1. Great article – I agree with the decision point.
    However, regarding the coaches not being supportive of your child’s goals, I think it is important to distinguish a coach/gym not being supportive and a coach/gym not giving the placement that the child (parent) wants. To me, those are different. I completely agree; it is inappropriate/unfair for the gym to have decided where to place kids before tryouts and not give the kids an opportunity to show what they can do to determine their spot. It is quite another for a child to be placed on a team (or a specific position within a team) that is not what your kid was wanting or expecting and leaving as a result (taking your toy and going home syndrome). Team placement is about piecing together a puzzle made up of different kids of varying skill levels. If your child wants to fly but his/her other skills don’t warrant placement on a team where a flyer is needed or there are other children on the team your child is being placed that are a better fit for a flyer position – that is NOT the gym being unsupportive of a child’s goals. And I disagree with parents who pull their children from a gym, that is meeting all the other criteria – great environment, great coaches, successful seasons, your child has great friends there, etc – just because they want to take their kid to a gym that will make a promise to give them the spot they (you) want.

    Whatever happened to teaching your child a life lesson, sometimes you can’t always get what you want and how to deal with that? What kind of lesson is your child being taught when the parent pulls their kid – moves them to another gym – just because they didn’t like the placement results?

    1. Author

      You are absolutely correct about the gym placements.
      But here is what was left out of the article:
      In the situation outlined, the director told the kids and parents that they should try out for the level they would like to be on and outlined specific skill sets needed for each level.
      Tryouts were held over about 2-3 weeks time. My daughter worked very hard to get her skills before tryouts, often going to more than one private lesson extra each week. When it came time to tryout her skills looked right in line with the other girls trying out for the the same level – no better, no worse.
      The next day (after only one day at tryouts) we received a one line email (without any discussion or phone call) that simply said, “[daughter’s name] needs to go to the tryouts for X (a level below). My daughter’s only goal was to be on a team with girls her own age since she was 13 at the time.
      After making the change, I found out from one of her former coaches that the teams had been set before tryouts began – gave all the girls false hope of moving up in many cases.
      And this had nothing to do with levels, she had to get the upper skill to be on a team with girls her own age because that gym was smaller. Upon moving to the larger, more accomplished gym, she ended up on the same level but on a senior team – with girls her own age. So THAT made all the difference.
      I hope the clarification helps.

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