gymnastics - do instructors need licensed?

nsf798August 15, 2006

My 4 yo dd is taking gymnastics. She's been there for two months. It is just something for her to do and she really likes it. It is a horrible unorgainzed mess. The teachers are all young high school girls who do not care about teaching. They just run the kids thru the motions. Yesterday in class they were working on the short bar (uneven bars? the ones they swing around). The teacher has the child grab the bar, then they put their arms under the childs legs and flip their legs up over the bar, so that the child is now hanging from the bar by their stomach. Then she helps them back over & down. Anyway I was kind of scared watching this and worried she might fall. Anyway when got home from class, dd was complaining that her stomach hurt. I think it was maybe her ribs (that is where she was pointing to) and it was from that bar. I think these kids have no idea what they are doing. Don't they need to be licensed? Also the gym owner's three children (ages 4-7) run freely around the gym during class. They climb on whatever isn't being used at the time. It is such a distraction. I keep wondering how this girl got a license to open this place. She comments about being ASA or something like certified. How? I don't get it. What can I do short of just quitting?

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Quit. Why endanger your child? I bet she got her business license, but I would not expect anything more than that. What is ASA? Certification would not be licensing. In many states (not all), licensing might be required for trades that put hands on people----hairdressers, tattoo artists, etc. I can't see any licensing for a gymnastics class, tho.

I'd quit. Find something that is better run.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:07PM
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Well I said I wasnt' sure if it was ASA or something else. I'm considereing quitting & will definately be quitting once dance starts up again. For now I'm going to ask them not to flip her over the bar & inform them that they hurt her. Other than that they do forward/backward rolls, walk on a balance beam that is on the floor, so I'm not concerned of injury. And I am sitting there watching the whole time. I would just like to find out what I can do about this, if there is anything she is doing wrong.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 12:30PM
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Why not ask her is she is trained or licensed or what her certifications are? Then write down the info and double check it with the agencies.

That's somehting you should have done before even starting, IMHO.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 1:25PM
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I have a friend whose daughter is a gymmast and teaches gymnastics. She's very skilled but has no certifications or license.

If you're not satisfied with the organization then by all means go somewhere else. Though I do have to say if your daughter is going to go be in gymnastics she's going to fall plenty and going to have things that hurt - stomach and otherwise. You are probably going to want to try to minimize your anxiety over those kinds of things if she's going to be involved in this activity.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2006 at 9:41PM
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Our gym has 8-12 instructors. They are all former HS and college gymnasts. In lower level classes you are likely to find less expereinced teachers. They know the safety rules and the techniques, but for them coaching is secandary to school and their social life. Once you get to team level, things change dramatically.
If you're not comfortable, go somewhere else. Gymnasts do get hurt alot, it's part of the sport. Even very young bodies are taxed by the effort gymnastics requires. At the same time, kids can get seriously injured very easily if they are not properly supervised and instructed.
My DD has been doing gymnastic for 2.5 yrs. She has various aches and pains whenever she tries something new. I cringe alot when I watch practices. I have a friend whose daughter is at the competitive level. She's broken her ankle 2X in 18 months. The team has suffered several broken bones, numerous sprains, and more bumps, cuts, and bruises than you could count. Gymnastics is hardcore, despite the little bodies and shiny costumes!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 5:32PM
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Your mention of the gym's being run in an unprofessional manner is a huge red flag. The chances of injury exist at an excellent facility, as angc pointed out- but not only are a child's chances of injury higher in a free-for-all as you describe, but I would be willing to bet that the owner does not carry liability insurance.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2006 at 6:24PM
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