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Advice on what's best for 4 year old DD please help

Discussion in 'UK' started by Diane, Sep 13, 2017.

  1. Diane

    Diane New Member
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    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
     
  2. Jenny

    Jenny Verified Coach
    Verified Coach Proud Parent Former Gymnast

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    I personally would go for a smaller, more friendly local club. Especially as she is only 4. However I understand your not being sure about the lack of equipment and ratio of coaches to gymnasts in the local club.

    30 mins is a long way to go for a 4 year old. Have you looked to see if there is a 3rd option of a more local club 10 to 15 minutes away. Might be a better option with more equipment and coaches.

    I would definitely not get worked up about a tumbling squad for a 4 year old. She could come into tumbling much older and do just fine. I would try to keep her in a more general gymnastics class for the next 2 years at least.

    And although poor communication is a general bug bear with gymnastics clubs I am horrified you haven't been told her coaches name or what progress she is making. At 4 she would normally be progressing through British Gymnastics Pre School badges and when a little older starting the British Gymnastics Award Scheme Badges which run from 8 to 1.

    I would run a mile from a club that didn't let you know who was coaching your 4 year old.
     
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  3. Diane

    Diane New Member
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    Thank you so much for the advice and reassurance. She has got the badges 8 and 7 to date and she really wants to make it all the way to badge 1.

    It is a huge club with hundreds of kids and endless number of coaches which is why I feel a bit lost in it all. I was concerned that their focus is just on getting youngsters into squads (that obviously costs the parents a lot more in fees) even if they're not actually showing core abilities to be in a squad.

    I have turned down the offer of a tumbling squad and want to give her at least another year just doing 1 hour a week for fun. We tried the smaller club but she didn't seem too enthralled by it (hard to judge a 4 year olds preference!).
     
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