Big Gym, Little Gym: How to Find the Perfect Gym for Your Child
So, your child decides he/she wants to do gymnastics. Yay! Now what?
How does one start gymnastics? Where is the best place to go? How much is it going to cost? It can be so overwhelming. But, it doesn’t have to be scary!
Chances are, your child has a friend that does gymnastics. You could start by talking to their parents. You might be shocked by how many gymnastics centers are in your area. Who knew so many people were into gymnastics?!
Gymnastics is an amazing sport. It's arguably the most difficult sport, but it's also the most fun, challenging and confidence-building sport a child can participate in.
No two gyms are the same and every gymnastics center offers something different. Some gyms are large and fancy while others are small and modest. Some gyms are lined with trophies on the wall and some are brand new.
To figure out which gym is right for your child, try the following steps.
- Start by making a phone call. A lot of places allow a trial class. Some even offer a free trial class (like Gym Stars!) This is a great way for your child to get a feel for gymnastics and what the gym is like before committing to a class.
- While you go to a trial class, ask questions. Talk to other parents and see how they feel.
- Watch the other classes going on. If the competitive team is there practicing, pay attention to how the team coach works with students. Does she yell? Is he supportive? Is she putting down the kids? Are the team kids happy? While your child may not be ready for a team yet, they might be on a team someday. Is that how you want your child to be coached? The head coach is typically the owner/manager and sets the example for how the gym is operated. Keeping an eye on how that person treats children is a great insight to how the gym operates.
Some gyms are brand new and do not have the trophy hardware to show off yet. That doesn't mean they don’t have potential. It also doesn't mean your child won’t get exceptional training.
Some gyms have big class sizes. Perhaps you caught them on a bad day, a teacher called in sick and classes had to be combined. That’s not ideal, but can be understandable. However, if having eight or more children per instructor is the norm, how much attention can your child possibly be getting?
Then there is that big gym in the center of town with a big flashy sign that is so beautiful. You drive by it every day and it just seems like it must be the best gym in town. It very well could be. But just because it looks amazing on the outside doesn't mean the managers have invested the same resources inside. Ask questions! What is the standard class size? What training do the teachers receive?
The gym that charges the most for tuition must be the best. You get what you pay for, right? Contrary to popular assumptions, this is not always the case. At Gym Stars, tuition is priced affordably so more children can get to experience the wonderful sport of gymnastics! Gym Stars still has small class sizes, exceptional instructors, and a clean gym.
Ultimately, there is not a wrong place for your child to learn gymnastics, but there might be a better place that suits their needs.
Do a little research. Try a few places. But, most importantly, get your child in a class and watch them thrive!