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For Parents We are devastated!

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Blackie6

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Mar 1, 2007
1,284
NJ
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I have been coming here to the CB for over two years now and anytime I've read a post about moving gyms I always said to myself "WOW, so glad that is not me making that choice for my daughter because we love our gym and could never ever even think about leaving". Well, ladies (and gents) I have thought long and hard about posting this & have decided to throw this out there because I am just devestated and don't know what else to do. I haven't slept all week and my stomach is just been in knotts over this whole ordeal. Let try to make this as concise as possible. I tend to run on and make posts too long...

Our tuition was posted about 10 days ago. While we knew that the fee for the move to L5 would go up, we knew that our current team was paying about $340-350 and in antipation of a fee raise I have already asked for more hours at work starting Sept. I can't work FT because I have 3 kids in 3 different schools w/3 different start and finish times. On a good day, older kids can walk to DD (8) school and walk her home. On a bad day it is just way to far to walk in either cold or rain. Because DH is fireman he does 24 hr shifts and several times a week can't help in any of this running around. And all three kids do sports and activities so I am running around like crazy as soon as I leave work. In addition to the tuition, we pay an assesment fee of about $1300 which coveres about 9 meets, coaches fees, registration. This was only implementent last year, prior to that we did more of a pay-as-you-go which amounted to about $800 (we did less meets) so last yr I felt the crunch of the assessment fee. Plus when we started L4 two yrs ago the fees were about 245 and thyen raised last yr to 285. We started off OK, but then I wasn't getting hours at work and because DH is state employed, no more raises and no more overtimes which helped DD gymnastics bill. So the increases along with our financial situation often put us at getting the bills for gym paid, but slower. Gym owner understood and allowed us to continue and be a month behind on tuition or slow to pay asses fee. I can't say anything bad about gym owner, he has been patient with us. OK, now to the new increase. To move up to L5 now the new tuition was posted as 390.00 for the extra 4th day along with a normal yearly increase. We have not yet recvv'd new assessment fee which will most likely go up as well. This means we are looking at a yearly fee of over $6,000 for daughter. The tuition hike alone w/move up means a jump of $105. extra a month! Our poor old L5 team fees increased to about 490 for 6/7.

DH puts the foot down and says no more gymnastics we can't afford it. Apparently the rest of team feels the same way as we are all middle class working families and not as well-to-do as some of the other parents are. I suck it up and call the gym we left when DD was about 3/4 and in rec class. Not a bad gym, we know people there and it is closer to home than current one is now since our gym made a move last yr. At this point I am just looking for an area price to see what other gyms are paying. DD goes for an eval along w/teamate. They like the gym and girls. The fees are given and amount to $2,500 CHEAPER! The tuition is less than what I've paid for last two yrs and they don't go to as many meets. There is plenty of fundraising there which is an area our current gym lacks in right now. OK, now the whole team decided they want to STAY TOGETHER! Will new gym take on 6 new girls? Yes!

The owners have a sit down w/us and field all of our questions and concerns. They did a wonderful job of selling us their program which now makes old gym look even worse by now. Only reason we do not sign on the spot is love for our coach and not wanting to walk away w/out even trying to negotiate w/old gym. Becasue we don't want to be sneaky, we tell coach everything. We know she is not in a position to negotiate for us but we wanted her to be the first to know since this will affect her too. She won't have a L5 team. OK, so next day new tuition fees are posted and they are about 20 lower. However, now, we can't shake that another porgram is $2,500 cheaper! On paper at states, this gym is a middle of the road gym like ours. We would not be leaving for top of the line results, just more inexpensive right now. Still, we want to negotiate maybe keep tuition as posted so gym owner not losing anything, but maybe trying to lower assessment fee or cut in half by reducing amout of meets we go too. The new gym would be only about 5 meets so we decide maybe we can stay at current gym and only do 5 meets. And, since others don't want to fund raise, maybe as a L5 team we can do it it ourselves to help w/assess fees too? Now, we are hopeful, maybe it is a way of staying with coach we love dearly but work w/owner. One mom emails sugesstions and basically it is a "no".

