Make it or Break it reality

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westham123

How rea is 'make it or break it'?

Here in europe we do not get such big gyms and such forceful coaches and parents, is the program a true picture of the the world of gym in the USA?
 
Apr 3, 2009
41
yes the gyms can be that big. Idk about the parents and the coaches but all the girls aren't all drama like that. most of them are just focused and do their parts in gymnastics. This is not a true picture of the gym world in the US, but it is entertaining :)
 
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westham123

ok good to know

but is there a finical thing? only rich kids go all the way?
 

coachmolly

Coach
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
ok good to know

but is there a finical thing? only rich kids go all the way?

Gymnastics in the United States is very expensive, especially at the higher levels and it's not uncommon to see wealthy children involved in the sport. It's also pretty common to see kids be forced to quit or train shorter hours because their families can just not afford all of the costs involved. That being said, many families do manage to make high level gymnastics work and many elite gymnasts have come from families with pretty average incomes (or so they say, I really have no proof of that). And once a girl gets to the National Team they have their training and most travel funded for them making it a little more manageable.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
Another consideration is that in the UK many coaches are volunteers and put in many unpaid hours to learn and train to coach. In North America this is unheard of and it is what makes gymnastics such an expensive sport. Coaches are paid anywhere from $10
USD upwards per hour.

Of course the nicer the facility you train in, the more money you pay. Childrens sports are a massive money making industry in the US, and as long as parents are willing to pay there will be people willing to create facilities to please.
 
Jan 3, 2009
75
Dallas, TX
That show is SO unrealistic. I coached at what is arguably the best gym in the U.S. (much like "The Rock" is supposed to be), and there was none of that drama. Sure, there were parents who were far too personally invested in their kids' success, and they sat out in the lobby and gossiped, but no one dared question the coaches-- much less threaten them!! I find too that the highest level kids (the elites/elite track kids) were the MOST drama free. You have to have an extreme amount of trust in your coaches to get to that level, and the parents, coaches, and athletes really worked like a team in those groups. The most drama is generally from the compulsory parents...mainly b/c they don't have gym etiquette yet, and they haven't developed that trust in the coach/gym. Even then, though, they just gossip in the lobby-- there is no power struggle between the coaches/athletes/parents. If you put a toe out of line, you are told that you are welcome to go elsewhere.
The gyms ARE that big (and even bigger), but everything else in that show is a total joke. I can't watch it!! Haha. :)
 

coachmolly

Coach
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
Another consideration is that in the UK many coaches are volunteers and put in many unpaid hours to learn and train to coach. In North America this is unheard of and it is what makes gymnastics such an expensive sport. Coaches are paid anywhere from $10 USD upwards per hour.

Where are these gyms paying coaches $10/hour and how can I get a job at one? :)
 
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cher062

Where are these gyms paying coaches $10/hour and how can I get a job at one? :)

$ 10 an hour isn't that much seeing as min wage is at least $7.25

My son has been coaching since he was 13. from 13 - 15 he was a Jr assist coach and they were training him He was paid $8 an hour at that time and that was 4 years ago. When he turned 16 and injured him self and couldn't compete anymore he stopped being on the team and the gym hired him had him certified and is now a L4 - 6 boys team Asst. coach and now he gets $10 an hour. I believe the HC and the "adult" coaches make more than that.
 
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cher062

How rea is 'make it or break it'?

Here in europe we do not get such big gyms and such forceful coaches and parents, is the program a true picture of the the world of gym in the USA?


Well lets see there are gyms that are big like what you see there. I know our gym is larger than most (maybe one is about the same size). As for costs well it is expensive I pay about $450 a month which doesn't include privates or uniforms + a team parent fee of $180 a month from June - Sept (this fee is to pay for meets so the gym has all the funds for all the meets they plan on doing that season). I wouldn't say my family was rich but we aren't poor either. I would say most of the families on the teams probably make between $50 K and $80 K USD a year. The rec classes go for about $100 a month.

the Leotards, grips and equipment are REAL LOL

As far as coaches go well the toughest coaches here that I have seen are the ones from Russia or Romania, but I can't say I've ever seen them like you see on the show. And when I say tough I don't mean they are mean. They are supportive but tell it like it is.

The drama you see on the show between the girls is ridiculous!! Team girls are just so into what they do that they don't have time for all that drama. The type of drama you see on the teams is more like they can't get a skill when they want and they break down into a puddle of tears. Or they fall at a meet and get upset with themselves.

As for the parents well we all want our kids to do well but I've never seen the drama that is shown on this show. There area always a few parents that are a bit more involved than they really should be but not to the extent of what is seen on this show. We do bring our issues to the coach and owners when we have them but the threats etc you see NOPE never in the 14 years I've been involved as a parent in this sport have I seen that.


