For Parents 5 Things Every Gym Parent Should Know?

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
I'm working on a way to attract new members to the site. One of the biggest ways to find new members is to convert our current "guest" traffic (which we get tons of). I'd like to have a free series of emails go out to anyone that signs up that answers some basic questions about gymnastics. The title of the email series will be something like...

5 Things Every Gym Parent Should Know


The only problem is that I don't have the 5 things. Help me brainstorm some ideas here... what are 5 things that every gym parent should know?
 

Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,780
That even if your kid isn’t destined for the Olympics or a college scholarship, even if they never make team, even if they struggle. Gymnastics is an incredibly valuable gift to give their children.

- Core strength which allows kids to be able to sit up and sit still in school. Making it easier for them to concentrate, behave and learn. Leading to a positive school experience and a life long love of leathing.

- grip strength enhancing their fine motor coordination for writing, typing and playing a musical instrument.

- Uses hundreds of different toes of body movements (as opposed to most sports that use the same repetitive movements over and over). The ultimate in developing coordination.

- Is the core of all sports, and the movements like statics, locomtions, rotation, spring, land, swing etc mirror all sports. Kids who start out in gymnastics will generally excel in other sports, doing those sports for significantly less time.

- Teaches children to overcome fear and break down challenges into manageable chunks. Leading to life long success as an adult who can break down fear and difficult tasks.

- The huge variety of body movements develop many new neural pathways allowing them to excel in school.

- teaches patience in an instant gratification world. The only path to success is time, effort and patience. When a goal is achieved through effort it enhances confidence And self esteem.

- Has the advantages of both a team and individual sport. It is learned in a team environment, with team mates to support and cheer them on, but if they make a mistake or have a challenge it doesn’t let the team down, so it does not carry the same pressure.

- Teaches body awareness and confidence, leading to lifelong willingness to participate in physical activity. Leading to better health outcomes and life expectancy.
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
798
Is this geared toward new gym parents or experienced gym parents? My answer would be different depending on the audience.

I have a lot of thoughts on how to keep visitors coming back and attract new visitors, but it would involve adding a lot more content- changing the site from being focused mainly on forums and adding things like quizzes and slideshows, which are great for user engagement, athlete profiles, articles geared towards gymnasts (5 Tips to Improve Your Floor Score, or Beat Your Beam Fears. etc). I think it would be great for the site to offer more to gymnasts under 16- many kids come by with questions but aren't allowed to post in the forums, so there is little reason for that audience to come back. All of that would be a lot more involved than what you asked, though. :D
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,458
Baltimore, MD
Maintain an existence outside the gym for both yourself and your child. It's really, really, really easy to let gymnastics take over your life; as wonderful as the sport is, it shouldn't be the central focal point around which life is organized. It's important for both parents and athletes to maintain friendships and activities and hobbies that have no connection to gym.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
Is this geared toward new gym parents or experienced gym parents? My answer would be different depending on the audience.

Things appeal to everyone are the real gold mine... for example...

The Truth About College Scholarships

I was basically thinking about a couple that are beginner... one or two that are transitional (compulsory to optional)... and a couple for everyone.

I have a lot of thoughts on how to keep visitors coming back and attract new visitors, but it would involve adding a lot more content- changing the site from being focused mainly on forums and adding things like quizzes and slideshows, which are great for user engagement, athlete profiles, articles geared towards gymnasts (5 Tips to Improve Your Floor Score, or Beat Your Beam Fears. etc). I think it would be great for the site to offer more to gymnasts under 16- many kids come by with questions but aren't allowed to post in the forums, so there is little reason for that audience to come back. All of that would be a lot more involved than what you asked, though. :D

I'll go through these one at a time...
  • Adding more content: Yes... totally agree here... this is the primary way that the site will change going into the future. The content will have to first be driven by SEO articles though. The content will all be used to drive traffic into the forums though.
  • Quizzes and slideshows: This is interesting to me... I have to say that I have never stayed on a website for either one of these... I leave instantly when I see them. I feel like I am not the average internet user anymore though.
  • Athlete Profiles: We tried this and had zero people. Athlete profiles/websites are basically a thing of the past... the colleges are all over social media. Between Instagram & Youtube every athlete already has a gym profile.
  • Member Age: We used to be 13 & up. COPPA dictates that you cannot have members under age 13 without consent from the parents. I'm not opposed to this... however... it really didn't bring in many new members before. I would have to discuss this with everyone else to see what they think. We should definitely offer more content for gymnasts... articles and such.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
To give everyone an idea of the stats of the site according to Google Analytics...
  • Last 28 Days :: Logged In Members - 421
  • Last 28 Days :: Guests - 31,000+
One of the biggest issues with forums is the barrier of registration. What I am looking to do is put a "hook" out there. Basically just catch them with a simple email list and then we have more chances to get them registered by directing them to free content on the site. Something like below...