Two girls are leaving for camp this week and new tuition kicks in on July 1st so we have to come up w/plan quick, but right now if my own DD wants to be in gymnastics she will need to go to new gym. She doesn't mind, she already has friends there. If whole team moves over it could be wonderful! Closer gym, $2,500 cheaper....Another problem though....while I was at work DH took DD to another gym! A little further, about 20-25 mins away. New gym, only a year or so old. They did send girls to L4 and L5 states so team is in place already. Young owner w/lots of plan and ideas. DH said he was only there to get look and prices and I was impressed he got involved at all but it shows he wants DD to continue as well! They ask if they can do a quick assessment of her skills. Apparently she was in plain shorts with her long hair in face (came out of the pool from dive team) can did her ROBHSBHS and a standing tuck adn then did some stuff on beam. They would take he for L5 and invited her to work out w/team too. Not sure if it was the L5 coach or not, but my DD LOVED her! DD wants to try out on team and says she doesn't care if any teamates come or not, she is not afraid. She is extremely motivated right now and just wants to do L5. Understands the financial situation we are in too. I would love to just slide over to the gym closer to home and cheaper but I promised DD she could try and I would check out prices too.

So, that is about the jist of it. There is so much more I could type....but my biggest question to all of you is...is there anything else I can (or we as a team) can do to suggest to current gym owner that could reduce our fees right now without affecting his expenses. We know it's a bussiness and he has lost alot of rec kids and there is only one L4 girl on team right now so he is struggling too. We are willing to fundraise, do less meets, ect...but he doesn't seem to budge on that even tough it will mean he might lose whole team ($36,000 loss if we leave). All girls went to new gym now and tried out w/team and liked it and want to be together, but my DDD and one other girl still want to try out new gym too before I sign anything. I want to stay w/team and the families, but since DD is the one doing the time if the 2nd gym checked out works for us finacially, do I let her go there even though it is farther? We have 2 other kids so it will afect all of us 4 days/week!

Thanks for hanging in this long. I have been stressed about this all week long. I just feel like throwing up all the time. All of us moms have been crying about losing coach & beloved gym, but all of us have been struggling w/fees too. We all know gymnastics is expensive and there are other options like JOGA and USAIGC (new gym does USAIGC, old gym has JOGA team) but all of our girls want the opportunity to at least try L5. At old gym we would not be able to afford it, new gym, means a change! What to do? To make it all worse, DD just got her grips last week and still has her kip (ugly and bent but still there!) and coach let her do a giant on strap bars, BWO on big beam...she LOVES her coach and so do I!!!
 
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NOG

Guest
Wow! What a tough situation. I feel for you. We switched gyms a year ago for reasons other than financial (we won't go into all of that though), but at both our old gym and our current gym we have a 30min. drive. I also have 2 other kids DS is 13 and older DD is 16. This will be dds 4th year on team, so we've done the drive time for a while and make it work. DH until recently worked 2nd shift, so he was no help in my chaotic after school running. During fall, older dd did volleyball (6 days a week), ds did football 4 days a week, and dd did gym 3-4 days a week. Thankfully I live by both sets of grandparents! I would usually send one of them to take and pick up ds at football practice (thankfully games were on sundays), send the other set of grandparents to older dds volleyball games (I would come and go at these, trying to make as many as I could, but there are a lot), and I would be stuck with the half hour drive and 3 hr practice at gym. I could never talk anyone else into doing that job.

In the end it all works out. The older 2 are understanding, and now that older dd has a driver's liscense, it helps immensely! She can get herself to volleyball practices so I only need to worry about getting to her games this fall (big relief). It will still be chaos in the fall -- DS is moving out of midget football into jr. high, which means games will be during the week, and dd is now training optionals (summer hours are 20 a week, if she makes it to optional fall hours will be 16), plus older dds games. UGH! Sometimes I wonder how it will all work, but we'll get through it and winter will be a little better. Thank God that DH will either be on 1st or 3rd shift. That is so nice! I will have help for the 1st time ever.

As far as which gym to pick.....Unfortunately, I don't think that you will make any progress with the current gym owner. Most gym owners are of the opinion that it is THEIR program, and don't tell them what to do with it. I realize that you're not trying to do that, but they don't want to be seen as weak or letting parents dictate the program. It is an all or nothing thing. Our gym has a all meets or no meets policy (unless dd is sick, or in a wedding, maybe school will not release her, etc.). So, I think that will be a waste of time and effort.

