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Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
My dd has been competing 4 years in Xcel program which was the only program at her first gym. The HC who was also the gym owner, sold the facility and combined with another med-sized gym. That HC, who we adore and are still very close with, advised us after 3 years that my dd needed a bigger, elite level facility and Coaches to work with. She helped us evaluate and get set up at one of the top 2 in the State.

Going to a new gym, we thought it best to leave her in Xcel one more season to allow time to become familiar with new Coaches, Training Style, etc. She had a fabulous year; both in skills growth and competition results. Only one competition did she not sweep and she came in second on two events. (I say that not to brag but to give a profile of the athlete)

For the upcoming season we all agreed she would move to Optionals for a myriad of reasons, which considering the audience of this Parent's Forum, I am sure you understand those reasons. :)

Enter the challenge we are having....like most training facilities, she has a checklist of skills to score out on prior to switching. While she has the majority completed, she has about 6 basic ones left before the move. The HC and Asst HC are amazing. They are true experts in their field and the primary reasons we selected this gym over the other "elite" gym slightly closer to our home. HOWEVER, dd isn't working with them daily and is regularly with 3 other coaches. These 3 report back to the 2 HC on progress. Of the 3 coaches, 2 are quite the handful. They are VERY rude and snotty to the gymnasts. The issues I have witnessed include name calling, mocking the girls, laughing when they miss a skill, telling them they deserved to fall for being lazy, telling them they cant believe they "do gymnastics so ugly", flat out ignoring them, putting a hand in their face (not on the child) when they are mid-comment, not cheering or even granting a high five at meets when they rock an event, etc. (Not all of these were directed at my dd; just summary of observations.)

During a private parent's meeting with the HC, she noted that my dd doesn't seem to push herself as hard on the little things and they don't understand why she didn't progress more over the summer. I, in broad terms, explained that I believed a part of the issue might be a disconnect she was having with a coach and learning to process this. I made no accusations on what exactly was done or said, just stated there was a disconnect. I also pointed out that she stands a bit taller when training with the two HCs and we looked forward to working with them more. HC asked which coach there was a disconnect with and I told her. She stated she would look into it and certainly didn't want coaching to impact my dd negatively. I told her I did not want my dd babied or given special treatment but I appreciated her looking in to it. This was one week ago.

Fast forward to last night, my dd got in the car after practice and broke down. Mind you this child does not cry. She has broken bones, hyperextended knees, etc. and not cried. She is mentally very tough. She worked part of the night with one of the HCs and completed several items on her list. She was STOKED! BUT at the next apparatus, one of the 'disconnected' Coaches questioned whether she really completed a checklist item from over a month ago. My dd stated she had and was then questioned as to who signed off. She stated that the HC had verified. The 'disconnected' Coach laughed and erased the completion mark! This all occurred in front of the entire team and another Coach. My dd was heartbroken. It isn't even about advancing at this point. She cant get away from the two 'disconnected' coaches unless she completes her list. I believe the erasing to be punishment for me speaking with the HC.

My dd wants to leave the gym because of these 2 coaches. She said she will never get to advance out of these coaches' group and to be honest, I am leaning towards that same belief. My child is not the same as a few months ago. Her face is sad. This is a kid that sleeps, eats, and breathes the sport. She loves the gym itself and the HCs and her teammates but that is getting overshadowed by the bullying.

So what do I do? This truly is the top gym. The HCs and Owner are what she needs to meet her goals. But she is stuck.

Since she has only been there one season, I am afraid she will get blackballed if we leave. Also, how would I have her evaluated at the other gym without getting her kicked off this team? Is there a chance the other elite gym wouldn't see her because of her being perceived as a "gym-hopper"?
 

munchkin3

Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
Time to have a sit down with everybody.....tell them personally......be prepared for the coaches to tell you things you may not want to hear about your DD.
I'm assuming this group of coaches has been in place for a while and have results......

My DD has a coach like this. She has made it a point to please her.....when she is happy with DD the benefits are great.
 

Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
Should I request for the sit-down with HCs and the 3 other coaches? I have sent an email follow-up request to HCs but no reply yet.

