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For Parents Advice Needed :)

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CLgym

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If staying on the JO track is the most important thing than take the small group offer

^ I think this is the question from my perspective.... whether or not the small group means staying on the "JO track" or not. The original post indicated that the 3 other girls in the group were being "demoted from Xcel Bronze or pre-team." So I think it is a little unclear exactly where this group is headed (despite the owner's assurance that "the sky's the limit"). But if I was otherwise happy at a gym, I'd probably personally be willing to give it a year to find out. Does the gym allow mobility between Xcel and JO?
 

John

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@Scream4IceCream Tough spot you find yourself in.

Gym Change is not bad.
Staying is not bad.
Life will not always nor can it be perfect for any group. Learning to get along as the distraction or get along with the distraction are both important lessons to learn in life.

If this were my daughter I would find a gym with a more age-appropriate group for my DD to train in then sit back and relax and enjoy the gymnastics ride.

My DD is the second youngest in her group last year, that is hard. As this summer ends she looks to be moving groups where the other girls are 15 and 16, she is 12. She will be a distraction even if just her conversation with the other girls. She will push the older girls because no older girl wants a 12-year-old to catch them. These gyms are like living in a fishbowl, nothing is easy for any of the gymnast's. Everything is multiplied by the small number of participants.

Good Luck to you and your daughter.
 

Scream4IceCream

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"We are so excited to give your daughter this wonderful new opportunity to do many fewer hours with less intensity! It will give her exactly the chance she needs to really flourish!"

This is a load of nonsense. The gym is really telling you that they don't want your daughter for team, but they want you to stay so they can keep making money off of you. They are just trying to make it sound positive. Even if you were to argue her way back onto preteam or team, there is nothing you or your daughter could ever do to erase the perception that she's not really team material. Without necessarily realizing it, the coaches will always perceive and treat your daughter differently, and there will be negative effects. If she wants to be on team, ever, you need to move her now.

I heard exactly the same thing from my daughter's gym. After she has been training 12 hours a week, competing JO for four years, owning a team season high event score, contributing to the team score in every meet, and regularly standing near the top of the podium on multiple events, we are going to give her the exciting opportunity to train XCel for 6 hours a week with no conditioning and second-rate coaching! This is exactly what she needs to realize her full potential! I picked up her grips the next day and within the week she was training a higher JO level at a new gym.
Wow! Thanks for sharing your story. I do worry that my daughter has been "labeled" so to speak and any slight misstep on her part will add to her reputation. Glad your daughter found a gym that appreciates her!
 

NY Dad

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Disclaimer: Most of the advice that you’re getting is from parents that have been doing this longer than me (and my dd).

I think it’s time for a new gym because it sounds to me like your current gym is not interested in what’s best for your dd now. I don’t think that it makes a difference if they’ve given up on her or if they just feel that because she’s so young, the next year doesn’t matter in the long run.

My dd’s situation was different, but it took the CB community for me to realize that it was time for a gym change. Despite the fact that her coach knew that my dd wanted to compete, he insisted that moving her from pre-team to advanced rec was what was best for her. While I don't know if she ever would have made it onto the team, they were definitely happy to continue to take our money. In your situation, the only thing you know for sure is that your dd isn’t on the team anymore. They aren’t going to promise you anything about what will happen in the future.

I can relate to your reluctance to switch gyms. Even though I had been posting on CB that I thought that her gym had given up on her, I was still partially in denial and continued to hope for the best. For me that all changed when I realized how detrimental staying would be to her mental health. At her old gym, I had been told that the level changes wouldn’t take effect until after summer and that in the meantime nothing would change. The first practice after the move-ups were announced, the new team girls were invited to hang out with team girls during part of practice while my dd wasn’t invited. She came home really upset and made excuses to try to avoid going to practice the next day. I pulled her out of there as quickly as possible. (You haven't mentioned anything so I assume you haven't heard about anything like that.)

I had assumed that the reason she loved gym so much must have been her coach, her friends, or something else specific to that gym. There really wasn’t anything to lose so I took her to another gym for an evaluation (again, different than your situation). I’m so glad that I did.

Had she stayed at her old gym, I don’t think that my dd would have stuck with gymnastics for long. I also don’t think that she would have ever competed. Instead, she still loves gymnastics and she’s looking forward to her third season on team, which starts in a few months.