If both of the other gyms you have looked at are reasonably the same in cost and program, I would let dd decide which one. It is her sport, and she has to happy with the decision. I would not over-rule her decision unless you have concerns about one of them, then by all means, steer her in the path that you think will be the better choice.

I think that she is showing great maturity in looking at her options, and looking to see which one will take her farther, not which program her friends will be at. I applaud her for that. It takes a lot of courage to go where her teammates are not and pick a gym based on what you need as a gymnast instead. That being said, do research and see if her instincts are correct and that she's not being mislead as to what that gym can do for her.

Congrats to dd on making her new skills also. Good luck in this difficult time.
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
Wow! What a dilemma!! I do know how hard it is to leave a coach and a program that you and dd have loved for so long. But, things and circumstances change. Your current gym sounds WAY expensive but I really don't think that negotiating prices with the owner is the answer. And I know that it would be great to keep the team together, but sometimes that is unrealistic. I would just focus on your DD and what is best for YOUR FAMILY. It gets too complicated if more people are involved and then they end up sort of being "your responsibility" if things don't work out, ya know? Worrying about decisions that you make for your DD alone are hard enough.

I'll think more on this and get back to you. Good luck with everything. And try not to worry about it!!
 
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NOG

Guest
Wow!And I know that it would be great to keep the team together, but sometimes that is unrealistic. I would just focus on your DD and what is best for YOUR FAMILY. It gets too complicated if more people are involved and then they end up sort of being "your responsibility" if things don't work out, ya know? Worrying about decisions that you make for your DD alone are hard enough.


I second what MdGymMom01 says. Worry only about what is best for your dd, that is enough responsibility for one person to handle. Good luck.
 

gymjourneymom

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Mar 9, 2008
1,331
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I 3rd Mdgymmom's advice:D! Trying to keep that many people happy is just too much responsibily for you to have to deal with. Do what is best for your family & situation. At their ages, who knows how many of those girls will stick with the sport in the long run anyway??? Your DD must be happy & the gym must be a good fit for her & it must not be a hardship for your family finances. Good luck with your decision. I also agree with NOG, I don't think you'll get anywhere with this current gym owner. And I think $6,000 is crazy for L5, unless you at some really amazing gym(and I mean REALLY amazing!). My DD just finished L7 doing 15/week. L7's went to 8 meets(we skipped the fly away meets, & coach was fine with that). Our gym fee is $225/month with $1000 booster club fee to pay for meets & coaches expenses. So I paid about $3,7000 (plus some fees for privates, choreography, music & a new competiton leo & I still paid less than you!). I don't live in a "cheap" area either(we're in a suburb of a major city). There are a few big name gyms near us( within reasonable driving distance). Our gym is competitive against them & our girls hold their own & frequently win. We have at least 10 state( of which my DD is one) & regional qualifiers/winners & JO national qualifiers. I say get out of there now before you are sucked into this money pit any further. Can't imagine what they charge for L10?!? Having your DD in the sport she loves doesn't mean you have to go backrupt over it. There are good quality, reasonably price gyms out there. JMHO. Good luck! I'm sure leaving such a good coach will be heartbreaking. But ya gotta do what 'cha gotta do:(.
 
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Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
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I know it would be nice for your DD to stay with her teammates, but ditto what others have said...you need to do what's best for YOUR family. I'm sorry your situation has reached this point but I can relate about the increases as we had huge increases 2 years ago and after struggling for a year to keep up with gym and meet fees, I had to make some changes to my work situation.

Our L5 and up train 15 hrs/week year round. We pay $405 per month for 10 months, then we don't pay July/Aug (this was b/c people were pulling kids out for entire summer). That works out to about $340/month per child if calculating on a 12 month basis. We do not have a flat assessment - rather we have to put up $500 by Sept 1 but that money is used only for your child so if she has to miss a meet due to an important commitment (wedding, Communion, vacation) then you don't pay for that meet.

