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Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
185
I would agree with other posts... need to leave. There is rarely any coach yelling at our gym. They get stern with goofing off or when girls are feeding off each other's fears... and they are strict... but rarely yell. Phones are barely used and the coaches are attentive and creative with drills. I know we are super lucky as there are very few options close by. But if it wasn't this way, we would have left the sport quickly. It's way too dangerous and intense to have any coach/gym drama.
 

ZB55

Proud Parent
May 6, 2020
19
You've already gotten plenty of good advise that this does not sound like a healthy environment. The only bits I would add as an experienced parent observer to help focus your frustrations are:
- warm-ups at competitions are timed as per very specific rules (I'm not sure if this is current but I found this online to show you as an example https://www.usagym.org/PDFs/Member Services/Sanction/Signs/womensjochart.pdf), so it is rather typical that gymnasts will be standing around waiting for a long time and then seem like their warmup is rushed. Coaches can give each gymnast their own time or more commonly they will block the time together so that each gymnast gets multiple quick turns.
- sometimes upper level gymnasts will vault onto their back onto mats on purpose as a timer (for example to warm-up without actually flipping the vault).

But these seem like some of the least of your issues. The only time coaches should be using technology would be in assisting the gymnast by playing floor music, as a reference for looking at the compulsory routines/optional skills manuals, or video-taping to give feedback. At my daughter's gym these are typically done with the gym's iPad, not a personal coach's phone. Our gym has a no phone (and no food or drinks other than water!) rule out in the gym which is clearly respected by both coaches and gymnasts. Best wishes to you as you seek a change.
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,266
62
A huge disconnect here. Last year level three and it was all wonderful.

And then what you describe this year. Sounds like a completely different gym.

And one no one should be a part of. If what are describing is in fact the case you need to leave now. Even your 8 year old knows this apparently.

If this is truly how the gym is. You will not change it. The change is to change gyms.

Perhaps the other child needs to do their sport less often. Perhaps it means find others to car pool with. But the current gym should not be an option.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
641
I would pull her now. Even if there is no other option, you cannot keep her in that environment. She is young and can/will find another sport. She has already told you she can't take the yelling anymore. She is ready to move on.
THIS! No choice but to pull her. And to be honest, unless she is really begging to find another gym, I would not drive that far for an 8 year old on level 4. I'd find other activities. She is young enough where there is a whole world of stuff she can try and readily learn and excel at, especially with her gymmie strength. And at level 4, she is not yet in so deep where it feels like there is too much already invested.

My 11 year old quit as a level 8, and has not looked back (like almost seems to want to forget gym or deny it or something). Meanwhile, I look back to the very first time she told me that she was unhappy (somewhat similar in terms of mean coaching, pushing her waaaay to hard and fast, nasty comments about her worth when she was 8 years old and struggled on anything at all, etc) and I kept her in it because of her "potential" (yep, you can insert a big ole eye-roll here). And over the next several years, there were many many good times, but many many bad as well.

But, if I could rewrite history, I wish that I had pulled her way back when she first said something and then helped her explore everything else. Even though 11 is still young enough to try new sports, she feels like she can't necessarily compete at the level she'd like to in something like soccer or swimming etc because those kids have been doing it for many years. While I disagree and think she could do anything after some practice, I can understand her feeling that way. She is used to being a high level competitive athlete, so at this point, jumping onto a rec level team doesn't bring her the same joy of competition.

Although she does not seem to hold me responsible, I feel like I am. She told me she was unhappy and i convinced her to "stick it out" at the cost of all of the other things that she could have been exploring.

just food for thought...
 

Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
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Jan 4, 2008
3,780
It is completely not normal!!

My coaches are not allowed to have phones or watches in the gym. There is a clock on the wall if they need to know the time and an iPod if they need to film a skill.

From the minute they walk in the door to the minute they walk out. The expectation is that all their focus and attention is in the gymnasts.

Coaches need to be constantly coaching, encouraging, correcting, demonstrating, supporting, observing etc.

Not just to prevent injury but to give all those hours Siena in the gym a point. Otherwise you are paying for poor babysitting.
 

Pineapple_Lump

Coach
Judge
Jan 31, 2008
1,159
I think everyone has made great points about all the unacceptable practices... The one thing that stuck out to me from witnessing other coaches who were mean, out of touch and/or lazy.... If they knew a parent was in the gym watching they certainly put on a show/acted appropriately... The fact that your presence was communicated and they didn't even make an effort means they don't care at all and will not be able to change.

You need to leave. Investigate other gyms if she is keen to continue, at least to reassure yourself that what your daughter is currently working with is not acceptable or normal. Decide if you can do the commute by yourself - don't make a decision based on a potential carpool option. It's a bonus, but be independent in your decision to commute as other can and will eventually change their minds. Be prepared to say that gymnastics is not an option in that environment and nor is the travel to a suitable gym.

