students ratio

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Aussie_coach

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Depends on the age. 5 or less gymnastics to 1 coach usually.
 
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The USAG guidlines has it at 8:1. I believe preschool age is lower. Our gym thinks a coach should be able to handle 7 preschoolers by themselves, while this is sometimes the case it is often not as the class changes almost every week and while 7 5 year old's that have been in the class a while might be fine 7 brand new 3 year olds may very well not be.

But these are guidlines set not official rules and many gyms greatly exceed the recomendations in order to make the most profit while paying the least amount of people to coach. This is stressful for the coach and does not look good to the paying parents and often backfires, losing them business. But with the little ones in our case anyways as soon as one leaves we have another signing up so the owner does not see the impact and continues to do it.
 

gymdog

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Well, if I recall your daughter is 6 or 7 and from the skills you've described about a level 5. I would say the appropriate ratio for that level and age is no more than 10 (but this would only be at some times, such as warm up, or dance, etc) and ideally no more than 8 for most training. I don't think it has to be less than 5, but depending on the program, that may not be uncommon.
 

sally

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ok what about when children are at different levels, what I mean different like a level 1 child with a level 5 child. Do you think a coach can coach 8 children with different level of gymnastic ability?
 
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Yes but it is harder, less effective and requires very good planning and management.
 
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ok what about when children are at different levels, what I mean different like a level 1 child with a level 5 child. Do you think a coach can coach 8 children with different level of gymnastic ability?

As you know I'm just a mother of beginner girls so I'm not really qualified to answer.
But if new girls are being added to your DD's group who are way behind her, I think you've got a legitimate worry. Will the coach be spending more time and attention helping the new girls catch up? Will your DD mostly be left to practice skills she already has with less attention and correction? It wouldn't be just a safety thing to me - the coach would also have to be careful not to let your little DD become resentful or worry that the coach cares more about the new girls.
 
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ok what about when children are at different levels, what I mean different like a level 1 child with a level 5 child. Do you think a coach can coach 8 children with different level of gymnastic ability?

Yes, but it is a hot mess. I have seen tumbling classes and rec. classes with varied ages/levels, they are normally large classes that get somewhat broken down into groups by age/abiliy. And I have taught such classes and it can be a struggle in many ways.

Is the level 1 girl the same age as the level 5? Is it a rec. class where the kids might vary in ability or are they really level 1's and level 5's?

If they are the same age it might not be terrible, but a level 1 is usually very young and may need additional help such as help learning to behave and pay attention. It is easy to say okay level 1 you are doing a pullover, and level 5 you are working your kip.

To add I have never seen rec. (level 1 is consdiered a rec. level and is not competed) and team level kids put together to me it seems very odd and I would question why. Plus level 1's at our gym go 1 hour usually once a week, level 5's go 3 hours 3-4 times a week. It just doesn't make much sence.
 

gymdog

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ok what about when children are at different levels, what I mean different like a level 1 child with a level 5 child. Do you think a coach can coach 8 children with different level of gymnastic ability?

Hmm. 8 all at different ability levels? I guess it depends on the level and the ultimate range. I can fairly easily do 8 that aren't all the same level, but are within a reasonable range, however at some point it just gets hard with things like equipment settings, etc. If they are all over a certain level (i.e. all level 9, 10, and elite) then it's a different story. But yeah, 8 if there is a huge disparity can be hard...I mean really less than 8 with a huge disparity is as well. It's a challenge and I don't think it's insurmountable but you need to make your plans that much tighter (not winging it) and account for how each kid is going to do the right skill level.

In the end really, sometimes there's no choice in a smaller program. We're always going to be coaching kids with different ability levels and certainly different potential levels. The key at some point is probably more in the planning and preparation, rather than the numbers (Obviously if we're talking about 20 kids to one coach, that would be unreasonable). And in that case it's pretty possible that removing some of the children or if they were magically replaced with the same level children, wouldn't solve the underlying problems.
 

sally

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Interesting I don't have a problem with the coaching my dd is getting there are different ability but is hasn't cause a problem. Another parent and I were just talking about it when I thought 6 would be the ideal number. She was saying that sometimes they have like 15 in one class which is just crazy to me. Where I was saying that one session in my dd class there was 10 and I thought that was too much
 

Aussie_coach

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It is important to remember that we are talking about Elite gymnasts.

