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Jun 26, 2008
I love my gym that DD goes to but I wonder what it would be like to go to a gym like WOGA, or Cinn Gymnastics it must be really fantastic.


Moderator/Proud Parent
Aug 25, 2007
North Carolina
I love my DD's gym too. I like it because it is small. I think there are 23 girls on team (this includes L3 pre-team). Like a close knit family. I don't know if I could handle a big gym - but, never been to one so, maybe I would :)

I imagine those gyms are pretty intense.


Proud Parent
Mar 1, 2007
My DD also goes to a smaller gym...we love it!! Feels like family, all the girls in all levels know each other. Not sure I would like the bigtime gym atmosphere, LOL, I would feel lost with too many people around.


Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
I am sure in these very large power gyms my girls would not be on team.

One nice thing about small gyms is they are happy to let everyone try once they have the skills. I know in the big gyms there are many girls held back at lower levels, even though they have higher level skills and also many girls who just are told that they are not team matrial.

When gyms can pick and choose lots of girls just don't make it.

AT our tiny gym every girl who has the skills can compete at some level, even if they cannot do on apparatus it is still fine.


My DD also goes to a smaller gym...we love it!! Feels like family, all the girls in all levels know each other. Not sure I would like the bigtime gym atmosphere, LOL, I would feel lost with too many people around.

Same with ours, we also go to a small gym and every girl knows everyone in each level. Very friendly! All the older girls (level 7,8,9) love to play or help out the little girls (levels 4,5,6) It's great. I too would not like a bigger gym, a lot more people, it wouldn't have that family sense the smaller gyms have.


Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
How much those gyms suit you and your family will depend a lot of the personality of your kids and what you want from the sport. Those gyms are great for the very driven, highly talented kids. The ones who would not be satisfied in a small gym. Elite gymnasts are often very similar in certain characteristics. Competitive, very energetic, naturally talented, resiliant and so on. Most kids, however, would not enjoy these environments. They want to enjoy the sport but are not driven to the same level. I think there is a perfect gym out there for every child.
Mar 5, 2008
North America
My dd just started gymnastics and we have only been at her gym for about 6 months now. So far we love it! I don't know too much about the size in comparison to other gyms in the area. The only big name gym near us is Hill's Gymnastics (Dominique Dawes and Elise Ray).

I can definitely say from the cheerleading experience that smaller is a better fit for us. We started out at a VERY small gym for cheer (about 30+ athletes) but it seemed like it was too small for her--not much opportunity to expand, grow and try other cheer positions.

We then went the opposite extreme, a VERY big, well known gym (200+ athletes) and very well-known throughout the country. That gym was just too big. Although my dd did well for the team she was on, the gym lost a lot of the personal feel and family atmosphere. It was somewhat of a "cheer factory" where some kids were just a number and got lost in the shuffle. My dd was successful there in what she did, but I realized that just because it is a big name gym doesn't mean it is always the right fit for you.

When we switched to gymnastics, I had researched some of the other area gyms and found that our current gym was a good fit. It wasn't too small where she wouldn't be challenged, and it wasn't too big where she would feel overwhelmed or "lost" in the shuffle. Plus, when I went there to "check out the place", I got a really good feeling. My dd's coach was actually running a birthday party at the time of my visit (it was a Sunday afternoon), and she took the time to talk to me and my dd for about 30 minutes. I had originally just wanted to run in a grab a flier or a class schedule that day, but it turned into a really great first impression.

Oh, and today DD had her usual Saturday morning practice from 9am-1pm and then I usually just drop her off at 9am and go home and catch up on chores. So, when I pick her up a little before 1pm today, I learn that DD was the only team member there from her level. There were quite a few on vacation and I think one was sick (there are 7 on her team). So, the coach had pretty much given her a 4hr private lesson!!!! Pretty awesome, huh?? She could have easily called me up and said that she was cancelling practice because no one else was there, but she didn't. She worked with her the whole 4 hrs one-on-one. What a great caring coach!!! I just had to share that story because it blew me away that she would take the time for just one kid.

I'm sure the really big gyms like WOGA and Cincinnati's are awesome and it would be cool to do camps there just to get the feel for it, but I think that the smaller gyms are a better fit for us.
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Sep 27, 2007
We are at one of the above mentioned gyms and I can tell you that it is a doubled edge sword. My dd thrives on that type of environment...she is talented and wants to be elite, but we will just wait and see. Our gym works like a small one. There are 3 sets of coaches--1 bars/vault and 1 beam/floor. Each pair has their own team/group Each team has up to 15 members, has different workout hours and different activities for the girls. My dd happens to be in a group of 7. There is not much interaction b/w the different teams, but when we compete--we look as if we are 1 gym--we all have the same leo and warm up. Each set of coaches accompanies their gymnasts to the meets--so there could be up to 6 coaches from our gym at any one meet. There are really alot of great things about this dd has 7 girls on her team, she gets individual attention and great coaching. Her friends are the girls on the team and she loves to be around so many elites.."the big girls". Overall the situation is great.

On the other hand, there is something a bit overwhelming about it all. There are the number of hours, the strict coaching and the expectations that sometime seem impossible to meet. If at any point I see this is negatively affecting her, then I would pull her. But---her personality is so that it motivates her and she actually WANTS to do more. This year we had to switch schools to adjust to the longer workout hours and I am constantly worried that she is giving up to much to pursue this...we are way beyond it being an after-school activity. It is a daily struggle...but we are prayerful about each step and she is driving the boat in regards to gymnastics.

I guess that I wanted people to know it is not a huge factory, where the girls are waiting in line and constantly being yelled at. It has a great atmosphere---at least on the team side. You must be evaluated and offered a spot...this way they are able to keep the groups group at a managable level. We definitely have a family atmosphere within the groups--just as many of you were talking about. On the flip side--the coaching style and expectations are not for every child and it is true that these gyms are about the serious sport and not so much about the girls learning skills and having fun. We have been at both types of gyms and there is definitely something to be said for the smaller gyms...we had to make the decision to move b/c my dd needed a bit more.

I am sorry that I rambled, but I did want people to have an idea what it truly was like...especially since our family agonized about making the switch.
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