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JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
306
And now the unpopular part...

Fully certified coaches with the associates degree should be paid well... $30+ per hour with health and retirement benefits. They should be able to create a team that will afford this based on the education they have received.
The topic of coach salary came up while I was sitting around at the last practice. The issue that precipitated it was the imposition of a coaching fee for meets. The total raised by the fee across all team gymnasts amounted to slightly above $1000 per traveling coach.

I was pretty surprised to see how many people thought that was unreasonable compensation for a weekend of traveling for work. You figure $150 x 2 nights for a hotel, maybe $60 x 2 for food, then whatever travel expenses. That leaves basically poverty level per-hour pay.

I view high level coaches, e.g., ones who are capable of guiding a reasonably talented, dedicated, and never injured kid from pre-team to level 8/9/10 with decent regularity as akin to university lecturer. Both people typically have some real world knowledge of what they're teaching, and specialized knowledge around how to effectively train others in their discipline. Such coaches shouldn't be making less than $75,000 a year with benefits, assuming they work something approaching full time. A head coach with management responsibilities, or someone with proven repeated ability to produce elites, should make more.
 

LCsMom

Proud Parent
Oct 27, 2020
27
48
Just saying, some of my "unpopular" opinions appear to be popular on this forum!

We've used privates to hone certain skills before major meets. Usually, though, the "private" is a bunch of friends with a similar goal. Less money and more time with coach...good deal!
 

Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
507
40
My daughter has been doing two privates a week for the past four years. Think it’s a scam or an unfair advantage it is what it is.
 

josie55

Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2015
352
@Ty’s Dad ’s thank you for sharing that. I appreciate your candor. My unpopular opinion is that when people insist that high level gymnastics goals (say, D1 college) can be achieved with 15-18 hours/week, frequent vacations, no privates, etc. it can feel confusing to those of us whose kids perhaps have less natural ability and probably really do need more training to get there. (To be clear, by no way am I implying that Ty’s Dad’s dd has less natural ability - but mine perhaps does.)
 
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Janneke

Proud Parent
Feb 12, 2022
45
My (potentially) unpopular opinion: skipping a level is overrated...

My gymnast did two levels in one season. This was unplanned, they were moved up to do the next level after two meets for the remainder of the season which by then has only 6 weeks left in it. It felt hurried, my gymnast only had two weeks to prepare for the new level and while they scored high enough to qualify for the next level after that, they never felt well-prepared and definitely didn't enjoy it as much as the earlier level. There was also some unpleasant gossip from the parents of the higher level group. The ones I personally overheard talking are crazy gym mums, who were probably annoyed their precious darlings did not get to skip a level, so not terribly surprised, but still not nice to hear. I may have gotten a teeny bit of pleasure out of the fact that my gymnast with their two weeks prep outscored their ones with a full year prep, I shall not lie about that :). They are now starting to prepare for the next season and my gymnast is definitely enjoying the challenges of the new level, so all is well in my gymnast's opinion. While I understand the reasoning behind the move up and while inititally it made sense and I totally supported it, I now cannot help but wonder if it was worth it. I do not think I will be as keen next time around
 
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Summer01

New Member
Aug 7, 2022
25
My (potentially) unpopular opinion: skipping a level is overrated...

My gymnast did two levels in one season. This was unplanned, they were moved up to do the next level after two meets for the remainder of the season which by then has only 6 weeks left in it. It felt hurried, my gymnast only had two weeks to prepare for the new level and while they scored high enough to qualify for the next level after that, they never felt well-prepared and definitely didn't enjoy it as much as the earlier level. There was also some unpleasant gossip from the parents of the higher level group. The ones I personally overheard talking are crazy gym mums, who were probably annoyed their precious darlings did not get to skip a level, so not terribly surprised, but still not nice to hear. I may have gotten a teeny bit of pleasure out of the fact that my gymnast with their two weeks prep outscored their ones with a full year prep, I shall not lie about that :). They are now starting to prepare for the next season and my gymnast is definitely enjoying the challenges of the new level, so all is well in my gymnast's opinion. While I understand the reasoning behind the move up and while inititally it made sense and I totally supported it, I now cannot help but wonder if it was worth it. I do not think I will be as keen next time around
I am in a similar position with my daughter. She is going to score out of 7 and do 8 this season. She has the 7 and 8 skills solidly and also is making good progress picking up some 9 skills. I am concerned about potential whispering and gossip from some of the moms. I get along with many of the moms and at this point count many of them friends but I worry that this will make things difficult. The gym does not typically do this but it sounds like they challenged my daughter to get her skills and see where it took her. This is a gym that competes a year of every level 3, 4,5, 6, 7 etc and so she is in her 5th year competing. I understand that many other gyms skip 3, and test out of 5 then go to 7. I have been agonizing over this as she wants to do 8 and is very motivated but I worry about the social stuff (with the moms and the girls). Also at our gym very commonly girls will do more than one year of 8 and 9 so she may end up doing 8 again next season anyway and then won't have had the experience of a stellar 7 season.
 

