For Parents Considering a Gym change - The Rules?

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
Please help me navigate the rules for changing gyms. Not that we are changing gyms, but there have been some not so nice things happen at our gym, and I would like to look at others. I learned today that by going and looking at another gym, we can lose the opportunity to stay with our gym. So if I go look at Gym 2, the current gym, Gym 1 hears about it, they basically will fire the gymnast. So by looking at gym 2, gym 1 will fire the kid? Then we would be forced to go to Gym 2 or their career is over? This sounds insane. I don't remember anything like this being in a handbook of sorts. Is this normal? How do you look at other gyms and not be discovered or turned in by someone? Do I need to wear a disguise? Are there spotters in the parking lot waiting to catch a traitor? Do we have to see the gym when it's closed so we don't get ousted?
 

MuggleMom

Active Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
540
Virginia
Country
USA
If you read around on here you will see unfortunately some gyms are this way, very punitive if you are looking at options. It tells you a lot about the gym you are with and if it were me would make me want to leave even more. What I have read on here that most people do is set up a separate email (with no identifying info in the email address) and ask questions without giving any identifying info about your daughter and see what you can find out or perhaps call but once again dont say you are local and looking to change gyms. But going in and watching, they will probably end up figuring out who you are and what gym you come from, and most gyms will call your "home gym" as a curtesy and then you are outed and in a bad situation.

I don't have much good advice but if you already have doubts about your gym and they threaten to "fire" anyone who looks elsewhere it doesn't sound like you are losing much by leaving. I feel like most other gyms wouldn't block you from their gym for this reason, but some bad gyms do bad mouth to other gyms which can make getting a spot more difficult. At our gym we don't "block" anyone from another gym and we don't "fire" people for looking at another gym. Our gym isn't perfect but they are pretty good in this regards.

I would also check (without asking ideally) what their policy is for leaving. Our gym requires 30 days notice for team kids but I have heard some horror stories on here about having to pay multiple months etc for "breaking your contract" with the gym then when people cant or wont pay the contract breaking fees they tell other gyms that you haven't paid up which makes it difficult to get in at another gym (who wants a parent that leaves unpaid bills)

Once again not saying any of this will happen but do lots of research as independently as possible, and dont tell any other parent at the gym what you are doing either they may "tattle" on you all gyms are houses of gossip that I am sure of lol.
 

GymDadWA

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2017
241
41
Country
USA
I'd just call the other gym and explain the situation without disclosing who you are. See if they have any spots or could share information on where your child would be placed and who they would be placed with. If you don't like what you hear than no reason to get dressed up for your stealth mission.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IzzyFeet

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,162
Country
USA
You don't mention whether your child is on team. If in the rec program, this will not be an issue but if on team, yes *some gyms are really territorial about their gymnasts and the higher the level, the worse it gets. If you know or suspect your gym is like this, there isn't much you can do beyond the initial anonymous calls. Once your child goes in for an evaluation, someone in that potential gym will recognize them and it will go around. So, even if the potential owner/coaches tells you they will not alert the old gym, it will still get out. Some on CB have found it is best to part ways on "good terms" with the old gym (pay your outstanding debt), using the excuse that the child will be taking a break, and then go look for a new gym.
 
  • Like
Reactions: IzzyFeet

bookworm

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2009
3,201
On my couch either reading or doing nothing...
Country
USA
For starters, you keep your mouth shut, telling no one . Then you research the gyms by yourself, divulging as little info as possible about your child ("my niece is coming to live with us , she's 9 and a level 5") and after you decide to move her, you take all her belongings (grips, leos etc) with you on your last day, and don't look back. THEN, you send an email to gym #1 thanking them for their time and wishing them luck in the future but that "Susie is moving on "...don't say where you're headed (they'll find out on their own).

If you're current with tuition and fees, the old gym coaches and some parents may be nasty when you see them at meets etc but take the high road and just smile. When we left our original gym with my 2 upper level girls, I sent out an email on a "reply all" we'd gotten along the way on our way out the door explaining to parents MY version of why we were changing gyms before the gym could smear us...I remain friend with about 6 of those families to this day. Gyms can get really possessive but you decide how you spend your money.

