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For Parents 8 yo gymnast progression

Lucia

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My 8yo daughter has been doing gym for 2 years and preteam for most of it. She goes twice a week for 1.5 hours. She loves her coach and the highly structured, disciplined approach of her gym. But she craves more gym time. She’s a goal oriented perfectionist and would do straight jumps for hours at home if her coach told her to, so it’s not about bigger skills. It may just be a weird time with COVID. She’s never competed, which I’m fine with; I’d be fine if she trained until level 4. The gym’s team is very small, I would guess less than 20 kids total over all the levels. There seems to be a gap where there’s not a level 3/4 training group. The coaches have elite coaching experience though that doesn’t seem to be a focus at this gym (they have had D1s). She learned a straddle press before really starting gymnastics and can do multiple, and she can do many of the TOPS type of physical skills (pike rope climb, 20 leg lifts...), and executes things precisely, so a lovely compulsory gymnast. She takes corrections well and is humble but is aware she sticks out a bit in her group. She’s been working level 2 routines for a year with her group, but is training spotted case handstands and kips, and spotted combos of kips/front hip circles. She is a strong tumbler (RO BHS BHS), beam worker etc. The girls in her group aren’t working these things because the gym is strict about progressions (they do round offs, back hip circles etc). I’m honestly not sure why they are spotting her on cast handstands since it skips their progression, unless they want to get her attuned to doing it now? Sometimes the discrepancy between her and classmates creates a weird dynamic (in the little girl drama sense, but she tries not to get sucked into it). And she can’t do that darn mill circle no matter how much she tries! I suspect she will have a straight arm kip before the mill circle. Her coach told her the other day that she needs to get her mill circle to move to level 3 (I know it’s not in the new routines). I’m aware that some of the high performing gyms a little further away may have pushed her too much too soon, so I’m glad she’s had a measured approach, I just want to feed and direct her intensity in the right way. I don’t let her tumble at home. Her gym is not naturally communicative or transparent (though no red flags and I’ve looked and asked)....which makes it so dang hard for me to bring this up with them! I just feel self conscious doing so. I’m not sure what I’m asking I’m also aware she’ll be 9 in the fall and don’t want to push her but don’t want to hold her back. I guess I would like insight from others who had young girls with talent and drive...how do you guide their journey appropriately at this point? Should I just trust the process and enjoy the low hours while I can?
 

rd7

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I think I would be looking at other gyms with more hours available and a group where she will be working with others of similar age and ability. Your gym sounds lovely but not in the position to offer what your daughter needs at the moment.
 
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ldw4mlo

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I don’t guide her gymnastics. She and her coaches do that. If the gym can’t accommodate what she and our family needs we would make changes. We have changed gyms once, to decrease her hours. I felt 12 hours was to much for L2-4, we found a gym where she did less.

if you feel your daughter needs more I’m sure there are gyms out there that can provide that.
 

Lucia

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I don’t guide her gymnastics. She and her coaches do that. If the gym can’t accommodate what she and our family needs we would make changes. We have changed gyms once, to decrease her hours. I felt 12 hours was to much for L2-4, we found a gym where she did less.

if you feel your daughter needs more I’m sure there are gyms out there that can provide that.
I’m honestly not trying to micromanage her gymnastics...just trying to help an 8yo figure out how to express her desires to someone besides me in her current context. And brainstorming how to help her without overstepping boundaries is confusing to me when the environment is not communicative. This probably says more about me and the trouble I have being direct. Your post does encourage me to help empower her to have the confidence to ask these questions herself to her coach. We live in a small town and travel as it is so changing would involve a much longer commute. Thanks for your feedback!
 
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IreneKa

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I’m honestly not trying to micromanage her gymnastics...just trying to help an 8yo figure out how to express her desires to someone besides me in her current context. And brainstorming how to help her without overstepping boundaries is confusing to me when the environment is not communicative. This probably says more about me and the trouble I have being direct. Your post does encourage me to help empower her to have the confidence to ask these questions herself to her coach. We live in a small town and travel as it is so changing would involve a much longer commute. Thanks for your feedback!

See if you can schedule a meeting with her coach or gym owner, don't be pushy, but just ask what their plan for your daughter is.
Sounds like they don't really know what to do with her? One day they are teaching her level 5-6 skill, probably thinking she can skip L3-4 (because of the lack of L3-4 training group??), and the next day they insist she learns mill circle with is not required past L3? Doesn't make sense. But maybe they do have a plan, you just don't have all information. It's better to ask for some clarity. If they can't give you clear answer, then look around for other options.
 

ReluctantGymMom

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It’s weird that they would focus on her needing a mill circle when it’s not a skill in the routines anymore (after this season finishes) - she would literally never need it. I would schedule a meeting with the coaches to ask if they have a specific plan for her since they’re upskilling her on things, and express that she has an interest in team and competing
 

ldw4mlo

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It’s weird that they would focus on her needing a mill circle when it’s not a skill in the routines anymore (after this season finishes) - she would literally never need it. I would schedule a meeting with the coaches to ask if they have a specific plan for her since they’re upskilling her on things, and express that she has an interest in team and competing
Some gyms consider it a valuable skill for building future skills.
 
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ldw4mlo

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And brainstorming how to help her without overstepping boundaries is confusing to me when the environment is not communicative. This probably says more about me and the trouble I have being direct.
Unfortunately, to own a gym or coach gymnasts requires not one bit of training whatsoever in communication. This would be a good time to work on being direct. A skill that will also help your daughter.:)

Ask for a meeting, have a conversation...... So everyone is aware of the short term and long term plan.

I rarely get on the crazy bus (and I am not saying you are), but the last time I hopped on board for a short trip was when my kid did L5 and her teammates went straight to L6...... Rather then stay on the bus, I asked to chat with the coaches. Their plan was to give her more to work on the bar skills she was lacking. A quick meeting and watching one practice (another thing I rarely do) and I understood.

Now they are all back together, L8/L9. They didn't get there the same way, but they got what they needed.
 
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Lucia

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Jun 6, 2019
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See if you can schedule a meeting with her coach or gym owner, don't be pushy, but just ask what their plan for your daughter is.
Sounds like they don't really know what to do with her? One day they are teaching her level 5-6 skill, probably thinking she can skip L3-4 (because of the lack of L3-4 training group??), and the next day they insist she learns mill circle with is not required past L3? Doesn't make sense. But maybe they do have a plan, you just don't have all information. It's better to ask for some clarity. If they can't give you clear answer, then look around for other options.
Thank you for your feedback! I honestly believe there is a method to their process, they are experienced coaches, we are just not privy the details. Some of this may be cultural differences in communication style also. You all have encouraged me to just ask...and that asking is probably less CGM than overthinking it!