WAG Creating a Level 10+ Focused Team Program (Finances / Coaching / Athlete Selection / Facility / Etc)

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JBS

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Ok... I'm reading this thread over now so I can give my opinion on the subject...

I think the first criteria has to be an owner that believes and supports high-quality, L10, elite/hopes type gymnastics. If that doesn't exist, it will be a constant fight for resources and support.

100% agree.

The coach is the key. My daughters coach is fully capable of coaching level 10 and above but he is never all in. There have been moments, slivers of that competitive drive a coach needs but then it fades. So honestly without a coach willing to be all in the program will go nowhere

the next big hurdle is the having talent pool to support the coach. That issue often depends on location and population in my opinion.

Having a coach that is all in and the population... agree again.

I think part of the hurdle is in having qualified coaches that know how to coach level 10, and can physically do it.

Big one here... having spotters... especially for bars.

Oh, I also forgot to add, we can't forget about equipment. I know we tend to think that's a given, but, and coaches can correct me on this, having a good pit area can be challenging to set up for a facility if I am not mistaken and is a significant factor in safe quality instruction.

Yes... not just equipment... but overall facility layout. If the coach systematically uses a trampoline for vault drills... then the trampoline needs to be close to vault... not in the preschool area covered with little kids doing seat drops. You know... kaizen... put the tramp by the vault so the coach can use it.

As a coach gets more experienced... they need exactly what they want... it will make the team more productive. If you have an experienced head coach... get them what they are asking for.

We remodeled our bars and trampoline area a few years back... $53,000 and worth every penny.

there is little coaching turnover. Coaches are treated well and usually stay for years, so it’s a consistent environment with supportive coaches.

Bam! Huge!

Was also getting lonely for DD.

Another big one.

what works for one may not work for another

No... smart owners... in both gymnastics coaching and business make all the difference.

atmosphere is incredible

Another big one... you definitely need a fun and high level vibe to be high level.
 
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JBS

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1) We really have one experienced upper optional coach (bars and vault) for level 9/10. He has coached level 10s. There are 5 (possibly 6) girls at this level. When those girls are in the gym, is it best to exclusively have that coach with our girls? As things stand at the moment, they have the whole team coming in for most of the day (this includes some of the compulsories). WOuld it be more efficient to have our girls come something like 8-12 and have this coaches undivided attention and lower level team come in the afternoon versus everyone at one time? I think they are willing to hear us out if anyone has suggestions.

On at least a couple of days... yes. Working with the whole team can be good too. The experienced coach can coach them on the days they have with him... then they can practice what he has given / work on assignments on the other days.

2) Does anyone have suggestions on the best place to post ads to recruit coaches? Linked In? This would be a HUGE help.

Real truth here... best way to get coaches is by poaching them from other programs. Look for someone that is wanted based on style and results and inside info... offer them more money.

3) Lastly, how did the gym owners juggle also being the head coaches? In our past experience it has seemed that both the coaching role and the owner role has not worked well long term. That person really has to work pretty much around the clock, right?

Owners / directors that are head coaches will need to surround themselves with other good people to do some of the work. Some of these others will need to be full-time salaried employees as well.
 
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JBS

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Didn't have time last night... so here goes...

I would start with 4 main coaches... vault... bars... beam... floor.

One of them would be the Head Coach and basically head up everything from a gymnastics / technical standpoint... primarily the optional team. This coach would also head up one of the four events.

One of them would be Associate Head Coach and deal with all the paperwork... finances... parents... and for the most part head up the compulsory / lower level team. This coach would also head up one of the four events.

Then you have the other two coaches... assistant coaches. They would each head up an event... but for a full time position... they would need to head up (staff / schedule / lesson plan / maintain & grow) another department in the gym... like preschool... or recreational gymnastics... or ninja. They would probably need about one day per week plus lesson planning time for this other department.

Head Coach = Full-time... salaried... 5 days / week... no split shifts... will be working 6 to 7 days per week sometimes during season

Associate Head Coach = Full-time... salaried... 5 days / week... no split shifts... will be working 6 to 7 days per week sometimes during season

Assistant Coach 1 & 2 = Full-time... salaried... 5 days / week... no split shifts... keep them off of 7 day per week schedules during season by rotating coaches going to meets

That is a good starting point for a team.

With benefits you are going to need to budget around $75,000 per coach to hold them.

$300,000 just for your 4 main coaches.

Most clubs are not doing anything like this... so most clubs don't have great upper level teams. Can you do it other ways sure... but money will make it easier... much easier.
 

JBS

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Now let's add on to the above system.

You are going to need at least one more staff spotting on bars.

If you have any events that have 2 parts or areas to cover (we have vault in one location and trampoline / pit vault in another location)... then you will need another staff.

We bring in another extra coach that will carry out assignments so the Head Coach can leave his / her event at times to monitor the team as a whole.

So to run 4 events effectively and produce upper level athletes you would be looking at 6 or 7 coaches. This would run approximately 32 - 40 athletes at a time. 8 - 10 per event.
 