As for the other gym (newer one) you have to consider where they might be down the road when your DD is ready to move up - will they have the coaching staff in place for levels 6/7 which is not far in your DD's future.
 

bogwoppit

Former Admin
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Former Gymnast
Feb 26, 2007
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I agree you have to do what you can for your DD, you cannot tear yourself up about loyalties when you cannot afford them. SO many families are having to leave gym right now, make the best financial choice for your family and go with it. Your little one will do fine, and she seems ready to make any change. Bear in mind that the closer the gym, the cheaper the gas and the less the impact of you and the other kids.

Good luck, it is so hard when life throws a curve ball.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
2,527
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So tough Blackie, but I think you and the other L5 parents did try and offer several alternatives to the owner who will not even consider them. He could keep his L5 team just by cutting back on the number of meets and when the economy turns around, would still have a core group of girls in the gym. You know, I think the current coach understands---its a tough time for everyone. Families can't go bankrupt trying to fund a L5 year.

Sounds like your old gym is the best answer now. Yes, the gym dh took dd to may have a great program in a few years, but how did their girls do at states? Do they have teams past L6 or coaches with the background to coach at those higher levels? If its a new program, then they would most likely take any girl that walked in the door and put her on a team(I'm NOT putting down your dd at all). You know families at 1st gym dd was in and her teammates all want to move there, cheaper and no real drop off in performance vs. current gym. To me its a clear cut decision(easy being almost 2,000 miles away!) to go back to the 1st gym and let dd have a good solid L5 year. Many families are in the same situation you are. Even though its tough to leave a coach you like, you have to consider putting food on the table for 5 people while letting all 3 kids have an activity and fortunately you do have a choice! I think even if you somehow found a way to keep dd at the current and quite expensive gym, you would see others leave and then dd might be on a VERY small L5 team.

BTW--Tell dh, that I think firefighters are some of the best folk around. Having worked as an ER RN, I've seen close up what they do to help/save others and not at all think of themselves. Very special people indeed!
 
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bgcmom109

Guest
tough situation.... I too think you should choose what works best for your family - did you find out if the coach your dd loved at the second gym is the one who would be coaching HER group? This could be an important detail.

When we changed clubs a couple of years ago the coach would did the assessment was not the one who would be coaching my dd's category. As far as I know she handles ALL of the assessments for girls switching from other clubs...

Good luck, I feel for you
 

mariposa

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Proud Parent
Sep 25, 2007
3,529
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USA
That sucks Blackie. That is a huge amount of money for a year of L5. Our L5 tuition is around $240 and then you have about $1500 for leo/warm-up, assessments and meet fees.

I agree with the others. You have to do what is right for your family and your budget. Sounds like your daughter just wants to do gymnastics and will be willing to try other places, which is great. Choose the place that best fits her and your family's needs.

Good luck. Bummer that the owner doesn't realize how tough times are right now. Our gym's owner told us that she won't raise prices for at least 2 more years and she is keeping leos, warmups the same if she can so we can recycle and pass around leos/warmups, save money.

Sad to have to leave her gym, but you aren't really given an option. THat is just a huge increase. We would have to look elsewhere, too. We can barely afford what we are doing right now.
 

skfleming255

Member
Jul 29, 2007
169
Okay, my answer is simply go to where the prices are cheaper. The old gym is not willing to meet you in the middle. I would not base my decision on the other team girls (the ones who wanted to stay together). Basically, you need to do what is best financially for your family....not everyone else's. I know that these are our dd's, but we still have to remember what our responsibilities as parents and spouses are. They are not to give our children whatever they want at any cost.

Now, as for the 2 other gyms to try out. I would weigh everything out (tuition, meet fees, team fees, gas costs to and from gym, time spent away from family and home, etc....). You definitely don't want dd to be unhappy with the gym situation, but pick from the 2 new gyms and the best fit for her.

Pray about it.
 

Caligirlzz

Member
Jun 4, 2009
155
Chicago
Wow, honestly is there a question there? What I mean is your old gym would have to dreastically drop their prices to even compete with the other 2 gyms prices. Now your dd has fallen in love with the new gym and wants to move on. It's all about the kids right? I think you need to let her go where she feels the most comfortable, it will make her a better athlete.

We had 2 choices for team, one is really close and the other is close. I wanted the one that was a little further, it was cheaper and a new facility. (not a new gym) DD wanted to go to the close gym which is more expensive. I let her chose. Both are pretty good gyms, not the best around but they will do.

