Maximum number of training hours for young six year old?

Discussion in 'Parent Forum' started by gymmomtotwo, Aug 2, 2012.

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  1. gymmomtotwo

    gymmomtotwo New Member Proud Parent

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    How many hours would you let a just turned six year old train assuming she's the most talented six year old ever. (Mine is not of course!!!)

    Just trying to see if adding TOPS is a good idea.
     

  2. gymgal

    gymgal New Member CBBC Board Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    Personally for my dd? 6-9 hours depending on how they are set during the week. no more than 3x a wk.
     
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  3. JBS

    JBS Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    My daughter trained 9 hours and then 12 hours as a 6 year old...no problems at all. It all depends on the child, the family, and the way the gym runs their workouts. There are situations were 6 hours is too much...there are also situations were every extra day added is just more fun.

    If I were looking at high hours for a young child...I would be looking for a program that truly values "air sense" and trampolines. Lots of hard pounding is hard on little ones.
     
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  4. gymmomtotwo

    gymmomtotwo New Member Proud Parent

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    Thanks. She's currently doing 10 starting this summer. 2 day of 3 hours and 1 day of 4. They are giving her the option of a 4th night of 1 hour of TOPS training. That make 4 weeknights of gymnastics. For some reason they don't have a Saturday practice this year, so it is all school night. To add another night to a child this age seems a bit much. She is doing a 45 minute dance class one day a week for fun. They already do alot of conditioning (probably one third of practice). She's adjusted well from going from 6 hours to 9 hours this summer, but that was without the demands of school. You can tell they want her to do it, but I am reluctant. Her hours already seem somewhat high already compared to what I've seen on here. She turned 6 two weeks ago. Still trying to decide.
     

  5. gymgal

    gymgal New Member CBBC Board Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    What level is she?
     
  6. bogwoppit

    bogwoppit Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    It is a lot all on school nights. If one of the trainings was on the weekend it would be way easier on you both. Four school nights in the gym was tough, we didn't enjoy that at all when it came to family life and sleep.

    Every kid is different to be sure and only you will know what works for her, and your family.
     
  7. my4buffaloes

    my4buffaloes New Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    I think it depends on the kid. My dds both started going 6 hours a week as a 6 year old and they had a hard time adjusting - although they did after a few weeks. I would have hesitated to go more than that at age 6, but my 7 year old (almost 8) is going 12 and really does 1 year make that much of a difference? I don't know - it depends on the kid again. This summer she had a very hard time adjusting, but I think part of that is the schedule the gym has them on (3 days in a row). A different schedule might not have phased her. You know your child best, you could always try it and see how she does. Or have her go to the extra tops training on good weeks, but keep her home on weeks she is really tired.
     
  8. Tim_Dad

    Tim_Dad New Member

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    Once a parent starts to mandate "enthusiasm" - the athletic performance will most certainly decline. If she's happy and willing and wanting to train more -- and if you can afford the added gym costs -- go for it! No harm done. Nobodies growth will be "stunted" though athletic conditioning - promise.

    TOP's is a conditioning metric first and foremost. If the gym offers programs for it - great. By all means. I'm a BIG fan of conditioning early on. But as far as looking to test in the TOPS's program... I'm not as gung-ho. The idea that out of all the kids that work hard to rank high on TOP's scores... 98% will not make it. That means 98 kids out of 100 will leave the scoring facility in tears with nothing to show for all their hard work and effort. THIS i have a problem with. BIG promises and dreams are made though TOP's promotional materials, and even BIGGER consequences occur when those promises aren't fulfilled.

    With my DD, we did conditioning at home. It was our unique Daddy-daughter time. I did her conditioning routines - and she did mine. We made it fun and competitive between each other only. And when DD went to the gym and could climb the rope faster then any of her other teammates (with legs in Pike position too!), or be able to do a Press-Handstand at L4, and win the handstand contests - She was one proud little cookie... and I was a very proud daddy.

    As far as i'm concerned, from age 0-10, it's not about competitive athletics. It's about fun. Don't spoil the fun.
     
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  9. gym law mom

    gym law mom New Member Proud Parent

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    Having your dd in the gym 4 school nights is alot at age 6 plus then a dance class on the "off day." I would just do the 3 practices and let her have that down time the rest of the week. Too much too soon can lead to kids walking away.
     
  10. BlairBob

    BlairBob Moderator/Coach Banned

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    Really, the basic TOPS physical preparation should already be implemented in every level from the developmental levels such as L1-3. Having special allocated TOPS time is necessary to work on the routines when they are 8yo. When they are 6 or 7, just show up really.

    Some kids might literally be able to train 15-20hrs a week while others just 5-10. It varies on a lot of factors especially if the parent is on board with it. It will muck with sleep schedules but luckily school isn't very difficult at that age. It will also depend on how well they eat and hydrate and how die hard they are.
     
