For Parents NJ Gym with Elite Path Recommendation

gymmomv2

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I am new to this forum and would really appreciate your advice on how to find a suitable gym in NJ for my 9-year-old daughter who is currently at Level 7. Her level 6 season was cut short last year due to COVID and she has been struggling this year.

After a lot of conversations and observations, we think it is time to look for a new gym that is willing to look at my daughter's struggles critically and provide needed training to get her back on track. We live in northern-central NJ and are looking for a gym with established higher level USAG Jr. Olympic program/Elite program. Any recommendation is appreciated. Thank you.
 

Gymnastics_parent

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NJ has many good choices but due to commute challenges, your location in the state will influence which are real options. I would suggest looking at mymeetscores for results at nationals Nastia Liukin cup to understand the level of coaching compared to your desires outcomes. The NJ usag website also is a good resource for understanding the available gyms and locations. They used to have the gyms on map of the state. One final thing, Pennsylvania and Delaware may be options but it again depends on your location.
 

thefellowsmom

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caveat - I am not from New Jersey, just love any good reason to scour through mymeetscores. LOL!

looks like north stars and Ena Paramus are both in north NJ.

Ena is Olivia Dunne‘s club gym. She was on the national team and currently at LSU so the coaches definitely know what they are doing. But it also looks like a smaller program and I have no insight to the current state of coaching or programming there.

north stars seems like a large program. They had 15 level 10s ( that’s a big number) at state in 2019. Can’t speak to quality or philosophy but looks like all of their 2021s and most of their 2022s are committed to college programs. They have also sent gymnasts to the Nastia Liukin Cup.

I imagine commute will play a big part. A map and mymeetscores should lead you to programs in your area to check out. Good luck and I hope you find a great fit for your daughter!
 
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chalkbowl

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My advice is to pick a few gyms that are drivable and attend a few practices as just an observer. Was fairly easy to walk in to a gym pre-covid and do this, will probably require an advanced call now with COVID precuations. Watch how the coaches & gymnasts interact, watch the the girls demeanor as they come in and leave practice, watch for anything that might be a red flag to you. Many coaches are on their "best behavior" when they have a trial in the gym and your athlete may not get to experience what life in the gym is like on a day-to-day basis during their own trial/evaluation.
 

gymmomv2

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Feb 28, 2021
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My advice is to pick a few gyms that are drivable and attend a few practices as just an observer. Was fairly easy to walk in to a gym pre-covid and do this, will probably require an advanced call now with COVID precuations. Watch how the coaches & gymnasts interact, watch the the girls demeanor as they come in and leave practice, watch for anything that might be a red flag to you. Many coaches are on their "best behavior" when they have a trial in the gym and your athlete may not get to experience what life in the gym is like on a day-to-day basis during their own trial/evaluation.
Thank you for your advice. It is funny to see you say "Many coaches are on their "best behavior" when they have a trial in the gym and your athlete may not get to experience what life in the gym is like on a day-to-day basis during their own trial/evaluation." as my daughter and I were just talking about this last night. She said she saw this behavior firsthand in her current gym. The coaches were super warm and attentive when a new gymnast came in for a trial. Once the new girl joined, the coaches returned to the norm. :)

If you don't mind me asking one more question: as we are in the middle of the season, is it a bad time to switch gyms? Thanks.
 

MuggleMom

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I think it can be hard to switch gyms mid season if you are changing within the same area. I know ours is accommodating if people move here (big military area so that does come up) but I haven't seen a new girl added to team mid season that was local. Most times meet registration and fees are due months out so even if they allowed the switch her ability to compete might not be there just because (especially with covid) the meets could be full already. Also she wouldn't have the team leo etc. I would say very complicated but perhaps not impossible. If it wouldnt damage my kids mental state or put her health/safety at risk I would stay till the end of the competitive season (but thats just me).
 

bogwoppit

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I would not switch mid season, unless you are moving house too. For so many reasons, but honestly it will just sit better when the NJ gym scene is pretty tight. All those head coaches know each other, and they do talk.

Also, we have been shocked here in the past, at how gyms work out that girls are going to leave. So be careful about giving anymore hints on where you are, or who your child is. Kids have been literally thrown out the same day as the parent posted here. I think you have been vague enough to be safe, but do not give us more info.