I've seen people mention kids "trying out" at gyms and then having to fess up who they were ....we never had to do that ... I gave them the levels and the gyms took them on . Our second gym change was much nicer ... HC was going to the Olympics and was never around to coach and I used distance as an excuse...but I actually was travelling further after the change ...but everyone was nice in that one.
 

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
You don't mention whether your child is on team. If in the rec program, this will not be an issue but if on team, yes *some gyms are really territorial about their gymnasts and the higher the level, the worse it gets. If you know or suspect your gym is like this, there isn't much you can do beyond the initial anonymous calls. Once your child goes in for an evaluation, someone in that potential gym will recognize them and it will go around. So, even if the potential owner/coaches tells you they will not alert the old gym, it will still get out. Some on CB have found it is best to part ways on "good terms" with the old gym (pay your outstanding debt), using the excuse that the child will be taking a break, and then go look for a new gym.
She is on team. We are in good standing. We are not happy with an emotionally abusive coach. The gym has not listened to complaints. The coach doesn't do it to all teams, just ours.
 
  • Sad
Reactions: PinPin

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
It
For starters, you keep your mouth shut, telling no one . Then you research the gyms by yourself, divulging as little info as possible about your child ("my niece is coming to live with us , she's 9 and a level 5") and after you decide to move her, you take all her belongings (grips, leos etc) with you on your last day, and don't look back. THEN, you send an email to gym #1 thanking them for their time and wishing them luck in the future but that "Susie is moving on "...don't say where you're headed (they'll find out on their own).

If you're current with tuition and fees, the old gym coaches and some parents may be nasty when you see them at meets etc but take the high road and just smile. When we left our original gym with my 2 upper level girls, I sent out an email on a "reply all" we'd gotten along the way on our way out the door explaining to parents MY version of why we were changing gyms before the gym could smear us...I remain friend with about 6 of those families to this day. Gyms can get really possessive but you decide how you spend your money.

I've seen people mention kids "trying out" at gyms and then having to fess up who they were ....we never had to do that ... I gave them the levels and the gyms took them on . Our second gym change was much nicer ... HC was going to the Olympics and was never around to coach and I used distance as an excuse...but I actually was travelling further after the change ...but everyone was nice in that one.
Thank you. Good ideas. It is further. And she would leave her friend group that has been in place for many years. Cost is similar, coach is better. Gym is lesser known, but weighing options. I don't want to lose the spot here just for looking. I didn't know that was a thing until today! I don't think there will be issues with other parents, I know they have thought the same. The girls are emotionally abused by one coach, so this coach can't really coach them, because this coach already lost them. Three families from our gym have visited this other gym now, and two were already fired from our gym. Nasty business!
 
  • Sad
Reactions: Ginger

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
She is on team. We are in good standing. We are not happy with an emotionally abusive coach. The gym has not listened to complaints. The coach doesn't do it to all teams, just ours.
You don't mention whether your child is on team. If in the rec program, this will not be an issue but if on team, yes *some gyms are really territorial about their gymnasts and the higher the level, the worse it gets. If you know or suspect your gym is like this, there isn't much you can do beyond the initial anonymous calls. Once your child goes in for an evaluation, someone in that potential gym will recognize them and it will go around. So, even if the potential owner/coaches tells you they will not alert the old gym, it will still get out. Some on CB have found it is best to part ways on "good terms" with the old gym (pay your outstanding debt), using the excuse that the child will be taking a break, and then go look for a new gym.
Ive heard that a few times today. Word gets out. It's not cool!! We should be able to look. I never heard of this kind of policy!! These are kids. I don't know how i'm going to do this, but all the suggestions are good. I have to lie though. But I can do that.
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Coach
Proud Relative
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,118
As a coach who has been inside a gym where a coach was nasty to the kids... they will also be horrid when you leave (it's all your fault in their minds) - so bookworms advice is very relevant in your situation. Don't allow your kid to think people treating her that way is acceptable - leave now.
 