Screen Shot 2022-01-20 at 10.10.35 AM.png
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
@Gymx2 The idea of quizzes and slideshow is very interesting... can you link to an example somewhere so we can all see?
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
Here is a great little quiz...


I'm not sure how to turn it into something that will attract members though... most people definitely wont take the time to read all that.
 

NutterButter

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
828
OK, I'll bite (nibble, really). Who are you trying to attract? It seems that increasingly the posts from 'new' people are from the under 16 crowd. I don't usually respond to them but sometimes they are allowed to hang out here for a long time before being shut down (enforcement is down). I personally don't have a problem with the youngins but their posts are typically not ones that I am qualified to respond to (for example if they have specific questions on skills I have zero to offer there!).

Meanwhile, there seems to be fewer parents posting and responding. I'm guilty of this too. I'm a long time participant here and I don't post as frequently as I used to. Partially this is because I don't see as much content anymore that is relevant to me. A lot of the posts are about improving skills, getting a routine that has a 10.0 SV, etc. I have nothing to add there. There are fewer posts from parents looking for advice on supporting their gymmie.

Third and related to how the content here is evolving - there's been a ton of posts recently about NCAA gymnastics. I personally don't have a problem with this either but it's not something I'm going to respond to. From the looks of #'s of respondants on those threads, I'm not alone. (I have a collge gymnast so I actually follow teams, athletes, rankings, etc but the gymternet is far more satisfying for me as a source for information and commentary). Also, I really don't care for postings about how famous coaches teach certain skills (Al Fong). It just isn't relevant to me so if I see that come up I scan and then leave.

Fourth, some topics are taboo. I get that and for the most part agree with the guidelines to keep people safe (I'm specifically thinking postings on weight and eating disorders). But other topics are highly discouraged too. I really wanted to start a thread on the UCLA situation as it pertains to racism in the NCAA and ways to advocate for systemic change in collegiate athletics. I know...this flirts with politics. The old mods *might* have let a thread like this go on until things got too dicey. Would you allow this kind of thread now?

So, all that to say that this site seems to be evolving yet it's not clear as to what it is evolving to. I can say that there is less content that is applicable to me now. I joined in 2013 as I was looking for a resource on better supporting my DD. The types of posts used to be very predictable (fears, injuries, hours, my kid has the most talent and will be an Olympian). I'm not seeing as many of these now and when there posts fewer of the long term members are responding.

BTW - My #1 thing all gym parents should know is that long term participation in the sport is a marathon. It's OK to dream big but also keep it real. All kids who reach L9/L10 are athletically talented.
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
798
@Gymx2 The idea of quizzes and slideshow is very interesting... can you link to an example somewhere so we can all see?
A lot of them are a little silly but fun to do with the understanding that the outcome isn't anything super serious, ex: https://www.purewow.com/wellness/introvert-extrovert-ambivert-quiz

Stuff like,
What's Your Gym Parent Style? (hyper competitive/laid back/social)
For gymnasts:
Who's Your Olympic Gym Twin? (based on personality traits famous gymnasts are known for)
I'll look around some more for slideshow examples.

In terms of what every gym parents should know I think about the topics that come up here most often. The Truth About College Scholarships is a great idea.
How to pick the right gym
The most common gymnastics injuries (lots of questions on CB about the same injuries- gymnast wrist, back injuries, severs, Osgood-Schlatters)
How to help your kid through mental blocks

I can understand not wanting kids under 16 to post in the forums, but is there a reason not to direct content toward the under 16 age group? Does the number of registered members matter more than the number of page views in terms of attracting advertisers?
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
Does the number of registered members matter more than the number of page views in terms of attracting advertisers?

No... not at all... however... I am looking to really drive the actual forums into the future. Registered members actually doesn't matter much at all... it's more about registered members that are active.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
Yes, and it would be similar for slideshows- it might require a different content management system.
I doubt it... the front of the site is Wordpress... there is a plugin for almost everything. I'm liking these ideas.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Gymx2

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
410
USA
Interesting post! As for the original question, here are my thoughts:
  • Take a little time to learn "gym speak". Every sport/activity uses jargon to some degree. I think it could be helpful to parents to learn some basic terms and acronyms, especially those that are used frequently in CB forums (such as ROBHS). Maybe one of the articles could include a "dictionary"?
  • Don't compare your gymnast ANY other gymnast. Sure way to set yourself up for crazy gym parent master's degree, LOL.
  • If your gymnast is in a safe, trusting environment, don't stress so much about the skills. They will happen. Well-being is more important than scores and medals.
  • Don't refer to your child solely as "a gymnast". Your child is so much more than that, and I promise it's a wonderful thing! Don't let this (or any) sport/activity define them.
Now, I'm a newer parent, but I read most everything that's posted here. I don't comment as much - partially due to being busy, which is why I'm generally not a social media person. Many of the posts here are about things I'm not knowledgeable about. For example, I don't have personal experience with JO/DP at all. My DD is lower level Xcel. I can't comment about some of the skills discussed here. But, that information is really interesting and educational for me, even if it's not applicable to my DD.

