yours has. Gymnasts do not individually receive money.

Workshops that are held at the training centers are avialable to certain gymnasts from other clubs and those that Gattaca has an interest in in your club.

The intention of the guys who work in the club is to do the work the they think USAG does not do well, this includes promoting minorities in gymnasts, who in the passed have appeared to be overlooked by the USAG system.

AT your club it seems, Nathalia was brought in and sponsored by the original owners, who left 3 years ago. When Gattaca was invited in there was some conflict between her and Gattaca about the way things would go with her girls, this is not very clear though. No solution was found and she was "let go".

It seems that Gattaca no longer has "an interest" in the girls at your club and is focussed on the boys team.

Nathalia and those girls that left with her are training at Parkettes for now, it is not clear whether this is permanent or not.

In the end as an individual parent of one child, you just have to ask yourself if your child is receiving good quality coaching and is she happy in the gym. THe OP has a preschooler so she should not have any problems in the Team area. If I had a child on team I think I would be concerned enough to ask questions. If there are no answers, then I think you will have to draw your own conclusions.
 
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