Useless REC coaches... Who has them?

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

ChalkBucket may earn a commission through product links on the site.
Mommyof1, Sarah'smom and Pickle'smom let me say that i love where you are coming from and when i have kids i am sure I will want them to be given proper consideration for the competitive stream or at least given a "real class".

That said i will now defend the idea of the rec vs competitive pathway. I take an active role in testing and selecting kids who we invite into our competitive program. The reason for this is because i work with a lot of the rec groups as well as working with the competitive groups at our gym. I look for kids who are naturally strong, flexible (less important to me) and above all show good work ethic and ability to pay attention and make corrections. Usually it is blatantly obvious when watching a group for 5 minutes who would thrive in the competitive program and who would not. We also run testing periodically and if your gym doesn't do this than you should request it.

As for why there needs to be two streams: I find that i simply don't have time to teach skills in a rec group and also give them the proper conditioning they need to be successful, especially since they usually only come once a week. With a competitive group i have time to work on conditioning them for skills and because of this they will eventually end up rocketing ahead of a rec group who hasn't been prepared in the same way.

When i am coaching either group i focus on making the class as fun as i can while also teaching as many skills as i can. This doesn't change no matter who i am coaching and i hope most rec coaches are trying to give kids "real gymnastics".

I think the two pathway system is absolutely necessary and very good for coaches and gymnasts but i get that there are also problems with kids being given the same opportunities. If you are very keen for your child to get into the competitive classes see if you can sign them up for more classes a week.
 
I'm not saying that the rec class needs to turn into major conditioning, etc.

Honestly this is where the problem lies. There is no way to have a rec kid properly prepared without a good amount of conditioning. I too coach both the recreational and competitive "tracks." My competitive tracks kids spend 2x to 3x MORE of their practice on conditioning then their peers in a recreational class. Many times I can't even get my recreational classes to do 5 push-ups without any complaints. I think Patty also explained this concept very well.
 
Honestly this is where the problem lies. There is no way to have a rec kid properly prepared without a good amount of conditioning. I too coach both the recreational and competitive "tracks." My competitive tracks kids spend 2x to 3x MORE of their practice on conditioning then their peers in a recreational class. Many times I can't even get my recreational classes to do 5 push-ups without any complaints. I think Patty also explained this concept very well.
DD did a lot of conditioning during her rec classes, which were at a primarily rec gym that only had a small competitive team. There were games and contests around all of it, and some of it was a motivator to pay attention. I remember once my parents taking her to class because we were out of town and they called me to ask why I paid for her to do push ups for 45 minutes while the other kids did gymnastics (she didn't pay attention well at the time). I also recall DD asking me how the other girl always beat her in the pull up competition and the "tricks" I taught her to win if she wanted to win*.

* "Tricks" meaning, if you go last - do one more than the other girl did; if you go first, do so many pull ups that she couldn't possibly do that many. At 5/6 years old, she didn't seem to put it together that she just had to ensure she did more if she wanted to win and get the extra hand stamp or sticker.
 
Honestly this is where the problem lies. There is no way to have a rec kid properly prepared without a good amount of conditioning. I too coach both the recreational and competitive "tracks." My competitive tracks kids spend 2x to 3x MORE of their practice on conditioning then their peers in a recreational class. Many times I can't even get my recreational classes to do 5 push-ups without any complaints. I think Patty also explained this concept very well.

how about that? isn't that something?? you have the rec/instructional kids doing what they should REALLY be doing and the parents do nothing but complain. you can't even gently push them down in splits to get 1/256th of an inch further for God's sake lest sally "cries". poor sally, cry me a river. no offense to anyone named sally...:)
 
how about that? isn't that something?? you have the rec/instructional kids doing what they should REALLY be doing and the parents do nothing but complain. you can't even gently push them down in splits for God's sake. poor sally, cry me a river. no offense to anyone named sally...:)

But I WANT my daughter to do conditioning in her rec class so she can improve and hopefully get out of the rec stream. I would not complain to see a lot of time spent on conditioning. I would be thrilled! Judging by a few of the messages in this thread, I am not the only rec parent who feels this way.
 
this is when you must go to the instructor or owner and let them know that it is 'okay' to reasonably and soundly push your child. and that they'll get no blowback from you. you tell them that you know that the kids must be strong and flexible and that you know that sometimes that kind of work can cause pain which won't leave long lasting emotional scars or physical injuries and that this kind of purposeful work is necessary for injury prevention. that's what you tell them. then watch to see what some of my colleagues know how to do when they don't have to worry about someone quitting and affecting their paychecks or the gym's bottom line, and especially someone talented and aggressive, when they have so many sallys' parents complaining about that 1/256th of an inch.:)

i actually had a parent question me yesterday as to the "efficacy" (yes, they used that word) of stretching in a straight line on the tape lines on the floor. she proceeded to tell me that it really caused sally "unbearable pain" as it "hurt much less" when "she could bend her legs just a bit" and let her hips/crotch open up just a bit (out of alignment). she didn't know "how much longer sally could take it" cause she's "expressing that she may quit".

you just can't make this stuff up.:)
 
Honestly this is where the problem lies. There is no way to have a rec kid properly prepared without a good amount of conditioning. I too coach both the recreational and competitive "tracks." My competitive tracks kids spend 2x to 3x MORE of their practice on conditioning then their peers in a recreational class. Many times I can't even get my recreational classes to do 5 push-ups without any complaints. I think Patty also explained this concept very well.

