For Coaches Gymnasts Leaving

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Aug 5, 2009
Hey all just wonder how you all deal with gymnasts leaving and how to try prevent it. We had some leave recently which is really upsetting one of them we expected but the other is out of the blue they both moved to anouther local club. its hard because they both came out of the recreational programme at the gym the returning to they were never selected for the competivie programme at that gym despite being there several years and we put a lot of time and effort in to imprvoving them and helping them reach there full potentional and now there leaving to join the other gyms competivie programme.
one of them has sighted the facitilites at the other gym as a reason to they leaving the have a fully equipped gym for most of the time we jsut train in a sports hall with some mats the other club had there training factilties given to them by a community grant and by there link with the local sports school which is govement funded.

How can we retain and keep memebers any ideas
Claire1985, I don't know about your situation specifically, but in general I would say you have to find a niche for yourself as a team. If the other club has you beat on equipment and facility then you have to have something that makes you special as a club. Can you offer better ratios? Can you provide more individual attention? Can you build better relationships between your coaches and team members? Can you build better friendships between the girls on your team? Can you offer a more attractive schedule? Or have more fun? Maybe there is a certain area of gymnastics that the other club doesn't focus on that you could specialize in, lower levels or maybe acrobatics? Find what makes your club special and build on that.

You will always have members who leave and members who come in and you just cannot take it personally which i know is hard b/c we work very hard to help the children succeed and take a personal stake in their progress. Sometimes they will leave and come back. Whenever you get a student who has been somewhere else first it should always be in the back of your mind that they could leave you just the same as they left the other gym.

And bottom line, if it really is in the child's best interest to go somewhere else then support their decision and be happy for them.
First off remember that you will always have gymnasts who leave. This is a part of life, and if handled well you may also have a lot of gymnasts who come back.

It is important to frequently monitor the progress of your girls to ensure they are feeling like they are achieving within your program. Keep a record of the "wins" each of your gymnasts receive. This could include placing in a meet, getting a new skill, receiving some sort of special award and so on. You will find some gymnasts get these "wins" a lot more often than others. It may help to set up a system to ensure all your gymnasts receive some sort of "win" at least once every 2 months. So if you do have kids who don't win so much and take a lot of time to learn skills find another way to make sure they feel like they are achieving. Like special awards in class.

It is also helpful to find out your gymnasts goals. Ask you gymnasts to write down their goals or have a quick meeting every few months to discuss goals. Then you need to ask yourself.
1. Is this gymnast achieving their goals? If they are not they will be dissatisfied.
2. Does this gymnast have realistic goals? If their goals are unrealistic then help them to set realistic ones.
3. Does the gymnast have enough short term goals? If the gymnasts goals are all too far in the long term like making the olympics, or moving up a level next year and they dont have any immediate goals to work on. Like new skills they want to master, then they will feel like it is taking a long time to achieve anything.
4. Does the gymnast have only short term goals? This one is an alarm bell. If all your gymnasts goals are short term they have no long term motivation to stay in the program.

A lot of the time gymnasts will leave anyway because the grass always looks greener on the other side. If this does happen don't burn your bridges. Never try to force a gymnast to stay. Let them know you understand that they need to find whatever is best for them and that they are always welcome back should they wish to return. You will often find that they do return when they see that the grass is in fact not so green on the other side.
Thanks to you both for your replies had a bit more time to reflect and calmed down a little I realise kids will always leave and over the years several have gone elsewhere often with our head coach facilitating the move as we realise that other clubs are more suited to the kids needs.

I feel that we offer a unique training atmospher due to the type of gymnastics we do and the amount of time we spend travelling together also we jsut started our acro progmame last year which very sucessful everyone we enterned medaled at the scottsish championship two groups winning over all.

Hopeful we can speak to the mum again not in any way to change her mind but it would be good to understand the real reason she leaving dont think really been told why yet.

Thanks again for all calming advice and helping me think through it locically

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