How to Choose the Right Gymnastics Club for Your Child

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How to Choose the Right Gymnastics Club for Your Child

How to Choose the Right Gymnastics Club for Your Child

Whether your child is a brand new aspiring gymnast looking for her first gym, or a seasoned athlete who is relocating, finding a gymnastics club that is a good fit for your child and for your family can be the difference between a lifelong passion for gymnastics and an unpleasant memory. Here are a few things to keep in mind while shopping for your gym home.

  • Ensure the gym you choose is a USAG or AAU member 

These organizations require that their members adhere to specific regulations to protect gymnasts and their families. Gymnastics clubs that are affiliated with USAG and AAU must background check all their employees and require that their employees take specific safety training. Additionally, member clubs for these organizations are required to hold liability insurance.

  • Make sure the gym is in a convenient location

Even if your child is signing up for recreational classes one day a week, be aware that this is a sport that can quickly evolve into a 3 to 5 day per week commitment and choosing a gym that is close to home often makes life a lot easier. That being said, some gyms are so good – they’re simply worth driving for!

  • Don't sign up without a gymnastics trial class

Most gymnastics clubs provide one trial class for new recreational gymnasts and up to a full week trial for team gymnasts. This is meant to ensure that the gym is a good fit for the athlete. If the club you’re considering doesn’t allow trials, consider looking for a new club. This is an expensive sport and knowing that you and your gymnast will be happy at a gym before signing up can save you a lot of time, money, and tears.

  • Observe class structure

All recreational classes should begin with a short warm-up period followed by stretching and then event training. The coaches should interact with the students during the entire session while either verbally or physically providing corrections to the students’ form and technique. Additionally, class ratios should not exceed 6 to 1 for preschool classes and 9 to 1 for school age classes. Team ratios should not exceed 12 to 1 at the very most. Just remember, smaller classes equal more attention for your child

  • Look for multiple class levels and logical progressions to reach each level

If you think you’ve found a gym that fits with your family, it is always a good idea to talk to your child’s coach and ask what the progression of levels is at that gym, what is required for your child to progress, and what their evaluation process entails. Some facilities may even give you copies of their progress or “move up” sheets so you can see the requirements before signing up.

In addition to these five qualities to consider when looking for a new gymnastics club, look for a facility where the coaches genuinely care about the athletes and are willing to take the time to talk to you about your child. If all these things line-up at the facility you’re considering, you just may have found your gym home!

More Post from Heather Traves

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