I also agree with possibly trying to create content for young (>13) gymnasts, because they do have lots of questions.
 

Dahlia

Proud Parent
Sep 27, 2013
315
How to find a safe gym might be a great topic for newbies. And maybe even broken down to rec program and team program. Then things like is competitive gymnastics right for my child/family? What's the the differences between JO and Xcel? This is all probably beyond the 5 things to know, but are common questions parents new to the sport have.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
Who are you trying to attract?

Gym parents.

Meanwhile, there seems to be fewer parents posting and responding. I'm guilty of this too. I'm a long time participant here and I don't post as frequently as I used to. Partially this is because I don't see as much content anymore that is relevant to me. A lot of the posts are about improving skills, getting a routine that has a 10.0 SV, etc. I have nothing to add there. There are fewer posts from parents looking for advice on supporting their gymmie.

This is overall because of the rise of social media. Facebook groups have really taken much of the traffic. The goal here is to get some of it back. Would an area that is not visible to "guest" traffic help? A members only parent area?

Third and related to how the content here is evolving - there's been a ton of posts recently about NCAA gymnastics. I personally don't have a problem with this either but it's not something I'm going to respond to. From the looks of #'s of respondants on those threads, I'm not alone. (I have a collge gymnast so I actually follow teams, athletes, rankings, etc but the gymternet is far more satisfying for me as a source for information and commentary). Also, I really don't care for postings about how famous coaches teach certain skills (Al Fong). It just isn't relevant to me so if I see that come up I scan and then leave.

It's basically just a forum... so the content is just what everyone posts. We've always had college content on the forum. Never a ton... but it's always been there... back in the day we had an NCAA forum...


Technically... this site is part of the "gymternet"... however... this site doesn't really operate that way. The "gymternet" is more of the fan side of things... you could say that parents are fans... but this site has more of a youth sports vibe.

Our sister site is full on part of the gymternet...


Fourth, some topics are taboo. I get that and for the most part agree with the guidelines to keep people safe (I'm specifically thinking postings on weight and eating disorders). But other topics are highly discouraged too. I really wanted to start a thread on the UCLA situation as it pertains to racism in the NCAA and ways to advocate for systemic change in collegiate athletics. I know...this flirts with politics. The old mods *might* have let a thread like this go on until things got too dicey. Would you allow this kind of thread now?

I have no issues with any of these topics... play ball. I wouldn't say that any of this is political... it's just real stuff going on... real issues in the sport.

Here is the UCLA thing...

 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
So, all that to say that this site seems to be evolving yet it's not clear as to what it is evolving to. I can say that there is less content that is applicable to me now. I joined in 2013 as I was looking for a resource on better supporting my DD. The types of posts used to be very predictable (fears, injuries, hours, my kid has the most talent and will be an Olympian). I'm not seeing as many of these now and when there posts fewer of the long term members are responding.

Yes... overall... it's just less people talking... like all forums. That is why I am looking to convert some more of the guest traffic.

BTW - My #1 thing all gym parents should know is that long term participation in the sport is a marathon. It's OK to dream big but also keep it real. All kids who reach L9/L10 are athletically talented.

YES!
 

DTAG

Proud Parent
May 7, 2020
101
41
As for me, I belong to a few social media/forum type gymnastics groups. They all serve their purpose in different ways. If I post to one of the FB social media groups, it is typically light-hearted, and surface level kind of stuff.

When I post here, I’ve opened up more and have been more vulnerable. I’ve perhaps expressed concerns or fears more via here, than other areas. Perhaps bc it is not just one click away to finding out basically my whole family history. I appreciate this site as I am more comfortable and I feel the conversations have more depth to them. And it is a great way to research a topic one may be curious about. I.e, NCAA. I really appreciate this site.

As for something every gym parent needs to know, I would say that finding the right gym for your child is important. It should feel like home, similar to the way the right church should feel like home (if you attend). If you have doubts or nagging gut feelings, even if not necessarily safety related, then acknowledge that. Once you are comfortable where your child is at, the doubts and uncertainties subside. At least it did for me.
 

JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,115
Wisconsin
When I post here, I’ve opened up more and have been more vulnerable. I’ve perhaps expressed concerns or fears more via here, than other areas. Perhaps bc it is not just one click away to finding out basically my whole family history. I appreciate this site as I am more comfortable and I feel the conversations have more depth to them. And it is a great way to research a topic one may be curious about. I.e, NCAA. I really appreciate this site.
Thank you!

Do you think an area that is not viewable to guests would help others to open up more?
 
Last edited:
Status
Not open for further replies.