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Mar 24, 2022
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Hi parents! My daughter is currently wrapping up her level 7 season and will be training level 8 this summer. She trains 16 hours now; 3 weekdays 4-8pm and Saturdays from 9-1 and will be adding another day next year. We've contemplated switching gyms but the 2 other options in our area have (what I consider to be) bad training schedules. One gym trains until 9pm (and we're a half hour away) and another trains Sunday-Thursday. We go to church so my girl would miss two hours of every Sunday practice :-( Our current gym has a great schedule but the program is not as strong and several of our level 7+ gymnasts are switching for better programs.
My questions for you parents:
- What training schedule (days, hours) seems to work well for your athletes?
- How important is the training schedule if you're contemplating switching gyms?
- Does your gym have any type of flexible training plan (ex: numerous team training blocks offered, you pick 4-5)

Thanks so much!
 
Feb 2, 2022
78
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Our gym does not offer options. The training schedule is what it is. They are very flexibile on being late though, as we live in a very traffic dense metro area and drive times are unpredictable.

For what it's worth, I've researched other gyms to get a better feel for things (even though I really love ours) and not a single one offered blocks to choose from. That would be really nice though! No Sundays either but we live in the South so that might be why. :)
 
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mom2newgymnast

Proud Parent
Jul 8, 2014
1,302
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We also have no say in our schedule. For years my daughter had a Saturday morning practice and we finally got rid of that 2+ years ago. Then her schedule was MTThF from 3:30-8:30. 20 hours a week over 4 days. I know some say 5 hours practices are too long, but we (gymnasts and families) love it and prefer it to extra days. The break on Wednesday was perfect too. Now she has the same schedule plus a 2 1/2 hour practice on Wednesday. This is for the level 9 and 10 groups.
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
825
Virginia
We have a set schedule but sometimes they will let them switch one day for another if there is a meet coming up and other school conflicts. Our hours go a little late but thats to help accomidate the middle school kids who can't get there till late. Luckily they are understanding that my kids is late every day and we also live close so there is not a long commute home. My kid just goes to bed late every night and has since like 3rd grade. It sorta sucks but it is what it is and she still gets a fair amount of sleep.

I would say schedule is important you need a schedule that wont leave your kid feeling burnt out. You as their parent will best know what that is...in other words would they be fine staying up later, fine with more or less hours, or missing some practices and not be anxious about it etc.
 
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Mar 24, 2022
6
41
We also have no say in our schedule. For years my daughter had a Saturday morning practice and we finally got rid of that 2+ years ago. Then her schedule was MTThF from 3:30-8:30. 20 hours a week over 4 days. I know some say 5 hours practices are too long, but we (gymnasts and families) love it and prefer it to extra days. The break on Wednesday was perfect too. Now she has the same schedule plus a 2 1/2 hour practice on Wednesday. This is for the level 9 and 10 groups.
I like that schedule and may propose that to our gym (feeling like we as parents have some leverage because several girls are leaving!) Nice to have a week night plus weekends off!
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
4,682
Dd never had weekend practice. mon-fri for L7+. They tried 5hr practices for a while for L9-10 but that last 30min was really tough for the girls both for practice and for getting home, eat, homework etc. They went back to 4.5hrs during the school year and bumped it to 5 hrs with a break in the summer. We loved not having practice on the weekends and it also meant not having to cancel practices during meet season. Plus two days off seemed to help with resting the joints/muscles.
 
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LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
We love our Wednesdays off! Great chance to catch up on homework and recharge midweek. Our gym, all optionals does Monday, Tuesday and Thursday 5:30 to 9pm and Friday from 4-7 pm. This is all level 6-10. Level 8+ adds a Saturday morning practice. It's not a big deal to skip one practice every now and then or come in late, especially during off season. Your daughter's L8 training schedule doesn't seem over the top to me, but it all depends on how they are spending their time. Training schedule is definitely important, but more important the amount of training is the quality of training. If the girls are working drills, extra dance, and are constantly moving and training, they accomplish much more in 2 hrs than a group who just cross tumbles and stands talking for 4 hrs.
 
