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a late starter!

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gymbum08

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Jan 26, 2008
20
Hello. i am 16 ( just turned ) and i started gymnastics a fiew weeks ago. hopefully i will be moving to team before summer as a level four. :) Is anyone here also a late starter? i feel like this sport is oinated by younger girls so im a bit intinmiated to see girls my age so so much better than i am. anyways has anyone ever heard of those balance beams that are adhesive strips of suede called stick it balance beams? i thought it would be a good idea to stick the stick it beam to my trampoline so i can practice harder skills. :) does anyone have advice on how to prepare from going to level four vault to leel five, ( the actual vault as opposed to the blue mat. ?. thanks! any advice is appreciated.
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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Hi, first let me say congratulations for making the step to start gymnastics. 16 is in fact a great age to take up the sport. You have many advantages, you are probably finished growing or just about finished growing. As young kids grow they constantly have to rebuild their strength, redevelop their flexibility and change the way they do skills. This is especially hard if they are going through a major growth spurt. Secondly you may not be as flexible as your younger counterparts but you will build strength more easily. Thirdly you are there for you, because you want to be and not because your parents put you there, you will have the dedication and drive from that. Also it can be a lot easier to learn things from your coach as you have a deeper understanding.

Most people do start gym younger because it takes many, many years of hard work to reach an international level, for the aim of reaching their peak skill when they are your age and little older. This means that you will probably not reach your peak skill until your late 20's so it may be a little late for you to go to the olympics. But who cares, there is a lot more to gymnastics than that. I hope you continue to enjoy the sport through out the teen years through to adulthood and beyond.

I don't reccomend that you stick the stick it beam to your tramp. If you want to practise more advanced skills on your tramp draw a line down the middle. Be careful only to practise those skills which you are confident with and can do easily at the gym with no spot.

For working vault, try using the actual vault table for the level 4 handspring to flat back vault. Stack mats up on the landing side of the vault up to the same height as the vaulting table and do the handspring flat back vault on there.
 

Robindq

Member
Dec 16, 2007
418
27
Ontario, Canada
That's awesome you're starting gymnastics! I am also 16, and I'm level 5 (in Canada, i think the levels are a little different here than the US).

I also wanted a beam on my trampoline so i could do fun skills like standing backtucks, backhandsprings, layout step out, etc.
What i did was I put a strip of duct tap on the tramp. I Eventually it pealed off, but there was still a visible line where the duct tape was for the entire summer! It worked really well for me!!...so you could try that maybe...
I also got a board of wood from my barn that was approx the same width as the beam and practiced backwalkovers, frontwalkovers, leaps and my beam routine on it (on the grass)

Good luck with gymnastics!!
 

Bay Valley

Member
Jan 2, 2008
104
Bay City, MI
It is never too late to start gymnastics. I seen a post on this site where a 48 yr old woman is competeing gymnastics here in the USA. Enjoy yourself, thats what is about no matter the age.
 

gymbum08

New Member
Jan 26, 2008
20
thank you! okay i will try the duct tape idea! yea it does seem like the younger girls are so much more flexible but at least i have my splits down pat. I think that im going to a gymnastics camp for the summer, called usga? has anyone heard of it? thanks for all of the support. ho are canadian levels different?
 

pink ranger

New Member
Mar 31, 2008
25
new york city
Hi, first let me say congratulations for making the step to start gymnastics. 16 is in fact a great age to take up the sport. You have many advantages, you are probably finished growing or just about finished growing. As young kids grow they constantly have to rebuild their strength, redevelop their flexibility and change the way they do skills. This is especially hard if they are going through a major growth spurt. Secondly you may not be as flexible as your younger counterparts but you will build strength more easily. Thirdly you are there for you, because you want to be and not because your parents put you there, you will have the dedication and drive from that. Also it can be a lot easier to learn things from your coach as you have a deeper understanding.

Most people do start gym younger because it takes many, many years of hard work to reach an international level, for the aim of reaching their peak skill when they are your age and little older. This means that you will probably not reach your peak skill until your late 20's so it may be a little late for you to go to the olympics. But who cares, there is a lot more to gymnastics than that. I hope you continue to enjoy the sport through out the teen years through to adulthood and beyond.

I don't reccomend that you stick the stick it beam to your tramp. If you want to practise more advanced skills on your tramp draw a line down the middle. Be careful only to practise those skills which you are confident with and can do easily at the gym with no spot.

For working vault, try using the actual vault table for the level 4 handspring to flat back vault. Stack mats up on the landing side of the vault up to the same height as the vaulting table and do the handspring flat back vault on there.
Wow, that was so refreshing to me. I was also 16 when I started (*I'm 18 now) and I had these same worries, although I have no plans on competing seriously or the Olympics; I do it for fun. Although I do not have completely non experience, in kindergarten through about third grade we had gymnastics in gym class and I was pretty good. Never got to be that flexible. Than in high school (sophomore year) I had gymnastics again, and its kind of funny how I didn't realize until the next year how much I like gymnastics :eek:
 
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gracefulone

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It's so cool that you're doing it! We have a freshman level four for us. I'm 16 too, by the way, and a level 7.
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
grr! your gym is so nice! i have all of my level 6 skills and some level 7 and they are very clean and good, but they won't let me join team![not level 4 or 5 or 6] whateverr, if they don't want me, i don't want to be on there team!

good luck in the future!
 

pink ranger

New Member
Mar 31, 2008
25
new york city
So maybe I should start a thread about slow progress, lol. Its been bear 2 years and I can't do that much, whilst I'm talking to other people who had the similar situations but they've gotten up on higher levels :(
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Dec 8, 2007
1,233
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u said something about younger girls being more flexible......
im 14 so im not like real young but ive never been flexible i mean yea im wayyy flexible for a normie but not for a gymnasttt
 
T

turing

Guest
I've just started going to gymnastics class and I'm twenty-four!

As far as I'm concerned the OP is still a cheeky young whippersnapper! Back in my day etc. etc. :D
 
congrats on starting! don't let the age thing get to you. I started gymn only a couple years before high school and was never able to do club because my gym got rid of their club team cause teh coaches all moved and stuff. but anyway i didn't have very many skills at first but i just loved gymn the sport my coaches and my girls. if you just worked hard there is no doubt you will improve!! =] trust me the hard work pays off. i started off with basically nothing coming into frosh year and my senior year i ;medaled at a varsity invite on vault. so its possible to still be good even if you don't start young. =]
 
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Jojogymgirl

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congratulations on making team. i've read the other advise, and i say, it's all great! take it!
 
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