WAG Dressing during practice

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John

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To me, following the set dress code for whatever sport/activity you choose to pursue is part of the respect you show for the sport. Coming from a ballet background, we learned early on that the respectful and correct way to dress for class was a leotard, pink ballet tights, no undies and hair in a bun. For gymnastics, our dress code for team is leotard only and hair up away from face. For swimming (I was on swim team for many years) it was a swimsuit, cap and goggles. For other sports, there are other requirements. If you refuse to dress for a particular sport, perhaps that isn't the sport for you..!
As a coach, I have to see and adjust minute details in their positions. In other sports, that matters far less! I equate this to ballet in so many ways with seeing lines and how the muscles are working in order to be able to coach my gymnasts better. I personally really dislike how biketards look even on rec kids, but I can see how some of the littler ones may like them.
For spotting, tanks/bratops and shorts are horrible!!
As a side note, I appreciate how both my girls participating in sports with leotard requirements have shown them how normal the human body is and how it does not need to be hidden. I'm European and the american attitude towards bodies in general totally puzzles me, to be honest. It's a body, nothing shameful about it! But that is a discussion for another day...

I agree with this. I too wonder why Americans are so hung up on the human body.
 

1canadiangymmom

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lol, I agree… so glad our girls can even COMPETE like THIS! View attachment 6968 Since it matches the top band of color, it looks like it could be part of the leotard.
Snowflake Designs will even sell sports bras to match any of their leotards… don't know if they only expect them to be used for practice or not, but it is an idea.
This would NOT be allowed at our gym:(
 
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ldw4mlo

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I personally really dislike how biketards look even on rec kids.

Besides your personal dislike of the look, do they in anyway impede the gymnasts ability to do their skills, you to spot and correct them or pose a safety risk? If not and they are neat, well fitting and are for practice what would the problem be?

If you refuse to dress for a particular sport, perhaps that isn't the sport for you..! .......As a side note, I appreciate how both my girls participating in sports with leotard requirements have shown them how normal the human body is and how it does not need to be hidden. I'm European and the american attitude towards bodies in general totally puzzles me, to be honest. It's a body, nothing shameful about it! But that is a discussion for another day...

Its not a question of shame. Its about personal comfort zone. For me I am puzzled by the it must be this way and this way only of some folks. Why does it have to be pink tights in ballet class? Really why does it matter? Someone dedicates hours and hours of their week to something they love/enjoy and work their butts off to do. And you would drive a child out of sport over the fact that they would rather blue tights or are comfortable in bar shorts.

I think the question is more about why aren't bar shorts part of a respectable gym uniform? Many gyms allow them so what is the rationale for other gyms to ban them? I understand if you say "it's my gym and this is the dress code, take it or leave it" but to say it's because they need to get used to competing without shorts..I guess I'm not buying it.

This
 

twinmomma

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I guess I don't understand the fuss. Private business, their rules as long as it's safe. Leos only? Then leos only. We require leos and booty shorts are acceptable but generally in the week prior to the first meet not only will there be a shorts ban, but they'll do a "dress rehearsal" in their comp leo the last practice prior. We had a girl who was inherited by our new coach who REFUSED to wear a leo. She was an issue in other areas too (wouldn't participate in conditioning without significant drama) but the leo thing was a breaking point. He finally told her and her mom, it's leo or I'll send you home. Not shorts and a t shirt.

And yes, you might drive a kid out of the sport. But the life lesson is this: When you go to work for an organization, you have to follow their rules. Some businesses have dress codes you may not agree with, so guess what, you don't work there. Respect the sport, respect the requirements.

My son is REQUIRED to wear baseball pants, shirt, hat, and BELT to practice. This is an organization rule. Not a safety issue. Literally the coach calls it a respect for the game issue. Can you play baseball without a matching belt? Of course you can. He's teaching them to honor the game. Hats are to be worn straight forward, never backwards or off to the side. Safety? Nah. Respect. And I'm 100% ok with that. He could play somewhere else that doesn't require that. Just like DD could go somewhere to a sport that allows her to wear whatever she wants. This is what she wants, so she follows the rules.
 

mommyof1

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Why does it have to be pink tights in ballet class? Really why does it matter? Someone dedicates hours and hours of their week to something they love/enjoy and work their butts off to do.

