Hi, everyone. I’ve been lurking here a lot over the past several months, but I decided to finally make an account because I was hoping for the input of all you experienced gym parents. I was a very mediocre gymnast for my whole childhood. I made it to level eight through sheer stubbornness then quit due to persistent injuries and transitioned over to my high school team, which was not competitive at all. By that time I had become very jaded about gymnastics and had had a number of bad experiences with coaches who I recognize in retrospect were emotionally abusive. All of this is to say that when I had my daughter, A, I still loved the sport, but I didn’t want to put her in it. Then, back when she was five, we sat and watched the Rio Olympics together and she became obsessed with the idea of becoming a gymnast. I didn’t think she’d like it (she isn’t very focused, lol) so I figured what the heck, I’ll let her try. There’s a gym down the street from us so I signed her up for a rec class once a week and she fell in love immediately. All of her best qualities came out, it was like I could see her little five-year-old work ethic blossom before my eyes. Fast forward a year (to this past November) and they invited her to start training with their preteam with an eye toward her competing level 3 (which I still keep calling 4 by accident. I’m so old.) next fall when she’ll have just turned 7. I’m not going to lie, part of me is so happy to be back engaged in the world of gymnastics. No matter how many negative experiences I had, I still love the sport and I love the qualities it brings out in A. But this has also brought up a lot of concerns I have with putting her in the sport, especially given everything that’s come out about USAG over the past year. I’ve decided that I will let her do preteam, but I have no intention of letting her compete at the current gym for a few different reasons. They don’t have a pit, which can be worked around, but they also don’t have any upper level optionals, which tells me that aren’t effectively working around it. I also stayed a few minutes late with A to sign her paperwork for preteam and witnessed a coach berating a young girl for not going for her series. The girl was sobbing alone on the beam, and the other kids and coaches just went on with their practice as though this was a daily occurrence. It was too much like my own experience and I absolutely won’t let A work with someone like that. So, all of this brings me to my question. I live in an area where there are at least 5 gyms within driving distance and I want to take my time checking them out before she’s ready to start level 3. How should I go about figuring out which gym is the best environment for her? Should I call the front desk and see if they’ll give me a tour? Will gyms let prospective parents sit and watch an optionals practice, even if their kid is just starting on compulsories? Should I bring A with me, or leave her out of it until I’m ready to have her try out? I've never done this before, even when I was a gymnast I stayed at one gym my entire career. Any and all tips on gym shopping would be appreciated. I’d also love to hear what kind of questions you would ask if you were picking a gym for your child today. Sorry for the long post, and thanks for all your advice!