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JBS

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Now your two assistant coaches that run other departments in the gym... they are only going to be 4 days per week on team... 1 day on their other department. You will now need other coaching staff on those days.

The great part about this is that since they are about 1/2 hours on team and 1/2 hours on their other department (staffing... lesson planning... etc.)... you can bill 1/2 of their salary to the other department.

You also have all the coaches on a 5 day schedule... but most likely you will have kids in the gym 6 days per week. You will now need staff to help out on those 6th days. Try to have 3 of your 4 main coaches on their events each day. Maybe you have one day that is lighter on the optional end of things (like Wednesday)... that day might only have 2 main coaches there as it would be primarily compulsories.
 

JBS

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Now you need to figure out how to get all that money.

Even with 1/2 of your assistant coaches salaries billing out to other departments... you are still going to be up near $300,000 in labor alone with all the other staff we just brought in.

You are also going to have to cover your share of the team expenses for all your other basic things like rent... utilities... etc.

Let's say team uses 50% of the building and rent is $12,000 / month. That's $6,000 / month or $72,000 / year. Then let's say we have another $28,000 / year in utilities and other expenses that team must cover.

Now you have a $400,000 team. How do you get that money?
 
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JBS

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Now you have a $400,000 team. How do you get that money?

Simple... find 75 athletes that have families that will pay and average of $450 / month all year long.

75 athletes x $450 = $33,750 / month
$33,750 x 12 = $405,000 / year

Congrats... you just made $5,000 on your team!
 
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JBS

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Don't worry about talent at first... put anyone on team that will pay the tuition. Build your coaching jobs first... then over the next few years the coaches will progressively make the team higher caliber.

Get your 4 - 6 year old feeder program going so you get a constant stream of 5 - 7 year old advanced kids joining each year. The team will gradually become upper level.
 
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Gymx2

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I find this extremely interesting. As parents we aren't privy to the inner workings of the gym, but I think it's really valuable to understand how things ideally operate. Both of my kids' gyms work in a somewhat similar fashion to what you describe, but my daughter's gym has an owner who deals with the business/paperwork/parent end while the head coaches handle the gymnastics piece and that seems to work really well.
 
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gym_dad32608

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This is also why you need an owner who believes and supports the idea of having a high level program. Just this back of the napkin calculation shows how slim the profit margins can be and how easy it would be to cut a staff member or two to increase those margins.
 

mommyof1

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As the parent of a gymnast who invested a lot of years in not making it very far, I wonder whether the type of instruction provided at the compulsory levels has an impact on a gym's ability to produce Level 10s. I have seen gyms spend a lot of time in the lower levels polishing routines, make uptraining contingent on completing impossible assignments (10 perfect routines in a row or no uptraining for you!), throw in random drills once or twice with no apparent long-term lesson plan, and hold kids back at L3 and L4 for the apparent purpose of winning states. All of this focus on winning at the lower levels seems to waste time that could be put to better use building strong basics and working very early drills for higher-level skills. Is there anything to this idea?
 

JBS

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Imagine how many more club coaches we would retain if they were making anything CLOSE to $75,000!!!!!

Yes... the gymnastics industry in general is no longer producing "careers" for many people. That figure is based on about a $60,000 salary and $15,000 in benefits. That would really help change things in the gymnastics industry. Clubs need to try to figure out how to get to 4+ of these salaries to really push things in the right direction.

This is also why you need an owner who believes and supports the idea of having a high level program. Just this back of the napkin calculation shows how slim the profit margins can be and how easy it would be to cut a staff member or two to increase those margins.

So much easier to cut things out of that and make money. Here is a quick calculation...

It only takes 200 recreational athletes paying $84/month to pull in $200,000. This is about 30 classes per week at an 8:1 ratio. That would give 240 class spots... should be easy enough to fill 200 of them. What I am saying here is to get $200,000 from the recreational department only take around 30 coaching hours per week!

Here is some math...

1 full-time manager at $75,000 (lets say the manager coaches 10 classes per week)
20 hours worth of coaching at $25/hour = $25,000/year

Now same as above... let's say rec uses 50% of the building and rent is $12,000 / month. That's $6,000 / month or $72,000 / year. Then let's say we have another $28,000 / year in utilities and other expenses that rec must cover.

You just broke even on recreational gymnastics with little to no effort at all! Your manager has 30 hours per week to lesson plan... sign clients up... etc. Your employees are budgeted at $25/hour. Every athlete over 200 is basically going to start pulling massive profit.
 

JBS

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As the parent of a gymnast who invested a lot of years in not making it very far, I wonder whether the type of instruction provided at the compulsory levels has an impact on a gym's ability to produce Level 10s.

Yes and no. Typically the #1 thing is the ability of the athlete. However... if you stall an athlete for too long... then it definitely matters.

If an athlete has fears or does not have the athletic ability to shoot up the levels... then many times they will gain confidence from doing well at the lower levels.

What really matters is training. If an athlete can kip cast handstand and do giants and such... then I would have them working those skills too. For example... half of our Level 4's are all working Level 7 skills with a spot at least one workout per week. The other half will start doing the same as soon as they are more solid on their Level 4/5 skills.
 
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