Would like a coaches perspective

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Jun 11, 2008
Region 1
This was already posted in the parent forum but I would appreciate a coaches perspective or maybe even gym owners. This situation has been very odd and unexpected. It happened Monday 1/12:

Something horrible has happened for our gym. We went to (level 4) practice today and the gym was practically empty. The owner apologized that we obviously didn't get the "email" he sent to everyone about the *situation*. The ENTIRE team coaching staff quit and practice is put on hold until further notice but possibly Friday he hopes to have a team of new coaches and a new plan for the gym.

I do not know the details about what this is about but had something to do with a power struggle between the owner and head coach possibly about coaching style and $$. The head coach I think was fired and the rest of the coaches resigned with her. My gymmie is devastated and can't stop crying. The head coach was an awesome woman and coach and we had a very successful year with 20 state champion titles.

We don't know how something this big could get this far and now we are unsure on what our next move is. PLEASE help me decide on what to do.

Option 1: We wait a week to see if the owner can put together a new coaching staff (hoping it would be of similar level) and stick with the current gym. My gut feeling is what if we stick it out only to have it all go under (financially, I think) in 6 months. I don't know if I trust the owner becasue we have no insight to what the fight was about and if he was justified. Because ALL the coaches left, it makes me think it was him who might have the issues and trust would be broken for us.

Option 2: There is another gym in the area but they are not at the same level of competition. Meaning, they are a great rec gym, great price, but they do not produce champions or have the potential to turn out college and elite. However, they told me that they only have 2 spots for level four and some of the other families had already inquired. If we want the spot we can have it but need to decide tomorrow (Wednesday). DD is a "fast track" gymnast meaning that the old gym was pushing her to the top. Would this gym be a huge set back? Perhaps better than nothing?

Option 3 is not possible for us due to the size of our family. Some of the parents decided to wait the week and see. If it does not work out, they will make the drive to the next compatible gym (1 1/2 hours for one way). They would carpool but I can't becasue I have 5 young children and no room for other passengers. These are the few other girls that are gifted gymnasts and they advised that I do not put my daughter in option #2 because it would not meet her level of needs.

ACK, what are we to do? What would you do?
As a coach, if I'm being 100% honest with myself and you I'm inclined to think something happened that drove the coaches to it. NOT knowing the details of course, I very well could be wrong. The whole group leaving rather than just one is something I've never seen, and is highly suspect. From my shoes, I can't think of anything minor that would drive me to up and leaving. We put so much time into 'our girls' that it just doesn't seem conceivable to walk out. Now for the obligatory yet still true disclaimer: I have never met a gym owner I didn't like or had serious issues with, I know they are typically fabulous people who strive for the best programs possible.

I have seen a few instances where HC walked out over serious differences. One time the HC went to a nearby gym, the other time the HC started a new one with a parent. Both times though there were parents on the team that were 'in' on it (for lack of a better term). Is there a parent that you know who seemed especially close to the coach(es?). They would not be a waste of time to contact.
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Thank you for your insight. I have contacted some other parents that have spoken to the HC and the HC isn't giving away petty details but states it is something that can not be worked out and will never return. At least one of the other coaches says the same thing - they will never return (to that gym).

Unfortunately, it does not sound like they have another gym waiting in the wings for them as coaches. If they did, I suspect most of our families would follow them. This does not appear to be the case.

Also, if this helps, there was a huge cheer program that left the gym about 6-8 months ago. I do not know why.

My husband left a phone message for the owner to just ask him point blank, what is going on and what is the financial plan for the gym. My husband thinks the owner is sinking financially, which is why I am scared that in 6 months, there may be no gym left and then no competition season for fall.
I know many cheer teams that figure they can spin off and find their own warehouse space, get a floor and do it on their own and thus get more floor time and do it on their own terms. One team did not want to be part of the gym they were working out at and wanted to keep their unique name and entity. Some of the girls were weirded out by the owners as well.

There is quite a bit of money to be made in cheer, but the problem I generally wonder about is tumbling coaching and equipment to teach tumbling safely as well as to progress to teaching layout fulls, double fulls. A tumbl-trak will suffice but a trampoline and pit besides some octagons and cheeses work wonders.

I have known at gyms where the HC quits or is fired and their team staff follows them to another gym or they create one. It's kind of a mess at times when girls then go to other local gyms and very often they go back to their original coaches because they cannot cope with new coaches style of training or focus.

90 minutes of driving, ugh. Be prepared to kill 2-5 hours of time waiting there besides 90 more minutes home. This is hard even carpooling 1x a week or having to get your child food in their belly, sleep in their bed.

On another note, I remember when the HC and assistant left/were asked to leave and then were asked back and it flip flopped a few times but they never went back. New staff were found but I don't think any of the girls stayed.

Does your gym not have a Boosters/Parents club that deals with all the team issues?
I would wait it out. There is no rush to leave to another team until your own gym has settled. Give it a few weeks. Maybe the owner will figure things out. There are always 2 sides to every story and there could have been a million things that could have gone down on both sides.

A 1 &1/2 hour commute one way is not going to work long term, and you seem to realize that. I would stay put, be patient, and see how this all plays out. Perhaps the coach your daughter loves will end up somewhere local- clubs are always looking for good coaches- or perhaps the coaches will get together and open their own club?
Good luck!
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