Mike says, “I don’t know how many times, over my 40 years in this business, I’ve gotten a call from a club or gymnastics gym owner saying:
‘We’re putting in the pit tomorrow. How big should it be? What should we do?’
And, it never fails to amaze me that these details are left to the last minute. This is the biggest investment, the single most critical feature of any gymnastics training center. All of this really needs to be well-planned, before you dig!
Of course, I do what I can to come up with a quick quote, to help them make the best, most efficient use of their space, how the equipment is laid out and how it’s going to relate to the pit where almost all elements of gymnastics that must go up, come down.
However, I cannot urge you strongly enough, all of my cherished gym club owners and coaches, to ensure you get this right by diving into the details and getting them nailed down, well in advance of the contractors arriving at your gym, jackhammers in hand.
If you call me, And Please Do! I live and breathe gymnastics and gym design. I love assisting gym club owners to design their gyms’ space and equipment for maxim safety and organic flow.
Here’s what I’m going to ask you:
What do you want to train into your pit? Do you want a vault, to tumble as in floor exercise, use the tumble track, a gymnastics rod floor, practice beam dismounts? You gotta — Gotta! — have a single bar trainer. Where is it located in your gym? What’s around it?
Let’s talk about your athletes and coaching foci. Do you want one big multi-purpose pit? That’s a popular way of doing things and planning it right with the relevant equipment pointed into it, can be a big money and space saver.
Of course, several single purpose, smaller pits are an option, too, and they have their own advantages. Lots of gyms do it that way. It can assist with gym pit traffic control and allow for more easily focused training in, say, vault, uneven or high bars.
What about resi pits? A resi pit is a more shallow pit that’s not a part of your pit tramp bed system. It sits off to the side of a bar and features a 24’ or 32’ inch mat. Do you want a resi pit as part of your big mega pit?
Are you putting in a pit tramp bed system? Have you heard of the advantages of our Sag Bed Pit System over the traditional tightly strung trampoline bed?”
Our Sag Bed Pit System allows for greater deceleration of the forces prior to a landing, essentially giving you more of what you’re looking to achieve in putting in a gymnastics pit. It’s all in the sag of the tramp bed that is strung more loosely than you would a real trampoline. It’s installed closer to the top edge than the older systems, so it’s easier to climb out of. Sagging your pit bed also decelerates the wear and tear on the foam that comes with repeated use as it doesn’t get packed down.
All of these questions need to be asked and answered before your contractors get there.
Mike says, “There’s a whole conversation that needs to happen between me and the owners and the coaches, and the contractors, if you’d like. I’m happy to talk to your contractors. They may be experts at breaking floors, digging holes and filling them in, but they may not have the experience of installing a gymnastics pit per se. I can help dial them into the details and get them oriented to just how important it is that those walls are uniformly STRAIGHT!”
“Poor planning leads to a poorly designed pit or gym. Probably rushed construction. Maybe not as safe as it could be. But, it doesn’t have to be that way. It just takes a little fore-thought. We can provide you with a 3D blueprint that puts every aspect at your fingertips. We provide a blueprint that lays out every piece of equipment and mat and how they relate to each other and the pit. We can do a 3D render of what it looks like to walk through your gym.”
Just Call Before You Dig!