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Stay at gym or leave?

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laurameer

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I stay at the gym for practices. My dd is only just 6, so I try not to have to leave her there alone unless I need to run an errand. Besides, I love watching. I never did gymnastics, so that is how I learn what she's doing. I wouldn't have a clue what a ROBHS or a front hip circle was if I never watched. I definitely try to let the coaches coach, but this way I can offer a few suggestions when she's working on skills at home. She loves having me watch and it gives us a bond to be there together. I'm sure the day will come when her practices are too long for me to be there the whole time, but for now 2 hrs 3x a week is manageable.

Our gym is very supportive of parents watching. The coach tries to at least say hi at the end of practice and keeps us up on what's going on with the kids. This was a big factor in our deciding to keep M there for her L4 year. The other gym didn't involve the parents at all, I never even met the coach. DD was just another face among many. I love the personal touch and care that she gets at this gym. Her coach even spent about an hour on the phone with me recently. The competitive team is just starting out this year, but DD is happy and doing great so hopefully we'll be able to grow along with the program at least for the first couple seasons.
 

AZGymParent

New Member
Jun 24, 2007
22
Watch or Not

My daughter's coaches have never had a problem with parents watching workouts so long as they were not trying to coach from the sidelines as we have seen with a very few number of parents over the years. I understand the coaches getting upset with these parents as they are not only not helping their child, but are distracting the other gymnasts. Over the 14 years we have been involved in the sport with our daughter, we used to watch her when she was younger. As she moved up the optional ladder we watched less and less, mainly because the workouts got much longer. As she reached level 10, especially after she got her driver's license (also known as Gym Parent Independence Day) we hardly ever watched and had pretty much had our fill of being around the gym unless we had to be for booster functions, etc. However, we never missed a meet and now look forward to going to her college meets. if a coach has a problem with you asking questions about your child's training or welfare, find a new gym. Every gym and every coach can be replaced, despite what they might otherwise have you believe. After all, they work for us, not the other way around.
 

gym law mom

Active Member
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Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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Our new gym has pretty much the same policy as the old. Team parents can watch, but they prefer we come toward the end of practice or on Fridays. Reason for this is limited seating and since the rec kids are usually there only once a week, their parents have priority on the seating.

At this point with 18 hours of practice/week, I don't have the time to sit there anyway and watching strength over and over gets to be like watching paint dry.
 
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GymnastRaeRae87

Guest
My parents stay for all practices. Well they try anyway. Sometimes they will have a lot of paperwork or have to go to a meeting for my school. But otherwise they come and support me. I like having them there because it makes me feel good. I like to know they like watching me progress. My gym likes parents staying. They viewing area is nice and the parents have a nice view of the whole gym. There is even a little play room for other siblings that aren't in classes. My gym is awesome!!
 
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Vintage Gymnast

Guest
We are not allowed to view more than 2 hours of practice per week (team level). My daughter goes 8 hours a week right now and we live 40 mins from gym so I have permission to stay longer if I want to. Usually I stay around 2-4 hrs per week, I love to watch :) (But I do get "bleacher butt" if I sit too long LOL)
 

gymmommy1022

New Member
Jul 14, 2007
7
WI
At our current gym, we are about 45 minutes from home, so I stay on the nights that I drive carpool. My dd practices 5 days/wk, about 15 hrs./wk. I drive 2-4 times/wk. At our old gym which was only 6 minutes from home, I stayed most of the time also. I enjoy watching my dd and love to be there for a new skill, or when she improves a skill. Our gym has a very nice viewing area which is upstairs overlooking the whole gym. Rec and team parents alike share the area, no preference given to either. It is basically first come, first served. The coaches and owner don't really care one way or another whether we are up there, but I certainly get the feeling they don't like parents who try to coach from the viewing area. Some parents will even run down to their gymnast when they come out for a break, just to coach them about one thing or another. Most of the time, I try not to catch my dd's eye while she's practicing, I act like I'm busy talking to another parent. She likes having me there, as long as I don't give any negative feedback on her progress. Only positive feedback!
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
I would leave since I always felt like the coaches didn't want to be watched. My DD did not know the difference as she was busy working. I would have liked to watch more, but didn't want to be considered a helecopter mom (always hovering). I went home and did laundry or whatever needed to be done and came back, usually a little early to check in and see how things were going. Several times I was GLAD I came in early to see some problems that I doubt my DD would have told me about. Most of the time she was happy and smiling, which was a good sign. When gas reached up above $3.00 a gallon, I stayed and brought work with me. Now that we aren't in the gym anymore, I wish I would have stayed much more. I think practices were fun to watch. I would give anything now to watch my daughter do one more routine.
 
