Also check out this thread on how to choose a gymnastics club, what to look for when you visit it, etc:
"How to choose a gymnastics club"
[QUOTE] How to choose a gymnastics club:
- how close is it to you - if you're more than 30 minutes away from a club, for example, that's time you could be doing homework and having more practice, or resting, eating, showering, etc...
-what the gym is next to - is it next to a factory or garbage dump or car repair place, etc. that could affect the air quality around your gym - you don't want to breathe in chemicals right before going for your double back dismount - it does happen because gyms look for warehouses usually because you need to have the roof up high
-surrounding area - is it safe, good location
-really important to have experienced coaches who know what they're doing!! do they have good spotting technique, do they know what they're doing, is there a positive environment in the gym
-do they have the latest equipment - bouncy spring floor, the new vault table, is the equipment in shape or are the bars crooked (they're supposed to be uneven, but parallel uneven!) or loose, do they have good 8-inch mats- if the mats are too empty, they are not good for landing and can hurt your back/knees, etc., do they have sting mats, small mats for learning skills like for placing them on the beam or on the bars for release moves, panel mats, do they have a PIT!!! Pits are very good for learning new skills, along with coaches's instruction/spot - Pit for all events = the best! do they have a tumble trak, trampoline, softer tumbling surface, like a tumbling strip
-is it clean, or are there bandaids and blood spots everywhere, do they wash any blood spots right away
-do they heat and cool the gym when necessary, turn on the lights, or would they rather you practice in a cave and save some money
-the gym management is very important, are they in this business for the business, or for the love of the sport
-do they allow parents to watch - if not, red alert
Talk to the gymnasts in the club and the parents, ask them what do they think. Watch some practices before you introduce yourself as visiting the club for attending - you don't want them watching what they say or what they're doing because they know someone is watching. Watch how the coaches/owners treat the gymnasts.
Check what programs the club offers - do they do just recreational or also competitive JO program. The Gym Chat listings & ratings directory is a great yellow pages for gymnastics clubs!
You know how they say, do your homework, it's like that. :-)
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