Parents Snacks?

  • Thread starter Vintage Gymnast
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I can't believe some gyms dont allow snack breaks. I coach at two different clubs.
At my first gym all gymnasts training over 3hours have a snack break, only 5-10mins and they are only allowed something small and healthy. Even the older girls get this.

At my second gym they have all girls who train over 2hours having snack, which I dont think is needed but as a coach I have to fit in with their policy.

I think younger gymnasts especially SHOULD be having a quick snack if training for over 3hrs, gymnastics takes a lot out of young kids and a quick energy snack is probably more benificial to their training than if they werent to snack at all.
most gyms have too much "snack time"

It makes "sense" to allow young growing children healthy snack breaks during long sport training sessions.

Yet in the real world I find snack breaks to be problematic.

Group dynamics are strained. Girls, especially, tend to form cliques during break which can be discouraging for the kids not in the clique.

Kids sometimes have trouble getting back "into" training after break.

And, ultimately, many gymnasts train 4hrs+ with only water. Most kids do not need a snack break no matter how much the parent insists they do.

My philosophy is to minimize or do away with snack breaks altogether unless there is some individual medical reason why a child MUST eat.
I'm going to modify my answer a bit. Since this thread started, I've watch more what happens between rotations. I have seen some putting some sort of food into their mouths on occasion, so I guess it happens and isn't prohibited.

My child doesn't eat during practice, so I assumed no one did. And most don't. There are no formal breaks. But this is upper levels I'm talking about, and it seems the coach trusts them to eat/drink as they need to, as long as it happens within the approx 60 seconds they have between events, be/c the next rotation will start with or without them. No one seems to see it as an issue. In years there, I've never heard it mentioned even once.
Most of the time my girls only come for 3 hour practices. I allow my gymnasts to have a healthy snack if need be. I do not designate a snack time for them but if he/she feels they need it then I see no problem in having them regain their energy.
Our gymnasts are all allowed to bring a healthy snack to practice. Some eat them so don't, but most of the time the girls will take a bite, take a drink & run (or hop) back to practice within a minute or so:D
I vote for snacks. We've been at a gym where they were allowed, and one where they were not allowed. The girls were much happier knowing they got a little snack break. A small 5 minute break, if even that, is all that is needed to eat some grapes, whole grain crackers, or just a little nourishment to add carbs to get through practice. Snacks are especially needed during growth spurts.
We've done a few things in the past at our gym.

In the olden days, when practice was 10-3, we used to get a 1/2 hr at around 12.30 to eat lunch. That was say a sandwhich, fruit, drink and something else (also gave the coaches a chance to eat). We had to make sure we re-warmed up afterwards; the beauty of having a gym and an oval next to each other meant it was a game of soccer or tag :D before stretching again.

Fast forward to about 1 year ago (we've had multiple coaching + philosophy changes). Our elite-tracked youngsters (ages 6-8) would get a fruit break for 3hr trainings. They were only allowed to eat fruit though (same for the elite-trackd u10 yrs).
Now, our elite kids don't eat at training, that I've seen. They get drink breaks between rotations. They handle fine.

Myself, I only eat occassionally at training. Something small: a few leftover crackers, occassionally some lollies if blood sugar is low. Before I'd have not eaten since 11.30 before coaching at 4, training at 5/6 - so I made sure I ate something, otherwise I'd pass out. And on a trampoline...that's not great :D

Tumbling training is 3 1/2 hours...don't know how I'm going to survive that one :O Haven't trained over 3 hours in about 5 years.
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