For Parents My heart is breaking for her...

PeanutsMom

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There has been so much going on in our gym as of late that I feel like I have turned to this community more and more. It the hard part of being in a gym..when things aren't going well you don't want to bad mouth the gym for the kids who are not experiencing the same thing, but then at the same time you want to shout warnings from the rafters.
;
I had posted previously about my DD (level 7 training 8) that felt the move to XCEL Diamond was the best move for her because of the tremendous favoritism that was going on in Optionals. If you aren't TOPs you don't get training essentially. You are left to figure it out for yourself and coach yourself. Well, DD tried XCEL but do to the "less than" reputation fed to the Optionals by the head coaches, her friends and teammates from Optionals were saying things such as "Why are you there?" or "Just quit. They suck." (or however kids say it now). Essentially her former teammates made her feel terrible for switching so she decided to quit.

In talking to some other families who had left the gym, it has become clearer and clearer that the head coach not only knows of the favoritism, it is under the HC mandate, who the other coaches are supposed to help more. Basically the younger you are, the more attention you get. Move the youngest up as quickly as possible and ignore the others. Come to find out my daughter was on his short list of 3 he wanted to fast track from 6 to 8 before Covid hit. Once covid hit and she didn't get her 8 skills after a 5 month gym closure, he stopped working with her and asked the other coaches to stop working with her. NONE of those 3 girls made it to 8. 2 made it to 7 (my daughter included) one repeated 6. The one who competed 6 again has been completely ignored and left without coaching since last fall. The other who made it to 7 has parents who are shelling out big bucks for privates 4-5 times a week and they are trying to push her to 10 this summer. Other girls (levels 7-8) who have been with the gym since level 2 were on the "push them to XCEL, sell them to Tumbling and Trampoline, whatever, just get them out of my program" list. These are girls with huge potential, but they are in high school and therefore TOO old to to be worth the HC time.

Doesn't USAG's Athlete Bill of Rights say something about fair and equitable training (Each athlete has the ability to participate in a level that matches their maturity, ability, and will be given equal opportunity to succeed). Does a coach deciding who he/she is going to coach to their full potential not violate these rights?

My daughter is heart broken to be out of gym, but I will not ask her to continue in an environment where not moving at break neck speed determines her value as a gymnast. She is talented, she is beautiful, and she is on her own journey. We are activity trying to move out of our area and she has said if we weren't here, she would already be in another gym. And, no, there isn't another one in driving distance to us. She has been sobbing saying she isn't done with the sport, she is just done with our gym and the favoritism. If a 12 year old can sense it, can't the coaches see it? The morale of the team is super low and it is because of this. There are SO many talented girls on this team, some that may take a while to get to their full potential, but they will get there and the HC and AC are destroying the program with their ways. It is goes beyond unfair. It is unethical because the gym sells parents on "We will help all girls develop the love of the sport. We don't focus on winning, but on each athlete reaching her full potential." Apparently that potential is whatever the coach decides is her potential and when they will stop coaching her because that potential has been reached. I am livid. I am heartsick.
 

GymDadWA

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If I recall you are in an area without a lot of gym choices but maybe their is one that does Xcel only that you may have overlooked?
 
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kendo348

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I’m so sorry… I hope that when your move happens she finds a gym home that happily welcomes her and provides her the opportunities she deserves!
 
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PeanutsMom

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If I recall you are in an area without a lot of gym choices but maybe their is one that does Xcel only that you may have overlooked?
We are in a fairly isolated place (water separates us from other areas) and there is only 1 other competitive gym in our county. That gym is the win at all costs, compete when injured, get weighed by the head coach, gym. Many of our girls have left that gym to come to ours. I was always under the impression that this gym was "worse" than ours, but I have come to realize they are definitely open about their intentions while at our current gym I feel lied to and led on. Parent meeting after parent meeting we were told all our girls could thrive and reach their full potential and the coaches were there to give 100% support. I guess that is why of off the coaches that have been there in 5 seasons, the HC/Owner is the only consistent one.
 

PeanutsMom

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I’m so sorry… I hope that when your move happens she finds a gym home that happily welcomes her and provides her the opportunities she deserves!
Me too. I am actually hoping for a small, not super competitive gym that will just let kids enjoy the sport for the love of it. I thought I was being so careful about the environment we put her in and allowed her to train in. We certainly are not a top tier gym, competitive, but not the best, and I thought I had done all the research necessary to keep her in a safe, positive environment. I am certainly not trusting my gut any more.
 