I hope that was helpful.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
 

Cheryl

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Unfortunately, one of the ugly things about this sport is the willingness of some owners and coaches to manipulate and play into the fears and insecurities of parents and small kids to go along with their plan. Announcing stuff like Level changes and who gets to go to the next level in front of other kids and making the other kids feel bad is awful. Some gyms seem to run their programs like who gets invited to the slumber party in middle school.

If your sense is that this gym isn’t invested in your daughter’s progress, find a gym that is, so if or when your kid decides to retire, it’s not because she feels devalued, but because she wants to leave on her own terms.
 

Scream4IceCream

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I will speak harshly. You do not need her to have private’s for xcel bronze!!!
What you need to do is move her to a different gym, where she has different opportunities, and if you do it ASAP, there is still a chance she could actually compete level 3. And even if she doesn’t compete for a season, or does level 2 again, it’s ok. But I highly doubt your kid is going to buy this pre pre team approach, mine would have called bull crap even at age five. Kids are smarter than we give them credit for! And if you are being sucked in now to stay because of how nice it was the owner got in touch with you...well let’s just say it gets harder and harder to leave the longer you stay....
Good luck. And I am sorry to be so harsh. But it’s time for a different gym, even if she repeats a level or doesn’t compete at all.
Thanks! I appreciate your candor. Unfortunately, the other two gyms I'd consider don't compete L2. One doesn't compete until L4 (although I think they use Xcel to get their pre-teamers some meet experience) and I think the other one competed L3 for the last time this past season. Not that competing is the most important thing, but when they don't compete until L4, it is hard to know what the other gyms offer for her age. I definitely agree that it is going to be hard to sell this to my kid. She is not going to see a huge reduction in hours, not getting to compete, and being separated from her teammates as this great opportunity. (The new pre-pre-team schedule also means she's not going to be able to do soccer which was supposed to be an opportunity to bond with her new classmates.) I'm going to present it in the most positive light I can, but I also have to be authentic and empathetic. I can't risk losing credibility with my child over gymnastics. I need her to trust me later on when it comes to much more serious things like bullying, drugs, etc.
 

Scream4IceCream

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Sometimes the coach and gym just don't want to coach your child, for whatever reason, and it won't change no matter how well your kid does. We went through a similar situation, kid had always placed and sometimes won AA at locals, placed at invitationals, placed at regionals, and had all his bonuses for Level 6. Nonetheless, the coach said he wasn't good enough to do Level 7. What is really was, was the coach only wanted to coach 2 of the boys in my son's group. The other boys were younger and ended up repeating Level 6 (they didn't have all the bonuses), So we switched gyms. When we went to try out, the head coach already knew who my son was - mens gymnastics is a really small world- and said he could definitely do Level 7, but it was actually better for him to do JD, because on some events, he could already do a Level 8 routine and it made no sense to keep him in compulsory. Fast forward, kid did 2 years at JD, and will compete Level 9 this year against the same kids who were so much "better" than him. I imagine he will do just fine, but now he has a coach who supports him and wants to develop him, rather than one who would just make him do endless back handsprings and mushroom work in the corner while he coached the boys he deemed worthy of his attention.
Thanks for sharing your story. I'm so glad your son found a place where he is happy and appreciated!
 
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rd7

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Can you have a look at the other gyms just as an observer without your DD and without giving any info that would get back to your current gym?
 

Blythe24

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Thanks for your support! I wish her sleep apnea was an easy fix. The doctor says her tonsils are small, her adenoids are not enlarged, and she's not overweight, so he doesn't believe surgery will necessarily help. He wants us to try Flonase (though even if it helps she can't stay on it long term). If it doesn't, he's willing to remove her adenoids, but there's no guarantee it will improve anything. Even though it is classified as "mild" I really believe resolving it would greatly help her!

I've been a long-time lurker on this site. But the info you have shared about your DD's sleep apnea made me create this account so I could respond to this!

My youngest DS was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was young (that was a struggle in itself, as he didn't present with the "typical" symptoms - he never snored, and wasn't small for his age, but boy did he have the behavioural signs and symptoms).

His apnea was classified as "severe" (and it was), and we heard the same from the ENT - that his tonsils and adenoids weren't that big, but that they could be contributing. With the sleep study results, they did the surgery pretty much right away, and the ENT came out of the surgery sort of shrugging his shoulders saying, "well, his tonsils and adenoids weren't really enlarged. We'll see if it worked."

Well, we knew about 2 weeks later that it *had* worked. Our little boy was a completely different person. He was more interactive, more patient, better able to focus and follow multi-step directions. It was like night and day. He had a follow-up sleep study, and his sleep apnea had completely resolved.