CuriousCate

Proud Parent
Jul 12, 2016
674
-Many/most gym parents are really no crazier than parents of kids in other sports. I always assumed that as a whole, gym-moms in particular were simply just more bananas (including myself here) than parents of kids in other sports. But now that one of my kids has quit gym and is knee-deep in two other very different sports, I'm realizing that once a kid moves above the once a week rec level participation, the level of crazy is super high regardless of the sport. I was shocked to find that this was the case in both the team and individual sports she has chosen, and that the team sport parents actually seems crazier than gym parents (like whispering about why other kids get more playing time, that another kid screwed up their kid's performance, the ref sucks, the line judge sucks, the coach sucks etc etc)

-Kids who are consistently mean or unsportsmanlike to teammates, rude and disrespectful to coaches, cheat on workouts, have overall bad attitudes, cry everyday at practice, etc should be removed from the team after a designated but small number of warnings.

-If a kid asks to modify a workout or a coach feels the need to have the kid modify, the coach is responsible for communicating this to the parent. As a follow up to this point, the coach should not try an offer a possible diagnosis for the child or suggest that the child might be faking it. If asked, the reply should always be "if it continues to bother her, she should see a medical professional."
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
306
You're probably right here, but I have noticed that there are definitely some kids who year after year act the same jerky way and have the same "meetings to discuss" with coaches and parents and yet still get to stay on the team. It has always amazed me.
The crying at practice thing gets to me almost as much as the rudeness to team mates. If you can't do your conditioning without crying, there's a perfect spot for you in the gym -- a rec class.
 
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WV Gym Mom

Proud Parent
Mar 7, 2022
67
48
I have an unpopular opinion - most Brand ambassadorships/rep programs are a scam…using a child as basically free advertising for little or no compensation, or a small discount. (And I said MOST…we have one girl on our team who actually models for specific brands and they fly her to photo shoots, gets compensation, etc)
 

Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,500
Baltimore, MD
I find this to be a really interesting point. I often wonder about my daughter's gymnastics journey and if it's still "worth it". She never really got the chance to do compulsory levels because of Covid and did two competitions last year as a L6. She's a good gymnast, like most at that level. However, she's exceptional in school and I often wonder if she should focus on something else, but she loves gym so much and I wouldn't want to take that away from her. I also don't want her to miss opportunities at other things in life because she got hurt or simply didn't have the time to try them when she was younger. I see many gymnasts getting hurt after getting into optional levels and that scares me. She is 11 btw.

To expand on why I said optionals aren't worth it for most kids:

The most important benefits you get from gymnastics are all things you get long before optionals. Practice handling success and failure, persistence, goal setting, practice handling high-pressure situations, great fitness and body control, etc. By the time you reach L7, you've already gotten all this; nothing new you learn from there on out has any relevance whatsoever to adult life.

.... but it is a hell of a lot of fun.

EDIT: one more unpopular opinion.
Speaking as somebody who has recently started an electrical apprenticeship with the IBEW: a coaches' union could do wonders for the entire industry. Coaches are often young, passionate, and have little to no employment experience; this makes them extremely prone to being exploited as workers. A coaches union could set standards for coaching hours, conditions, pay, and benefits. It could also help with coaches education by way of classes and apprenticeships. It could provide many many more benefits as well.
 
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JBS

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 3, 2005
7,300
Wisconsin
Speaking as somebody who has recently started an electrical apprenticeship with the IBEW:

Nice... just rewired my entire house! Took out all the 50+ year old wires and the hacked up DIY stuff... 100% up to code now. At least it will be when the full remodel is done... can't swap all the old breakers out for the new AF/GF breakers yet... still need to use power tools and the AF/GF's pop right away.

Sorry for the totally off topic post there.
 

Livelovegymnastics

Gymnast
Fan
Mar 20, 2022
56
The crying at practice thing gets to me almost as much as the rudeness to team mates. If you can't do your conditioning without crying, there's a perfect spot for you in the gym -- a rec class.
Just out of pure curiosity, would you feel the same way if a girl was crying because a coach or teammate was being mean to them? What about if they are crying because they are scared to go for a skill? What if they are crying because they fell at a meet? Etc. These are questions for everyone, as I am just wondering how someone crying/being sad affects other people in gymnastics and if you guys feel differently based on context.
 

JPC13

Proud Parent
Mar 25, 2022
306
Just out of pure curiosity, would you feel the same way if a girl was crying because a coach or teammate was being mean to them? What about if they are crying because they are scared to go for a skill? What if they are crying because they fell at a meet? Etc. These are questions for everyone, as I am just wondering how someone crying/being sad affects other people in gymnastics and if you guys feel differently based on context.
Context matters for sure. I think crying because conditioning is hard is much different than crying because you ripped your toenail off and it's bleeding everywhere.

