Concerned coach

  • Thread starter CrazyWildFunGym
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I am writing to you as a concerned coach. I work for a gym owner, who was never a gymnast. The owner is so obsessed with cleanliness, that he has declared that no one except for gymnasts at the team level can use chalk (for bars.) This concerns me, having been a gymnast, knowing how slippery the bar can get from sweat, and whatnot, or just in general. The owner does not believe that it is dangerous for recreational class students/preschoolers, to do simple moves like pullovers, back hip circles, and underswings without chalk. I strongly disagree, and feel that any move, where the child is flipping over whatsoever, is dangerous without chalk, and they should be allowed to use it at any age, and any level. Granted, some children do not use chalk, and do not care for it. However, I myself fell on my head once doing a flyaway, because the gym I was in ran out of chalk. Therefore, I have always respected any child who wanted to use it. It gets messy, but life is messy. I believe in cleanliness, and our gym is a very nice place. The attitudes are wonderful, and we have some really good students. However, this chalk issue really scares me. I am scared for the safety of the kids, and I am scared for the potential risk of lawsuit for my owners.
How much of a law suit could my gym owner be looking at if an accident happens that was caused by a lack of using chalk? I am really concerned, and I hope you will be able to shed some light that I may share with my gym owner on this subject.

Many thanks,

Anonymous and frightened.

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ChalkBucket Founder
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Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
Geoffrey is right...this is something that needs to be addressed with the owner. Owners have rules for various reasons. If you think you may be able to sum up your thoughts better at home...then type it up. Do not tell the owner what to do...just express your concern.

I work at a rec. gym with around 700 students. Our upper level (level 4,5,6) girls wear chalk. Everyone is allowed to wear chalk at our gym, but only a few of the lower level kids need it. Some kids do have very sweaty hands, but not many.

Lawsuits are not something that coaches should be concerned about. Teach a good, safe class and leave the rest to the owner. If the owner says "No Chalk" and you feel this is have a decision to make.:(


might help....

I own a gym and understand the cleanliness part. I actually have labels on the walls for where each incline, block, ect goes at the end of the day. In fact, the class kids believe I am allergic to it so they are really careful about getting it near me. I don't allow my coaches to use "bar" chalk on anything except bars and beam. We use masking tape or velcro on the floor. A couple of years ago someone suggested sidewalk chalk (the really chunky colorful sticks) . We use it to mark on the carpets, beams, ect. It works well with very little dust. Try suggesting these alternatives. Keep a carpet (that can be vacuumed at night) under the chalk bucket. You might also teach the kids to rub rather than clap when they chalk up. Class kids (unless they have a perspiration problem) don't need chalk, but kids working high bar definitely do. Optional kids on beam need it for series if their feet perspire. There is a lotion that contains an anti-perspirant that can be applied to the hands and feet. It blocks the pores (not very healthy) and it is extremely expensive. As much as I depise the stuff, it is a necessary evil! :)

I would approach this as a safety thing and if he/she won't change her mind, start looking for someone with more gymnastics knowledge!
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