This reminds me of when dd was on pre-team and they were doing a lot of conditioning but not much in the way of new skills. On the ride home, she would complain that some of the rec girls were working bhs and that they were going to get 'better' the girls on pre-team. I had to remind her that she was in it for the long haul and that this extra conditioning and paying closer attn to form would benefit her in the future. That the rec girls were there to have fun and learn a few skills but that they likely wouldn't be in gymnastics in a couple years. And that, while some may eventually do a bhs and a connected series, most would never get to that level and were just enjoying flipping with the coach's help. She accepted the answer, though I don't think she liked it much. It wasn't until she actually learned her bhs that she began to understand the reason for all the drills and conditioning and how it helped her achieve the skill. She was also able to look at some of those rec girls and see that they really hadn't progressed nearly as far as dd had, even though they were working on skills before her.
 
i actually had a parent question me yesterday as to the "efficacy" (yes, they used that word) of stretching in a straight line on the tape lines on the floor. she proceeded to tell me that it really caused sally "unbearable pain" as it "hurt much less" when "she could bend her legs just a bit" and let her hips/crotch open up just a bit (out of alignment). she didn't know "how much longer sally could take it" cause she's "expressing that she may quit".

you just can't make this stuff up.:)

I had a parent complain that his 5 year old, development squad daughter, thought gymnastics was more like "torture" than fun (do many 5 year olds actually know that word?) because we stretched her in box splits - at that age we only stretch them VERY gently and stop as soon as they say it is too painful! She left shortly after. :rolleyes:

Anyway, sorry, back on track...

We have a reward system for our recreational gymnasts over here, run by British Gymnastics. There are 8 levels of 'core proficiency' which include some form of pulse raising activity, strength, flexibility, co-ordination and basic skill at each level. 8 is the easiest and 1 is the most difficult. There are then 7 activities of advanced proficiency at bronze, silver and gold level - floor, vault, apparatus (bar and beam), hand apparatus (rhythmic) dance and aerobics, pairs and groups (acro). There is also one for fitness which is all about strength, power, co-ordination and flexibility. At each level the gymnasts get a badge and certificate.

These levels really give the gymnasts a goal to work towards and the level of difficulty is stepped up very gradually so it doesn't take too long to achieve each badge. By the time they get to gold level they are doing bhs, fhs etc and are ready to perhaps move into the competitive stream if they wish to.
 
Just want to clarify my post a bit.

1) I was not intending to complain that about there being two separate tracks. I get that. I was just commenting that I think the rec kids should not be left in the dust and be given only a fun class that is not geared towards any kind of progress. Maybe some of you haven't seen that kind of class, but I've seen a few here and there and they've been annoying to me and boring/unchallenging to my daughter.

2) Also, I was not saying that the rec class should not have conditioning. I was just trying to say that I understand how some parents do not want the rec class to turn into a army type drill class. But some conditioning is necessary for kids to progress. And some kids want to progress into developmental, so they too need some conditioning.

Further - just because some of us had said here that we think the rec classes should be challenging does not (IMHO) mean that the message here is that rec classes are useless, and that gyms aren't dong a good job. Its just a comment that there might be some situations where there is less care being put into developing the rec kids, whether it's gym philosphy in general or one or two instructors. I applaud the original poster who wants to challenge the rec kids more.
 
Further - just because some of us had said here that we think the rec classes should be challenging does not (IMHO) mean that the message here is that rec classes are useless, and that gyms aren't dong a good job. Its just a comment that there might be some situations where there is less care being put into developing the rec kids, whether it's gym philosphy in general or one or two instructors. I applaud the original poster who wants to challenge the rec kids more.

I definitely agree that sometimes less attention may be given to developing the rec kids. At my gym our boys program is only 6 or 7 years old so while our competitive stream is doing well we have had trouble creating a recreational stream which has a pathway for older kids. This isn't because we don't care about the rec kids but rather we don't always have coaches with the skills to properly condition kids and progress them through skills given the relatively small time they have in the gym. The rec program is important for our gym because it's our talent pool for our competitive gymnasts and at my gym we charge relatively little so our competitive program needs to be subsidized by our rec and school programs. Also if the kids are going to put in the effort they should get a lot out of the sport no matter what program they are in.
 

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News

Such a cool transition! 🤩

2024 Gymnastics For All GymFest

Back