Anon Navigating frustrating changes in Gymnastics path

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Anonymous (cb69)

I have 2 daughters in a small gym (USAG). The younger one just completed her L3 state while the older one, originally slated for L5, was moved to Plat due to the absence of other L5 gymnasts. We agreed to move to plat, communicating that she would like to return to L6/DP track the year after.

However, we recently received a letter informing us that L6 won't be considered for the next season. Instead, only plat girls who meet specific skill criteria (consistent kip handstand, giants, and a flight series on high bare beam) by summer can "try joining" optional practice group as L6. While my daughter has gained most of the required skills, she's lacking a series on the high beam. This was never a requirement to start training as L6 in the past. Even if she gains the last skill by summer, she won’t be getting enough attention as our small optional group is made of 13-15 girls with 1.5 coaches.

Adding to the frustration, the gym is reducing practice days from 4 to 3 days until June, yet tuition remains the same. She has 2 more meets (state and regional). The only way to add back hours would be pay for private. It’s just not possible to gain a new skill within the next one month or so with reduced hours.

When I inquired about the feasibility of my daughter reaching L6 by acquiring the last skill, I was informed she'd be placed in the Plat/Diamond/L5 group with one coach next year (13-15 girls max).

It's evident to me that the gym is directing more gymnasts towards the Xcel track, a change my daughter didn't request and is hoping to avoid. Please don’t get me wrong, I am aware of pros of the Xcel program and we have nothing against it. It’s just that it’s not what my daughter planned or requested. Unfortunately, the sibling restriction in the contract prevents us from exploring other gyms, despite feeling dissatisfied with the current situation. My new L4 daughter has no problem with the new group.

The lack of communication from the gym regarding these changes, coupled with the coach's unresponsiveness to my concerns, only adds to my frustration. It feels as though they're subtly shifting blame onto my daughter for not meeting L6 requirements while there was no training for it, when in reality, eliminating L6 is a business decision driven by a shortage of coaches.

While there are 2 alternative gyms within the 25 miles range, each presents its own cons, whether it's much longer hours and big pressure to win or 1 hour drive (school is our priority and I don’t like to pull them out early). Despite my desire to quit gymnastics altogether, my daughters' love for the sport keeps us tethered to this frustrating situation.

I've come to understand that the gym is a business and they like us to win the medals for reputation (both of them place well), not solely educational, but managing these changes while maintaining my daughters' passion for gymnastics is becoming a significant challenge to me as a parent. There’s nothing I can do to change what’s presented. In fact, I’m scared to be removed by the gym if they find out this thread is about their gym (admin - please delete if I request such later on).

So please - any fresh perspectives on this situation would be greatly appreciated as I seek peace of mind amidst the frustration!
 
I can see why you are frustrated. I don't see where you have any options though if you aren't able or willing to change gyms. Will you daughter be able to switch back to DP L6 after a year of Platinum? One upside of platinum is that she can have her own routine with music and skills tailored to her style and strengths.
 
I can see why you are frustrated. I don't see where you have any options though if you aren't able or willing to change gyms. Will you daughter be able to switch back to DP L6 after a year of Platinum? One upside of platinum is that she can have her own routine with music and skills tailored to her style and strengths.
Sorry for any confusion. She already completed Plat instead of L5 and acquired the skills needed for L6, just one skill short from the newly created 'required' skill list (this was probably created to weed out the incoming L6, as this was never the case for the past L6s). So, she already has her floor music and routine. The original plan was to train her in Plat the past year while preparing for L6 coming season. However, it turns out the gym doesn't have enough resources to cover the small number of L6 in the new season, and she is being sent to Diamond instead of L6 to group with other existing Diamond gymnasts. In our state, Xcel is treated as a second class, unfortunately (I know it's NOT in many other states which I am jealous of). And yes, there is no way out if we don't switch gyms. I believe this must have probably happened somewhere to somebody, and I'm just hoping to find a way to bring peace.
 
It sounds like you’re one year away from the gym not being a good fit for your younger daughter, either. You can have your older daughter “make do” this year, or you can make your younger daughter make a change out of her comfort zone. Personally I would err in favor of the older because she is farther along in her career. I don’t see a circumstance where your current gym is suddenly no longer understaffed.
 
I think there are enough potential issue for you with the gym that it may be worthwhile investigating other options for both children
-Larger practice groups
-Unresponsive coach
-Reducing days and not fees
-Communication
-Nothing wrong with directing the bulk of kids to Xcel if that is the direction the gym wants to go - but it sounds like that is not want your kids want or was communicated well
... wait is this one of those 'powers' gyms?

The undesirable level placement is more of a symptom of bigger issues that this gym is possibly not the right fit for your family.
 
