For Parents Coaching qualifications for an excel team of 13 girls

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Feb 5, 2022
Hi there I need you to this group and I’ve actually never even seen this website before tonight but it looks like it’s going to be a great resource for me going forward. My question is this my daughter has been doing gymnastics for a couple of years started at the age of seven and is now nine but she also had some downtime during the pandemic as I’m sure all gymnasts did. When she originally started she started JO level two and when we came back in full swing in August she decided to switch to excel and was placed in silver. I really love the gym that we are at but the Excel path is new to our gym and they had to hire a coach because they actually had a lot of interest in Excel an hour to JO coaches could not handle it. They hired a 17-year-old girl who’s in high school and had been doing gymnastics from 5 up till 15 years old so she has had a lot of experience with the sport. There are three levels throughout the 13 girls in Excel we have a couple of bronze girls about six or seven silver girls and three gold girls. All of them train about 10 hours a week. At our first meet in December I was shocked to see that my daughter had not really progressed from August to her first competition. She had also expressed to me a couple of times that her new coach gets easily upset with the girls and has been mean at times telling them to shut up. So I have made sure that I am there during her practice more often now to observe what is going on in the gym. It appears to me that this girl is too young and does not have enough help to coach all three levels of Excel, And all of her focus seems to be on the gold girls. Any advice on what I should do? Also is there any requirements to be a coach like training certifications or age requirements or as well as number of students per coach. Thank you so much in advance for any information or advice you can give. I would love to see my daughter progress in the sport as she really loves gymnastics and I want to see her be safe while competing and also be encouraged to progress and learn new skills.


Staff member
Gold Membership
Sep 4, 2008
Good coaches are difficult to find and it sounds like her coach in in over her head.

Are there any other gyms nearby that have an Xcel team in your area? I would start looking quietly. Look up information online, observe practice if you can. If you make calls inquiring, don’t say your daughter’s name or gym. Coaches can get very territorial when gymnasts think about changing.
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Deleted member 26368

My DD had a teenage coach her first year of Xcel Bronze, and most of the team didn't make much progress. All but 2 repeated and fared much better under more experienced coaches. This is not to say that all new/young coaches aren't qualified, but experience (not just with the technical skills) can make a difference. To have this young lady coaching three teams is asking a lot. Xcel Gold requires more advanced skills, so I get why she's spending a lot of her time with that team vs. Bronze and Silver, though. Definitely start looking at other options in your area if possible. Be sure to search Chalk Bucket for forums about changing gyms first! Apparently it can be a complex process.


Jan 31, 2008
To be honest, the situation is really unfair for all involved, but it might be the only option without kicking kids off the team. Having thirteen kids in a group of the same level is harder in the first place. Having mixed levels requires a fair bit of planning/experience to best utilize time. As an experience coach I would be challenged with this scenario as far as making sure everyone was getting adequate turns and attention (equipment available).
There would be progress but not at the same rate as if the group was smaller and/or of a similar level. Most of the gyms I have been in, usually try and keeps groups smaller (and same level) for the younger coaches until they have more coaching experience. Not sure if your gym is paying the coach for the time needed to plan and/or mentoring her - or if she even has the time to do this alongside her studies. This does not excuse her behavior/conduct with the kids - but it shows she is absolutely overwhelmed and that is a gym issue.
Can you speak with the HC/management to see if they can provide more support? Otherwise it might be worthwhile looking for other options.


Proud Parent
Apr 21, 2020
I agree that this coach appears to be, at minimum, overwhelmed and in over her head. 13 girls on 3 levels is a lot for an experienced coach. Our groups are no larger than 10 girls at the same/similar level with an experienced coach. Good coach or bad, been put in a tough spot. I’d voice my concerns to the owner, not necessarily in a “coach is too young” or “coach is mean” way, but more concern for the group size and varied levels. I wouldn’t expect much to change though and you may need to find a better fit for your gymnast.

Our team coaches usually have experience coaching rec and preteam before xcel and DP and aren’t that young. However, some of our upper level gymnasts coach rec or work open gym and have been a very valuable resource to my daughter. The right kid in the right situation can work. Your situation doesn’t sound ideal.

Deleted member 26368

The right kid in the right situation can work. Your situation doesn’t sound ideal.
Totally second this. The Bronze team at DD's gym has a teenage coach who works with them primarily "day to day", but she's backed up by the more experienced coaches at meets and other situations. She's been awesome! However, this is a different young lady than the one DD had for Bronze. The right "fit" matters more than age.
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