A short version of this story. My wife started taking him to mommy and me when he was about 16 months old. My wife really liked the gym that she was going to with Jr. so we bought it. He has attended some kind of class pretty much ever since then. In October of last year we sold the gym to another gym in our local area. The gym we sold out to is where he is now on the competitive team.
1. How long has your son been doing it?
At some level for about 5 years
2. How many times does he practice per week?
Up until he was on the team he went for 1 hour a day 2 days a week. Now that he is on the team he goes for 3 hours a day 3 days a week. He has been on the team for 1 year. He was too young to compete until this season so I should say he was on pre-team for about 6 months and on team for 6 months.
3. Do you pay monthly at the place you go to? Or is it more like little league and you pay per "season"?
It is monthly.
4. How did you find the place you go to? I've looked in the area and found a couple but I have no idea how to go about finding out if it's a "good" place or not (talk to me about martial arts schools and I'd have a better idea, gymnastic places not so much).
It is exactly the same as a martial arts school. You need to go and watch the coaches and the students. You can tell a lot about the gym just from the vibe of the place. Gym parents love to talk so sit with some of the other parents and ask them what they like and what they don't like about the gym. Most gyms will give at least the first class for free. Some will do a week. For mens gymnastics the most important thing is that the kids are learning the fundamentals and having fun. It requires so much strength for many of the moves that a male gymnast has a much longer career than a female (I am not saying that female gymnatics don't require strength). In my opinion the most important thing is to make sure that your son is enjoying the classes, if he is he will stick with it.
Mike, I got one of those blue ribbons as a kid and now I am about to share one my deepest secrets with only you. In high school I was on a competitive cheerleading squad. After high school I promptly forgot all of my gymnastics training and went pro in beer drinking as well.
What we think, or what we know, or what we believe, is in the end, of little consequence. The only thing of consequence is what we do. -John Ruskin