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jenjean70

Proud Parent
May 11, 2016
415
52
We actually lost two optionals to the gym 120 miles away and our oldest optional is on the fence about quitting altogether. There was also a level 5 (dd's best friend), an extremely talented level 4, and a couple of other level 4's who quit. I'm sure there were more in the lower levels that I don't know about.

I told hc in March that dd was on the fence because hc wanted a commitment for next season with about four days notice. Hc gave us a couple of extra weeks to decide and lots of extra attention for dd, which dd of course loved.

Then once the new season started, dd was the only former level 6 in the lower optional group- training with girls who competed 4 and 5 last year, and even one who competed 2. The other former level 6 girls are all training with former level 7 and 8 girls. It's like dd is still not an optional even though she competed 6 last season.

I warned dd during the decision process that this may happen, as similar groupings have happened before- even when she had scored 36 and had 1st and 2nd place AA results. I let dd continue with it and do my best to support her because she loves it, but it is pretty dysfunctional when I look at it honestly.
My heart hurts for her and for you....Honestly it reminds me of my son's all star baseball experience....he was one of the best players in the league but during the all star games he only got his one at bat- had to sit the bench the ENTIRE game, EVERY game and have a good attitude and cheer for his team and hit the ball when he got his ONE shot. My 12 year old son was in tears. It was awful. I hate what some adults can do to kids without a single thought. Ugh! Maybe ya'll will get transferred and have to move closer to the other gym. :)
 

MabelSt

Proud Parent
Jan 13, 2015
167
30
Nope. No notice no chances nothing. DONE. They've already taken her friends away into another group. You're the strongest here and the weakest there um ok yeah that doesn't mean you mess with a kids social group. Now imo they're bullying her and destroying her confidence. She deserved hardest worker award. They're rude to a child and deserve no respect. Cancel the card on file and block their number bye jerks she's going somewhere that lives her for loving gym and she owes them no explanation. None
 

gracyomalley

Proud Parent
Aug 5, 2013
944
Sounds like they really did screw up - but also may be not sure how to best work with your DD. growth and puberty are very hard for many girls in gym - and its not usually a quick fix. But coaching relationship and confidence make a huge difference while they are struggling.

My kids have been involved in several gyms over the years and several different gym banquet models. One HC used to call each and every kid up and recognize something they did that year - for some kids it was winning states, for some it was having a great kip at their last meet, and for some it was work ethic...but it was personal for each. One coach gave all kids a certificate (called up by level) and then specifically recognized regional and national qualifiers. One coach gave certificates to all and then a "most improved", "most valuable" and "best team spirit" type award to just a handful of kids. I've had kids get the big awards - and kids get the the "great job getting your kip" award...all approaches worked well because each kid was acknowledged for a personal acheivement, or was one of many who were just there having fun with their team.

Its hard when there aren't lots of choices. In the end, gym, like all extracurricular childhood activities, should be fun, teach some lessons, encourage personal growth and developement as well as good social skills, and give kids a chance to work with a variety of adult role models. Its great if they also are athletically successful...but for most kids that's not always in the cards, or at least not each year. Having watched my DD struggle through leaving gym due to frustration with growth and loss of skills, then fear and loss of confidence, as well as difficult social stuff with other girls, starting at about your DD age (she was 11 and heading to L8), and now seeing her working through trying to come back as a high school freshman - because, heck, she likes doing gymnastics...I wish you luck and encourage you to try to keep your OWN head clear. It the coaches really just "messed up" then it could have happened to other girls, its just unfortunate that it was yours who already was struggling - in that case, perhaps discussing it from that point of view might be a good approach? If your DD can enjoy 75% of her gym practices, then take the pressure off, let her know its fine to take time to get stuff back while she's growing, and that it happens to lots of kids...if she is miserable more often than happy, and it doesn't improve during summer practices (which should be fun), then there will be something else for her...
 

cyclopsmom

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2016
48
49
Thanks for all of the replies, advice, and encouragement. I appreciate being able to vent to other parents who may have been through similar situations, or those who just have a different perspective to consider. I am not close with any of the moms at our gym currently, and there is definitely a culture that frowns upon any complaining or questioning whatsoever. My husband doesn't want to hear complaints unless I am ready to have dd quit. I didn't want to focus too much on the negative or sound like the evening news, but I was so upset by what happened last weekend because of the effect it had on my daughter.

