Alexa Doucet is the founder of Gym 2 You, a mobile gymnastics training company that provides in-home lessons for kids.
Doucet, 23, has been practicing gymnastics since she was a little girl and has been coaching since the age of 16. From the ages of 12-21, the former Bradford West Gwillimbury resident attended the Toronto School of Circus Arts and performed in numerous professional shows.
In summer 2017, Doucet was living in Bradford and coaching at a gymnastics club in Newmarket. She loved the job but unfortunately had to quit due to limited access to a vehicle.
“So I was just stuck in Bradford, and I was like, ‘But I really want to coach gymnastics’… so then I taught my neighbours gymnastics… and then I started teaching the neighbourhood kids gymnastics… and then by the end of the summer I had enough (money) for a car and expanded to more of Bradford,” she said.
In September 2018 she moved to Barrie, and expanded her service area to include the city. In the past year and a half, Doucet has grown her business from just herself to an additional four contracted coaches.
“I’ve always just been a go-getter and I am always thinking of my own ideas,” she said. “My dad is my biggest supporter. He’s such a hard worker, he works crazy hours, and growing up I just saw his work ethic and I’m like, ‘Dad, I’m going to work as hard as you some day.’”
Before starting Gym 2 You, she said she held more than 17 jobs, sometimes three at one time, and admitted she didn’t like having set hours and decided she wanted to do her own thing.
“I usually get so bored (of jobs), and (now) I’m nowhere near bored, I’m always super excited for the next adventure, the next contractor, the next town we are going to expand to,” she said.
In the future, Doucet would love to set up a training area in her backyard.
“That’s like way off in the distance, when I own a home,” she said with a laugh.
For now, Doucet very much enjoys getting to visit her clients in their homes to teach them in a space where they feel most comfortable.
“It’s helpful for kids who are shy or anxious about going to the gym,” she said.
She also said the personal one-on-one training benefits children in many ways, including customized plans and self-directed training.
“You get one-on-one (training), so the kids excel so much faster…with my system you usually move up a level every two months. It’s huge progress because you don’t have to wait for other kids, you don’t have to wait in line,” she said.
Gym 2 You will bring all the equipment needed for training right to your home. Doucet typically teaches in people’s living rooms and only takes about five minutes to set up.
In addition to coaching in clients’ homes, Doucet brings her services to daycares and camps in the Simcoe area. She said she loves teaching gymnastics because of the confidence it builds in children.
“It’s really fun to see children just become more confident in themselves. And when they get a new skill they just feel so much pride, “she said.
Doucet also said gymnastics is a great foundation for other sports because it develops motor skills.
At Gym 2 You, there is no such thing as report cards or grading. The students set their own goals.
“That’s too much pressure in my books, report cards… but we actually have buttons, they (the kids) love it. Every time you get a skill that’s a pretty big accomplishment, you get a button,” she explained.
The buttons are awarded for any skill mastered, such as a bridge, a cartwheel, or a summersault. She said this really motivates the kids and her philosophy is very goal driven.
A lot of Doucet’s clients use her services congruently with lessons at regular gymnastics centres. She said the training helps her students advance into competitive programs at their gyms and move up levels at a faster rate.
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