Gymnastics is fun! It’s great exercise for kids. It gives them confidence and teaches them discipline. Finding a gymnastics club is easy it just takes a bit of research first. You don’t want to put your child into an environment that’s not right for them or you. It should be an enjoyable experience for everyone.
Here are few things you should take into consideration when choosing a gymnastics gym/club:
Is it a USAGymnastics Member Club?
USA Gymnastics (USAG) is the national governing body for the sport in the United States. USAG sets the rules and policies that govern the sport of gymnastics. Some of the requirements for a club to maintain membership are:
- Not hire or be associated with anyone who is permanently ineligible for membership
- Maintain current commercial general liability insurance
- Employ at least one member 18 yrs of age or older that is a Safety-Certified Instructor with the USAG
Location! Location! Location!
The location of the gym is very important depending on the level of the gymnast. Gymnastics requires a time commitment and the time increases the further along your gymnast advances. During the school year you have to be mindful of how much homework your child has and other school activities that they may be involved in. In this case, you might want to consider a gym that is near your home or near the school your child attends. Here you can find a list of USAG gyms/clubs and their locations.
What programs does the gym offer?
Does the gym have a Tiny Tots or Mommy and Me program for very young kids? Do they have a competitive team program? Does the competitive team program include programs for Junior Olympics (J.O.), Xcel or Elite? Do they also offer Cheerleading, Trampoline and Tumbling? Do they offer Birthday Parties? Gyms may offer some or all of these programs.
Go on a Field Trip!
Once you have researched a few locations, go check out each facility. You should call the gym first to find out their hours. Tell them you would like to come and get some additional information. You should not have to make an appointment. You should be able to walk in during normal hours of operation. Once you get there you should pay attention to the following:
- Cleanliness – Is the facility kept clean? Is the training area clean?
- Equipment – Is the equipment old and needs replacing? Do the mats have rips and tears?
- Lighting – Is there adequate lighting in the training area?
- Viewing room – Do they have an area where the parents can sit and watch the training sessions? How large or small? Do they have WIFI?
- Wash rooms – Do they have separate boys & girls washrooms?
- Friendliness of the staff
Once you’ve made a decision – A few more things to consider
After you’ve gone on a field trip and looked at a few facilities, by now you have made a decision on the gym/club you want to join. There are still a few more things you need to inquire about:
- Costs: You should have received a price list on your initial visit. The list should break down how much it costs for classes and how many days per week. A gym can charge what they want for their services, so prices will vary. Decide what costs works for your budget.
- Training times: How long the classes are time wise (45 minutes, 1 hour). Most gyms have training sessions. A session can range from 4 – 6 weeks.
- Coaches: What is the coach to gymnast ratio? You do not want 1 coach per 20 gymnasts
- Evaluation: Your should be given an evaluation after each session. A coach will tell you what skills your child is mastering and what skills they need to work on.
- Attire: What should the gymnast wear to class? More than likely gyms want everyone to wear a practice/workout leotard. Some gyms may have leotards for sale at their facility.
You’ve found a gymnastics gym/club and now all the fun begins! Maybe one day your gymnast will become one of the greatest in the world. Good Luck!!