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Advice on doing what's best for 4 year old, please help.

Should I keep my daughter where she is or move her to the closer club?

  • Keep her where she is

    Votes: 10 76.9%
  • Move her

    Votes: 3 23.1%

  • Total voters
    13
  • Poll closed .
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Diane

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Sep 12, 2017
7
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Hello

I am completely new to gymnastics myself but my daughter started recreational gymnastics just over 6 months ago and I have a bit of a dilemma. She joined a large competitive club (they have lots of squads and attend all the main competitions) that teach gymnastics, tumbling and trampolining. She does recreational gymnastics once a week and she seems to really enjoy it. I wouldn't say she's particularly naturally gifted at gymnastics but her lack of balance and co-ordination was why we signed her up.

The coaches at the gym are really good and there's only her and 2 others in their little group so they get a lot of attention from the coach. My problem is there's no communication with parents at all, in fact I couldn't even tell you her coach's name. I'm not really clued up on the different levels/badges, so don't know what she's working towards or if she's making any progress. We travel quite a distance to attend the club (30 min by car) and now there's a club much closer to us (3 min drive) that can take her.

I went to visit the other club and it was much more basic and more informal. There were a lot of 4-5 year olds running around and maybe 2 (possibly 3) coaches managing the whole class. Very different from the attention she currently gets. However, the parents seemed to know the coaches and there was more of a community feel. My concern is that she would not really progress there at the same rate because she is already walking on the high beams, jumping into foam pits and such like, but this small club doesn't have any of that (mainly low flow beams and just lots of mats).

Anyway a couple of weeks ago my daughter was invited to try out for a tumbling squad at the large club which at first was very confusing as she's never done a tumbling class. I watch her trial and to be honest she did not look ready for any squad, a bit all over the place but smiling cause she was having fun. Turns out that they want to offer her a place but I have no information on what is involved for a 4 year old joining a squad (as I said their communication with parents is really bad) or whether it is even worthwhile.

My dilemma is do I take her out the large competitive club that have offered her a squad place and put her into a smaller club that appears more community and friendly focussed? It's hard to ask a 4 year old as she doesn't really understand what the squad trial was about, all she wants to do is jump around and do forward rolls and use the apparatus.

I really don't know what to do for the best, so any advice is welcomed.
Thanks
 

LouLou

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Nov 5, 2016
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She's four. If she is in a safe environment and having fun, end of story. Don't turn into a CGM before you even get started. You don't need updates, she doesn't need to progress, she needs to have fun and learn from the experience as a whole.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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She's four. If she is in a safe environment and having fun, end of story. Don't turn into a CGM before you even get started. You don't need updates, she doesn't need to progress, she needs to have fun and learn from the experience as a whole.
Very much this...............

At 4 it is supposed to be fun.
 

Diane

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Sep 12, 2017
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Goodness I didn't intent to come across as a CGM, quite the opposite. The club she is in now is trying to encourage her into squads whereas the other place is more just for fun. My concern was taking her out a big club that if in the future she did progress and wanted to be in squads then she would need to move back again.
 

amiandjim

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Apr 18, 2015
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You are in the U.K. Correct? I think those of us in the US are not at all used to your system, which seems to be more restrictive on getting into competitive teams at an older age (by old I mean 8-10), so I would say if she is happy with her current gym and wants to join the squad, she should. The lack of communication is quite normal!
 

Diane

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Sep 12, 2017
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Yes I am in the UK, thank you. I think what I might do is leave her where she is but just keep her at recreational until she's older and understands the commitments of squads. The squad would be 4 hours a week and I'm not sure she's ready for that.
 

John

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May 5, 2017
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If squad is what is desired then you should stay. Changing gyms and leaving friends is a hard process for young children.
 
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Learning Parent GB

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May 21, 2013
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If she is happy and you have any inkling that you might want her to do more gym at a later date, then I would probably stay at the larger club. I know it's about what she wants in the long run, but say you were never going to be committed to more than an hour a week I would say move to the local fun club.
I think as she ends up doing more of whatever discipline she ends up with you will start to find more of a community at the large club within the parents with kids around the same level or training times.