I did talk to coach, and she apologized on behalf of the entire coaching staff for what happened with my dd and awards. She said she felt awful about it, and that there was no good excuse she could give me that would make it ok (although she did say that they didn't check their lists closely enough or think through the new awards format as thoroughly as they should have.)

I mentioned the training groups again and coach tried to tell me that the high group would be working on level 9 skills (which is only true for the 3-4 girls out of 11 who may actually move to level 9). I asked coach what skills dd would need to gain in order to potentially move into the upper group, but she again said that it is purely a "numbers game" and that it would not be possible. I told coach about dd's concerns about spending less time on strength in the lower group, and coach said she "might" consider rotating members of the group around once in awhile so dd could get more time on this. But, she said she would have to talk to the other girls to explain to them why they were being moved around (read with eye roll). I am sure that dd will not move up even if our oldest optional does not come back after track season. I am also expecting that if a higher level girl comes from another state for the summer (which often happens) they will make room for her while keeping all of the other girls who are currently in the group.

I told coach that dd feels that coach doesn't like her on a personal level, and she was surprised by that. Coach said she has a "soft spot" for dd and that she tries to give dd lots of encouragement when improvements are happening. We talked about the fact that dd does sometimes take criticism harder than it is intended and mistrusts praise, thinking that it is not sincere. These things can certainly be true, and knowing that dd is so sensitive and hard on herself, I still don't understand why coach would do what she did with awards. But, in the interest of moving on, I didn't say what I was thinking. Dd loves gymnastics and really has no other option to continue. We are still "committed" for next season, but dd knows that if things get bad again that her dad and I will have to make the choice to pull her from the gym. I sincerely hope that things will improve and I am going to work at being optimistic.

We kept dd home from practice for two days this week and one day of practice was cancelled. On her one day of practice this week, they had a skills contest in mixed level teams and dd's team lost. The other team ate popsicles while dd's team had to hold splits the entire time that it took to eat the popsicles. Hoping Monday goes better.
 

cyclopsmom

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2016
48
49
Ok, the popsicle thing alone would make me pull my kid from that gym. That just doesn't sit well with me....sorry. Handing them out is one thing. But the way it was handled was imho wrong.

Now dd says it wasn't just splits, but other skills as well.

Yeah- the popsicle thing is used often at our gym. The worst was when dd was the only member of her team to miss her beam cartwheel at a meet and she cost her team a popsicle party. They had her up last and she was so stressed that she missed it and was in tears afterwards. (She repeated level 4 and often won beam and did a cartwheel in her level 6 routine this past season and hasn't missed one in competition since.)
 

cadybearsmommy

Proud Parent
Dec 31, 2010
1,683
Region 8
The popsicle thing makes me sad.....I can see letting the team that "won" skip conditioning or something like that but for goodness sakes, it's a friggin popsicle, why in the world can't everyone just have one? I'm sure your dd took it well, she is older and more mature but I could see the younger kids getting really upset by that. :(

It reminds me of a time at DD's previous gym (just made a gym switch a month or so ago) when DD got her kip, and she got congratulated, etc for it which was nice. A couple of weeks later the "favorite" of the group got her kip, and the coaches took video of it, sent it to her parents and posted it on FB, and then bought slushies for the whole team to celebrate favorite getting her kip. They didn't do anything like that for DD and never did for any other girl in the group that got her kip after either. They may not have meant to hurt DD's feelings, and dd never let on that she was upset, she congratulated the other girl, etc, but yes...her feelings were pretty hurt. :(
 

cyclopsmom

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2016
48
49
The popsicle thing makes me sad.....I can see letting the team that "won" skip conditioning or something like that but for goodness sakes, it's a friggin popsicle, why in the world can't everyone just have one? I'm sure your dd took it well, she is older and more mature but I could see the younger kids getting really upset by that. :(

It reminds me of a time at DD's previous gym (just made a gym switch a month or so ago) when DD got her kip, and she got congratulated, etc for it which was nice. A couple of weeks later the "favorite" of the group got her kip, and the coaches took video of it, sent it to her parents and posted it on FB, and then bought slushies for the whole team to celebrate favorite getting her kip. They didn't do anything like that for DD and never did for any other girl in the group that got her kip after either. They may not have meant to hurt DD's feelings, and dd never let on that she was upset, she congratulated the other girl, etc, but yes...her feelings were pretty hurt. :(

Aww- I'm sorry. That is awful for your dd, but so nice that she congratulated the other girl anyway!

