Is 20 too old to start gymnastics, and still be competitive?

Discussion in 'Adult Gymnastics' started by br00t4ljake, Sep 6, 2011.

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  1. br00t4ljake

    br00t4ljake New Member

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    I know that the answer to this question will be totally subjective, and dependent on the athlete's work ethic, commitment etc; however, I'd still like some insight from real gymnasts, and perhaps person experience.

    A little about me: I am currently 20 years old and attending the United States Military Academy Preparatory school. I have very little prior gymnastics experience, in fact the only sport i've done was muay thai (kickboxing). Recently, since I enlisted in the US Army about 18 months ago, I've become infatuated with Crossfit. Through my crossfit workouts, using the rings and such, I've started to chase my dream of being a gymnast.

    My goal is to make it onto the USMA Gymnastics team, though most people have told me that this won't be possible. I've been working dilligently on my gymnastics strength skills, though the lack of support makes it hard to put everything i have into my training.

    Realistically, would I have a shot at becoming a real gymnast with such a late start?

    Thank you for your time and help, it is much appreciated

    v/r
    CDT JWB
     

  2. GetaGrip

    GetaGrip New Member

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    While being a teenager is the prime for female gymnasts, male gymnasts peak in their 20's if I'm correct. Many people start gymnastics older and turn out to be great.

    Oksana Chusovitna, who was 33 at the last Olympic games took silver on vault. She was by far the oldest competitor on the floor, but her gymnastics was amazing. And that's all that matters.

    So no, when it comes down to it, you can still be competitive. If you work hard to make up for the years that other gymnasts had in their teen years, you can catch up and still be a good competitor. The twenties are far from being old.

    Good luck :)
     
  3. Aussie_coach

    Aussie_coach Moderator/Coach Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Gymnast Club Owner

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    You can do it, I'm not sure how it works in the US but many Australians have not taken up the sport until well into their adult years and have become very successful competitors.
     
  4. 10.0

    10.0 Guest

    I REALLY wish people would stop using that as an example! Oksnana was an elite gymnast at a young age and was in several games. It is amazing that she was still at it at 33 but it is not like she began at age 30 and went elite. Okay rant over :)

    I think you should do gymnastics for you. It is challenging both physically and mentally and has so many rewards. No one can predict how you will make out. Maybe you will not get past a beginner level and maybe you will be the first guy who started at 20 and went to the Olympics but you have to be prepared for either. I say do what you love and love what you do and forget all those unsupportive people.
     

  5. Aussie_coach

    Aussie_coach Moderator/Coach Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Gymnast Club Owner

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    I think Oksana is a great example because she shows that you don't need to retire at 20, you are not over the hill in this sport at 20!
     
  6. gymgurl

    gymgurl Coach Coach Gymnast

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    What i think she was trying to say is that she is not a great example for starting late and being successful. I completely agree that she is a fantastic example when it comes to being able to continue through adulthood.
     
  7. 10.0

    10.0 Guest

    ^ That is exactly what I meant. She is a great very unusual example of someone who could CONTINUE to do gymnastics at the elite level as an adult. She is not an example of someone who made it to the elite level as an adult. That is all I was saying. I see her used often in examples of if she can do it so can I. And I just wanted to clarify she was already elite as a young person.

    I am not saying it could never happen and male gymnasts seem to stay in the sport longer than female gymnasts. It is a body strain thing but a big reason more adults are not at that level is they have careers and kids and other commitments that do not allow them to commit 30+ hours a week to gymnastics.

    Also no reason br00t4ljake should not give it a shot if he has the means to do so.
     
  8. ivyagogo

    ivyagogo Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    You're only 20 and it sounds like you're in good shape. We had an 18 year old kid come into our gym three years ago and now he's competing on his college team. I'd have to say no, you're not too old but get a move on! We have a couple of guys in their 30s and 40s doing gymnastics for the first time and a few of them are now working full twists and double backs on the tumbltrak. It's really amazing.
     
  9. BlairBob

    BlairBob Moderator/Coach Banned

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    Steve Elliott started in college though he did come to the game as a diver so more than likely he was already VERY kinesthetically aware.

    I started in college around 21 or so and after a few years with little direction had a small skillset, basically compulsory level.

    It really depends on good the team is and if you can find a gym where you can train enough to get somewhere with enough guidance. Body size also has something to do with it and how kinesthetically aware you are currently.
     
  10. usnagymnasts11

    usnagymnasts11 New Member

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    I know this is totally late, but please feel free to PM me. My husband and I were both competitive gymnasts- I competed though level 10 and I now coach, he competed through level 10 and through college- we both went to the United States Naval Academy and have a good idea of the USMA team and so forth. Best of luck at MAPS and USMA!
     
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