  11. gymtigermom

    gymtigermom New Member Proud Parent

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    I think I would be the most concerned with the 4 hour practice on a school night for a 6 year old. It sounds like your instincts are telling you not to add the extra day, I would trust that. I would think at this age she would benefit more from having a day off than she would from coming into the gym for an hour practice. My 7 year old would probably love to be in the gym 10 hours a week if I let her. The problem would be in getting up for school, cleaning her room, and doing all the other things that I expect my 7 year old to do.
     
  12. iwannacoach

    iwannacoach Coach Coach Proud Parent Gymnast

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    Allowing for exceptions.......I don't think there's much benifit in exceeding 3 days at 2.5 hours for a six year old. IMO much of the technical learning requires abstract thinking. Often this characteristic won't develop to the extent coaches require until ages 7 and 8. I just don't see a return to justify additional hours in the context that more time in the gym can create more confusion and stress, while eliminating time for stress relieving play.

    In my perfect world........I would teach and polish whatever skills possible, work on strength and flexibility, and wait until age 7 to add another hour or more per day. At age 8 most kids are ready for the "all you can eat gymnastics buffet" where anything the kid can commit to will create a positive outcome.

    My position comes about from being a coach, and a parent of adolescent to teen age children, and I don't think there are many coaches who understand children until they've raised their own.

    I've been there and done that as a coach prior to "settling down", and in those years I would have argued that "all you can eat" was the only and best way to train top level JO kids and elites. Back then it was all about creating quality out of quantity.........

    I think there are kids who can take bigger bites at a younger age, but I also see that waiting to spend your "gymnastic dollars" until "finding a bargain" can lead to having some spare "gymnastic dollars" when you really need them at ages 10 through 14, as those are the "hump years" that pretty much shape a child's gymnastics future.
     
  13. Faith

    Faith Coach Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    My 7 year old started on team 6 months ago, going from 3 hours a week to 12 (3x week).

    There were two of them added to the team at the same time, and they have pretty much caught up already with the kids who have been on that team for two/three years. No special coaching, they're just picking up skills faster at 7 than the others did at 5/6.

    So I'd go on what's right for your child with the hours. I don't think an extra hour at this age will make any difference to her ultimate gymnastics career.
     
  14. C's MOM

    C's MOM Guest

    You need to take your child into consideration. What is right for other kids may not be okay for her. DD started 16 hrs. as a 5 1/2 yo. I was concerned, but I went into it with the mindset that if it was too much for her, we would pull back. This summer she is 8 and works out 20 hrs. She will go back to 16 in a week, fall.
    See how your DD adjusts to the extra training. You know her best. If it seems like too much, then ask to speak with her coaches. I do think that gymnastics has helped to make my DD a very determined, hard working, REAL child. She tends to see things as they are. Good luck with your DD!
     
  15. mariposa

    mariposa Moderator/Proud Parent Staff Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent

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    Honestly, I think at the younger ages, the least amount of hours you can get away with, the better. With overuse injuries being so common, I figure the less hours you add up over the years, probably better for the body. I think 3 hour practice for a 6 year old is the maximum. My daughter at 6 did 4 hr practices for a few months of level 4, but then they decreased it to 3, shortly after that she changed gyms, and she has always done less than her old teammates. She just started having 4 hour practices at age 10.

    The way I see it she has many hours less wear and tear on her body since she has done less hours than she would have. Not that all kids get overuse injuries, but just my personal opinion on training hours.
     
  16. bogwoppit

    bogwoppit Administrator Staff Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    She has done so well under this training schedule too, I seem to remember she is training L7 now and had some great L6 meets at the end of last season.

    Smart coaching is important.
     
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  17. Moxiegrl83

    Moxiegrl83 New Member Proud Parent

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    My 5 yr old started pre-team a few months ago. She goes 6 hours a week, 2 hrs on MWF. If she still wants more, she can go to open gym on Saturday. I personally love the schedule. Two hours isn't too long, she gets a day off in between, and leaves the gym happy. This works great for our family and daughter, but you'll have to find your own happy balance. Something you can handle, and your daughter can not just handle, but thrive. We only go 6 hours, and sometimes I find myself feeling like I live there, especially during fundraisers, she takes hip hop there, goes to camp....and this is only pre-team. Pacing yourself seems very important in this sport, as it slowly creeps in and takes over everything.:p (See, even my computer time has been spent on a gymnastics forum!)
     
  18. gymmomtotwo

    gymmomtotwo New Member Proud Parent

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    Thanks all. We've decided to wait until next summer to start any TOPs training. She'll be almost 7 then. I feel like 10 hours is plenty and they already have a strong emphasis on conditioning. She is still two years away from competing Level 5 (they skip 4). I appreciate all the input.
     
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