Ballet has its own culture that is very different from the culture of gymnastics. There is a heavy emphasis on tradition and uniformity. Until you are old enough to take adult classes and wear whatever color of tights you prefer, wearing pink tights (or black tights if you are a boy) is just what you do. At our ballet school the girls also have to wear identical leotards with ballet buns and sew the elastics into their shoes in a particular way. Uniformity of dress and grooming for class helps to instill a sense of discipline and decorum, just like the tradition of wearing uniforms in martial arts. A class of identically dressed children at the barre also happens to look either adorable or beautiful, depending on the age of the students.

The tradition and discipline of ballet are features that many people find attractive. I love the ritual of ballet class, from the pink tights to the order of exercises at the barre to the reverence at the end of class. It's not for everyone, which is why we have a variety of sports and arts from which to choose.

And you would drive a child out of sport over the fact that they would rather blue tights or are comfortable in bar shorts.

Counterpoint: Why would a child choose to give up a sport over shorts? My kid loves gymnastics so much that she would do it even if she were required to wear pink tights. She hates her comp leo because it's uncomfortable but she wears it because that's just what gymnasts do.
 

twinmomma

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Counterpoint: Why would a child choose to give up a sport over shorts? My kid loves gymnastics so much that she would do it even if she were required to wear pink tights. She hates her comp leo because it's uncomfortable but she wears it because that's just what gymnasts do.

Exactly this.
 
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BachFlyer

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Counterpoint: Why would a child choose to give up a sport over shorts? My kid loves gymnastics so much that she would do it even if she were required to wear pink tights. She hates her comp leo because it's uncomfortable but she wears it because that's just what gymnasts do.

Without being too graphic, the only reason I can think of is tweens/teens that might have some concerns about sensitive areas of their bodies. It's not about bodies being shameful at all, it's just about girls that age who might not be comfortable enough yet with accidents or body hair or being well-endowed. If I had a gymnast that had a concern in this regard, I'd want her to feel comfortable. That's all. To that end "If I Ran the Gym" I would have an open policy of allowing tight fitting shorts and bra straps that are functional. Sure they still have competitions and have to deal with that. But day to day, they shouldn't have to be uncomfortable about these issues when there are easy ways to resolve.
 

coachmolly

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I think the main message I'm trying to get across is that a line needs to be drawn somewhere. That's why there are typically team dress codes. Our gym policy is technically "leotards with or without shorts or tight fitting athletic top and spandex shorts" but that is interpreted in all kinds of funny ways by kids and parents. Baggy t-shirts tied back with hair bands ("well, it won't flip over her head"), tight fitting athletic tops with a flowy overlay, the athletic type shorts with spandex underneath and a more athletic material overtop, long yoga pants that flare out at the bottom. From my point of view, none of these things actually fit the stated policy, but in the eyes of so many kids/parents they somehow seem to be okay. So I can totally see why a gym would say, "Just leotards. End of story." Personally, I'm fine with shorts/leggings, but good grief people have weird opinions on what is acceptable gym attire and I can see why someone would want absolutely no wiggle room.
And while some gyms or coaches might do this as some weird means of control, I think most gyms have the best interests of the athletes in mind. Safety, making sure coaches can see corrections, comfort, functionality. I would feel awful if I had a kid who wore long leggings to the gym every practice and when we got to a meet realized that while close, her legs were not actually entirely straight. I want to avoid that. Or a kid were so uncomfortable wearing just a leotard because she had never done it before that fears of wearing a leo totally took over her brain at a meet.
 

ldw4mlo

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Counterpoint: Why would a child choose to give up a sport over shorts? My kid loves gymnastics so much that she would do it even if she were required to wear pink tights. She hates her comp leo because it's uncomfortable but she wears it because that's just what gymnasts do.

Counter point: Why would a bunch of rigid grownups not allow little kids to be individuals and comfortable to do a sport they are good at? Why would a mature adult dig in about a color or bar shorts and make a child quit>

Why can there not be a middle ground. No one said there shouldn't be rules or uniforms for games, recital, meets. But really kids need to be comfortable. And really puberty, the age where girls start leaving the sport. Puberty the age where girls become self conscious about their changing bodies. Coincidence I think not. If bar shorts keeps in the sport it seems simple thing.

And I am sure that pink shoes, tights and leo are exactly why my child never had a remote interest in ballet. Who knows she could of been the next Misty Copeland. Oh wait a minute, Misty Copeland doesn't fit the classic ballet dancer mold. Well thankfully someone gave her a shot.