I know the HCs are experienced and proven...the 2 others, I think, were recreational coaches and moved up to team coaching 2-3 years ago? Unsure really. Though my original thought is that since they are a feeder into the HCs training groups they would be of a higher level than traditional recreational coaching. (No offense intended)
 

Sasha

Proud Parent
May 15, 2013
1,583
Very sorry your daughter is going through what sounds like (at best) immature, insensitive coaching from the three less experienced coaches. The 'mark erasing' sounds extremely uncalled for and hateful. If the level sheet is an official document, I think your daughter with or without your help could raise that alone to HC....

How old is your daughter?
What level is she likely shooting for in Optionals when she transfers from Xcel? 6? 7? 8?

You describe the gym as an 'elite gym' - does your daughter have elite aspirations and/or has the HC given you cause to believe she could become an elite? I ask this, as not every 'elite' gym is best for someone not going elite, so just trying to look at the big picture of how big of an issue switching might be..

Absolutely something needs to be done, and calm conversations (for now) are probably the way to go next... but it is always thin ice if coaches are close and choosing words carefully will of course be needed.
 

GymDad9.9

Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2016
1,089
How infuriating! I would take it up with the HC and Gym Owner and see whether you can get your daughter moved and/or evaluated by the HC considering she is close to finishing out her required skills.

Don't let these malicious coaches ruin it for your daughter.
 
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Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
Very sorry your daughter is going through what sounds like (at best) immature, insensitive coaching from the three less experienced coaches. The 'mark erasing' sounds extremely uncalled for and hateful. If the level sheet is an official document, I think your daughter with or without your help could raise that alone to HC....

How old is your daughter?
What level is she likely shooting for in Optionals when she transfers from Xcel? 6? 7? 8?

You describe the gym as an 'elite gym' - does your daughter have elite aspirations and/or has the HC given you cause to believe she could become an elite? I ask this, as not every 'elite' gym is best for someone not going elite, so just trying to look at the big picture of how big of an issue switching might be..

Absolutely something needs to be done, and calm conversations (for now) are probably the way to go next... but it is always thin ice if coaches are close and choosing words carefully will of course be needed.

My dd is 11 and very much so wants to compete at the Collegiate Level eventually. Her former and current HC confirmed this was attainable provided we get her over to Optionals. I think they said Level 8 was most likely placement but that made me a bit nervous as I realize the competition is high in Optionals. She has excellent muscle memory and learns bigger skills quite easily. Though, her downfall is the dedication to perfecting the little basic things. She has to work very hard to focus on say a toe point, but her kip was picked up in one class way back when. She enjoys the biomechanics of it all I think. She can tell you most of the muscles and how they are used in a skill. I think this is strange for an 11 yr old but whatever. But bottom line, she is rough around the edges and they have helped a lot with this issue.

I am struggling with wording as I feel as though I am being too nice and passive. I have an assertive personality and a natural resting grumpy face which is not a good combination. I don't do well not being very direct and just dumping facts on the table for discussion. HOWEVER, I recognize this flaw in myself (thanks to many talks with her former HC as to how I appear at first meeting :) SO I have intentionally restricted communications to email and the scheduled parents meeting.
 

Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
How infuriating! I would take it up with the HC and Gym Owner and see whether you can get your daughter moved and/or evaluated by the HC considering she is close to finishing out her required skills.

Don't let these malicious coaches ruin it for your daughter.

I wish I understood the root cause of the disconnect. Adults don't just "not like" a kid do they? Its so odd. My child literally slumps in posture and face looses its joy as soon as she moves to the apparatus those 2 coaches are on, regardless of the apparatus. She NEVER cowers or does this with anyone or anything else. It reminds me of a whipped puppy. Prior to last night when the check was erased, she was willing to suck it up. Last night however was her breaking point because she moved 2 steps forward to be pushed back down and laughed at.
 

Sasha

Proud Parent
May 15, 2013
1,583
My dd is 11 and very much so wants to compete at the Collegiate Level eventually. Her former and current HC confirmed this was attainable provided we get her over to Optionals. I think they said Level 8 was most likely placement but that made me a bit nervous as I realize the competition is high in Optionals. She has excellent muscle memory and learns bigger skills quite easily. Though, her downfall is the dedication to perfecting the little basic things. She has to work very hard to focus on say a toe point, but her kip was picked up in one class way back when. She enjoys the biomechanics of it all I think. She can tell you most of the muscles and how they are used in a skill. I think this is strange for an 11 yr old but whatever. But bottom line, she is rough around the edges and they have helped a lot with this issue.

