Very little. When stretching, they get to talk a bit with whomever is near them. On vault, they're usually in line near the coach at the vault table so that they can hear the coach's comments and don't goof around. They move down to the end of the runway just before their turn. There are enough beams so that everyone's either busy or catching their breath between turns. On bars, some can spend a wee too much time around the chalk bucket [no offense to our hosts here] but there are enough bars, coaches, drills, that if they're not working hard, it's of their own choosing. And on floor, if they're not doing a routine, they're tumbling. Usually 3 girls on the floor at any given moment: One doing a routine, and one tumbling on a diagonal, and one along a side of the floor into a resi. They know each other's routines well enough to avoid crashing into the one doing the routine, as she has the right-of-way. Add in the tumble-trak and the rod floor, and there's not a lot of standing around.
That said, we used to be in a gym that suffered from this problem. I recall the time 3 girls spent over 30 min on vault and did three vaults each. Rest of the time was sitting and talking. Fun, huh? Just what you're paying for. Talked to another parent yesterday who had a similar experience at a different gym. They also moved on and are happier for it.
The girls still have plenty of time to stay friends. It's not a rigid or military atmosphere, just well-organized and thought out. New girls seem to adapt to the flow fairly easily, because it's logical and the coaches make it clear what they should be doing and when. Of course, that doesn't stop us (parents) from complaining that they should be doing less of this and more of that, right?!
When I first started working with my girls all they wanted to do was chat away with each other. Now they've come to understand that they're here to practice and not socialize as much. They generally talk during stretch a little, and in between turns on vault. I usually keep my girls busy so that they don't have any time to think about talking. I don't mind some talking, as long as they're focused and ready when it's their turn.
our gym they have stations! so they are always working on somthing!
Vault is the only time they stand around a bit more but this Session there are only 4 kids with there group so it isnt as bad!! they do try to split the groups up so they are smaller!!
Our gym also does stations. They also do stations during vaults so there is not a ton of standing around time. I also agree about the chalk. My daughter not only chats over there, but she comes back covered in chalk.
Getting chalk on at any gym is a social event!!! And there is always one gymnast who has the most chalk on them. At our gym we work stations a lot, and as a coach if it seems to be a tough practice for the girls to work without their mouths moving we condition more, some girls have caught onto this. Its amazing that if tire them out enough it gets harder to talk. Even though we are a recreational I expect our Demonstration Team to practice as they would in a competitive gym.
A few years ago we had a major problem with the girls talking too much during warm-up and our 1st event, and we had a meeting with the parents and girls and said that if they wanted to catch up with their friends to come in early and do it in the waiting room. Many of them still do it now and the parents don't mind because they are not paying for that time- and they know once they are on the floor its time to work.
LOL about the chalk! When my daughter was in developmental, the coach would actually have a "chalk station" during bars. My daughter's preteam does do some waiting in line, mostly on vault and floor. On beam, they are all on the beam doing the same thing at the same time and on bars they are on stations until told to switch. Nobody is waiting around during strength sessions either. On floor and vault, there are circuits but the kids tend to bunch up at the station where the coach is helping them. I notice less of this in the Level 4 and 5 practices, in part because the groups are smaller and in part because the girls are more mature and focused.
our pre-team coaches utilize every minute of 2 hours to do something, but the girls still manage to visit w/each other somehow because my dd always comes out of class w/ a lot of gossip - lol. & she would be the one w/the most chalk on her after class
One thing our coaches had to work on, was the time it took for the girls to get grips on and chalked up for the 1st couple of weeks that they had them. They were relaxed for the 1st couple of practices while the girls got them and then made sure they were on right. Of course, then there is figuring out how MUCH chalk to put on them(1/2 of which ended up on the leos). Now, they're just told to "grip up" and given about 3-4 minutes to be ready to do bars.
It was funny to watch them the 1st night with the grips---chalk flying everywhere, redoing the wrist straps etc. The coach just threw up his hands and sat down looking rather amused. Heck it was the last 15 min of practice anyway.