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Gymnastics Private Lessons: Hiring the Best
Private lessons are not for every kiddo. They can be expensive, they're time consuming and if you don't find the right coach, it can be a real process for you to find the perfect coupling of personalities before your child will benefit from the instruction.
Just because someone coaches gymnastics doesn't mean that they will be able to teach your child the skill or skills your child needs to learn. If you set up lessons and your child doesn't show improvement and can't connect with the coach, then you should move on to another coach. Recognize that it's not personal, it's about your child's athletic career and success. You're not paying good money for the coach to talk on a cell phone, for your kiddo to play around or for your a goof-off session. There should be interaction for the entire lesson. Don't get involved in the lesson. Allow the coach to do their job. Trust that they know what they're doing. After all, that's what you've hired them to do. If you can do a better job then come to an open gym. I'm fairly certain that most kids will respond better to a coach than they will to parents.
It is important to understand that I don't advocate private lessons for recreational gymnasts. If your child is in the beginning stages of learning gymnastics (levels 1-3), they should be learning everything they need during practice. Refrain from signing your 3-year old up for private lessons. It's a waste of money and time.
Why Should My Child Have a Private Lesson?
If your child is a competitive gymnast and is having trouble with a particular skill, a few skills or a section of a routine then hiring a coach to teach private lesson might be a good idea. When you are looking for a coach it's imperative to speak with your child's head coach prior to doing any lessons. Often times coaches will train skills differently and when a child is receiving mixed messages it can do more damage because it causes confusion for the athlete. Even if your gym has the "open-door" policy of hiring any coach in the gym for a private lesson, you should always consult your child's head coach/coaches first.
If you are seeking lessons for a particular reason: Regionals, Westerns, Nationals or even cheerleading tryouts, look into them as early as possible. Don't wait until two weeks before your event to ask a coach to do a private.
Average Cost for Private Lessons
Beginner $25.00 per hour
Intermediate $30-$40 per hour
Advanced and Competitive Team lessons $40-$60 per hour
Things to Know About Private Lessons
Know all of the costs and policies upfront. If you miss a lesson, often times you will be charged for it so know what your coach expects before you get started.
Have a goal or a few set goals in mind when you contact a coach. Don't assume that they will know exactly what you are looking for even if they are your child's coach.
Don't hover. When your child is receiving any type of instruction, allow the coach to do their job. You wouldn't tell your child's teachers how to teach at school. If you feel that you can do a better job coaching your child then you should do just that. Bring your child to open-gym and work with her but remember, don't contradict what her coach is telling her, it will only cause confusion. You may be contradicting what your child has already learned and can damage progress. Children often feel the need to show allegiance, especially to an athletic coach. If you negate what your coach is teaching, it can wreak havoc on your child's future as an athlete.
Private Lessons should be set aside for strictly what your child should learn. Don't ask your coach to spend time on warm-up and stretch unless your goal is for your child to gain flexibility. Stretching and conditioning should be done at home so that your coach can focus on what skills your child needs.
If you feel that the coach you have hired is not doing the job, speak directly with them. Let them know what you feel is important and then be open to their opinion.
Gymnastics Information Every Parent Should Know
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