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krazykidzmom

Guest
Generally, when my dd wants me to watch a certain event I will come watch. I feel like it is her deal and I want to honor that. Also, it is easy to get too involved if you watch every day, sometimes it seems like they are not making any progress. This summer, with my other kids older, I have watched more than I ever have. When school starts, I won't be there very much. It also scares me to watch sometimes:) Oh, she is 10 and goes about 20-25 hours a week.
 
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Gymcrazzzy

Guest
JBS, whil agree with you, its only to a certain extent. As a rec, or low level class, i would agree. but for serious gymnastics i thihnk its better parent free. less distractions. more work done. Think of romania (not quite as far, but you get it).
 

gymmomntc2e6

Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
2,842
North Carolina
I have been a gym parent of 2 (daughter just turned 7, son 10) for about a year and a half.

I always stay. My daughter is level 3, w/ some level 4 skills. She is there days a week for a total of 4 hours, one of them being dance. My son is there twice a week for a total of 2 and a half hours. Luckily one of the days overlaps.

I stay for many reasons - one, I'm a little lazy and w/ gas prices don't feel like driving back and forth - the area is somewhat rural so shopping is pretty much out. Two, anyone can get hurt - even under the best supervision, I want to be there if something happens. Three - it means a lot to my kids to be there to watch and see them progress, to give them a 'high 5' when they come out for a water break.

Our coaches and the owner give quite a bit of feedback. Some parents stay, some leave. more of the team parents leave as they are there longer etc.

I even stayed most days during their week long summer camp. Mine only did half day, but I worked from the gym - brought my laptop etc.

I understand why people cannot always stay, but I think if you stay whenever you can it really gives the kids a boost - they feel they are important to you.

We had a mom who did not stay often - and would comment on how her child 'must not be into it today' whenever she did stay and the girl sat on the floor refusing to do anything and crying - the rest of us were thinking 'today?' this was a child who obviously did not want to be there and the mom either had no clue or did not care.
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
http://sportsgirlsplay.com/should-parents-watch-sports-practices/

I stumbled across the entire article that gymnastics coaching ran & that JBS posted... i had not read the entire article before. Thought I would share...

For us in the beginning we stayed... my dd (she is 5) was definately one that would glance up at me - it could have been construed as "a for approval look", but it just made her feel more comfortable & made her feel close... I carefully weaned her off of her glances by encouraging her to focus more on what the coaches were saying & eventually she did stop glancing - most of the time... our gym has stadium seating so there is no space issue and the seating overlooks the entire gym, I brought my work and stayed when I could. I never wanted her to think I was not staying just so she would not glance up at me so when she wanted me to stay I did. Toward the summer months when the hours increased I stayed less, by then my dd felt more comfortable with her coaches and friends on team so she was fine, but I still liked to watch a part of the practice - I do not like to hear about things second hand from a 5 yr old... I trust her and know she is a intelligent responsible little munchkin, but don't want her to bare my responsiliblity as a parent. As a parent that pays a hefty fee every month I feel if the seating is good & over crowding is not an issue then it is my right to stay and watch my dd. The choice should be left up to me. That said, our gym just recently made the decision that no parents are allowed to watch the gymnastics team - absolutely none of our parents have ever coached from the sidelines, we don't even interfere if our children fall, cry or get scared. The coaches have always handled this in their own way and they actually appreciate when the parents stay to watch. They are proud of their coaching and they know that knowledge is even better then communication. Our gym on the other hand wants to scare the parents and rule with an iron fist. I wonder if the gym can do that actually - say gym team parents can't watch, but T&T team parents can watch as can recreational. How can other parents be allowed to watch my children, but I can not? Can I be physically barred from entering the doors to the gym if my child is in there? I am going to assume the answer is Yes, the gym can do whatever they would like and I can take it or leave it... is that the bottome line?
 
Jun 13, 2007
75
NJ
This is a very confusing thread for me. I am of the mind that I am being supportive by staying. I don't try to coach my dd and she rarely looks over at me, but I get to watch her. Seating is not an issue because there is only one class at the same time as my dd's team practice and there are like 50 seats (the gym hasts lots of meets). The coach doesn't even seem to notice if parents stay or not, so I don't think she has a problem with it and I am not the only parent there. I will also have very little time with my dd once school starts and would like to see her face. My dd doesn't want me to leave. BUT at the same time I don't want the coach to get the wrong impression or interfere with the coaching process.

HELP!!!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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This is a very confusing thread for me. I am of the mind that I am being supportive by staying. I don't try to coach my dd and she rarely looks over at me, but I get to watch her. Seating is not an issue because there is only one class at the same time as my dd's team practice and there are like 50 seats (the gym hasts lots of meets). The coach doesn't even seem to notice if parents stay or not, so I don't think she has a problem with it and I am not the only parent there. I will also have very little time with my dd once school starts and would like to see her face. My dd doesn't want me to leave. BUT at the same time I don't want the coach to get the wrong impression or interfere with the coaching process.