If I were you, I'd maybe look for a second opinion. Sleep apnea is a horrible thing for little bodies and minds.
 

Scream4IceCream

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I've been a long-time lurker on this site. But the info you have shared about your DD's sleep apnea made me create this account so I could respond to this!

My youngest DS was diagnosed with sleep apnea when he was young (that was a struggle in itself, as he didn't present with the "typical" symptoms - he never snored, and wasn't small for his age, but boy did he have the behavioural signs and symptoms).

His apnea was classified as "severe" (and it was), and we heard the same from the ENT - that his tonsils and adenoids weren't that big, but that they could be contributing. With the sleep study results, they did the surgery pretty much right away, and the ENT came out of the surgery sort of shrugging his shoulders saying, "well, his tonsils and adenoids weren't really enlarged. We'll see if it worked."

Well, we knew about 2 weeks later that it *had* worked. Our little boy was a completely different person. He was more interactive, more patient, better able to focus and follow multi-step directions. It was like night and day. He had a follow-up sleep study, and his sleep apnea had completely resolved.

If I were you, I'd maybe look for a second opinion. Sleep apnea is a horrible thing for little bodies and minds.
Wow! Thank you so much for taking the time to share your story! I'm glad the surgery was successful for your son. I am looking into getting a second opinion.
 

Scream4IceCream

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Disclaimer: Most of the advice that you’re getting is from parents that have been doing this longer than me (and my dd).

I think it’s time for a new gym because it sounds to me like your current gym is not interested in what’s best for your dd now. I don’t think that it makes a difference if they’ve given up on her or if they just feel that because she’s so young, the next year doesn’t matter in the long run.

My dd’s situation was different, but it took the CB community for me to realize that it was time for a gym change. Despite the fact that her coach knew that my dd wanted to compete, he insisted that moving her from pre-team to advanced rec was what was best for her. While I don't know if she ever would have made it onto the team, they were definitely happy to continue to take our money. In your situation, the only thing you know for sure is that your dd isn’t on the team anymore. They aren’t going to promise you anything about what will happen in the future.

I can relate to your reluctance to switch gyms. Even though I had been posting on CB that I thought that her gym had given up on her, I was still partially in denial and continued to hope for the best. For me that all changed when I realized how detrimental staying would be to her mental health. At her old gym, I had been told that the level changes wouldn’t take effect until after summer and that in the meantime nothing would change. The first practice after the move-ups were announced, the new team girls were invited to hang out with team girls during part of practice while my dd wasn’t invited. She came home really upset and made excuses to try to avoid going to practice the next day. I pulled her out of there as quickly as possible. (You haven't mentioned anything so I assume you haven't heard about anything like that.)

I had assumed that the reason she loved gym so much must have been her coach, her friends, or something else specific to that gym. There really wasn’t anything to lose so I took her to another gym for an evaluation (again, different than your situation). I’m so glad that I did.

Had she stayed at her old gym, I don’t think that my dd would have stuck with gymnastics for long. I also don’t think that she would have ever competed. Instead, she still loves gymnastics and she’s looking forward to her third season on team, which starts in a few months.

I hope that was helpful.

Good luck and let us know what you decide to do.
Thanks for your response! I'm a long-time lurker, so I remember following your story. Change is hard, so it is nice to hear success stories. I'm glad your daughter is doing well!
 
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Scream4IceCream

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@Scream4IceCream Tough spot you find yourself in.

Gym Change is not bad.
Staying is not bad.
Life will not always nor can it be perfect for any group. Learning to get along as the distraction or get along with the distraction are both important lessons to learn in life.

If this were my daughter I would find a gym with a more age-appropriate group for my DD to train in then sit back and relax and enjoy the gymnastics ride.

My DD is the second youngest in her group last year, that is hard. As this summer ends she looks to be moving groups where the other girls are 15 and 16, she is 12. She will be a distraction even if just her conversation with the other girls. She will push the older girls because no older girl wants a 12-year-old to catch them. These gyms are like living in a fishbowl, nothing is easy for any of the gymnast's. Everything is multiplied by the small number of participants.

Good Luck to you and your daughter.
Thanks! I always appreciate your philosophical viewpoints. (That's a compliment, by the way...hard to know how things come across online!)
 
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Scream4IceCream

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Thanks to everyone for all the helpful advice I've received! I wanted to post an update and see what you think...

I decided to have DD at least try this new pre-pre-team group. I didn’t want her to have too much change at one time and my preference is to stay at this gym.

