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- 1 Before we head into the centers and options, here’s a short description of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics:
Before we head into the centers and options, here’s a short description of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics:
Rhythmic and Artistic Gymnastics.
Rhythmic Gymnastics is a kind of gymnastics where gymnasts perform their routines combined with elements of dance, ballet, and music – hence the name. It is more performative than other kinds of gymnastics and leans more toward art than sports, although there is no arguing it requires a tremendous amount of discipline and training. It also makes use of objects such as balls and ribbons. The rules and regulations are governed by an international body, the International Gymnastics Federation (Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique). Generally, rhythmic gymnastics is reserved for women.
Artistic gymnastics is the broadest and most popular kind of gymnastics. It involves some classic techniques such as vaulting and the pommel horse, and it can be practiced by both men and women. This is probably a kind you are familiar with on tv and other places. While rhythmic is more specialized, you would have more options if you could coach this kind of gymnastics.
Being a Rhythmic Gymnastics Coach
There are different kinds of gymnastic coaching, and a lot of it depends on where you are. What seems to happen is that the majority of schools nationwide do not specialize in rhythmic but would offer different kinds of gymnastics. There are exceptions of course, but as someone looking from the outside in, it would seem that even if you are passionate about coaching rhythmic, you still might fare well at a general gymnastic coaching organization or school.
USA Gymnastics has a list of clubs and organizations that offer rhythmic gymnastics coaching. While some centers offer their salaries online through job posting sites, many of them do not. It would be good to see one of these in your area and cold call them.
Private Academies and Gymnastics Centers
Private academies that are set up solely for training gymnasts seem to be in the extremes more than the school based jobs. The lower end jobs can be around $20,000 or all the way up up to $75,000 per year depending on the school and the location. These are some of your best bet for higher salaries as a gymnastics coach in general, and you would probably be able to incorporate skills as a rhythmic gymnast coach depending on demand.
Three higher salary jobs currently on the market include:
- Bull Run Gymnastics, located in Warrenton, Virginia, offers a salary of up to $75,000 a year for a woman’s gymnastics coach.
- Optional Gymnastics in Gainesville, Virginia offers a salary of up to $75,000 a year for their Junior Olympic Program.
- Head Over Heels Gymnastics, located in Norwell, Massachusetts offers a salary of up to $60,000 a year for a part time children’s coach.
It’s not applicable to all, but it appears many of the higher level salary jobs require USAG certification (USA Gymnastics). According to their website, this requires a fee of $93, which is valid for a competitive season (a year’s length which), a background check, a safety certification, and a Safe Sport Course. Even if you had a lot of experience with gymnastics, this would probably be a good credential to have.
Also, keep in mind that certain places with a high reputation for producing quality athletes may not necessarily offer more in terms of salary compensation!
One option is offering your services as a private coach. If you are willing to travel and work weekends, this opens up many more possibilities. Equipment and space costs aside, you would get paid directly instead of having it come to you through a third party. Like many other kinds of private coaching, however, it is likely to be more competitive. There seem to be various price modules that have been mentioned in different forums and sites, but a well sought after gymnastics coach with a lot of experience could make even up to $90 an hour. However, you would need to have a certain number of hours a week to make it worth your while. Depending on the contract with your organization, you could possibly offer tutoring on the side, but one of the problems would be likely a fear that you would steal students so tread with caution. Although it’s common sense, do your best to get paid for a set period up front because sometimes even seemingly wealthy or trustworthy clients may try to find a reason to not pay you!
And, if you did want to go this route, getting a professional website and business cards would probably not hurt in the long run. I noticed that many of the gymnastics websites do not look up to date, modern, or well maintained. This isn’t necessarily bad because what matters is performance, but appearances do go a long way. It seems like if you were to pay more attention to these details it would give you some kind of edge in this market.
With these ideas in mind, here is a broad overview of the gymnastic coaching job market to keep in mind if you are considering a job as a coach.
High school coaches get paid considerably less than college coaches. But, this is true for a lot of coaches in general. I saw high school coaching jobs ranging from about as a high as $20 an hour and as low as $12 an hour on job listed sites. It seemed most jobs were kind of mid-range between these two, but it goes without saying that things like costs of living play an important role.
College coaches and certain kinds of coaching academies get paid a little more, and they are typically to be found near the $20 an hour mark in the U.S. at least. Coaches for major universities and head coaches (if the gymnastics program is big) get paid considerably more. These jobs are likely to be more competitive.
There are also a handful of elementary and middle schools that would also offer coaching jobs. If you would like to have an idea of what jobs are out there, check out our Jobs section.