For Parents Open Gym

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Apr 17, 2022
How often does your gym have open gym?

We started going to a new gym about a month ago and they have only had adult tumbling not open gym. I understand reasoning they have been in competitions or the holidays or family time. But from their Insta site (they are big on posting there for any and all updates) they don’t do open gym too often overall.

Does your gym do open gym every week? Once a month? Somewhere in between?
My DD is patiently waiting for open gym day so she can get help in other areas they haven’t been working on during her regular class.

Does your gym offer open gym? If not, what do you do? Go to another? That would feel wierd but I am willing to go if that’s what she needs. Just want to help her.
Never. Once in a while they’ll get open events at practice where they can choose which skills to work on, but that’s usually a treat at the end of the season/end of summer training kind of thing.
Former gym and current gym offer open gym once a week on Friday evenings.
In the fall, we have a guided open gym for Level 4 and up on weekends to prepare for competition season. It's optional, but most of the better scoring gymnasts attend most weekends. Sometimes optionals will get a free event during practice to work on new skills.

I think a "parents night out" sort of program would be the appropriate reason to go to another gym if your gym doesn't have one. However this probably would just be a bunch of kids (some of which who didn't actually do gymnastics) playing around. Depending on what your daughter wants to work on she might need an actual experienced coach. Otherwise, I would not go to another gym unless you are actually planning to switch gyms. If the skill is urgent, maybe ask about a private lesson. Or how about a camp this summer ;)
Our gym used to have open gym every Saturday (before covid) for an hour after rec classes were over. There was also a coach at each event so no unsupervised training. My daughter loved it when she was little. There were a couple of rec coaches that were awesome coaches, and it was a really good way for her to have fun and work on skills without the pressure of her main coach watching. Once she got to optionals and had practice during that time she obviously stopped. When she was really young, I would let her do whatever she wanted like swing into the pits, play on the rings etc. but as she got older I encouraged her to do at least 15 minutes of something that pertained to her training since we did have to pay for the hour. As she got older she naturally started to work on things she needed to, but I will say that our gym had lots of coaches on hand and it was not a free for all like I have seen at other gyms.

In fact we were visiting my husband's mom in Minnesota the year she died from cancer and I found a gym just over the border in Wisconsin that had an open gym Friday night. It was crazy with tons of kids and only one coach who was more focused on closing the gym than supervising the kids. My daughter was super cautious and I was really proud of her for that. This was supposed to be just a fun time to show her uncle some of her gymnastics not actual training. Sure enough a boy was doing a back flip off a spring board and cut his head pretty badly and needed stitches. My daughter was close by and was freaked out. She was upset when I was getting her ready for bed and she asked "Mom what if that happened to me?" (with tears in her eyes) and I responded "well we would get you stitches and then you would go back to gymnastics once you were healed." (I used to ride horses, and when you fell off you shrugged it off and got back on.) To this day I think that event contributed in some way to her fear of going backwards. I regret taking her to this other gym. But I thought all gyms would have coaches and supervision at open gym. I was wrong, and wish we never went.

So I guess I would say if your gym has good supervision at open gym and there are plenty of coaches there it was a great experience for my daughter, but if its just a big free for all I would not go to any open gym with that philosophy.
The gym I coach at never has it, but I go with some friends to an all ages open gym at another place 15 minutes away. Our area is really saturated with gyms. My bosses just think it's funny. I work out whenever I have time and inclination at our gym, but I have a few friends who like to play so we just go to the other spot.
We no longer have open gym post Covid either. Now we have focused clinics only. Back handspring clinics, Kip clinics, etc.
Our gym offers open gym once a week, although my daughter has never attended. I don’t really understand the purpose tbh
I’ve never offered open gym and I’ve never heard of a gym in our area ever offering it.

It seems like a bit of an injury nightmare to me. Kids from all different levels, practicing whatever skills they want, being supervised by someone who is probably not their coach. I don’t know how gyms can do it!
Our gym had one once a month before COVID. It was aimed at rec students and non-gymnast siblings/friends. Team girls were strongly discouraged. Now we only have a one or two per year in conjunction with other gym events.
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