Question about pits at gyms

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Soc123

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Aug 9, 2013
11
I am thinking of switching gyms but am hesitating for a couple of reasons one is which our gym we are at now has an inground pit the other surrounding ones don't. My daughter is a new level 4, is it something I should stay around for? I should mention our gym changed owners and a new one overtook us and bought all new equipment- high end stuff. It's just beautiful. The coaching is good but they just have so many rules and they do no up training until March! I think that's so dumb! My daughter has no friends and it's a little far from my house. The other gyms she knows girls and they are closer. But I just don't want to make an irrational decision. Comments please...
 
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vagymmomma

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Apr 26, 2010
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I think a pit is essential for optional training, but I don't see as much necessity at the compulsory level. There are trade-offs with every gym and every program though. My experience (and this may not be common) is that the uptraining increases substantially as the levels go up. Level 4 has a lot of base skills that must be perfected to go higher (the kip, the cast, the combination BHS on floor, etc.), so what appears to be no uptraining could be a focus on perfecting basic forms.

Equipment and good coaching would be first and foremost in my gym requirements at the higher levels. Is your daughter alone in an age group (i.e., 7 yrs v. a team of 10 yrs old)? As long as there's not a huge age disparity, the friendships should come in time. Not sure I would change gyms mainly because of friends.
 

AlexsGymmyMom

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Mar 20, 2009
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I would stick it out where you are. Pits are very essential for optional level skills! Your DD will make friends at this gym and she could reach those optional levels quicker than you think. I would be more concerned about coaching and equipment aspect than the social aspect
 

iwannacoach

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Pits offer several, and significant, advantages. I'd say switch if your daughter feels very strongly about it, and may quit because she has no fun, Just be prepare to have to adjust again if she gets to a level where pits begin to be a genuine safety advantage.

One advantage that is kinda separate from safety is a child who has a skill well enough to do it into the pit can work that skill without having to wait for a coach to spot it. That allows them to get their numbers done more quickly and to use that saved time to work on new skill progressions and skills that need polishing.

Another thing to consider is there are far fewer gyms that have strong optional team programs without the benefit of pits. Sure, there are teams that do well without them but they are by far the exception and have excellent coaches that have ways of keeping things safe on some of the skills people gawk at in wonder, but there are many skills that I wouldn't work a child on without a pit.

Advantage pit!

You could also imply that a gym with a pit, in general, has a deeper commitment to getting into the optional levels, and that alone may be reason enough to stay where you are..... as long as you dd can enjoy the experience and learns how to follow the rules...... at least all but the cheezy ones......;)
 
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hawaii_gymnast

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How do the gyms compare in terms of having higher level optionals? Does the gym without the pits still have girls in L9 and L10 or do they max out around L8. I would talk to the gym without pits and maybe they have arrangements to go to a gym with a pit a train every couple weeks or month or so, there are many possibilities.
As for switching if your DD isn't happy and having fun I would look at the other gyms even just phoning and talking to head coach about different options anonymously.
Yes a pit can be very helpful but if she isn't having fun she will probably quit before the need for a pit becomes necessary.
 

Soc123

New Member
Aug 9, 2013
11
Wow very helpful info... I'm glad I asked. Yes she is on a team where most of the girls are younger. We have been here a year and a half. So my other question would be do your gyms work on flyaway drills throughout the year?
I think I will stay put for now based on your responses. Thanks so much.
 

Soc123

New Member
Aug 9, 2013
11
Another question how much does it cost to put in a pit? Why do those other gyms not have them? What equipment are necessities for training that a great gym should have in addition to a pit?
I should mention we have 2 floors, 6 sets of bars, a trundle bar, and a set of 4 low bars, about 10 beams, 2 tumble tramps, 2 ropes, 2 pits (one for beam dismounts and at the end of a tumble tramp another by vault and a set of bars), 2 vaults. We have a little over 75 team kids I think.
The optionals team is only about 15 kids I think.
 

chalkbowl

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Although pits can cost a pretty penny, many times gyms run into problems with their actual building. Either building owners not interested in allowing a huge whole to be dug in their building or unable to dig down to water table ect.
 
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profmom

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There's also the advantage of occasionally taking all your level 4-6 boys at the end of practice and telling them it is necessary to fluff the pit. Well, as long as you are ready to duck and cover.
 

profmom

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My kids' gym's pit gets a lot of use in training vaults beyond the front handspring as well, which the girls (and increasingly the boys) start to train during or just after they've competed old L5/new L4.
 

dunno

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Another question how much does it cost to put in a pit? Why do those other gyms not have them? What equipment are necessities for training that a great gym should have in addition to a pit?
I should mention we have 2 floors, 6 sets of bars, a trundle bar, and a set of 4 low bars, about 10 beams, 2 tumble tramps, 2 ropes, 2 pits (one for beam dismounts and at the end of a tumble tramp another by vault and a set of bars), 2 vaults. We have a little over 75 team kids I think.
The optionals team is only about 15 kids I think.

i believe you mean 'trench' bar. would that be above or below ground level?
 

dunno

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well then, they have at least 1 pit. so that means that they could dig.
 

Brandon

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In my opinion, pits are luxuries, not necessities. They weren't even widely used at all before the 70's and all those gymnasts got along fine. I myself learned double back and double fulls and dismounts without pits and been just fine. Although really, your daughter is probably a while away from any skills that would 'require' a pit anyway. So I wouldn't take it into consideration too much! :)
 
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JBS

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A gym with pits and poor or inexperienced coaches is nothing...so is a gym without pits.

Get what you can...but you're up against gyms with outstanding facilities and coaches...that's modern gymnastics.
 

dunno

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In my opinion, pits are luxuries, not necessities. They weren't even widely used at all before the 70's and all those gymnasts got along fine. I myself learned double back and double fulls and dismounts without pits and been just fine. Although really, your daughter is probably a while away from any skills that would 'require' a pit anyway. So I wouldn't take it into consideration too much! :)

you don't understand the sport of gymnastics just yet. sorry i had to pull the age, wisdom and experience card on you. :)
 

Quadqueen

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well then, they have at least 1 pit. so that means that they could dig.

I believe she was saying her current gym has pits, but that she's considering moving to a gym without pits. Her current gym has the trench bar. Or maybe I'm not understanding...
 
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