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maggie189

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I'm 14 and today my mom called some gyms to get me into a rec. gymnastics program (our plan was to move me up to the competitve team the next year) but all the gyms we called told my mom that I would probably never be able to become competitve starting this late. I don't understand why I wouldnt be able to become competitve!! It really hurts because I've always loved gymnastics we just couldn't afford it until now...but now all the gyms say I won't be able to get competitve starting this late =(
Is that true? Do most gyms say that? Am I starting way to late to become competitve?
 

kgymn

Member
Gymnast
Aug 3, 2008
324
Virginia
I agree you could most certainly become competitive, but I don't think that you'd be able to really determine "next year I will compete" simply because of variables such as flexibility and coordination. Some people pick things up much faster, and when you are older it can be harder to get the needed flexibility (and by that I mean it may take longer but by no means is it impossible.)

As long as you have realistic goals, such as "compete at the highest level I can get to" with the understanding it may not be a very high level and you will be surrounded by younger kids... versus "I want to get to Level 10 and compete in college!"

I did some gymnastics when I was little but didn't get far, and started again when I was 15. I admit it helped that I already could do basic skills (cartwheels, round-offs, back extensions) but I was working on level 5 before I got too busy to keep it up. I did some fun meets at level 4, and was training with the competitive team and would have been competing level 5 my senior year if I had been able to stick with it.

If you are content with the possibility that you may not make it out of the compulsory levels, then don't let them discourage you. Let them know you understand you won't get amazing overnight, but you are willing to put in the effort to try and then prove it once you are there.

~Katy
 

Aussie_coach

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Jan 4, 2008
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The truth is that the vast, vast majority of kids who start gymnastics at your age will never become competitive. That doesn't mean that you can't or won't but most just don't. But you can and if you are determined enough then you will. In fact I know of many who have taken up gymnastics much, much later than you (as adults) and become very successful competitors.

But it takes a lot of time, hard work and committment which most people your age aren't prepared to commit. Which is probably why the gyms didnt feel you would have a great shot. To be competitive you will need to train around 4-5 days a week for 3-5 hours a day. This means other things like homework, school activities, spending time with friends and so on will have to come second. Most teens arent prepared to make this sacrifice. But if you are prepered to do so then you have a shot.

Again you cant just say, I will go competitive in a year. You will have to reach a minimum standard before you can compete. And this usally takes quite a few years.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Why not just start in a rec class at the gym you like most and see how things go? See how quickly you are able to learn skills(and they will make you start at the beginning) and how much you like the sport. Then after some time if you have that desire and feel ready to up the hours and committment talk with the coaches about what is needed for team. Don't set time limits as in "next year" at this point for team. I would say just get started and then take it from there. Never say never!
 

Doubleback360

New Member
Aug 26, 2008
6
I would suggest trying a YMCA? Their teams accept anyone... but only some of them actually compete in leagues worth competing in. Though it is a place to start, most gymnasts start level four by eight years old.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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We have a girl at our gym that just started and she is 13. She is picking things up very quickly and will most likely compete level 4. Like others have said - will you be an olympic gymnast - probably not. Can you get to a level where you can have the opportunity to compete - go for it !!
 
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Billy

Guest
I am a firm believer in not letting anyone tell you you can't do something. If you want something bad enough, I believe you can achieve it.
 
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californiaaaa017

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I think you can be competitive, if you want it enough. It takes a lot of time and effort, so make sure you're ready. Before; you start, I recommend getting some flexibility and strength, and learn cartwheels and roundoffs and stuffs.
 

all-aroundgirl

Active Member
Aug 26, 2008
646
Texas
You can become competitive at any age. I became competitve swimmer when I was 13 and people told me I wouldn't get far. But if you look at time standards I am faster or equal to alot of people who are considered elite, when they were my age. Who knows how far you can go? As the swimmer Dara Torres said "Never put an age limit on your dreams." Anything is possible, no matter what your age or ability.
 
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