For Parents What Is Your IDEAL Team Program?

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Em09

Gymnast
Fan
Oct 13, 2020
152
19
Australia
They have nicknames for one another that they shout out at meets.
I always love when gymnasts have nicknames!! On my team I am responsible for the nicknames, I like to make them relevant to personality or what they're good at for positivity, eg Tumbles, Splits, Points, etc, basic but positive. Sometimes the compulsory girls will get me to make a nickname for their teams, I love adding that positivity and bond with teams.
 
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Tmacs

Proud Parent
Feb 19, 2019
202
My dd is at a small gym that is in rebuilding mode. I love the small atmosphere where all the coaches know the kids and the head coach steps in and works with all levels when she can. My big musts are:
1) understanding and relatable coaches. I care about confidence building and positive coaching way more than winning.
2) team atmosphere: love the emphasis on team results as much if not more than individual. Parents have great relationships and support all gymnasts.... very few crazies.
3) good communication: the gym has improved a ton in this area and I feel the coaches are approachable.
4) good equipment: we have great training areas
5) location: super close to my house.

The one area I wish would improve is more uptraining during the season. However, I do trust the way the gym constantly drills basics as they know the value of not pushing kids too quickly and then producing mental blocks.
 

PeanutsMom

Proud Parent
Jun 14, 2019
188
YES! I love that my daughter's team is like this. Some girls are more competitive than others, but they're not *competing* against one another, if that makes sense. They spend most of their down time at practice and meets talking or being silly with each other, and they have nicknames for one another that they shout out at meets. I love to see it. Our gym strongly encourages a team atmosphere.
My daughter's current coach gave her the Nickname Noodles (she is really bendy) and her previous coach (for all of her compulsory years) called her Peanut because she was by far the smallest on the team. When she started Level 3 at age 7 she was barely 3 1/2 feet tall and weighed 37 pounds. She was the smallest until COVID closures and she grew 6 inches in 8 months. She is now 4/10 at 13 and almost 90 pounds (of muscle). However in her age group of kids, she is still one of the smallest. She has left Peanut behind and is now known as Noodles at her current gym. While it just used to be the coach her called her that, the other girls have picked up on it and she is regularly cheered on by "Go Noodles!" The best part of this (and she would kill me if she knew I told y'all this) is that the coach's 3 year old daughter also calls her Noodles, but can't say her "L" sounds. So when she sees my daughter across the gym she yells, "I see Noodies" and my daughter about dies of embarrassment every time.
 

PreciousJ

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Fan
Feb 16, 2021
446
USA
My daughter's current coach gave her the Nickname Noodles (she is really bendy) and her previous coach (for all of her compulsory years) called her Peanut because she was by far the smallest on the team. When she started Level 3 at age 7 she was barely 3 1/2 feet tall and weighed 37 pounds. She was the smallest until COVID closures and she grew 6 inches in 8 months. She is now 4/10 at 13 and almost 90 pounds (of muscle). However in her age group of kids, she is still one of the smallest. She has left Peanut behind and is now known as Noodles at her current gym. While it just used to be the coach her called her that, the other girls have picked up on it and she is regularly cheered on by "Go Noodles!" The best part of this (and she would kill me if she knew I told y'all this) is that the coach's 3 year old daughter also calls her Noodles, but can't say her "L" sounds. So when she sees my daughter across the gym she yells, "I see Noodies" and my daughter about dies of embarrassment every time.
Noodles is THE CUTEST! I love it!
 
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McKids8

Proud Parent
Dec 6, 2021
15
40
For me, I think that commute, communication, and uptraining are things that make the gym for me. Everything else is important as well, of course. But my daughter thrives on learning new skills, so she'd be bored at a gym that doesn't uptrain. And hours are less of an issue when the commute is short. Having good communication between the coaches, my daughter, and us is huge. Additionally, having a supportive atmosphere and athletes that are kind to one another in practice and at meets is big.
 
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Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
61
43
This thread has been such a fun read!!