I am struggling with wording as I feel as though I am being too nice and passive. I have an assertive personality and a natural resting grumpy face which is not a good combination. I don't do well not being very direct and just dumping facts on the table for discussion. HOWEVER, I recognize this flaw in myself (thanks to many talks with her former HC as to how I appear at first meeting :) SO I have intentionally restricted communications to email and the scheduled parents meeting.

Ok, so it sounds like current HC has a plan for her that includes a shot at training toward collegiate level, and your gym and optionals coaches have been a proven formula for success in your area. I would work very hard to keep her here, but start working very closely with the HC to get her out of the Xcel practice as soon as possible and into a group with the optionals (away from the jerky coaches). Be kind and candid (avoid anger), ask HC for help in finding a solution as the 'chemistry' is affecting your daughter. Tell HC about the emotional states you have witnessed your daughter in after practice. Ask about the checklist incident, express your concern about the way it was handled, and ask if HC thinks that is appropriate or if he/she thinks you are being overly critical. You need to put it out there and get HC's reaction and commitment to a solution. No good HC wants a gymnast feeling this way and will work to find a solution with you! If HC won't help you and abandons your daughter's needs, then there is your answer. But I have faith if HC is truly a great coach that he/she will help your daughter get into the right group for her needs.
 

GymDad9.9

Proud Parent
Feb 16, 2016
1,089
I wish I understood the root cause of the disconnect. Adults don't just "not like" a kid do they? Its so odd. My child literally slumps in posture and face looses its joy as soon as she moves to the apparatus those 2 coaches are on, regardless of the apparatus. She NEVER cowers or does this with anyone or anything else. It reminds me of a whipped puppy. Prior to last night when the check was erased, she was willing to suck it up. Last night however was her breaking point because she moved 2 steps forward to be pushed back down and laughed at.
These kids have it hard enough in the gym. They don't deserve this type of treatment from "coaches." Call them out loud and clear. I wish you luck.
 
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gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
I would ask for a meeting with the coaches and just state the facts or what you know them to be of the checklist incident and frame it as a question of whether she achieved the item or not. Let them know it provoked a large emotional response in her and you are reconsidering. Let them respond and I think from there it will be more clear.
 
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ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,442
62
The coaches attitude is a huge problem and needs to be addressed. I'm with munchkin.

That aside your daughter does need to address the little stuff. Because the devil is in the detail. Big skills not polished are an issue. They will have to be addressed somewhere, I think it is one of the key differences between Xcel and JO.
There won't be sweeps in JO with the just the skills. Because they will all have the skills. The top finishers have both.

Good luck to your daughter.
 

munchkin3

Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
2,102
Our beam coach is a stickler for details.....if legs are not perfect, she will make the gymnasts life miserable......that is the way it is......
Do kids gets upset? Yes.....do some parents gets mad? Yes.
Will a gym hear the complaints, yes, but that does not mean anything will change. Coaches are far from perfect, and some less than others, but in most cases they are just real hard as*es.....This is a good thing. If you can stomach it.....
My DS dealt with the antichrist....literally.....he no longer works with children......my DD has had some very tough situations with demanding coaches......I have told her that as long as she is doing what is asked, and maybe more, then her coach will be happy.......
BUT, it is up to the adults in the room to deal with the child effectively. You need to have a constructive conversation with the coaching team. If you do not feel like you should do it, that have your spouse do it.
Be kind, be constructive, be thankful for hoe hard they all work...this will get you farther.
 