When I said no more than 5:1 I meant for elite and elite development gymnasts. There is no way I would run a recreational class or even a competition team with such a low ration of 5:1, because to make it profitable you would have to charge exorbitant fees to parents. For most classes 8-12 kids to a coach is fine, a good coach can handle large classes and make sure all gymnasts are getting the individual attention they need. For recreational classes it might be higher again.

But elite development gymnasts need a different environment. I am assuming this is referring to IDP gymnasts (international development program). These kids need to be watched much more closely, these kids are being chosen to be future international representatives in the sport. While a team gymnast may be able to complete successfully with a small issue here or there, this can't happen in IDP. If a body form mistake is spotted it must be fixed quickly before it becomes anything more. Also these kids train many, many hours at a very young age, they must be very closely monitored at all times with every aspect of their progress being monitored daily to ensure training is safe and effective.
 

Aussie_coach

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Sally what level is your child working?

15 is not crazy and can work great, but if she is IDP it is crazy.
 

sally

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she is doing comps in idp2 and learning skills idp3 and 5. She has most of idp3. Also a coach that was speaking to me the other day believes kids at her age should not be doing idp until they can compete idp5 , they should be doing national levels. What is your thought on that?
 

MissBear

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Our pre-elite group aged 7-9 right now is 7 gymnasts with 2 coaches. The older elite group aged 10-13 is 8 gymnasts to 2 coaches. I think this is a really good ratio and allows them to split up, and be safe still, for example half on shiny bar and half on wood bar whule still being actively coached.
The regular competitive group aged 6 - 10 has 10 gymnasts with 2 coaches also, but here one coach is in charge of the group and one is a lower level assistant.

To be fair you could probably add 2 or 3 gymnasts and still be safe and effective.
 

Aussie_coach

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For IDP 3 and 5 then definitely you want a very small number of gymnasts to coach, this is a crucial time.

There is two sides to the IDP argument. IDP 5 is the latest you can start on the IDP track in most circumstances.

The problems with competing IDP 1,2 and 3 are as follows
1. Not as many competitions, just a few a year available while there are hundreds of level 1,2 and 3 national level competitions available.
2. Not as many kids to compete against, its just the same kids at each comp for IDP, they don't get as much experience early on
3. Many hours and a lot of pressure before they are even old enough to know this is what they really want.

Positives of doing IDP 1, 2 and 3
1. Better base training. If they are in a regular class with national level kids they won't get the same body training and skill development and by the time they are old enough for IDP5 it may already be too late.
2. Right skills for their age, most who don't do the IDP early track are too old by the time they reach IDP 5 standard.
3. Skills are a better lead on to higher levels. Skills are harder of course but designed to train a child to reach olympic potential
 

sally

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thanks for that. My dd enjoys the harder skills, she tried the levels stream but didn't enjoy it. she found that her skills were to mixed up. she said somethings were easy and other things were to hard. they wanted her to go into level 6. so my thought was to keep her going where she is. she loves it there and the coach does challenge her which is what she enjoys most. it is the amount in the group that could be a problem in the next few weeks as they are taking a lot more people in. But I guess we will wait and see what comes of it. she is only 6 so she does have a lot of time anyway.
 

Aussie_coach

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That is a really good description of the levels stream. Many things are easy and then others are far too hard for the level. Also the levels stream skills assume and older and bigger gymnast.

For example a level 4 gymnast must go over the vault table in the levels stream. A level 4 gymnast in IDP would be an IDP 2 gymnast who does a front saulto, as they are far to small to go over the vault table. Also level 4 levels stream does jump to high bar etc, which is a big jump for a 5-6 year old.

Some expectations are out of place, like 180 split leaps on floor in level 4, and 180 split leaps on floor in level 5.

The IDP is a better design for younger kids who are ultra talented.
 

Aussie_coach

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I don't see how she can do level 6 at the age of 6. She will need to go over the vault table on 125 cms, thats pretty hard for a 6 year old. The average age of level 6's in competitions is usually about 12 to 14.
 

sally

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she wasn't going to compete they wanted her to train for a year in 6 then change her over to idp in a year. but you are right, there was no way my dd could get over the vault table she wouldn't be able to as a level 4 she is way to short. That was the other thing, those girls were way too old for my dd and she felt it.
 
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