The show it's self is a Teen Soap Opera and most of the drama you wouldn't see in a gym anymore than you would in any other aspect of teen social life.
The more I see the more soap operaish it gets. The teens who don't do gymnastics seem to like it. My 12 yo saw all the shows so far and now won't watch it at all with statements like "well that would never happen"
 

coachmolly

Coach
Jan 18, 2009
2,990
VA
$ 10 an hour isn't that much seeing as min wage is at least $7.25

My son has been coaching since he was 13. from 13 - 15 he was a Jr assist coach and they were training him He was paid $8 an hour at that time and that was 4 years ago. When he turned 16 and injured him self and couldn't compete anymore he stopped being on the team and the gym hired him had him certified and is now a L4 - 6 boys team Asst. coach and now he gets $10 an hour. I believe the HC and the "adult" coaches make more than that.

I've coached rec, tumbling, and girls level 4/5 and never been paid more than $7.50/hour. I guess I'm working at the wrong gym!
 
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cher062

I've coached rec, tumbling, and girls level 4/5 and never been paid more than $7.50/hour. I guess I'm working at the wrong gym!

I guess so. $7.50 is barely above minimum wage. You could make more slinging fries at McDonalds (at least around where I live you could) I think the Micky D's by my house is paying $9 to start.
 

bogwoppit

Gold Membership
Feb 26, 2007
16,879
I've coached rec, tumbling, and girls level 4/5 and never been paid more than $7.50/hour. I guess I'm working at the wrong gym!


I am guessing it is all regional. The rec coaches up here are paid about $12 CAD an hour, but coaches have to be qualified in Canada. Maybe in the US where qualifications are not required they can hire for less?

Educate me, I always want to know more.
 
The most drama is generally from the compulsory parents...
This very true. The lower the level the more the isolation, bitterness and rivalry. In fact, even though the lower levels tend to have a much bigger team, there is hardly any chemistry amongst the parents. Other than the few small cliques, there is hardly any socializing outside of the gym -- even while away at a meet. We as a group in L4 hardly ever get together before a meet and everyone is always in a rush to leave after (of course assuming the kid don't have a say). Now that we are going through our second child in the program, even though the team members are brand new, the parents dynamics is exactly the same as it was before.

mainly b/c they don't have gym etiquette yet, and they haven't developed that trust in the coach/gym.
Hmm... I think having been there once before, I can dispute that that theory isn't quite accurate. It really has little to do with lack of etiquette or trust in the gym (especially when there's a pre-team development program) -- especially with the repeated L4s and L5s. I think it has more to do with aspiration/expectation, ego, insecurity and enviness/jeolousy on the part of the parents. Of course, in time as the kids move up and the parents get to know each other more, these feelings are not as pronouced. Parents start to bond because now they have more respect for one another (either real or superficial) and they together feel more humble that their kids didn't end up quitting like everyone else who was on the same team.

Even then, though, they just gossip in the lobby-- there is no power struggle between the coaches/athletes/parents.
Only true between the coaches/parents and athletes/coaches. But, parent to parent is frequently seen, especially when there is a booster club involved.

I guess so. $7.50 is barely above minimum wage. You could make more slinging fries at McDonalds (at least around where I live you could) I think the Micky D's by my house is paying $9 to start.
This is common amongst pretty much all coaches in the states, regardless of the sport (maybe with a few exceptions). In fact, coaches of some sports that is considered as prestigious only get minimum wages or just over. The saying that I hear a lot amongst the coaches is "We don't do it for the money".
 
Last edited:
Feb 28, 2008
307
Bethlehem, PA
I used to love ER until I became a nurse. I watched House when I was a new nurse. I can NOT watch any medical shows now, they drive me crazy. I do like detective shows, but I'm sure REAL detectives hate them.

Same goes for gymnastics; are there some over-zealous parents'? Absolutely! However, there power is very limited. My daughter is at a large gym that trains elites, has had olympians, and regularly has national team members. They also have a rec program, prep-optional and advanced optional (less time commitment then USAG) teams, along with gymnasts who compete level 4-10.

My daughter is level 5 so we're still pretty new to the sport. I believe a lot of the "talk" that goes on at the lower levels is just not knowing what to expect. As for socializing before/after meets a LOT of that has to do with the age of the gymnasts. We do get together for BBQ's and visits to a local amusement park following practice. But NEVER before/after meets. In level 4 our girls were age 6-8, just getting them to a meet 1-2 hours away and competing is enough. We can't add socializing with other kids to it. They would meltdown.

So, again the show is highly dramatized for entertainment purposes. It is definitely NOT realistic.

Take care,
 
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