PreciousJ

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Some hypothetical questions :

Is there some kind of method to the owner's/coach's madness, in terms of pushing for elites and L10s? Are they trying to "keep up" with the other area gym? Are they actively trying to push out their existing gymnasts who don't meet some unattainable standard? Do they not care about their reputation, unaware that the gym community is a small world?

Ugh, it is awful that they made your DD and other girls feel unworthy, especially when they've been at the gym for so long. I can't imagine they'd be in business much longer by forcing good gymnasts out the door, but maybe they're counting on using the lack of gym options to their (twisted) advantage?

Again, I'm so sorry for you both, and wishing for a much more healthy environment for your DD.
 

novagymmom

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I'm so so sorry to hear that. :-( I was so excited for your daughter in starting her new journey with excel. I'm furious at the coaches at your gym, for such unfair and ridiculous practices. And I'm heartbroken that her friends and teammates (thanks to the gym culture) would bad mouth her attempts to try something new. I'm really really sorry.
 
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MuggleMom

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Its horrible that they not only changed the mandate of the gym but they are fostering this type of better than attitude in their gymnasts. In the long run they will reap what they sow but that doesnt really help you or your daughter much I am sorry. As a parent I would be really horrified if they instilled this kind of attitude in my kid, if I heard she was saying anything negative about her teammates or other girls at the gym I would be correcting that right away.
 

Cherry_Lolli

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May 25, 2021
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There has been so much going on in our gym as of late that I feel like I have turned to this community more and more. It the hard part of being in a gym..when things aren't going well you don't want to bad mouth the gym for the kids who are not experiencing the same thing, but then at the same time you want to shout warnings from the rafters.
;
I had posted previously about my DD (level 7 training 8) that felt the move to XCEL Diamond was the best move for her because of the tremendous favoritism that was going on in Optionals. If you aren't TOPs you don't get training essentially. You are left to figure it out for yourself and coach yourself. Well, DD tried XCEL but do to the "less than" reputation fed to the Optionals by the head coaches, her friends and teammates from Optionals were saying things such as "Why are you there?" or "Just quit. They suck." (or however kids say it now). Essentially her former teammates made her feel terrible for switching so she decided to quit.

In talking to some other families who had left the gym, it has become clearer and clearer that the head coach not only knows of the favoritism, it is under the HC mandate, who the other coaches are supposed to help more. Basically the younger you are, the more attention you get. Move the youngest up as quickly as possible and ignore the others. Come to find out my daughter was on his short list of 3 he wanted to fast track from 6 to 8 before Covid hit. Once covid hit and she didn't get her 8 skills after a 5 month gym closure, he stopped working with her and asked the other coaches to stop working with her. NONE of those 3 girls made it to 8. 2 made it to 7 (my daughter included) one repeated 6. The one who competed 6 again has been completely ignored and left without coaching since last fall. The other who made it to 7 has parents who are shelling out big bucks for privates 4-5 times a week and they are trying to push her to 10 this summer. Other girls (levels 7-8) who have been with the gym since level 2 were on the "push them to XCEL, sell them to Tumbling and Trampoline, whatever, just get them out of my program" list. These are girls with huge potential, but they are in high school and therefore TOO old to to be worth the HC time.

Doesn't USAG's Athlete Bill of Rights say something about fair and equitable training (Each athlete has the ability to participate in a level that matches their maturity, ability, and will be given equal opportunity to succeed). Does a coach deciding who he/she is going to coach to their full potential not violate these rights?

My daughter is heart broken to be out of gym, but I will not ask her to continue in an environment where not moving at break neck speed determines her value as a gymnast. She is talented, she is beautiful, and she is on her own journey. We are activity trying to move out of our area and she has said if we weren't here, she would already be in another gym. And, no, there isn't another one in driving distance to us. She has been sobbing saying she isn't done with the sport, she is just done with our gym and the favoritism. If a 12 year old can sense it, can't the coaches see it? The morale of the team is super low and it is because of this. There are SO many talented girls on this team, some that may take a while to get to their full potential, but they will get there and the HC and AC are destroying the program with their ways. It is goes beyond unfair. It is unethical because the gym sells parents on "We will help all girls develop the love of the sport. We don't focus on winning, but on each athlete reaching her full potential." Apparently that potential is whatever the coach decides is her potential and when they will stop coaching her because that potential has been reached. I am livid. I am heartsick.
How is this ok. You need to speak to the HEAD coach about this if you haven't already. . I promise you most places ARE NOT like this, you just got a really bad gym. THAT IS BREAKNECK SPEED THOUGH. You should be progressing 1-2 levels during the SUMMER not during meet season. It's reckless because it not only throws off the routines but puts the kid at HUGE risk. She's going to hate you for taking her out of the sport temporarily but it was the right thing to do. If this is all she TOLD you about and all you SAW, there's EVEN MORE going on. This "gym" from just what I read looks like a place of mental torture.
 