I do have a big problem with people crying because they can't get a skill -- more often than not it derails practice because the coaches effectively stop coaching the team in order to coddle the crier, to the detriment of the kids who just want to continue working. Thankfully the criers seem to be getting pushed to the side more, as my daughter goes up levels.
 
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Ty’s Dad

Proud Parent
Aug 3, 2017
507
40
Context matters for sure. I think crying because conditioning is hard is much different than crying because you ripped your toenail off and it's bleeding everywhere.

I do have a big problem with people crying because they can't get a skill -- more often than not it derails practice because the coaches effectively stop coaching the team in order to coddle the crier, to the detriment of the kids who just want to continue working. Thankfully the criers seem to be getting pushed to the side more, as my daughter goes up levels.
What level is your daughter?
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,974
Women should get to wear gymnastics outfits like the men. Leos are also a sexist holdout. And don't get me started on the high cut NCAA leos. If athletes want to wear them, that's fine. But the women usually seem to be adjusting all the time between events and they just don't look like they really are all that comfortable or practical.
The college gymnasts LIKE wearing their leotards high and exposing as much booty as they can get away with. If you don't believe me, just ask them. They pull them up and then roll them under. I have sat very close and watched them do it right in front of me.
Club gymnasts, for the most part, LIKE wearing leotards that are feminine and sparkly, and not with shorts or leggings. I have been around hundreds of gymnasts for years, and I would say 98% of them like the leotards as they are. And for practice, the more strappy, the more cut outs, the higher the leg, the better in their opinion (not mine). If parents really feel strongly about the leotards, then they need to stop buying the revealing ones and stop letting their girls wear them high, strappy-backed, and cut out.
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Jan 21, 2007
4,500
Baltimore, MD
The college gymnasts LIKE wearing their leotards high and exposing as much booty as they can get away with. If you don't believe me, just ask them. They pull them up and then roll them under. I have sat very close and watched them do it right in front of me.
Club gymnasts, for the most part, LIKE wearing leotards that are feminine and sparkly, and not with shorts or leggings. I have been around hundreds of gymnasts for years, and I would say 98% of them like the leotards as they are. And for practice, the more strappy, the more cut outs, the higher the leg, the better in their opinion (not mine). If parents really feel strongly about the leotards, then they need to stop buying the revealing ones and stop letting their girls wear them high, strappy-backed, and cut out.
Ok, but that should be a matter of choice, not of rules or expected norms.
 

3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,974
Beauty sports are archaic and gymnastics needs to get away from that. There’s no reason to force little girls to wear expensive, uncomfortable, and bedazzled bathing suits for athletic activities. You don’t see baseball players playing in speedos. Why is gymnastics any different?
They LIKE them. If you try to take them away, the girls will be very unhappy. Leotard reveal day is huge at our gym, and the girls and their parents talk about it and speculate all summer as to what they will look like. Out of the hundreds of team gymnasts I've dealt with over the years, I can only think of 2 who wanted to wear shorts with theirs.
Also, I have to disagree with your uniform statement. Have you seen women's running outfits? or beach volleyball? Its scandalous, and the men's versions are not. At least leotards cover most everything except legs.
 
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3rd_time_around

Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,974
I have a couple unpopular opinions....
1. I think every gymnast should be required to do more than 1 meet at levels 4 and 5 before moving on to optionals. Yes, they might have all the skills, and yes (more often) they can throw those skills, but I have seen so many gymnasts who scored out of 4 and 5 in the same weekend or within a few months of each other who then crash and burn in optionals. They end up repeating or mentally blocked or quitting or getting injured. There's a reason compulsories is designed the way it is; each level builds on the level before it, adding increased difficulty to the routines and skills themselves, building up the gymnast's strength, endurance, understanding, and muscle memory. (Like the back extension roll on floor is the same movement as the free hip on bars.)

2. I think leotards are great, but lately the trend is to have open backs with straps and cut outs and high cut hips. I don't like watching practice and seeing so much booty, its not appropriate. So my unpopular opinion is that practice leos should have guidelines the same as competition leotards. (remember, this is my opinion)

3. I think girls that have qualified Elite ( and haven't competed in a classic or championship yet) or are former elites should compete in an Open level so that it levels the playing field for everyone else. It's hard to compete against gymnasts that train(ed) 25-30 hours when you only train 16-20 hours or less. Its not quite fair.

4. my last one (for now, lol) is that young gymnasts (under the age of say, 12) should be limited in how many levels they can skip/score out of to avoid over-training, injury, burnout, and inflated egos! (in other words, the path to level 10 or elite should require a minimum number of years competing in club so that their is no pushing or rushing with excessive training hours, and so that they are also emotionally, mentally, and physically ready for the demands that will come with the high-level training and high pressure meets).

(ETA: I don't think Instagymmies should be repping or ambassadors for more than one leotard brand at a time.) Thanks for this fun thread!
 

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