when should a gymnast switch clubs?


… Here’s the thing: Marriages break up. Siblings stop speaking. Life long friendships end. So we should hardly be surprised that family-gym relationships go south.

And while I do think that chronic gym hopping is a bad thing for an athlete’s development (and probably indicates something going on within the family), there are times when a family needs to think seriously about moving to a new club. …

So, how do you know if it’s time to move on? Here are eight things to consider:

1. Logistical Reasons
2. Financial Reasons
3. Safety Reasons
4. Inappropriate Behavior of Coaches
5. Major Disagreement with a Core Philosophy of Program
6. Need for a Different Type of Gym Program
7. Loss of Faith in Club or Coaches
8. Need for a Fresh Start


I most often advise parents and gymnasts against switching clubs. It doesn’t work, more often than not. Kids most often club hop right out of the sport.

There are a few exceptions including:

• If a child’s coach moves, the gymnast should consider moving with them.

• On graduating High School, consider moving to a College coach.

• If attempting to make National Team, consider moving to a program with other National Team members.

Gaby Douglas was a success story. She left her gym of 6 1/2 years for not all the right reasons. But Chow’s progress with her was extraordinary.

Chow Gabby

Let’s wait and see if her most recent club hop works.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

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