They are kids.

Thankfully there are a lot of options around for the right fit for the right kid.

Of course if I listened to everyone tell me it has to be done this way there would of been a bunch of things in my life I wouldn't have done or accomplished.

And if I listened to every one tell well this is just how gymnastics is done, my reasonably talented kid would of been done at 51/2 in L2. Which is pretty sad because she is a pretty good gymmie who has made it L7, working 8 skills. How sad someone would of not allowed her, as a 5 1/2 yr old to wear a nice neat well fitting biketard to practice, because a grown up decided she didn't love it enough to wear a leo.

Sorry that's just silly.
 

ldw4mlo

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Without being too graphic, the only reason I can think of is tweens/teens that might have some concerns about sensitive areas of their bodies. It's not about bodies being shameful at all, it's just about girls that age who might not be comfortable enough yet with accidents or body hair or being well-endowed. If I had a gymnast that had a concern in this regard, I'd want her to feel comfortable. That's all. To that end "If I Ran the Gym" I would have an open policy of allowing tight fitting shorts and bra straps that are functional. Sure they still have competitions and have to deal with that. But day to day, they shouldn't have to be uncomfortable about these issues when there are easy ways to resolve.
Exactly this.
 

skschlag

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This is kind of a funny thread. I guess I don't get most of it, probably because I have a boy. And that boy has to wear a white tank and black shorts to practice every day. No exceptions. And, no one cares. I love that they are inexpensive, ready to go, and I do not have to buy a bunch of expensive tight shirts :) And he gets to dress how he wants in other way (he has different color pommel pants, shirts that he wears to and from gym, etc).

I guess, if you don't like a gym's policies, you are free to find one you agree with. D has never been at a gym that allowed him to work out without a shirt. He would love to, but understands why. It's not a big deal at all.
 

twinmomma

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Counter point: Why would a bunch of rigid grownups not allow little kids to be individuals and comfortable to do a sport they are good at? Why would a mature adult dig in about a color or bar shorts and make a child quit>

Why can there not be a middle ground. No one said there shouldn't be rules or uniforms for games, recital, meets. But really kids need to be comfortable. And really puberty, the age where girls start leaving the sport. Puberty the age where girls become self conscious about their changing bodies. Coincidence I think not. If bar shorts keeps in the sport it seems simple thing.

And I am sure that pink shoes, tights and leo are exactly why my child never had a remote interest in ballet. Who knows she could of been the next Misty Copeland. Oh wait a minute, Misty Copeland doesn't fit the classic ballet dancer mold. Well thankfully someone gave her a shot.

They are kids.

Thankfully there are a lot of options around for the right fit for the right kid.

Of course if I listened to everyone tell me it has to be done this way there would of been a bunch of things in my life I wouldn't have done or accomplished.

And if I listened to every one tell well this is just how gymnastics is done, my reasonably talented kid would of been done at 51/2 in L2. Which is pretty sad because she is a pretty good gymmie who has made it L7, working 8 skills. How sad someone would of not allowed her, as a 5 1/2 yr old to wear a nice neat well fitting biketard to practice, because a grown up decided she didn't love it enough to wear a leo.

Sorry that's just silly.


Great lesson. So when your kid goes to work for an organization that has a business attire dress code and she wants to wear jeans, she'll learn that if she whines enough about how uncomfortable she is, then she'll get what she wants? No. I'm pretty sure that when Misty Copeland started out in ballet she wore the requisite uniform. Don't equate color with clothing. I honestly find that offensive.
 

John

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This is kind of a funny thread. I guess I don't get most of it, probably because I have a boy. And that boy has to wear a white tank and black shorts to practice every day. No exceptions. And, no one cares. I love that they are inexpensive, ready to go, and I do not have to buy a bunch of expensive tight shirts :) And he gets to dress how he wants in other way (he has different color pommel pants, shirts that he wears to and from gym, etc).

I guess, if you don't like a gym's policies, you are free to find one you agree with. D has never been at a gym that allowed him to work out without a shirt. He would love to, but understands why. It's not a big deal at all.

