- Mar 5, 2013
We live in a fairly affluent area, and at our gym - compulsories seems more like glorified babysitting. The other parents just don't seem "into it", and aren't really interested in their children going far in the sport. In fact, they have made it very clear that they don't want that and they have actually vocalized that they would prefer that their children not receive gymnastic scholarships and get "real" scholarships and "real" jobs. It is really more like extended after school care for busy parents who have both mom and dad in demanding careers. Anyway, I wanted to preface with that information before going on. Warning that this is half vent. Our gym tends to weigh what the parents want heavily. Too heavily, imo. For example, we only do one three-day meet because many parents do not want her child missing school on a Friday, ever. So we miss out on a lot of great meets. On nights before meets, the coaches may say that practice will be cut an hour early and the same group of parents will convince them to cut it two hours early instead. See above. The summer schedule came out recently, and it has our group of girls practicing five days. Two of those days are very early mornings. While it won't be enjoyable to wake my daughter up early, that is the schedule and she is committed to gymnastics and wants to be there. Unfortunately, all I have heard from the other parents are negative remarks. Most have said that their children will not be attending the early practices, or will always be late... and that the coaches will just have to "give them a break". They are also questioning the number of days and the number of hours, and why the girls "can't just have a few weeks off after states". What is funny about all of this to me, is that almost every single parent has only one child. We have many more (including one on pre-team with a different summer schedule), and I am not complaining! Will it be fun? No. But we knew what we were signing up for and I would never question what the coaches decided because it wasn't convenient for us. What is also funny about this to me is that most of these parents are also pulling their girls out of the gym for two or three weeks over the summer for vacations, many of which are abroad. So they will be missing half of the practices they are complaining about as it is. I guess I am just frustrated because I have a feeling that the coaches will end up changing the schedule because of the other parents complaining. My daughter could really use the extra practice time (which is only 3 hours more/week than they get now) and WANTS to go 5 days... but more than that, I am just not so sure that we should be at a gym where the parents (compulsory, anyway) are so uncommitted and the coaches are so weak about it. In an ideal gymnastics world, the coaches would explain the level of commitment this takes from the girls AND parents and refer them to XCel or quitting if that wasn't something they wanted. But that won't happen here. And to be honest, as much as I shouldn't care what others do, it's kind of irritating that I will be getting my daughter to/from practices (including early ones) on time and others won't show or will be late because it's 'too much' or 'too early' and they will still get to move up and no one will blink an eye about it. Just doesn't seem fair. Yes, I'm whining a little bit. Unlike many of these parents, we are more middle class than upper class and we have a big family... so gymnastics is a "sacrifice" to us, but one that we are happy to make because it's our daughters' passion and they do well and want to work towards a future in it and we want to support whatever they want to do. Like I said, this is more vent than anything... I know that based on all of this, many of these kids won't be in the sport by the time we get to optionals. But in the meantime... frustrating. We have been considering a gym change for a while for several other reasons, and I guess I am just wondering how common this is. At your gym, if the parents scoffed at the schedule and had their kids consistently miss/be late because they didn't like it... would that fly?