I didn't want to drop this disappointing news on DD the weekend before she started at her new school. So I replied to the owner's e-mail saying that although DD was begging to get back in the gym, I wasn't going to bring her to practice that first week (this new pre-pre-team started the same week as school) because she was still adjusting to the news that she's going to a new school and I hated to drop another disappointment on her right then. I told her we would be back the following week, but that I wanted DD to just be able to focus on school this first week.

She wrote back and said she understood that kids need time to adjust to going back to school. She again said what a special group this was and that it should not be viewed as a disappointment at all, but as a great opportunity. She said she would like DD to give it a good try.

DH and I tried to be as positive as we could when we told her, but she was devastated of course! At first she said she wasn't going to do the pre-pre-team and that I should take her to the L3 practices anyway, but eventually she calmed down a little and told us that she would do it and she was going to work really hard and show them that she's ready for more. It was so hard to watch her struggle with this disappointment.

So yesterday, at the last minute, she didn't want to go. I think she didn't want to have to see her L3 team practicing at the same time, so I assured her that they wouldn't be in the gym that night. I told her we could just go watch for tonight and that I would bring a leo with me in case she wanted to try it. We got there and at first she had no interest in watching or participating. The coach came over and talked to DD and encouraged her to try it. When DD saw they were going to bars first (her favorite) she put on her leo, watched for awhile, and gradually went over to the group. She did a few turns on bars and then they moved to floor.

Then all hell broke loose. Her BFF from her old school showed up for a rec class and DD ran over to the rec side of the gym and wanted to do the rec class with the BFF. I cannot explain the bond these two have, but when they get together they are glued at the hip. DD is not like this with anyone else and this is literally the only kid in the world that would make her want to be over on the rec side. The BFF is a great kid and I love the family, but it was just bad timing for an already difficult situation. Someone alerted the owner's daughter (owner wasn’t there) to what was happening and she told me that if DD wanted to be in the rec class with BFF, that it was fine. I don't know how much she has been filled in on what has been happening with DD, but she started saying things like, "You just want her to be happy and love gymnastics again. Eventually she'll get bored in that class." I seriously didn't know what to say! DD was perfectly happy and loved gymnastics until they started messing with her! So I just let her stay in the rec class for the rest of the time. The other girls were doing tuck jumps down the tumble track and DD would do ROBHS

While DD was over in the rec class with BFF, I watched the rest of the pre-pre-team practice. These kids cannot even do pullovers by themselves. On floor, they had decent cartwheels, but couldn't do a good HS, and weren't even pushing off their hands on backwards rolls down a wedge mat. Some of them were kicking over from a bridge down a wedge mat, but with completely sloppy form. I don’t mean to put these girls down. I’m sure they are talented and will develop into good gymnasts. It is just that my daughter is way past them right now. They look like she did two years ago.

I didn’t get to speak with the pre-pre-team coach after practice because I had to rush to Open House at DD’s new school. I don’t even know what to do at this point. DD said that she had fun with BFF and wasn’t interested in the pre-pre-team because it “wouldn’t be challenging enough”. I know the coach would let her work on more advanced stuff than the other girls, but she’s not happy or inspired being with kids who are way behind her. I just don’t see how this is the right fit for her. She wants to ask her old coach for another chance at L3, but I doubt they would reconsider.

I’m planning to bring her to the next pre-pre-team practice on Friday. BFF won’t be there, but it will still be tough because her L3 team will be practicing at the same time. I’m trying to give this arrangement a good try, but it’s getting harder by the minute. Thoughts??
 

Flipfloppy

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I’m trying to give this arrangement a good try, but it’s getting harder by the minute. Thoughts??

We're on page three and nearly every response has suggested moving to another gym, with most of those suggesting that the current gym has given up on your daughter. Your description of the first pre-pre-team practice and their willingness to let your daughter hang out with a rec class reinforces that. I'm not sure what more there is to say.
 

GymDadWA

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Then all hell broke loose. Her BFF from her old school showed up for a rec class and DD ran over to the rec side of the gym and wanted to do the rec class with the BFF.

I’m planning to bring her to the next pre-pre-team practice on Friday. BFF won’t be there, but it will still be tough because her L3 team will be practicing at the same time. I’m trying to give this arrangement a good try, but it’s getting harder by the minute. Thoughts??

She doesn't sound mentally ready for team. Can't blame her for acting her own age, but being focused and staying on task is part of the challenge of the sport, she just doesn't sound mentally ready. Physically she has talent, but mentally she wants to be 6 and play gymnastics.

