For Parents Concerns - should we switch gyms?

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Nov 18, 2022
1
38
Struggling with deciding whether or not to switch gyms. My daughter is on level 3 (age 8 - almost 9). The overall energy at our gym is pretty negative and draining for all. In general, the coaches seem very uninterested, the parents (who I desperately try to avoid) are constantly gossiping and very out of hand with the things they are saying about the coaches and even the team girls, and the team girls are very divided and rude to one another. Nothing is being addressed, and my Daughter frequently comes home upset - she is mostly a shy and quieter girl, and frequently gets picked by her teammates and I know she’s not the only one getting mistreated. I wish the girls were taught by their coaches what good sportsmanship is and how to cheer for each other and encourage each other. I really try to teach my daughter this myself, but it seems the team of girls could really benefit from the coaches addressing this issue. Again, since the coaches are not paying much attention to the team girls during their practices, our team girls are really struggling with skills and remembering their routines - as they are not running through the routines regularly and their first meet is in 2 weeks. For example, the coaches are often talking for long periods or just standing around watching the girls do drills and not actively helping the girls, making corrections, or even engaging with them. The coaches don’t show any interest in the girls as people either - they never ask hey, how are you today? Or did you do something fun this weekend? Or anything for that matter… it’s so very cold. There’s also a bit of favoritism going on. There’s a select 2-3 girls (the very best girls on the team) that the coaches seem to focus on - it’s very evident. The rest are left behind. It’s just all very concerning. I feel like it may be time to just move on and hope for a better experience at a new gym. I’ll try to do some research on other gyms in our area and put in inquires, but I’m not sure how it works mid season. But I’d love to know other parents experiences and thoughts on things like this.

Thank you!
 

cmg

Proud Parent
Jul 2, 2018
159
63
Doesn't sound like a very positive environment to me, I would be looking at other options. Just be careful looking around some gyms get very upset if you even think about leaving and then kick you out before you have decided. So be sure that you are really ready to leave. Once you start thinking about leaving you really have to follow through.
 
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gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,688
My first thought? If it were my dd, I would move her now even if it meant having to give up the remainder of the season. The parents can get crazy sometimes and it is usually easy enough to avoid them but if it's spilling over to the girls being really mean and picking on others and your dd is coming home upset because of it, then it's a much larger problem.

Is the owner/HC involved? If they are not aware, I might try that avenue first, if it is otherwise a good gym (performance wise). But honestly, it is unlikely that they are not aware and more likely they just don't care.

As CMG noted, gym owners and HCs can get very possessive of their gymnasts. All the local coaches know each other and news will spread quickly. Some will bad mouth gymnasts who are leaving and even lie saying the family has a horrible attitude, delinquent in paying, etc so that potential gyms won't take accept the gymnast. If you are going to make the move and think your gym may hold a grudge, investigate other gyms anonymously, and then make the move quick and without fanfare. Better yet, just pull her now, with an explanation that doesn't imply that you are unhappy (family needs, struggling in school, etc). Then look for another gym.
 
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GymAir

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Aug 28, 2018
95
It sounds like you know you need to leave but just aren’t sure how to make it happen. There are plenty of supportive gyms out there, and hopefully you are in an area with choices. As long as your daughter is doing safe gymnastics and isn’t mentally or emotionally suffering, it’s up to you when to move her. For level 3 I wouldn’t be surprised to find a gym that would take her mid season, but as others have said be quiet about it. If they’re that dysfunctional at your gym they could be petty, too. I think once you’ve landed in a better gym you’ll wonder why you stayed at this gym one second longer than you had to.
 
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RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
883
I'd move her now, regardless of the season. I won't pay for an environment that I think is bad for my kid. Check out a few other gyms and know it's possible she may not be able to compete this season but can train with her new gym. That said, my daughter's gym will take gymnasts at any point in the season and make it work so it's not out of the question. Plus, families move to different areas throughout the year, so moving mid-season isn't unheard of. Good luck- there are a lot of great gyms out there, no need to do time in a negative environment.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
459
I’d suggest you move her, and this isn’t idle talk — we’ve done it once already. Honestly, id move her even if it meant losing out on 100% of the meet fees.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
694
We moved our older DD at the beginning of a season. That said, she did officially leave our original gym first. She was 8 and registered to compete L7 and it was just too much mental stress for her. The new gym was able to transfer her registration for the two meets that overlapped and late-register her for two additional meets, so she ended up only missing one meet with her new team. They also were able to switch her to a L6 pretty easily even though she had to compete out of session one meet. Even doing it this way, we had to be up front with original gym because USAG sanctioned meets will not transfer registration without clearing with the original gym first, so if your hope is for her to compete this season, just be aware.
 

e-bear

Proud Parent
Fan
Nov 21, 2022
32
We moved our older DD at the beginning of a season. That said, she did officially leave our original gym first. She was 8 and registered to compete L7 and it was just too much mental stress for her. The new gym was able to transfer her registration for the two meets that overlapped and late-register her for two additional meets, so she ended up only missing one meet with her new team. They also were able to switch her to a L6 pretty easily even though she had to compete out of session one meet. Even doing it this way, we had to be up front with original gym because USAG sanctioned meets will not transfer registration without clearing with the original gym first, so if your hope is for her to compete this season, just be aware.
Okay thanks
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
91
47
Move her now. There is no room in this life for a child to come home upset repeatedly from an expensive for-fun activity.

Gymnastics should be fun. When the environment is toxic you risk your child's mental health. The environment you speak of is toxic. It is showing your daughter she is not worth the coaches time and less of a person to other gymnasts. Move her to a gym that cares that your daughter is a person that should have the same attention as everyone else and tries to minimize intra-team bullying.

FWIW no gym will be fully immune to a girl or so picking on someone. HOWEVER how the gym and parents deal with it is the bigger issue. Our gym does not stand for any bullying. Instead our girls spend a lot of time supporting and comforting each other. Nothing is more precious than to see teammates rally around a gymnast that had a fall, bad day, off routine, or a gained a skill, great event, etc.