For Parents Meet etiquette

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Deleted member 26368

I've seen some less than acceptable parent behavior at meets. Hopefully I haven't been guilty of any! But, especially for folks new to this, maybe we can share some etiquette tips to keep in mind during meets?


I thought this event I witnessed at a recent meet was very annoying and inconsiderate:

A mom, with a toddler on her hip, stood in front of the floor *yelling* to the stands for her other child to come on - while a gymnast was performing her routine on the floor. This was towards the end of the meet, and the gymnast was the ONLY girl performing in the gym at the time. Imagine how distracting that was for her, and how the mom blocked family members taking video (not to mention her yelling ruining any recording). Look, I get if you're a tired parent trying to corral your kids, but kindly do it off to the side, you know?
 

ProudGymnast

Gymnast
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
138
my opinions after attending many meets:
- pay attention where you walk, for the sake of recordings.
- don't leave awards early even if you know your child is getting nothing, or their age group has passed
- leave the coaching to the coaches
- try your best to refrain from sighing, groaning, and side comments during recordings
- don't mention scores or places after the meet if it was clearly a disappointing one for your child
- and last, but not least, don't be that one distracting parent who stomps the bleachers and yells obnoxiously when their child is performing. It will likely annoy both your child and other competitors.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
692
Don't comment negatively on any scores for your child - remember that a horrible score for your kid could be another child's dream score...and their parent could be right behind you.

Don't make excuses for your kid's performance (they were sick this week, didn't sleep well, injured, coach changed something last minute, etc.). Same reason as above - her bad score that you felt the need to make an excuse for could be another kid's dream score. Also, it gets sort of annoying when the same parents keep doing this every meet.

Cheer for every child on your kid's team.

Always try and look happy - even if your kid has a rough meet. Somehow, a kid can always figure out exactly where their parent is right when you're making the sour puss disappointed face!
 

gymgal

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Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,682
- and last, but not least, don't be that one distracting parent who stomps the bleachers and yells obnoxiously when their child is performing. It will likely annoy both your child and other competitors.
I this is a regional thing. I have gone to meets where a lot of the parents are cheering on the gymnasts and whooping it up and then others where you would think we were at the symphony.
 
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Deleted member 26368

Cheer for every child on your kid's team.
Heck, I'd take it even further and ask to clap and cheer for all the gymnasts. It's hard! I love meets that make sure to ask spectators to give all the gymnasts a round of applause. They deserve it.

Also, I'm super fortunate that the parents and families of DD's teammates are very supportive of each of the girls. We love cheering for the whole team!
 

bookworm

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Proud Parent
Cheer for every child on your kid's team.
Is this a thing? Granted it's been several years since I've been to a JO meet but we never "cheered" for anyone....as someone mentioned, we sat like we were at a symphony and were very quiet in the stands. We watched and filmed with a respectful silence during the meet. We did some clapping at awards but never during the actual competition.

When my daughter got to NCAA there was the whole rah rah that the team did for EVERY SINGLE COMPETITOR ON EVERY EVENT....and fine, that's their thing but i was more the polite clapper in the stands.
 
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CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
692
Is this a thing? Granted it's been several years since I've been to a JO meet but we never "cheered" for anyone....as someone mentioned, we sat like we were at a symphony and were very quiet in the stands. We watched and filmed with a respectful silence during the meet. We did some clapping at awards but never during the actual competition.

When my daughter got to NCAA there was the whole rah rah that the team did for EVERY SINGLE COMPETITOR ON EVERY EVENT....and fine, that's their thing but i was more the polite clapper in the stands.
Our team definitely cheers at meets- only when a kid starts and finishes or does a skill they’ve been nervous about.
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,531
62
Back when we first started, coach at the time said.….

Every spectator is there for someone they love/care about. Keep that in mind…

Regarding what you say. The gymnast that you could be commenting on migh5 have a parent/sibling right next to you.

