Training with Other Programs
This post is in answer to Julie Pickering’s comment below:
I am a gym owner not a coach. How do you get parents of low level gymnast, say level 4 and 5, that tumbling is a progression? I have a gymnast whos mom takes her to a cheer facility to progress her tumbling. It aggravates me and the coaches. Also in the town we live in most people want to do tumbling at the cheer gym because they are quick to teach a bhs etc. How do you get parents to understand this besides saying it is a safety factor. It really hurts my tumbling classes.
The best way for me to answer this, I think, is to simply tell you what we do and why, and hope that helps you with your situation.
In our gym, the team kids and their parents are told and given literature from the very beginning, that they are not to train or even perform gymnastics outside of our supervision without first gaining our permission. This includes summer camps, talent shows, and sports performance enhancement specialists. We inform them of this through the rules that we give out at our annual parent meeting. The parents are told that failure to follow these rules could result in dismissal from our team program.
The explanation that we give to parents has a few points to it:
- All coaches teach a little differently, and this can be confusing to your child. It is not necessarily about what is wrong or right in terms of this coaching, but more about keeping things simple for the athlete. To insure that your child has the best possible chance to succeed, it is better to have information coming to her in a consistent manner.
- There are, unfortunately, coaches in our sport who take shortcuts, and while this may be appealing in the short-term, it is detrimental to the athlete’s career in the sport. We have a very specific, proven approach to helping children reach their goals in this sport through a patient, progressive system of coaching. While this system may be slower than some, it is, in our experienced opinions, better for the long-term career of the athlete. We have often used the explanation that we don’t want the gymnast to hit a “wall” with her skills, because the foundation was not built the way it should have been. If the basics are learned correctly and the proper progressions are followed, then learning a double back someday can be just as easy as it was for the athlete to learn her cartwheel. If this approach is not followed, it is our opinion that the athlete may hit this “wall” earlier than they might have and could find herself stagnating in her skill acquirement. This can be a very frustrating thing for the athlete, and something that we work hard to help her avoid.
- The parents need to make a decision about who they trust to train their child in the sport, and then, by example, teach their child to trust those coaches. Taking their child to another gym to learn a skill is, in effect, telling their child that they do not completely trust the methodology of the staff that they have chosen. This is one of the worst things that can happen in the development of the athlete.
Unfortunately, many times, this situation can be the determining factor in whether a child stays with our program or not. We believe in our system enough that we know that it is what is best for the athlete who really wants to be successful in the sport. We also know that our program is not for every child, and that this is why there are many programs in our community. We never hold hard feelings toward any parent or especially the athlete if they decide that they would rather be a part of another program. This is why we stick to our standards so strictly. It is what makes our program what it is.
I hope this helps you, Julie, and anyone else who might be going through something similar. As I have said before, these are just my opinions. It is what works for us. I am still interested in hearing other’s opinions on this and any subject. Thanks all. And thank you very much, Julie, for the question.