I like this, find a gym that fits your family. Everyone has different opinions and beliefs. We cannot force others to follow our beliefs and why would we want to? I honestly feel most posts in this thread have good points. There is something to be said for teaching our kids to stand up and be individuals but there are also times to teach our kids to be respectful and considerate of tradition. Every parent should decide how to define those times to their own kids. I find the biggest problem in society is when others want to force their beliefs on me or anyone, it infuriates me.
 

ldw4mlo

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Great lesson. So when your kid goes to work for an organization that has a business attire dress code and she wants to wear jeans, she'll learn that if she whines enough about how uncomfortable she is, then she'll get what she wants?

Really you want to compare children at practice to the work place.

Let me put your mind at ease. She knows the rules of her gym and follows them. She watches her mom go to work in scrubs and Dad in business attire. She knows church wear from beach wear. Does meet hair and concert dress. And the last time she had a hissy fit about anything may have been that first day in a biketard. When we pushed through her hissy fit. Yeah we don't indulge hissy fits or whining. So rest easy.

When she goes out into the workplace she won't be a child. And again, you assume I don't think there should ever be rules or conformity. Please show me where I said that. I didn't.

Really I get it, every gym does it their way. And thankfully they are not all the same.

And my opinion is that not allowing anything but leos is silly.

Regarding Misty Copeland I'm sorry you assumed my point was related to skin color. I was thinking it was her body type that wasn't classic ballerina.

But no pink tights here. Again. Thank goodness for differences.

https://blackmattersus.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/04/ball.jpg

or here http://l7.alamy.com/zooms/3b7c19cb7...ncing-in-ballet-class-with-teacher-b752er.jpg
 

BachFlyer

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I personally am not advocating for a "buck all of the uniform rules philosophy". I understand that they all need to look the same out there on the floor during a competition; uniformity and "perfection" is part of the presentation.

I personally just don't get the reasoning behind being so hard core at practice. In theory you can just "find a new gym if you don't like it" but in reality that's not gonna happen. No one knows at 6 how a kid's body will develop (and how the child will feel about that change), and that's not how most people are choosing a gym, but then you get there 10 years later and BAM, issues come up. I don't think anyone in my dd's gym wears shorts, but it's never been something that bothers her so I've never thought about it really until now. But my younger dd wears shorts over her bathing suit without fail every time, and it very well would have been a sticking point for her if she had been a gymnast. I just know how weird it is being a teenager...

To me this isn't a question about uniforms and "following the rules" as much as it is about people's varying levels of modesty which is kind of personal and a sensitive subject. Yeah, if I go work somewhere that requires a uniform I'm going to wear it. But my butt cheeks likely won't be partially exposed, either.

I love what John just said a few posts up. Everyone's situation is different and they are all valid points.

Incidentally, no undies in ballet is kind of gross to me, to be totally honest!
 

Aussie_coach

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Every sport an activity has its uniform. I know it's different int he US, but here all kids wear a very specific school uniform to school. If you fail to wear your uniform you would not be allowed to attend classes at school, you would be sent home to correct it, or given something 2nd hand to wear for the day.

There are so many reasons for wearing a Leo and the main one has to do with body shaping. The single most important aspect of developing excellent skills is correct shape, if a child is wearing a thong shirt or singlet its very hard to see the subtle movements of the chest, if they are wearing shorts that are not totally fitted then it's very hard to see the subtle mistakes in the position of the hips.

Coachmolly also makes an excellent point about interpretation. Once you start to allow certain things, kids and parents take it to mean all sorts of things.

Having said that, as stated earlier I do allow my gymnasts to wear booty shorts for modesty and crop tops if they like.

11-14 year old girls in particular are going through some major body changes, and they are still learning to deal with them. Starting to develop pubic hair, they aren't always immediately ready to remove it. Getting their first periods, they aren't always immediately ready to wear a tampon. Body shape starting to change, they aren't always immediately comfortable with it.

When I was a kid my body changed very little, I was comfortable to keep wearing just a leotard well into adulthood, but some kids change dramatically in a year. So ask yourself, as an adult would you feel comfortable just wearing a leotard and nothing else? If not some kids will be driven out of the sport, no matter how much they love it.
 