Regarding respecting the performance’s (ie, keep your voice down, as someone is likely recording, watch wear you move as someone is filming/taking pics)

It has stuck with me for a decade now. Unfortunately not everyone gets that.

We were at our HS State meet this weekend there were at least a dozen people I would of liked to choke.
 

SSGymMom

Proud Parent
Fan
Mar 6, 2022
3
This reminds me of the time we invited my sister-in-law to my daughter’s meet. It was a compulsory meet in the club’s gym. While the gymnasts were warming up, my sister-in-law (who is loud to begin with) began cheering loudly for my daughter, during warm-ups! The gym was silent and everyone turned around and stared at us. It was so embarrassing! I learned my lesson that day, be careful who you invite to meets or coach the wild ones how to behave!
 

skschlag

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Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,282
Region 9
Is this a thing? Granted it's been several years since I've been to a JO meet but we never "cheered" for anyone....as someone mentioned, we sat like we were at a symphony and were very quiet in the stands. We watched and filmed with a respectful silence during the meet. We did some clapping at awards but never during the actual competition.

When my daughter got to NCAA there was the whole rah rah that the team did for EVERY SINGLE COMPETITOR ON EVERY EVENT....and fine, that's their thing but i was more the polite clapper in the stands.

MAG meets definitely had cheering. It can be loud and exciting. THey are so much fun.
 

mommyof1

Proud Parent
Jan 31, 2012
2,545
The car
Meet etiquette tip #1: If your child is sick, keep them home. The number of times I overheard a parent bragging that they'd dosed a feverish kid up with Advil or DayQuil to compete was truly shocking.

Meet etiquette tip #2: Don't make nasty comments about any of the competitors. You never know whose parents are sitting right in front of you.

Meet etiquette tip #3: Wearing a t-shirt with a giant photo of your child printed on it is kind of obnoxious.
 

GymmieMom2011

Proud Parent
Feb 8, 2022
3
We were recently at a meet where a larger gyms parents/spectators all had GIANT signs with their athletes names and gym mascot on them. They were sitting in the front row and the seats were all on the same level not stadium seating. No one behind them could see anything without standing on the edge of the seating section. Fine bring giant signs but please stand in the back if you insist on holding them up in the air.
 

NutterButter

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Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
898
We were recently at a meet where a larger gyms parents/spectators all had GIANT signs with their athletes names and gym mascot on them. They were sitting in the front row and the seats were all on the same level not stadium seating. No one behind them could see anything without standing on the edge of the seating section. Fine bring giant signs but please stand in the back if you insist on holding them up in the air.
Was this a team from MN?
 
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NutterButter

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Proud Parent
Jan 24, 2013
898
This reminds me of the time we invited my sister-in-law to my daughter’s meet. It was a compulsory meet in the club’s gym. While the gymnasts were warming up, my sister-in-law (who is loud to begin with) began cheering loudly for my daughter, during warm-ups! The gym was silent and everyone turned around and stared at us. It was so embarrassing! I learned my lesson that day, be careful who you invite to meets or coach the wild ones how to behave!

Oh boy, I can relate. I rarely invited my mom to see kid stuff and when she did attend we had to sit far away from others because she would embarrass the heck out of us.
 

STU678

Proud Parent
May 15, 2018
24
I find that most of the competitions we attend are pretty moderate on the level of clapping & cheering. But for our own gym, I have noticed that there is much louder & more enthusiastic clapping and cheering for every member of the team when we are at a travel meet. Something to do with that holiday atmosphere & the team bonding event, I'm sure.
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
825
Virginia
I never minded some basic cheering/clapping but to be honest I am not a fan when people are yelling super loud. It always seems to be just one team at the meet and I always feel bad for the people on beam when that team is up on another event. You just keep hearing loud "GO SUZZIIEEEEEE YOU GOT THIS" randomly and I feel like its probably distracting if you are about to do a big beam skill. I will cheer for my kid but I try not to be too loud and honestly I will sometimes check and see if someone is on beam before I yell.
 
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