We are sort of dealing with a similar situation. Our gym is a top gym in our state, wins basically everything (we moved to this gym last year, so just finishing our first year here, 3rd year competing). They've decided to eliminate compulsory in place of Xcel until level 7. I have no issue with this - my kiddo has done both level 5 and Gold and I would pick Gold any day. But now they've decided you can't move to level 7 until age 12 as they can't support the score out process because they don't have enough coaches. It affects exactly one kiddo currently - mine. So she's "stuck" doing platinum until she turns 12. We're going to stick it out because she LOVES the coaches and her team. But I am annoyed I have to keep paying/driving for at a year of no growth. All that to say - this sport can be a real pain sometimes. Good luck in whatever you decide!
 
We are sort of dealing with a similar situation. Our gym is a top gym in our state, wins basically everything (we moved to this gym last year, so just finishing our first year here, 3rd year competing). They've decided to eliminate compulsory in place of Xcel until level 7. I have no issue with this - my kiddo has done both level 5 and Gold and I would pick Gold any day. But now they've decided you can't move to level 7 until age 12 as they can't support the score out process because they don't have enough coaches. It affects exactly one kiddo currently - mine. So she's "stuck" doing platinum until she turns 12. We're going to stick it out because she LOVES the coaches and her team. But I am annoyed I have to keep paying/driving for at a year of no growth. All that to say - this sport can be a real pain sometimes. Good luck in whatever you decide!
I don’t want to hijack this thread, but isn’t this just a competition issue? She could uptrain like crazy next year and still compete platinum.
 
Seriously? Gyms have sibling restrictions?

I’m a gym owner and have never heard of anything like that. We have kids who train at our gym and have siblings at another. It works very well if you have have very different kids, with different goals and abilities as the kids don’t tend to end up in any type of competition with each other.

I don’t see how they can enforce that.
 
Seriously? Gyms have sibling restrictions?

I’m a gym owner and have never heard of anything like that. We have kids who train at our gym and have siblings at another. It works very well if you have have very different kids, with different goals and abilities as the kids don’t tend to end up in any type of competition with each other.

I don’t see how they can enforce that.
Yes. I believe it's not just our gym; I bet all the gyms around here have the same rule. I see 'sets' of sisters try out at our gym or move to other gyms at the beginning of the new season. They explained that it's because there's too much conflict between practice and meeting schedules to make it work. So we are stuck.
 
I can see why you are frustrated. I don't see where you have any options though if you aren't able or willing to change gyms. Will you daughter be able to switch back to DP L6 after a year of Platinum? One upside of platinum is that she can have her own routine with music and skills tailored to her style and strengths.

She was informed she'd be moving back to the DP/L6 track after last year, but they've just changed the plan and told us, "No L6 this coming year." If she isn't meeting the requirements and isn't deemed to have the potential to move up to L7 and beyond, that's fine. They should just communicate that to me instead. However, they say she has all the skills except for one. They claim they don't know what will happen next year, and the new season is about to start. So once again, it seems there's nothing we can do other than switch or quit.
 
I sounds like this gym is no longer aligned with your daughter’s goals. So, either she alters her goals or you change gyms. The gym doesn’t sound that great, so I’ll be you could do better elsewhere. I think it’s time for some investigation. Also, that sibling rule is a total boundary violation in my book. The gym has no right to control anything that an unenrolled gymnast does. That rule would be grounds for me to leave on its own.
 
I think you need to decide what's best for your family. This is a very stressful situation. It's ridiculous that 1 of your daughters can't switch which means eventually there will be some resentment. Even if you decide to wait a year to see what happens, it might get worse for both. You are fortunate that there's other gyms nearby. My advice as a gym owner/team coach/parent is to leave and find a place where all of you will be happy. Good luck!
 
Thank you all for your valuable insights. I'm contemplating taking a risk and speaking with the owner once all the meets, including regionals, have concluded. While some of my gym mom friends have suggested making a demand or considering leaving altogether, I find myself torn because my kids have developed strong bonds with their coaches and friends at the gym. At the same time, I feel compelled to explore other options. I'm encouraging my kids to attend tryouts at nearby gyms to gain a better understanding of what alternatives are available. I want them to feel committed and comfortable with whichever gym they choose, whether it's the current one or a new one. I've come to believe that my concerns are valid and not simply an overreaction. Some have commented that I may be too accommodating, potentially leaving room for others to take advantage of the situation.

If anyone has recommendations on how best to approach this conversation with the owner, I would greatly appreciate your input. My aim is to express my concerns respectfully and constructively while advocating for the well-being and best interests of my children. Thank you for your support and guidance!
 

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