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ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,534
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Mine is currently a L8/9. Hours were incredibly important to us as a family. And college/NCAA is not where she wants to be.

We changed gyms when she was 7 because I didn’t want her doing high hours.
Our gym maxes out at 12 hours a week during the school year. And they are somewhat flexible. They offer flexible hours during the summer, we can pick our days of the week and full/half day. We can commit to Saturdays during the school year, or go when we can (price is higher for that). Only thing we must do is pick our days ahead so they have enough coaches available.

Sessions not more then 3 hours. No sitting around. Even full day summer not more then 3 hours doing gym without a mid day lunch and break.,

Mine did 9 hours no regular Saturdays until L7.
Then she did 12 hours including Saturdays until this school year.
She is now back to 9 hours because I’m back working full time and there is no one for her to car pool with. 2 days during the week, we had to pick set 2 of the 3 choices and Saturday. In spring (for 8 weeks) after states she does lacrosse and typically ends up at gym just 1 day. We do have to pay for her regular hours which I understand the gym has bills to pay as well, so I realize we are paying to keep her spot.

Most gyms in our area are not as flexible but I’m very happy this one is. If we didn’t find this one my kid would of been a rockstar L4 and have quit.

All a long winded way to say. Optionals can be done without high hours. There are gyms out there that allow for some flexibility. And you should see even if your current gym has any wiggle room as well.
 

Em09

Gymnast
Fan
Oct 13, 2020
153
20
Australia
I do Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday from 3.30-7.30, but sometimes 7.30 turns to eight closer to meets. Also Saturdays from 12-4. (I'm Level 10. L10s train with L9.) The Level 7-8s, though, do those days Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 3-7. and Saturday from 1-4.30. My gym is actyally pretty flexible. If you can't make a practice, you can train with the level below if they have better times. I did this waaayy back in Level 4, when I trained Level 4 in the Level 3 team. And when I was on Level 3, there were a couple level 2s training with us because they couldn't do L2 times, but L1 was not a good amount of hours for them.
 
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rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
310
40
My level 7 does 3.30 - 6.30 Mon - Thurs and 2 hours on Saturday (times have changed a few times recently). Tuesday morning practice pre and during meet season 9-11 which she misses school for. No optionals practices on Sunday, only open gym, rec and privates going on.
If your gym doesn’t have much experience training upper optionals I would make a move. It’s also important that your DD has training pals at roughly her age and level.
We are at a large gym so more than one level 7 training group. There’s an older level 7 group which starts half an hour later so if DD is late she warms up with them. Gym will overlook this as a one off as she goes almost straight from school
 
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MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
825
Virginia
I envy everyones early start times. Our Middle schools dont get out till 4:10 and if you ride the bus it can take 20-45 min to get home. I am lucky and can pick my kid up so we can rush to practice but with most of our optional groups (who have middle school kids) we can't have practice start at 3:30.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
4,682
I envy everyones early start times. Our Middle schools dont get out till 4:10 and if you ride the bus it can take 20-45 min to get home. I am lucky and can pick my kid up so we can rush to practice but with most of our optional groups (who have middle school kids) we can't have practice start at 3:30.
wow that's late for middle school. Just curious - what are the end times for elementary and high school?
 
D

Deleted member 26368

wow that's late for middle school. Just curious - what are the end times for elementary and high school?
This wasn't directed at me, but middle school in my county in GA also ends near 4 PM (3:55 technically). We also rush DD straight from school to practice, which starts at 4. She's there by 4:30.