For me, I wanted to see previous athletes, are they mostly happy and well adjusted adult humans?!?!? There will always be outliers, but mostly happy, healthy humans. Then I spoke with them, would they do it again?(it was easy for me as many former gymnasts were in college programs-then connected to other former athletes through social media) Would they put their kids/future kids in the same program?

However, I was also only looking at programs that had proven results. So there was a bit of difference there, it was far easier to evaluate. Btw-the results of my inquiries were shocking at several gyms. Like so shocking I cannot believe they're still in business-but I guess they produce olympians & world champions, so who cares what happens to the kids-parents will continue to send kids there(uggggh!! )

The cost, the commute, none of that really mattered much. I mean, I would gladly spend an extra $100-200-500/mo if it meant my kid was in a positive program. I think this is super relative as well, what one family finds costly, another family finds reasonable. I thought we were getting a bargain(truly), however now that I'm here, I think we pay a bit more than most-yet I still think it's a bargain(because to me, it is 100000% worth twice what we pay for the level of peace of mind that comes with my choice-plus its like camp level coaching-everyday).

My kid is also autistic, so her treatment became even more important. I cannot exactly ask her if they're treating her right, she doesn't understand or even notice so so much of the unspoken communication, so she wouldn't know how to answer-or the answer would always be that things were great! Even if they weren't. Yet, I also did not want someone holding her hand or telling her she did beautifully when she did not. You want that perfect balance of pushing and support. Understanding on rough days and not allowing the inmates to run the asylum on others. Tough coaching is not necessarily bad if it is done right!!

These folks will become your child's second family, they will spend more time with your child than you will. Soooo, who they are and what values they possess becomes even MORE important. Is the team atmosphere strong?? Do the girls support each other?!?! Successes AND failures?? How is the interaction between coach & athlete??(again, I was lucky here, plenty of YouTube footage to view)-when athletes succeed, are they hugging their coaches or recoiling away from their touch?? Body language says so so much!! So does crying athletes at competitions.

I watched interview footage of the gymnasts at/after major competitions. One piece still makes me laugh & ultimately the biggest reason we chose our gym. I just brought it up with the coaches a few weeks ago.

I see mention of equipment and large facilities. Well, my daughter left a HUGE gym and now is in a small, dinky gym....but the coaching matters so much more than the facility or equipment(in my opinion, anyway).

I wanted a gym that was capable of training elite, capable of taking her to the Olympics(connections and know how wise)-if that is where things led, but only if that is what she wanted-and coaches that supported her decisions in that regard(they mostly do, but i would be lying if i didnt acknowledge that its lucky her choice aligns with their desires for her...but i think that is only human to a point as theyre both former olympians & see something special in her). Ultimately I knew that this had to be the last gym change(if possible), as it was she stared at the ground for over a month anytime anyone spoke to her when she got there-now she is friends with everyone-it just took over a year-far far longer than most kids, change is especially hard when you are autistic!!, so I had to pick right...and the gym I chose had to be capable of whatever path she chose to take in life.

I will say that I was lackadaisical in getting her here, heck I wondered if she would fizzle once she arrived & believe that may have played a part in my dragging my feet-I think deep down I actually assumed she would-lol, bad mom!! Although she wanted an elite gym, so what is a mom to do, but find one!!(I didn't arrange it ahead of our move, even though it was a big part of our move-no clue if they would take her or if we would have to go to another gym for a bit when we arrived...made worse by 2yrs off...honestly, i wont lie, i really think covid helped us here), but it all worked out & everyone is happy were here and we wouldnt change gyms for anything these days!! :) I think it said it all when another nearby gym coach(good reputation, closer to home-but still not my pick)offered her a spot on his team at a discount(no fee privates, 2x/wk) after a recent competition, she looked at that coach & said "not if you paid me $1,000"...yup, she's happy & in the right place!! :)

P.S. after everything that went into our #1 pick, I find it hilarious when parents/gymnasts just end up at our gym with no knowledge of who/what it is....because it is truly a special place.
 

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