The First 100 Details to Ask Before Your Child Joins a Gymnastics Team


My last two blogs talked about the decision to join a competitive gymnastics team and the benefits of doing so.  But, before you spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours, you will want to get as many details as possible before you commit your child to a team.  While you might not be able to ask each of these questions directly to the coach or gym management, read their website, talk to other families involved and go through the team handbook so you understand as much as you can about what it means to be on a team.

Here are 100 to get you started:

  1. Why do you think competitive gymnastics is good for my child?
  2. What is the philosophy of your program?
  3. What are some of the objectives of your program?
  4. As a coach, what are your goals?
  5. How do you define success?
  6. How do you define failure?
  7. How essential is talent to being successful in this sport?
  8. What traits do kids have who are successful in your program?
  9. What traits do parents have who are happy in your program?
  10. What is one of your happiest moments coaching?
  11. Did you do competitive gymnastics or another sport competitively?
  12. What was your best memory about doing your sport?
  13. How did you learn to coach?
  14. What is you favorite thing to coach?
  15. What is your favorite thing about coaching?
  16. What do you not like about coaching?
  17. Is the gym management supportive of the coaching staff?
  18. Do you work alone, with a coaching partner or with multiple partners?
  19. How do you divide the coaching responsibilities?
  20. Is your program affiliated with USA Gymnastics, USAIGC or any other governing body?
  21. What is the time commitment expected?
  22. What is the financial commitment expected?
  23. How long can I expect my child to have this schedule?
  24. What does the next level’s schedule look like?
  25. What does the highest level athlete’s schedule look like?
  26. How frequently does the schedule change?
  27. How frequently do the coaches change?
  28. If my child’s coach is absent, who is the substitute?
  29. How does that substitute know what to work on with my child?
  30. Are there more hours of training during school holidays or summer vacation?
  31. Are those optional or mandated?
  32. Are private lessons expected?  How many do most kids take?
  33. How is the curriculum for each level determined?
  34. Is dance part of your curriculum?
  35. Is mental training part of your curriculum?
  36. Do athletes set goals?
  37. What are the closures for holidays?
  38. What is the tuition?
  39. What other fees are associated?
  40. Is there a Booster Club?  What are the fees and volunteer responsibilities?
  41. Is there fundraising?  How does it work?  Do we have to participate?
  42. What are the expectations of the parents?
  43. Can I watch practice?
  44. Do you have rules regarding how much parents can watch practice?
  45. How do you communicate progress or problems?
  46. How do I communicate with you if I have a question, comment or concern?
  47. What are the coaches qualifications?
  48. What does the club look for in hiring coaches?
  49. Do the coaches have health insurance?
  50. What kind of on going training do coaches receive?
  51. What happens if my child gets hurt?
  52. How do you communicate injuries with parents?
  53. What is your policy on training kids when they are injured?
  54. Does someone have CPR and/or First Aid training?
  55. Where do you keep First Aid supplies?
  56. Does your club have emergency plans?
  57. How frequently are the emergency plans reviewed with the staff?
  58. If the gym had to be evacuated, where would my child go?
  59. Are coaches background checked? 
  60. How frequently are background checks conducted?
  61. Are their outside coaches or specialists that work with my child? (i.e. ballet teacher; trainer)  If so, are they background checked by the gym?
  62. What is the club’s policy on the number of staff who need to present in the club if there with a child?
  63. How frequently is the gym cleaned?
  64. How frequently is the equipment checked for safety?
  65. Is a written record of equipment safety kept?
  66. How do you handle discipline issues?
  67. How do you handle fear?
  68. What happens if my child wants to quit?
  69. What happens if my child cries during practice?
  70. How do you deal with conflict between kids?
  71. What about jealousy?
  72. Generally speaking, what are the parents at the club like?
  73. Do you have a sports psychologist your club recommends?
  74. Do you have a physical therapist that your club recommends?
  75. Do the kids get a break during practice?
  76. Are they allowed to have a snack?
  77. What is your policy on discussing weight with your gymnasts?
  78. Do you weigh gymnasts?
  79. Do we have to attend all meets?
  80. What are the club’s rules and policies regarding meets?
  81. How are meet fees and coaches fees handled?
  82. How do you monitor my child’s progress?
  83. How will I know if my child is making progress?
  84. How do you decide when children move up a level?
  85. How is that communicated?
  86. Is there someone in the office until the gym closes?
  87. How much are the competition leotards?
  88. Warm up suits?
  89. Bags?
  90. How often do these items change?
  91. Are there other pieces of apparel I will have to purchase?
  92. How is choreography dealt with at the gym?
  93. Can my child choose her own floor music?
  94. Is that my responsibility or does the club do that?
  95. Who does floor and beam choreography?
  96. Can i bring in an outside choreographer?
  97. What are the fees for choreography?
  98. Who manages the gym?
  99. What are their qualifications?
  100. Does the gym seem like a happy place, a safe place, a place you want to leave your children for many hours a week?