Our elementary schools are out at 2:25, high schools at 3:15.
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
825
Virginia
Elementary gets out at 2:45 and HS around 2:15. We dont have enough buses to have kids all on the sameish schedules. They tried to switch things around and were going to have HS get out at 4:15 but then the pandemic hit and all that went away. I hope they dont do that though it would be a nightmare for sports and jobs for HS kids.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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All schools around here and all grades go pretty much the same time 9:00AM-3:00PM.

It’s much easier to schedule classes when all schools finish at 3PM.

But we still can’t have older kids start at 3:30 as we need the time, space and coaches for the younger kids to start then.
 
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gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
4,682
Elementary gets out at 2:45 and HS around 2:15. We dont have enough buses to have kids all on the sameish schedules. They tried to switch things around and were going to have HS get out at 4:15 but then the pandemic hit and all that went away. I hope they dont do that though it would be a nightmare for sports and jobs for HS kids.
Interesting that elementary gets out earlier. Our county doesn't have enough drivers so we also have a staggered dismissal schedule but it's 2:15 for HS, 3:10 for MS and 3:40 for Elementary. I believe the HS and elementary share the drivers/buses but not certain.
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,534
62
I envy everyones early start times. Our Middle schools dont get out till 4:10 and if you ride the bus it can take 20-45 min to get home. I am lucky and can pick my kid up so we can rush to practice but with most of our optional groups (who have middle school kids) we can't have practice start at 3:30.
Without knowing the start time the information is incomplete.

Federally in the US there are required hours/days for a school year to be complete, Teachers unions also impact school hours. Our teachers unions used to be contracted by days. They are now contracted by hours. This actually affects snow days And whether the district calls a delay vs a closing.

A lot goes into the hours kids are in school. In our district the office staff union, yes different then the teachers union are contacted for the day after Easter off. So if we are over on used snow days and have to give back days, the Monday after Easter will never be on the table, we would go an extra day in June before that would happen.

So we are a relatively small district in NY. In our district elementary teachers by contract do not have to be in the building before 8:30. Middle and HS teachers before 7:30 am.

So based on the teacher’s contract and the fact that due to the size of our district the buses pick up all schools. So our middle school and high school kids have the same bus. Kids get dropped at the MS by 7:15 then at the HS By 7:25 for a start time of 7:30 to accommodate the teacher unions contract.

Those same busses then circle back for the elementary school kids to get them to school for a 9 am start time, teachers in building by 8:30 by contract.

My kid is at the bus stop at 6:50 am for MS/HS. She is off the bus and home at 3. I could pick her up at 2:30. It doesn’t matter for gym though as it is a 30
minute round trip for me and the opposite direction of gym.
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
Going a bit off topic here, but A 3PM school end time would be great! Here it is 8:15 to 3:15 Elementary, 8:20 to 3:25 MS, and 8:25 to 3:35 HS. Compulsory practices are 3:45-6:45, which is a quick turnaround for kids in middle school or with middle school siblings. Coaches are generally accomodating of some lateness. I used to change and eat in the car and usually get there within 5 minutes of the start time. Optionals starts at 5:30, which has mixed feelings. Some people love it- they can get their homework done before gym. Others would rather start at 4 and do homework after, but that doesn't look like a possibility in the near future with our team coaching staff.
 
Apr 16, 2022
11
Our gym has different schedule options based on the level and gymnast. There is a homeschool group that goes once a day and afternoon groups available. Both of those are around 20-24 hours. Then there is another homeschool group that goes twice a day. That's the one my daughter is in. She's at 34 hours a week. I wasn't crazy about all the hours but she loves it and it works well for her. If we were to move gyms, she would definitely want to stay with a similar program. I don't think she would like a gym where she just goes in the afternoon so schedule is very important.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
444
There is a homeschool group that goes once a day and afternoon groups available.
That would be wonderful. My daughter is homeschooled, not primarily for gymnastics but because she’s a 9 year old doing high school curriculum. She could definitely have her free time better utilized if she didn’t have to attend practices designed around other kids’ school schedules.


 
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