PeanutsMom

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How is this ok. You need to speak to the HEAD coach about this if you haven't already. . I promise you most places ARE NOT like this, you just got a really bad gym. THAT IS BREAKNECK SPEED THOUGH. You should be progressing 1-2 levels during the SUMMER not during meet season. It's reckless because it not only throws off the routines but puts the kid at HUGE risk. She's going to hate you for taking her out of the sport temporarily but it was the right thing to do. If this is all she TOLD you about and all you SAW, there's EVEN MORE going on. This "gym" from just what I read looks like a place of mental torture.
The Head Coach is the one setting the mandates on who is getting coached. From a former employee "He told us to get these 3 athletes to level 8 by the beginning of the season if we wanted to keep our jobs." (this was pre-Covid) none of them got to level 8. Two went to level 7 (my daughter included) one repeated 6. This former coach was fired at the end of last summer when kids didn't "make it." The other coach who is still there only works with TOPs girls (ages 8-9) and a 6 year old level 3 rising level 4 who trains with the Optionals.
 

Gymx2

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The Head Coach is the one setting the mandates on who is getting coached. From a former employee "He told us to get these 3 athletes to level 8 by the beginning of the season if we wanted to keep our jobs." (this was pre-Covid) none of them got to level 8. Two went to level 7 (my daughter included) one repeated 6. This former coach was fired at the end of last summer when kids didn't "make it." The other coach who is still there only works with TOPs girls (ages 8-9) and a 6 year old level 3 rising level 4 who trains with the Optionals.
This place sounds like a mess. I really hope you are able to find a better program for her when you move! Poor kid.
 
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MILgymFAM

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That gym sounds like an absolute nightmare tbh, and I hope your daughter doesn’t stay there too much longer. It really stinks to be somewhere with a dearth of options. At some point you might have to just pull the plug on the sport for her overall well being, even if the move doesn’t work out.
 
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raenndrops

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Hopefully you do move and find a gym. If you end up someplace that has a YMCA gymnastics team, that might be a really good option (some compete USAG and YMCA and others just compete YMCA ... and a lot of YMCA teams also compete at YMCA Nationals, depending on the location and how many girls are interested in it).
Our team hadn't competed Nationals for a few years before OG made the team in 2008. We went to our first Nationals when she was a Level 5 (old levels) because it was being held in our state. The team hasn't missed a Nationals since then, although one year, only 4 girls went - it was in Kansas. a pair of sisters went because they had relatives in Oklahoma who had never seen them compete before, and it was close enough for them to drive. Another girl was a Level 3 (new levels) and her family was excited about it. The last girl was HC's DD and she wouldn't have competed if the other girls hadn't been going.
 
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GymDadWA

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Is middle school and high school gymnastics an option? I know WA has a lot of schools that do full high school gymnastics, but middle school it's a lot more limited and sometimes just floor.
 

mom2newgymnast

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What an awful situation and an awful gym. I really don't understand the head coach's mentality at all. And I can't believe her former teammates would act that way either. I mean I can believe it, but I don't want to. :( Probably their parents are enabling that kind of talk at home, because they want to feel better about sending their kids to a gym like that. :mad: Telling your coaches to stop coaching certain gymnasts is ridiculous. I'm so sorry that you are in this position.
 

PeanutsMom

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No high school gym in our area and I wish middle school gym excisted somewhere! I have taught for 20 years and never seen MS gymnastics.
Is middle school and high school gymnastics an option? I know WA has a lot of schools that do full high school gymnastics, but middle school it's a lot more limited and sometimes just floor.
 

GymDadWA

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No high school gym in our area and I wish middle school gym excisted somewhere! I have taught for 20 years and never seen MS gymnastics.
Our school district calls it Tumbling and Dance so not exactly gymnastics but the girls doing cheer, tumbling, dance, and gymnastics have something they can compete in with the school.
 
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