Actually, dd was complaining and cranky about the popsicles all the way home. It was our first hot day and she really wanted one. She said coach and another coach's son who did not participate in the contest even ate them. She told me that the other team had two girls who could do multiple press to handstands in a row (one girl did 7 and earned 42 points for their team) and they had no one who could do more than 1-2 so the teams weren't fair (I told her she should probably work on her press to handstands). She also wanted me to go and buy popsicles (I said no). She was not at all mature. :rolleyes:
 
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NewGymMominCA

Proud Parent
Aug 16, 2014
31
55
So sorry that happened to your DD. (((Hugs))) I have a 10 yr old and can only imagine how steamed I would be in this position....

Something similar to this happened to me - on the last day of tennis camp - when I was actually 11!! They gave out an award to EVERYBODY single kid - for something! But, left me out!!! I was crying. And, there were like 30 kids! I never forgot it and I remember my dad gave them a piece of his mind!

Not that I believe in "every kid gets a trophy".

BUT - when every kid IS getting a trophy or award - to leave a kid out is plainly INAPPROPRIATE and INSENSITIVE!!! It sounds like your DD deserves a huge award for being mature and strong enough to endure that...wish I could give her one!!!
 

Seeker

Proud Parent
Aug 30, 2012
6,687
USA
Ok, the popsicle thing alone would make me pull my kid from that gym. That just doesn't sit well with me....sorry. Handing them out is one thing. But the way it was handled was imho wrong.
Yeah...that is a perfect way to set the girls up to have bad feelings against one another. Sure, have a contest to make the conditioning more fun, but everyone should get a popsicle in the end. Bad coaching strategy all they way around to belittle and punish the "losers".
 

cyclopsmom

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2016
48
49
Something similar to this happened to me - on the last day of tennis camp - when I was actually 11!! They gave out an award to EVERYBODY single kid - for something! But, left me out!!! I was crying. And, there were like 30 kids! I never forgot it and I remember my dad gave them a piece of his mind!

Not that I believe in "every kid gets a trophy".

That is awful! Did they just forget you? That is one of those things I would remember and wonder about for a long time, as a kid or a parent. You don't leave out only one or two kids.

Even though I appreciated dd's coach saying that there was no good excuse they could give me, I still wonder why and how they could do that to dd. Either they purposefully left her out so they could not give an award to the girl who left the gym, they purposefully left her out because she didn't perform as well as her teammates (although some of her teammates performed only slightly better), or they just didn't think about her. Maybe it doesn't matter because they are all crappy options!
 
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twin2gymmie

Proud Parent
Feb 21, 2017
41
Our gym just had their awards banquet last night. When they were giving out trophies for qualifying for Regionals, 3 girls who qualified, (mine included) were not called. When our DD's came to us upset that they did not receive the award, we went to see what the deal was..and were told that only the girls who were actually going to ATTEND got the award. No matter what they EARNED that trophy; same as the other girls. It is upsetting to have to explain to 10 year olds about the pettiness of adults.
 

cyclopsmom

Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2016
48
49
Our gym just had their awards banquet last night. When they were giving out trophies for qualifying for Regionals, 3 girls who qualified, (mine included) were not called. When our DD's came to us upset that they did not receive the award, we went to see what the deal was..and were told that only the girls who were actually going to ATTEND got the award. No matter what they EARNED that trophy; same as the other girls. It is upsetting to have to explain to 10 year olds about the pettiness of adults.

Ugh- that is ridiculous! I'm sorry.
 
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ShesAMonkey

Proud Parent
Jan 20, 2014
296
Reading these stories makes me angry for all of your children--but tells me that we are not alone. My DD, who just decided at the end of her first year of L9 (age 13) to retire from gymnastics, has been dealing with a culture of favoritism at her gym since the beginning. I have overlooked so much over the years: certain girls always getting the better practice times with the better coaches (sometimes even getting more practice hours than other girls at the same level), coaches treating one group to ice cream treats but not the other group...many, many instances when my DD was dealt the short end of the stick. I even heard from another parent that the coaches referred to my DD's practice group as the "leftovers."

But the icing on the cake? DD qualified for Westerns this year--a huge accomplishment in your first year of level 9. On the gym's FB page, a post from the coaches about Westerns...mentions every girl except my DD.

My DD has never (in all of her 7 years of competing) won any sort of award at our banquet. Not even a fun, silly one. Not one.

There's part of me that is hurt, sad, angry...and there's another part of me that is just relieved that we are walking away.
 
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