rates for Private lessons

A thread on Chalk Bucket compares rates for different gyms.

$25 a half hour and up to $50 for an hour is fairly standard in the USA.

I’ve got mixed feelings about Privates myself.

They do work for the gymnast, I find. And coaches love them as supplementary income, … sometimes tax free. :)

A private with this coach might cost a little more.

(via Gymnast to Coach)

11 comments ↓

#1 Tony on 08.10.11 at 5:26 am

At my gym I feel that Private Lessons are a mixed bag. Do I do them? yes. Do other coaches do them? yes (but their are rules that they must follow. Too much to go into here). I am writing about private lessons for skills, not choreography.
I do not like them because
– I am already paying them to teach. Teaching is your job. Getting that kid better is your job. Making champions is your job.
– It shows favoritism (even if it is just economic favoritism)

#2 shergymrag on 08.10.11 at 7:27 am

“I am already paying them to teach. Teaching is your job. Getting that kid better is your job. Making champions is your job.”

Technically, you pay them to teach in classes not privates. I think there will always be customers who want access to private lessons no matter how well the coach teaches classes.

Technically, classes are economic favoritism too.

#3 Corey on 08.10.11 at 7:47 am

We allow them but price them out of most people’s range to discourage them. between 120-150 an hour depending on the coach.

#4 coach Rick on 08.10.11 at 10:54 am

I agree with you Tony.

#5 Evil Gym Mom on 08.10.11 at 3:38 pm

They certainly feel like economic favouritism when one can’t afford it… and I feel exactly as Tony says: that’s what the regular classes are for. Would you mind telling some coaches that for me please?
I sometimes squeeze the budget for a private class because my younger daughter has attention issues that make a busy, full regular class with a young inexperienced coach almost worthless.
But that’s a rant for another day…

#6 JO on 08.10.11 at 8:39 pm

Private lessons are great for kids who work hard in their regular practice but just need to work on one or two areas. Maybe they are struggling with a backwalkover on beam. A few weeks or months of taking the skill down to the basic level and build it back up might not be possible in a class/team setting. But they shouldn’t be used instead of practice or for a kid who is not working. I also charge a lot less because I am doing it for the benefit of the kid.

#7 ak on 08.10.11 at 9:31 pm

I know for me i they worked wonders for a specific skill. When i was young i could not do a full. I was having trouble twisting my body and not over rotating. 2 private lessons later i was doing the full with no issues. I think they are great when they are to accomplish a specific goal.

#8 Chris on 08.11.11 at 12:18 am

Honestly, I’m not a big fan of privates because I don’t think that you can really make big strides in a single lesson unless the kid just needs like one particular skill and is very close, etc. Then, I think that the extra reps and one-on-one attention might get them over the hump in a sense.

With that said, I’ve been thinking about how to make this more worthwhile for the gymnast as well as myself. I think I’m going to begin approaching privates much like the personal training industry. If someone wants a private, I’m going to start offering packages of privates just like if I were offering personal training session packages.

And, I’ll just flat out tell the parents that I don’t feel a session here and there is really going to accomplish much. If they want to do privates, then they need to “ink on” for an extended period of time and I’ll formulate a side training plan that we will follow.

In the realm of personal training, none of the really good trainers even waste their time with clients who won’t sign on for a while. For example, one buddy won’t take a client if they can’t commit to a minimum of 3 months because it’s worthless to try and get any sustainable results in any less time. His approach is so holistic that there’s just no “fast food” aspect to it – it takes time, patience, and commitment.

Now, asking for 3 months worth of private lessons might be a bit much, but I wouldn’t think offering a package of 4 or 5 (i.e. once a week for 4-5 weeks) is a bad deal.

Thoughts?

#9 pt on 08.11.11 at 6:02 am

I completely understand where you are coming from with the “can’t really make big strides in a single lesson” ideology, and i agree with you that one private is not going to make a huge impact.

HOWEVER

dont forget – the typical squad gymnast is still coming to (group) training 3+ times a week – so its not like they are learning/refining a specific skill 1:1 for an hour, then not doing the skill again for a week. It is VERY likely that the gymnast is touching on that skill during normal training. If the gymnast has a decent head on her shoulders, she/he will remember (or only need reminding once or twice) about what was taught in the private class.

I really think it is unfair to expect a parent to sign up for multiple private classes – when they are already paying for normal classes. I think it sends a message that group classes are not effective/private classes are superior.

#10 JO on 08.11.11 at 8:59 am

Chris, I see your point. It is very rare that one lesson will fix an issue unless it is a minor one. Parents need to understand that private lessons are not a “magic fix.” Right now we are starting to get phone calls where parents are saying their daughter needs her backhandspring by next week, can she get a private lesson? More then likely one or two lessons is not going to do it.

My biggest reason for shying away from private lessons is that people cancel, a lot. Several coaches I know charge for 4 lessons up front and if you don’t give 24 hours notice then they still charge you for that lesson. I am not good at that, even though I think it is reasonable.

#11 Blair Lowe on 08.11.11 at 6:29 pm

As a coach I’m of mixed opinions on these.

On one hand I feel it is my duty to prepare them. If I’m on a salary, I just spend extra time with the gymnast as required.

I rarely have ever had time available in my schedule to really make a lot of money with privates compared to some coaches, so I just tend to try to send them to other appropriate qualified coaches. As it is, I’m very picky with who I’m going to give lessons to as I find it is very draining for myself. I was once told to give such parents or gymnasts an exorbitant rate to discourage them.

For a kid who is coming to practice and working there butt off I have no problem with volunteering my time, especially if they are MY gymnast. Again, I feel responsible for getting them up to par.

At our gym, when one such little demonness was acting up, we had to give her the ultimatum of shaping out or losing her private lesson opportunities with her favorite coach, probably one of our best coaches on staff.

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