GymCMLA

Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2014
447
47
We previously death with this passive aggressive emotionally abusive coaching style...."you're not gymnastics material" "wannabes" "you have to have this skill by friday and I won't let you work on it all week so you will fail" "do x and I will pass you on and then pass her on with <30 sec left and tell her that there isn't time and she has to start over again the next practice" "I'm not risking my back for your fat ***".... I could go on and on. But I went to HC and owner for 15 months...trusting them to help things change, but alas, they didn't and we left (a year later than we should have) New gym has tough coaches, but it is constructive and they truly want them to succeed and celebrate the little and big victories with them.
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,976
So is she working level 4&5 skills so she can go to a score out meet? I'm confused about the checklist. To go to optionals they need an AA score in level 4 & 5, so just to figure this out, once the checklist is signed off, do they bring in a judge or go to a meet to get a score, and then go to optionals? And if she's shooting for level 8, she will also need an AA score for level 7. So if the coaches aren't letting her sign off on skills, she won't get to score out? Am I getting it correct?

After all that, why is the HC, whom you said is wanting her to advance and move out of Xcel, allowing these other coaches to do things like mock her and erase the signatures of another coach? Something is off here, and I would probably try at least one more meeting to see if everyone is on the same page. And also to highlight these problems. I'm sorry, but these people should not be working with children. They sound cruel and sarcastic, and kids, even mentally tough ones, do not deserve to be treated like that. It's wrong. There are gyms out there where that is not tolerated, and there are some where it's like that from the top down. Your dd has to love this sport to stay with it, and she won't if this treatment and discouragement keeps on. You may have to go to the other gym. It might not be as "prestigious," but it could possibly be the perfect fit.
 

Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
So is she working level 4&5 skills so she can go to a score out meet? I'm confused about the checklist. To go to optionals they need an AA score in level 4 & 5, so just to figure this out, once the checklist is signed off, do they bring in a judge or go to a meet to get a score, and then go to optionals? And if she's shooting for level 8, she will also need an AA score for level 7. So if the coaches aren't letting her sign off on skills, she won't get to score out? Am I getting it correct?

After all that, why is the HC, whom you said is wanting her to advance and move out of Xcel, allowing these other coaches to do things like mock her and erase the signatures of another coach? Something is off here, and I would probably try at least one more meeting to see if everyone is on the same page. And also to highlight these problems. I'm sorry, but these people should not be working with children. They sound cruel and sarcastic, and kids, even mentally tough ones, do not deserve to be treated like that. It's wrong. There are gyms out there where that is not tolerated, and there are some where it's like that from the top down. Your dd has to love this sport to stay with it, and she won't if this treatment and discouragement keeps on. You may have to go to the other gym. It might not be as "prestigious," but it could possibly be the perfect fit.
My understanding of the gyms process is that in order to move from level to level OR from Xcel to Optionals she has to demonstrate she has mastered a list of skills. From leg lifts to BHS on Beam. Two Coaches must witness and concur she has mastered the skill after she performs for each Coach separately 5 consecutive times in a row. She has completed this process for most all of the checklist for the Level they would place her Optionals. One item was removed last week after I had spoken with HC by the disconnect Coach.

Truthfully I am not sure how much the HC knows of the problems. I sent an email that explained the situation as I know it and asked if it was to be expected that my dd would have to re-do a skill from the checklist or could have it erased if someone "didn't believe" she had completed. I did note in the email that HCs had been the original approves of that skill being checked off.

I haven't heard a single word back. They have sent an email to all parents regarding contracts and such, so I know they have been online. But my email has not been responded to.

I truthfully don't know if I should just give up on the gym or what.

I don't get into the waiting area complaints and drama, I just listen and watch from my corner perch; but the constant discussion is on non-response of gym staff. So I know it's standard for them to ignore problems away.
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,976
My understanding of the gyms process is that in order to move from level to level OR from Xcel to Optionals she has to demonstrate she has mastered a list of skills. From leg lifts to BHS on Beam. Two Coaches must witness and concur she has mastered the skill after she performs for each Coach separately 5 consecutive times in a row. She has completed this process for most all of the checklist for the Level they would place her Optionals. One item was removed last week after I had spoken with HC by the disconnect Coach.

Truthfully I am not sure how much the HC knows of the problems. I sent an email that explained the situation as I know it and asked if it was to be expected that my dd would have to re-do a skill from the checklist or could have it erased if someone "didn't believe" she had completed. I did note in the email that HCs had been the original approves of that skill being checked off.