HELP!!!

Why don't you choose one day a week when you will stay and watch. This way you get all the good things listed above, plus you will be able to see the small improvements made by your DD. I used to watch all my DD's preteam classes, they were short and we live far away, but now training is longer I find things to do. I see the changes much more now, and it is fun to arrive at the gym and one of the girls has got some new skill. Even DD's team mates will run over and share their excitment. Perhaps a bit of distance will also allow your DD to find her way alone. She always knows Mom is there, so maybe she doesn't need to have a voice.

Anyway, you will find a way that works for you, it probably won't be the same for every Mom.....:)
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
This is a very confusing thread for me. I am of the mind that I am being supportive by staying. I don't try to coach my dd and she rarely looks over at me, but I get to watch her. Seating is not an issue because there is only one class at the same time as my dd's team practice and there are like 50 seats (the gym hasts lots of meets). The coach doesn't even seem to notice if parents stay or not, so I don't think she has a problem with it and I am not the only parent there. I will also have very little time with my dd once school starts and would like to see her face. My dd doesn't want me to leave. BUT at the same time I don't want the coach to get the wrong impression or interfere with the coaching process.

HELP!!!

I was not the only parent to stay either - this did not bother our coaches, but the O just thought that the moms (sometimes dads) just sat up there gossiping about her program - so not true... we all enjoyed just getting to know each other. We did sometimes talk about gymnastics, but rarely relative to our daughters... with the sub coach we were watching, I am sure he felt very insecure, because every single parent was watching and complaining not directly to anyone but to each other. Some just left in the middle of practice without saying a word. It was because we had stayed and watched so many practices that we sort of knew how our coaches handles things and did warm-ups etc. We knew immediately when the sub coach did a 2 minute warm-up and then proceeded to the bars to teach flyaways that there was something not quite right. The knowledge that we had been exposed to for so many months irritated our O to the max. I just ended up being the scapegoat... just not sure carmansunshine, some gyms can deal with the pressures they feel when parents watch and some are insecure about it, I guess. I have read in the CB where parents get pegged by coaches all of the time - some may be true, but I bet that it can always be miscontrued as well. Fair or not - this seems to be gymnastics. A mom of a level 10 in our gym said if I let the idea of otehr parents talking about me regarding the sitch that happened gymnastics is not a sport for us. You will be involved in MANY crazy situations over the years it what she said...
 

Alaska Mom

New Member
Jul 28, 2007
8
Depends on the level

Hi,
My viewing habits changed as my daughter started training more and more hours. When she was young, I stayed and watched. She is at the gym so much now and she is so comfortable there, I just do a quick "drop and run" most of the time. I personally would be very concerned about any club (not just sports) that did not "allow" parents to watch. In this day and age, I wouldn't think owners would be more sensitive and socially aware than that. I understand that sometimes there are space limitations and scheduling conflicts, but no one should ever tell a parent they can't watch their child.

Alaska Mom
 

skfleming255

Member
Jul 29, 2007
169
My daughter is in the gym 4 hours a week and my 3 year old takes a 40 minute class. I stay the entire time b/c I want to be there if they were to get hurt. I, also, really like to watch. I love to be there when my oldest gets a new skill, so I can share her excitement when we leave the gym.
 

melmonette

Active Member
Aug 16, 2007
636
omaha, ne
I am with the mom above...
I stay as much as I can with my daughter because I love watching her get new skills like the day she got her kip:) and when she does something really good... She is like... MOM, MOM... did you see my horizontal cast, or something she has been working on that she finally did really good or something... She gets upset if I can't stay and watch her.
 

Blake's mum

New Member
May 20, 2007
10
Nsw Aust
I love to stay and watch my little boy at his training sessions he only trains 4 hours a week so I stay and watch him another parent actually complained that I did stay and watch and the coach said "Its a free country she can watch if she likes" Mind you that parent drops her child off and says "This is my time while he is a gym" well its my time too and I choose to watch my child train....... Whats wrong with that.
 
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ovgymnasts

Guest
Hi there, this is my first post but I figured I gotta start somewhere. I have 2 dtrs that take. One level 4 (she is 6) and the other is level 5 (she is 9). I stay at the gym for all of their practices (4 hrs 4 days a week):eek:. I like to watch and they like me to stay. The biggest reason would have to be simply because we live about 30 minutes from the gym and with gas prices the way they are, it is too expensive to drive home and back to pick them up.:D
 
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