About a year ago now, we made the move to a new gymnastics club. It was a big decision for us, as Mr F had been training at his old club since he was in pre-school classes, and his dad had coached there, too. But we felt that the time was right to make a change.
When we started to think about finding a new gymnastics club, the first thing we decided to look for in a club was a good men’s artistic programme, as this is the discipline that both Mr F and Mr S train in. So we used the Find a Club facility on the British Gymnastics website to see what was available near us.
We found that there were several other clubs within about an hour’s travelling time from us. Although I know that some gymnastics parents do travel quite a distance to their child’s gym, we were used to a gymnastics club only a few minutes from our house, so we needed to think carefully about how long we were prepared to drive for, several times a week. As the boys have a younger sister who would need to come with us in the car too, we decided that a club reasonably close to home would be the best option for us.
We chose the gymnastics club we wanted our boys to trial at, and contacted them to find out if they would be able to find space for our two boys heading towards the National Development pathway. Luckily, they had some space in their squad group, and they were happy for both boys to come along, so we made the decision to go and have a look around. I thought about all of the things that were important to me when choosing a gymnastics club, and, armed with this knowledge, we went along to visit the club.
On the way, the boys were a funny mix of excited and nervous. Although they’d both been to holiday camps at another club before, that was as well as training at their usual club, rather than instead of it. It was a big step into the unknown for them, but at least they had each other.
At the time, COVID regulations meant that I wasn’t able to stay and watch their trial session, so I had to rely on the boys’ reactions when they came out afterwards, and what the head coach of the new club told me at the end of the session.
In fact, I didn’t really need to speak to the coach, as I could tell immediately from the beaming grins on the boys’ faces that this was the club for them. In the car on the way home, they didn’t stop talking about all of the things they had been doing at the new gym- some skills they’d learned before but hadn’t practised for a long time, and others that were brand new for them.
Their passion, dimmed over the long lockdown of early 2020, was reignited. Both Mr F and Mr S told me they couldn’t wait to go back. It seemed like a move to this new club was going to be the right decision.
A year later, and we are still happy that we made the move. Although it was certainly a scary thing to jump into the ‘unknown’ of a new place, with different coaches and ways of working, it has definitely worked out for the best in our case. Both boys are training hard and learning lots of new skills, and they’ve made a lot of new friends. Mr F has represented the new club at regional grades, and Mr S seems set to do the same next year when he’s old enough.
Have you made the move to a new gymnastics club for your children? How did you make your decision- and was it a positive experience? Let me know in the comments!