As for communication, in my experience it is harder to have those casual conversations with coaches at a larger club due to the organisation of the sheer numbers of kids involved. But if you can find out from them the best way to ask questions - maybe e-mail or whatever - then I find that most clubs are more approachable than you expect when you do actually manage to speak to them.
 
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Sourkey

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Aug 5, 2017
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I wouldn't switch just because of the lack of communication. That's pretty typical in my experience. If she is unhappy there, that's another story, but that doesn't seem to be the case.

My youngest is 4 and is in a "development" class for 4 year olds - they've all been tried out/been selected from the kindergym group. At our gym, this is basically the first point of entry into the competitive stream. The goal is to give them some more focused training while keeping it fun and engaging. They're also just getting a bit more time in the gym. I have no idea what they're working on or how she is progressing but I'm happy as long as she's enjoying herself. She's also really attached to her coach and I know she'd be upset with a change if we were to move her. I also like being at a larger more competitive club because she sees the older girls training and it's fun for hear to see what she may be able to do one day.
 
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Teammom

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May 13, 2017
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At our gym, they pick preschoolers to be in a "developmental" group. These girls can't start competing until level 4 and they must be in 2nd grade. What do you guys think about this? The rec girls that move to team can start competing in level 3 at any age (I think). But even those girls look to be 8ish years old.
 

Ginger

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Apr 14, 2014
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At our gym, they pick preschoolers to be in a "developmental" group. These girls can't start competing until level 4 and they must be in 2nd grade. What do you guys think about this? The rec girls that move to team can start competing in level 3 at any age (I think). But even those girls look to be 8ish years old.
I like this approach. I am not big fan of competing level 3 as it is not a mandatory level, so if a little girl gets strong fundamentals why not start competing at level 4. On the other hand, the girls who start later get a chance to move to team and compete as well which also sounds good.
 
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Ginger

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Apr 14, 2014
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@Diane - if the 30 min commute is not an issue for you, then stay. It sounds like your current club is also safer, as they probably pay a lot of attention to details. I would not feel comfortable with, as you describe it, "There were a lot of 4-5 year olds running around and maybe 2 (possibly 3) coaches managing the whole class. Very different from the attention she currently gets." It may be a recipe for an injury, either now (lack of attention) or later, when she will attempt bigger tricks with weak basics and bad habits.
 

raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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At our gym, they pick preschoolers to be in a "developmental" group. These girls can't start competing until level 4 and they must be in 2nd grade. What do you guys think about this? The rec girls that move to team can start competing in level 3 at any age (I think). But even those girls look to be 8ish years old.
Since you have to be 7 to compete L4, I think it is fine to have a group of hand selected kids train toward starting in L4. Why waste time (and money) competing L3 and that stupid mill circle at the age of 6 when you can wait a year and compete skills "that matter" at L4.
As for rec kids coming in and competing L3, they have not gotten the benefits of the intense training younger, so they are going to enter the competitive stream at a lower level - just to "get their feet wet."
 

Iwannabemargo

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Aug 28, 2011
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@Diane firstly welcome. This is a great place for advice, however I would suggest you maybe post things to do with UK gym on the U K pages. This is s great community but quite US based and their system is very different to ours.

To answer your question, I think I may know what club you are a member of, if it's in the North of England.

I would say from what I have seen, and know of the club, whilst they have been a successful Trampoline club for quite some time they are very new to gymnastics and they have, to my knowledge not yet competed in a non-invitational competition (is grades, nationals etc).

4 is way to young to be on anything other than a development squad ( us pre-team). They cannot compete until the year they turn 8, and their body proportions are not developed enough at 4 to be tumbling.

If you need any low down on UK clubs feel free to pm myself, Marie83, Jenny who know the UK clubs a bit better for the low down.

'Margo
 

Diane

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Sep 12, 2017
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United Kingdom
Thank you very much for all the advice, it is certainly opening my eyes to the world of gymnastics and I'll chat to my daughter and try to work out what's best for her.
 
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bogwoppit

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I think that's unfair. I'm not going to pull her out a club where she's happy and put her in a club she's unhappy.

To each their own for sure, but you have no idea if she will be happy, or not, at a different club.

To me any club that wants to put a 4 year old on a tumbling team is seriously questionable.
 
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