I haven't heard a single word back. They have sent an email to all parents regarding contracts and such, so I know they have been online. But my email has not been responded to.

I truthfully don't know if I should just give up on the gym or what.

I don't get into the waiting area complaints and drama, I just listen and watch from my corner perch; but the constant discussion is on non-response of gym staff. So I know it's standard for them to ignore problems away.
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,976
My understanding of the gyms process is that in order to move from level to level OR from Xcel to Optionals she has to demonstrate she has mastered a list of skills. From leg lifts to BHS on Beam. Two Coaches must witness and concur she has mastered the skill after she performs for each Coach separately 5 consecutive times in a row. She has completed this process for most all of the checklist for the Level they would place her Optionals. One item was removed last week after I had spoken with HC by the disconnect Coach.

Truthfully I am not sure how much the HC knows of the problems. I sent an email that explained the situation as I know it and asked if it was to be expected that my dd would have to re-do a skill from the checklist or could have it erased if someone "didn't believe" she had completed. I did note in the email that HCs had been the original approves of that skill being checked off.

I haven't heard a single word back. They have sent an email to all parents regarding contracts and such, so I know they have been online. But my email has not been responded to.

I truthfully don't know if I should just give up on the gym or what.

I don't get into the waiting area complaints and drama, I just listen and watch from my corner perch; but the constant discussion is on non-response of gym staff. So I know it's standard for them to ignore problems away.

I'm still not understanding gyms that move girls without a score out from Xcel to Optionals. USA Gymnastics requires a score of 31.00 for level 4 & 5, and also you must score out of 7 to move to 8. Any gym that moves girls from Xcel to optionals is violating the Rules and Policies. They might have gotten away with this in the past, but they are planning to really crack down on this. If your gym is moving girls based on a checklist and without AA scores from a sanctioned meet or by having a judge come to your gym to verify scores with an AA in those levels, they are not doing things by the rules. If caught this can jeopardize the gymnast and the gym. I'd be really questioning what's going on there, and also the problems with the sarcastic and almost mean coaches ther. When the coach starts defeating the girl to the point of tears and wanting to quit, something needs to be done. If they won't get fired, you might have to try someplace else.
 

Marie

Proud Parent
Aug 1, 2016
6
I'm still not understanding gyms that move girls without a score out from Xcel to Optionals. USA Gymnastics requires a score of 31.00 for level 4 & 5, and also you must score out of 7 to move to 8. Any gym that moves girls from Xcel to optionals is violating the Rules and Policies. They might have gotten away with this in the past, but they are planning to really crack down on this. If your gym is moving girls based on a checklist and without AA scores from a sanctioned meet or by having a judge come to your gym to verify scores with an AA in those levels, they are not doing things by the rules. If caught this can jeopardize the gymnast and the gym. I'd be really questioning what's going on there, and also the problems with the sarcastic and almost mean coaches ther. When the coach starts defeating the girl to the point of tears and wanting to quit, something needs to be done. If they won't get fired, you might have to try someplace else.

I wish I understood the process better because I don't know how they are doing the final piece of the move after checklist is completed. Only one other girl is slated to move from Xcel to Optionals this season. All else stayed the same. I don't engage enough to ask her parents how that transition worked.

If I move her to another gym, what is process (by USA Gymnastics rules) to have her in Optionals over Xcel?

I really do not want to tell a new gym any details of what prompted a move as I don't want to appear to bash/gossip or be a gym hopper. I'm very worried she will be black balled for moving anyway as I know there will be speculation as to why.

I wish the HC would just reply. Even a "suck it up or go away" is better than nothing....
 

gymdog

Coach
Jul 5, 2007
5,120
I wouldn't give up yet - it may take HC a few days to respond. They probably have to talk to the other coaches involved and figure out their side and maybe even observe practice, etc before they can fully respond.
 

kayjaybe

Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2012
620
I'm totally guessing here, but it sounds like the gym is requiring her to show she is proficient in the skills before they will let her do a score-out meet. I don't think you can petition into optional from Excel unless you are at least 14 years old.

So, before they will even enter her in meets to score out, maybe they are looking to see those skills demonstrated consistently in the gym first.

What skills are they looking for that she is missing?
 
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