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
As a coach who has been inside a gym where a coach was nasty to the kids... they will also be horrid when you leave (it's all your fault in their minds) - so bookworms advice is very relevant in your situation. Don't allow your kid to think people treating her that way is acceptable - leave now.
We know its not acceptable. The whole team puts up with it, and the other coaches know. I don't know why they don't let him go. I don't understand. I want to secure another gym before breaking with the current one. We can't be left without one. Daughter is very serious into this, going 20 hours a week now. More parents are now talking of leaving...quietly...but all have same reservations about being able to get a spot elsewhere.
 

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
This would be my stance as well. I would leave, staying that she is taking a break from the sport. And then you go looking for another gym.
We can't leave until there is a new place to go to. She is not recreational. She puts in 20 hours a week here, and with driving it's much more. We need a new home before we can quit. More parents want to now that the season is over, so now there may be competition to get into the other gyms.
 

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
Ok with a statement like this why would you even stay ???? Abuse is unacceptable. leave and don’t look back. Seriously.
I feel the same, but then my daughter says it's ok, not to say anything, and that they all band up on the coach and it makes it better. I have told her its not ok and the other parents have told theirs and mine the same. They all love the sport, but I have to have another gym home before quitting.
 

cogymmom2dd

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 9, 2020
150
Country
USA
Do you know any other kids at this new gym that you are scoping out?
Have any other girls left your gym and gone to this specific one? If so, reach out to those parents and ask questions. Let them know that you are interested in switching and want some info. Go from there. Maybe that parent can be the liaison between you and the new gym before you make a decision and it sounds like a switch is needed.
I know that I have been approached by other parents before when thinking of a gym change and I’ve hinted to the coaches that there is some interest from a specific gym and they have given me permission to forward the team handbook, practice schedule, and price guide. Some local gyms have all of this online for public knowledge, ours does not but I always like to ask to be able to send it if there is someone who is thinking about switching but wants to be unnamed so they can at least get an idea about how things work.
 

MILgymFAM

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 6, 2014
4,653
40
Twin Cities
Country
USA
I feel the same, but then my daughter says it's ok, not to say anything, and that they all band up on the coach and it makes it better. I have told her its not ok and the other parents have told theirs and mine the same. They all love the sport, but I have to have another gym home before quitting.
The only way to truly tell her it isn’t ok is to make her leave because they mistreat her. Your words without action say that it is ok, at least to a degree. I know it feels like you have to find a new place first.. trust me I do.. but you absolutely don’t. You’re likely to find one as soon as you leave, but if you couldn’t would you really want to stay? The hardest lesson I had to learn as a gym mom is that no gym is better than an abusive gym.
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,162
Country
USA
We can't leave until there is a new place to go to. She is not recreational. She puts in 20 hours a week here, and with driving it's much more. We need a new home before we can quit. More parents want to now that the season is over, so now there may be competition to get into the other gyms.
Of course you can/should leave now. The fact that she is in that environment for 20+hrs a week is even more reason to pull her now, if this truly is an abusive environment. So there is competition to get into other gyms. If you can't get her into another gym are you really considering allowing her to stay in this current abusive situation? If that answer is "no", then there is no reason to have her stay another day there.
 

IzzyFeet

New Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Dec 31, 2019
13
43
Country
USA
Do you know any other kids at this new gym that you are scoping out?
Have any other girls left your gym and gone to this specific one? If so, reach out to those parents and ask questions. Let them know that you are interested in switching and want some info. Go from there. Maybe that parent can be the liaison between you and the new gym before you make a decision and it sounds like a switch is needed.
I know that I have been approached by other parents before when thinking of a gym change and I’ve hinted to the coaches that there is some interest from a specific gym and they have given me permission to forward the team handbook, practice schedule, and price guide. Some local gyms have all of this online for public knowledge, ours does not but I always like to ask to be able to send it if there is someone who is thinking about switching but wants to be unnamed so they can at least get an idea about how things work.
Yes. One has moved already. She got fired before she could tender the resignation. Someone found out that she had visited. Another has also visited but has not been ratted out yet. I have the pricing information - except for the quota pricing. I'm working it without visiting. And another parent is interested. At this point I'm not sure the other gym can take more, they have added one from our team, and potentially two more, not including us!! Thank you. :)