I don't spot certain skills/ situations but I also communicate that to the athlete and give an alternative to allow them to achieve the skill in a modified way.
 

raenndrops

Coach
Oct 24, 2009
6,751
The 'Wood, Ohio
Even though 11 is still young enough to try new sports, she feels like she can't necessarily compete at the level she'd like to in something like soccer or swimming etc because those kids have been doing it for many years.
We have a former gymnast that retired after 8th grade. In 9th grade, she started playing soccer for her high school. She ended up being a 4-year Varsity Letter winner.
She moved to Varsity her second game of the season when she literally did a dive roll over a girl on the other team who had fallen in her path. She rolled out and was in position to receive a pass and score. Later in the game, she did a "flip kick" over her head to score the winning goal. She got an athletic scholarship to play Soccer in college.
That summer (before starting classes), she went to some summer training of some sort. The school was also in the process of starting a women's lacrosse team. She had never played lacrosse before, but the soccer coach suggested she could try it out. It was only going to be a club sport, so she would be able to do both if she wanted.

Another former gymnast retired because of the Pandemic after her freshman year of high school. She focused mainly on pole vault in Track. She went to college on a track scholarship.
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
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Feb 16, 2021
410
USA
The one thing that stuck out to me from witnessing other coaches who were mean, out of touch and/or lazy.... If they knew a parent was in the gym watching they certainly put on a show/acted appropriately... The fact that your presence was communicated and they didn't even make an effort means they don't care at all and will not be able to change.

I think everyone has made great points about all the unacceptable practices... The one thing that stuck out to me from witnessing other coaches who were mean, out of touch and/or lazy.... If they knew a parent was in the gym watching they certainly put on a show/acted appropriately... The fact that your presence was communicated and they didn't even make an effort means they don't care at all and will not be able to change.

You need to leave. Investigate other gyms if she is keen to continue, at least to reassure yourself that what your daughter is currently working with is not acceptable or normal. Decide if you can do the commute by yourself - don't make a decision based on a potential carpool option. It's a bonus, but be independent in your decision to commute as other can and will eventually change their minds. Be prepared to say that gymnastics is not an option in that environment and nor is the travel to a suitable gym.

I don't spot certain skills/ situations but I also communicate that to the athlete and give an alternative to allow them to achieve the skill in a modified way.
I also thought it was strange that the coaches seemed to not change their behavior knowing that OP was watching practice. I would expect the staff to be "on their best behavior" in that case. I was thinking they were texting each other about stuff they would need to change, but clearly they weren't making any adjustments. They were probably bad mouthing OP and her daughter. :(
 

SavethLovesBars

Proud Parent
Aug 5, 2019
4
40
I don’t mean to make you feel bad by writing this but I hope it helps you make a decision that is healthy and safe. My daughter is close in age to yours. At my daughter’s gym:
-coaches don’t seem to use phones during workouts except for recruiting videos or to time the ninja course
-corrections are given quietly and are constant. They don’t escalate or come as a surprise or a scold. Anything loud has to do with timing (like telling a girl “now” when they are in the air and need to do something specific)
-parents are seen as neutral and have a big nice space to sit and work or watch with fast wi-fi
-warmups, workouts, etc are very regimented and the girls always know what to expect. I can’t imagine them going in a way that left coaches time to lounge around.
-girls do work on their own but only at stations that don’t require spots or shape corrections

I’m super frustrated for you. We drive far for a gym and I know how squeezed one can feel when there aren’t choices.

I can second this. I have had coaches tell me they could care less if i sit and watch every minute of practice, however, I will start to notice daughter looking for me when she should focusing. And they were right. I never see coaches on their phones. Never sitting around. Never raised voices. In fact, sometimes I wish I could hear more of what they're saying.
 

GymMomStarQuest29

Proud Parent
Jan 9, 2022
24
But, if I could rewrite history, I wish that I had pulled her way back when she first said something and then helped her explore everything else. Even though 11 is still young enough to try new sports, she feels like she can't necessarily compete at the level she'd like to in something like soccer or swimming etc because those kids have been doing it for many years.
It’s funny you mention swimming. My son swims, and I just told DD the other day that she’s going to do swim team this summer. I have given her the option in the past but this year I’m just putting her in…she says She wants to stay at this gym and it has seemed a bit better this week but I’m so skeptical. We will likely be either switching gyms or sports.

I appreciate your thoughtful response. You’re 100% right about the age thing. It’s like you have to grow up in a sport to be competitive anymore, which is rough, and I do 100% regret doing team in the first place but I know that she does not. Kind of torn but I’m grateful the line of communication is open now.

I anticipate a short time left in gymnastics. I hate it.
 
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txgymfan

Staff member
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Coach
Fan
Sep 4, 2008
3,498
Houston
I anticipate a short time left in gymnastics. I hate it.
If you hate it, look at other gyms( with your daughter as an active participant) or tell your daughter after her last meet that she is done. Your support as the bank and taxi driver is more important than your chid’s opinion.

Be clear in your decision and communicate it and any truly acceptable options to your child.
 

Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
185
It’s funny you mention swimming. My son swims, and I just told DD the other day that she’s going to do swim team this summer. I have given her the option in the past but this year I’m just putting her in…she says She wants to stay at this gym and it has seemed a bit better this week but I’m so skeptical. We will likely be either switching gyms or sports.

I appreciate your thoughtful response. You’re 100% right about the age thing. It’s like you have to grow up in a sport to be competitive anymore, which is rough, and I do 100% regret doing team in the first place but I know that she does not. Kind of torn but I’m grateful the line of communication is open now.

I anticipate a short time left in gymnastics. I hate it.
I started club swimming in high school and swam in college; my good friend didn't start swimming until 8th grade and made Olympic Trials. Yes, that was back in the 80s/90s but it's not too late at 11... in fact, you avoid burn out starting later.
 
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