jennyj

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To me, following the set dress code for whatever sport/activity you choose to pursue is part of the respect you show for the sport. Coming from a ballet background, we learned early on that the respectful and correct way to dress for class was a leotard, pink ballet tights, no undies and hair in a bun. For gymnastics, our dress code for team is leotard only and hair up away from face. For swimming (I was on swim team for many years) it was a swimsuit, cap and goggles. For other sports, there are other requirements. If you refuse to dress for a particular sport, perhaps that isn't the sport for you..!
As a coach, I have to see and adjust minute details in their positions. In other sports, that matters far less! I equate this to ballet in so many ways with seeing lines and how the muscles are working in order to be able to coach my gymnasts better. I personally really dislike how biketards look even on rec kids, but I can see how some of the littler ones may like them.
For spotting, tanks/bratops and shorts are horrible!!
As a side note, I appreciate how both my girls participating in sports with leotard requirements have shown them how normal the human body is and how it does not need to be hidden. I'm European and the american attitude towards bodies in general totally puzzles me, to be honest. It's a body, nothing shameful about it! But that is a discussion for another day...

I think the question is more about why aren't bar shorts part of a respectable gym uniform? Many gyms allow them so what is the rationale for other gyms to ban them? I understand if you say "it's my gym and this is the dress code, take it or leave it" but to say it's because they need to get used to competing without shorts..I guess I'm not buying it.

For me the big difference between gym and other activities like swimming and dance is that the coach sometimes gets very close to the athletes (think spotting straddle CHS) and some girls may feel more comfortable wearing shorts for that reason, especially once they hit puberty....

While I agree that whatever the dress code for the chosen sport goes I DO question WHY does the proper dress code for competition have to be a leotard for girls when the shorts clearly don't hinder boys' gymnastics performance?

And no I don't buy the "shorts make spotting difficult" excuse. If that were the case how come the coaches seem to have no difficulty spotting the boys just fine in their shorts and even their pommel pants? It's clearly just all about tradition and what the gymnastics people think looks pretty on girls.

I just think the competition leotard should have the option for matching shorts, there's really no reason why not other than tradition and that leotard without shorts looks prettier than with them.
 

ldw4mlo

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11-14 year old girls in particular are going through some major body changes, and they are still learning to deal with them. Starting to develop pubic hair, they aren't always immediately ready to remove it. Getting their first periods, they aren't always immediately ready to wear a tampon. Body shape starting to change, they aren't always immediately comfortable with it.

When I was a kid my body changed very little, I was comfortable to keep wearing just a leotard well into adulthood, but some kids change dramatically in a year. So ask yourself, as an adult would you feel comfortable just wearing a leotard and nothing else? If not some kids will be driven out of the sport, no matter how much they love it.

My daughter used to be the lone duck in her shorts when she was younger. Now that she and all her gymmies are optionals and in that 11-14 range. I don't think there is one kid who doesn't practice in a leo with bar/booty shorts. And they all do just fine, leo only at meets.
 
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MILgymFAM

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No one loves individuality more than we do. It’s huge in our home. My DD has even not been accepted into a team due to her hair color.

That said, my girls have practiced in only leos. Leos and shorts, leos and leggings, shirts and shorts, bras and shorts- heck one REALLY cold morning my DD practiced (per coaches orders) in sweats! All depending on the rules of the particular gym. Different gyms can absolutely have whatever rules about the look of the team for practice.

We know that sometimes that means a gym isn’t for us (ah, the hair). Personally, we are cool with all of it.. but also, we don’t kid ourselves that most of it has anything to do with safety or function. It’s just preference.. it’s all good.

Btw, my ballerinas have always had stricter dress codes at dance than they’ve had in gym- always.. ballet uniforms are so... boring! Ha.
 

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[QUOTE="coachmolly, post: 534554, member: 3354 Our gym policy is technically "leotards with or without shorts or tight fitting athletic top and spandex shorts" but that is interpreted in all kinds of funny ways by kids and parents. ?..., none of these things actually fit the stated policy, So I can totally see why a gym would say, "Just leotards. End of story." Personally, I'm fine with shorts/leggings I can see why someone would want absolutely no wiggle .[/QUOTE

Molly, for the most part we agree. Yes, it's easier to just say wear a Leo. It sounds like the reasonable dress code your gym has just needs to be enforced. If it says no loose clothing then be clear, a loose overlay is loose. Your owner or head coach needs to lay out clear guidelines, perhaps sending an email to families and implement consequences, simple skills only, no spots or up training. No need to change the rule because the powers that be are not enforcing the one in place. Schools often do the same thing. It's not the parents fault that the gym is not enforcing its own policy. When families loosely interpret the rule, clamly and consistently set your boundary and stick to it.
 
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