Your best bet is probably to find a gym that has multiple 5-6 year old in their pre-team program where she can work on her mental focus as much as her physical skills. Your current gym just doesn't cater to what your DD needs right now.
 

kendo348

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I will say that our gym does not allow pre-team kids to be concurrently enrolled in rec classes (if they want more hours or whatever) because they don’t want them doing any reps getting away with bad form. Which makes sense. If your gym doesn’t care that she plays in a rec class for the foreseeable future, that tells me they don’t really care that much about her long term progress. She needs gym to be fun again, yes, but that can happen in a team environment catered to her age. Take her to a different gym with preteam kids her age and give it a try. Either she loves it and progresses, or you realize that she isn’t mentally mature enough for team yet and you try again in a year or so.
 

Momx3

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I don’t post regularly on here and my dd is done with gymnastics but I stop by every so often and I’ve read this whole thread and Just had to post.

For what it’s worth as one parent to another, gymnastics aside, I think it would be a good idea for you and your husband to have a chat with your dd about expectations. If she wants to do gymnastics, the expectation is that she stays in her class/group no matter who turns up because that is what big girls have to do. Imagine if you ran out of class in school because you saw bff... etc

I understand she has a lot on and only you can judge what she can handle, but if you think keeping gymnastics as a constant is good for her, I think you need to be very clear with her that she can only go if she uses her listening ears, stays in class etc. Maybe make a sticker reward chart for school and gym so it’s fun. You could also check her diet and make sure she is avoiding foods with glucose, sugar in general, processed or frozen foods, fruit juices and chocolate to name a few- you may do this already. It’s amazing how the elimination of some things make a difference.

I also think maybe you should consider holding off on a new gym for a little while until she shows that she can consistently focus at this gym - even if they aren’t interested in progressing her, you don’t want to spoil her chances elsewhere. You may find her focus doesn’t resolve until her sleep problem is dealt with.

Please don’t take this as criticism of your daughter - my kids are all older and I’ve learnt that simple rules that don’t change work best, especially if there are other issues.

Good luck whatever you decide, I hope you work it out. Remember, gymnastics will come and go and it may be too much for her right now.

Oh and I agree she needs a new gym, I just don’t think it sounds like she is ready right now.
 

GAgymmom

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I will say that our gym does not allow pre-team kids to be concurrently enrolled in rec classes (if they want more hours or whatever) because they don’t want them doing any reps getting away with bad form. Which makes sense. If your gym doesn’t care that she plays in a rec class for the foreseeable future, that tells me they don’t really care that much about her long term progress. She needs gym to be fun again, yes, but that can happen in a team environment catered to her age. Take her to a different gym with preteam kids her age and give it a try. Either she loves it and progresses, or you realize that she isn’t mentally mature enough for team yet and you try again in a year or so.
She’s already done a year of team.
This whole situation confuses me. My dd did the 4-5 yr preteam for a year, but didn’t get put on team due to focus. She was still 5, so was supposed to repeat the same preteam. I was ok with that, but the first day they spent 10 minutes learning to “stand like a gymnast.” My daughter was way past them skill-wise. She had a pullover, BWO, cartwheel, could go on the high beam and do level 1 skills, etc. They let me put her on the older preteam, and she did just fine. In gymnastics, the older girls often bring up the younger girl rather than the younger girl bringing down the older girls. Your daughter sounds like most gymnasts her age. The fact that they let her go to Rec classes and encouraged you to let her continue there would be concerning. She’s already competed level 2, so if she wants to continue, either Xcel silver or Level 3 is where I would think she should be.
Don’t be afraid of change if you need it. A tryout at another place doesn’t mean a commitment, but you might want to see what another place has to offer.
 

Cmumgym

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We had a little one at our gym the exact same scenario. Was placed in team and was very talented but emotionally and mentally wasn’t there. She adored a rec coach and refused to do team when that coach was coaching rec as wanted to be with them and her friends. We let her do it not because we didn’t care but because it gave her time to grow and made her happy instead of pushed into something she wasn’t focused for Once she saw what the team was doing and with the coach asking each week if she would like to go with them one day she decided herself. By that time the team she was with was in the next level but she was young enough that it didn’t matter and now older and grown she just placed top 6 in level 5. It’s important that even if your child is talented it won’t matter if her head isn’t in it focus wise. And coaches can see that. It doesn’t mean they don’t see her talent. It’s hard with gymnastics because they develop from a young age but with that young age coaches need to help guide mental development aswell.
 
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