For Parents Another gym change debate - coaching vs comfort

Flounder

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My gymnast is an upper level optional. She’s been at the same gym since she started in classes as a child. She’s been pretty happy with the gym all along, but there have been some concerning management changes over the past few years. We always suspected that a change might be required after a certain level, but now that we are approaching that time, we are struggling with the decision.

We are not sure if college gymnastics is in the cards, but it may be within the realm of possibilities. Our gym has not sent anyone to a college team and we don’t have any level 10s. The most well-known gym in our area definitely can prepare a gymnast for college, but the coaching style is different than the style at our current gym.

Since my gymnast has been in the same gym for years, she has strong relationships with her teammates and all of the coaches know her really well. She is comfortable, but not sure that she is getting the type of experience that she needs to get to where she wants to go (at least L10). At the same time, she’s very nervous to leave her gym and her friends behind. My fear about her staying at her current gym is that she will miss out on the opportunity to reach one of her goals. My fear about her moving to the other gym is that the environment will not suit her and she will end up quitting gymnastics all together. Additionally, with the craziness of this past year, her teammates have become more important than ever before.

This is a lot harder than we thought.

If you try out the gym and decide that it is not the right fit at this time, does that basically mean you can’t join them later?
 

gymgal

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the biggest question is whether the current coaches are capable of getting her to be a strong L10. Just because they haven't had a L10 yet doesn't mean they are not capable. It could be timing. It could be gymnasts leaving for more experienced gyms. It could be that they have no intention of training high level gymnasts (meaning they prefer to focus on the lower levels). You will not know unless you have a conversation with the HC/owner. How are the scores for the gym in the 7/8/9 levels? do they uptrain skills?
 

katrid11

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We just changed my DD from the gym she was at since 18mths old to a new one. My biggest concern was her feeling comfortable with a different coaching technique.

Thus far - 3 weeks in - she says she is happy. She's excited to go to practice. She met new friends.

Making a move is scary. The question is do you know enough about the philosophy, current coaches, atmosphere of your current and potential future gyms to make a good decision?

For instance a local gym to us was great at optionals. They had numerous girls going to college - girls transferred to this gym from all over. However 2 of those coaches left. Their program is going downhill right now due to coaching changes. If I look up their old records one would say "go there" but the last 2.5 years say "don't go there right now".

research some more.....
 

Flounder

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We’ve had a lot of gymnasts sit at 8 & 9 for several years. I think we’ve maybe only had 1 or 2 10s ever. Is it possible to become a strong 10? I don’t know. They don’t really have enough coaches and management is constantly looking at ways to tighten the belt.

Another gymnast we know moved to the gym we are considering and made major improvements in a year. It’s much more serious and probably less “fun”.
 

gymgal

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We’ve had a lot of gymnasts sit at 8 & 9 for several years. I think we’ve maybe only had 1 or 2 10s ever. Is it possible to become a strong 10? I don’t know. They don’t really have enough coaches and management is constantly looking at ways to tighten the belt.

Another gymnast we know moved to the gym we are considering and made major improvements in a year. It’s much more serious and probably less “fun”.
sounds like you have your answers. You just need to decide which is more important to your dd and your family. It's a tough call but I would lean toward supporting your dd in what she wants at this time if the family can afford it financially/physically
 

ldw4mlo

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Why do you think the only choice if she doesn’t like the new environment is quitting? And quitting is bad?

If the environment doesn’t work for her she can go back to one that does.

Or she could find out she is not all that passionate about gymnastics and want to move on to something else.
 

Flounder

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I don’t know if she felt like she could go back to her first gym if the tougher gym doesn’t work out. There aren’t a lot of gyms around here with upper levels. As it is, the new gym would be twice the commute. More often, optional switch TO her current gym bc they want a more balanced life.

Her coaches have been a little checked out this summer and I know she’s getting frustrated. It’s affecting her confidence, but I don’t know if it’s good to do a trial when she’s feeling so down about herself. :(
 

SpunkyGymMom

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We went through a similar decision process with my daughter this summer. She’s also getting into upper level optionals at a gym that doesn’t have a lot of L9/L10 experience, and the gym we would have considered is a much longer drive. She decided to stay where she is. Biggest difference is that my daughter doesn’t think she wants to try for college gymnastics (though she does want to try to get to L10). The other difference is that my daughter is not frustrated with her gym or coaches. She’s happy there and is still progressing well.

I agree with gymgal’s comment about supporting what your daughter wants. Follow her lead. If she’s not 100% all-in on making a switch, I would stay for another season and see what happens. With a longer drive and a tougher training regimen, it’s not likely to work out if she’s not totally committed. But if your daughter’s frustration starts to outweigh the enjoyment she gets from gymnastics and if she seems to truly want a more serious environment, the change could be positive. Good luck with your decision!
 

josie55

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Just one thought - not knowing your daughter or what decision is right - but sometimes what is “fun” is challenging yourself, gaining skills and gaining confidence. Sometimes we seem to miss that distinction in this sport, thinking that we have to choose between “fun” and “hard” but for some, it’s much more fun when it’s hard.
 
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Flounder

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I thought I should come back here because maybe this post would be helpful for someone in the future. We decided to see what the other gym was like a couple of weeks ago. After working in the other gym, my daughter told me that while she enjoyed some parts of that experience, she never wanted to go back. She knew she would get better on one specific event, but the coach they had there would make her want to leave the sport all together. She said, “It would not be worth the cost.” In the end, I think it was really good that we saw at least one of the options that was out there. Maybe that will make her change how she views her current situation or maybe that will make her reevaluate what she wants for the future.

I guess at the end, I am glad I offered her options and supported her decisions.
 

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