About four weeks before the state meet every year, the phone starts ringing off the hook and the calendar starts booking so tightly that to get a private lesson is nearly impossible. There are some very simple guidelines you can follow when you are considering private lessons because they are truly an investment in your child.
Do Know The Policy
Does your gym allow you to do lessons at other gyms? Are you only allowed to do lessons with your child’s coach or can you hire any of the coaches in your gym?
Do Your Research
Know what the coach’s background is before you hire them. Are they the best person for the job? Is your kiddo struggling on balance beam and if so, perhaps you should hire a coach whose specialty is beam. You should always look at it as the best interest of the child and if you do not hire your athlete’s coach, explain to them in person that your intention is to make the best possible match.
Don’t Balk at the Price
You typically get what you pay for, and private lessons can cost between $25-$75 an hour. If you consider what you’re getting, it’s one-on-one attention to teach and/or fix specific skills, details, dance or problem areas which is invaluable. The real question is whether or not your daughter can retain, generalize and reuse the information provided in each lesson.
Do Decide on Specific Goals
Once you have hired a coach, make sure you are on the same page about what you hope to accomplish and in what timeframe. At the end of each lesson, try to chat with your coach briefly to check in and see how it went.
Do Make Sure Your Child Connects With The Coach
If your daughter is learning, making progress and is enjoying the lessons, you can be sure that you have hired a good coach. Oppositely, if your kiddo has been to four lessons with little or no progress then you should check in with the coach and if you cannot agree on a solution, DON’T CONTINUE PRIVATE LESSONS. It’s time to move on.
Do Watch Occasionally
To see that the time is being used appropriately. Private lessons should be continuous hard work since they are 30-60 minutes of a non-stop workout for one athlete. Look for drills, hands-on coaching, intensity and repetition. If your coach is on the phone, checking Instagram, chatting or being lazy with your kiddo then you need to find a new coach.
Don’t Overstep Your Boundaries and Coach from the Bleachers
If you have hired a coach that you trust, allow him or her to do the job you are paying for.
Don’t “NO-SHOW” on a Lesson
Coaches will often book lessons back-to-back, and when a client doesn’t show up and doesn’t call, that slot sits empty when it could have filled if the coach had simply known beforehand. Send a text or call at least two hours in advance if possible, as a courtesy.
Do Ask for Package Pricing
Since private lessons are so expensive, it’s okay to negotiate a package deal. Sometimes coaches will give you a better price if you purchase a set of four or eight at a time. If one lesson is $40 an hour, ask if they will sell you eight for $250?
Do Consider Your Timeframe
Don’t wait until the last minute to begin private lessons because the nature of gymnastics is not to learn skills in a short amount of time. True body awareness and learning take time and repetition, so a few short weeks is not realistic.
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