Be it gymnastics or baseball, the first things we need to look at are cost and affordability and where your child feels most comfortable.

Whatever you do, you need to do what is right for your family and not try to make everyone else happy.

Good luck with your decision.
 
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cher062

Guest
Unfortunatly this is happening more and more. I've lost my job and hubby had a 30K pay cut so we are really feeling the pinch. You think the gyms would know the families are in this boat and tighten their belts too but no. We have had several girls leave our gym for a cheaper gym too. some were going to and waited too long to sign up and the team spots were filled as some only take so many girls per level.

A few of the team girls went to Pre-Op because its less time and money but they still get to compete.

If I were you i would sign up today and just tell the coach tonight Honestly making a move from one gym to another is always filled with guilt and we feel we owe something to the coaches and the gym but the realilty is there will be another girl waiting at the door to fill the spot and they really arent that devastated whe we leave.
 

TnTTaxi

Member
Jan 18, 2009
141
First off, your current gym DOES seem high. Our L5's go 16 hrs/wk for $285, than our meet(extra) fees are about $1,000/yr.

Having said that, I do not envy you your situation. I would try to encourage DD to gym #2(one that teammates are going to) I believe in a transition that would be best, maybe. It sounds like your DD is a very level headed girl and will be happy just to do gymnastics, especially considering the fact that gym #2 is closer. I drive 30 minutes 6 days/wk for 2 gymmie DD's and would LOVE to be closer. Just a thought. Good Luck
 

Monkeygirlsmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 10, 2007
764
wow first of all your dd sounds like she is very level headed and not just going where her friends are good for her! but sit down with her and have her write the pros and cons about each place and talk about them maybe that is your best way of doing it all (Just and idea) the owner of the current gym does not sound like he is willing to budge at all so he will be in the loss and im sure the coach understands where you all are coming from!

sorry Im not to helpful but I sure wish you luck!!
 
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NOG

Guest
wow first of all your dd sounds like she is very level headed and not just going where her friends are good for her! but sit down with her and have her write the pros and cons about each place and talk about them maybe that is your best way of doing it all (Just and idea)


This sounds like a great approach! That way she gets to be in on the decision, and will understand the end result of that decision (which gym has the most pros instead of cons). She may be much more receptive this idea.

Great advice monkeygirlsmom
 

Tumblequeensmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,453
Everyone on here has given great advice. Just to add my 2 cents worth..... the bottom line is that your beloved gym is NOT willing to work w/you on prices. As a previous poster stated... it is THEIR program and in my limited experience, gym owners do not take kindly to suggestions about how to structure their programs (been there, done that to no avail). So... they should be eliminated from any consideration at this point. They've said "no" and any more insistence is just going to make them more "balky!"

Sounds like you've got two other great choices fairly close by. From a strictly financial standpoint, I would go to the cheaper gym. Once your DD reaches optionals, then maybe you can check out that other, new gym that has the future plans.

Good luck w/your decision!
 
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cathiann

Guest
What a tough situation! But I agree with everyone else--the current gym owner has to know that he/she might lose people if they raise prices yet again--especially when they're higher than the competition to begin with. You've mentioned the issue to them, so it can't come as a surprise that you'll be leaving.

Good luck at whatever gym you and your dd choose to move to. It sounds like she'd do well in either place.
 

AlexsGymmyMom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 20, 2009
2,532
USA
What a tough situation. We have been trying out other gyms as well and it is hard. DD has really liked 2 of them so we are having a hard time. I know your daughter really liked the gym that your DH found but has she worked out at gym#2 yet? I can't remember if your post mentioned this or not. Maybe she should try a workout there also to get a feel for how she fits. I could tell wether my DD liked it or not just by her body language while she was there and the fact that she would be so excited when leaving. Others she just walked out after the practice and never mentioned a word about it. Best of luck choosing a gym.
 

Tumblequeensmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2007
1,453
Oh and definitely let DD work out w/the team before you decide on a gym!!! I know a lot of the gyms around here will allow a girl to work out w/the team for about a week. They want to know that it's a good fit for both the gymnast AND the gym!
 
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