For Parents Between levels...what would you do?

Dad1234

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May 12, 2018
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If your child was between levels and could compete a level up or stay at her current level, which would you prefer? If my daughter competed at her current level, she would very likely be bored but have a chance at medaling. If she competed up, she would have less chance of medaling (which I think is a good life lesson). She wants to compete up but knows that competing up would require more work. Would you consider privates to help her compete up where she would be happier, challenged, but not as successful? I am leaning towards privates so that she can compete where she wants to compete. She says she wants to medal, but I know her heart lies with competing up because she loves doing the harder skills. Thoughts? FYI...she is six, going on seven. I say she would be bored at her current level because she switched gyms after competing two years of level two and is currently on xcel bronze. I feel like bronze would be a repeat of level 2 for her where she wouldn’t really get to learn anything new and I worry that she might quit. Her technique and form is what she needs to work on for silver verses the skills. She has the skills but needs to work on form. Thanks!
 
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ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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Depends on the child, her age and circumstance.

When mine was younger, we (coaches and parents) went with lower for confidence (our gym also does some uptraining).

Now that she is older and has a good sense of herself, it’s certainly not about the medals any more. We keep her with her group. We, meaning coaches, parents and especially my daughter (at 14.5 she knows what she wants and the cost).

So she competes when she may not have solid up to level skills. She realizes this costs her on her score. She is good with that. The bond with her group and the challenge of getting the skills is worth more to her then the score.

As parents footing the bill, the bond with her group and all the lessons and challenges she handles are what we pay for, not medals.
 

jillc

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Apr 1, 2016
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What do her coaches think? Are the coaches recommending privates if she wants to compete silver? Does your DD WANT to do privates? I’m trying to remember my DD when she was that age. I think she would have hated a private focused on form.

I would just hesitate to do privates in this situation. It seems like it would be pretty costly.

I would hope that they would be working on her form if she competed bronze if her form is the reason she isn’t competing silver.
 
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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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I wouldn't do privates, but I would let her compete Silver if the coaches are offering that as an option.

She may not medal as much in Silver as she would in Bronze, but she wont be bored and she COULD medal more than expected!

When my YG was 10, she was competing Xcel Gold. She didn't have the form she should have had ... and on beam, her acro and full turn were so inconsistent that she didn't compete them (so beam had a 9.0 start value). At one meet, she actually took 1st place on bars ... and bars wasn't a strong suit either ... but her smile was so big because she beat "the 16 year old" who should have been Platinum.
 

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Tmacs

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Feb 19, 2019
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It depends on the personality of the child. Most of the girls in my daughter’s group who are between 3/4 are choosing to go up because they feel bored at L3 even though the season was cut short. But last year, some younger kids repeated L3 and it was great for confidence. With the pandemic, I would choose the upper level as the meet situation is iffy.
 

MuggleMom

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She may enjoy Bronze more than you think, with level 2 its the same routines and the same skills for everyone. The disadvantage (I feel) in the JO level program at the compulsory levels is there is less uptraining which can get boring for kids repeating levels. With Excel they will get their own routine which (ideally) they can tailor their skills too so it should be a more engaging experience for your daughter. That being said given that this will likely be a year with less competitions and everyone will be a bit all over the place with training etc I would maybe give the higher level a shot.

I will say though my daughter likes to get medals I was always surprised at how well she took not placing well at meets. She can be a bit middle of the pack with some stand out performances...as long as she got a medal at every meet (even if it was a 7th place medal lol) she was happy. She got her first 1st place medal last year at level 6 (her 4th year competing) and she was beaming but she still wasn't disappointed if she didnt get top 3 at other meets on any events. Progression over perfection.
 
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cogymmom2dd

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Feb 9, 2020
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Is it an option for her to practice with the Silver team so that she is challenged and doesn’t get bored but compete gold? One of DD2’s best gym friends does that. She practices a level up and competes a level down. Form and technique will come with time and maturity. I feel like DD1 didn’t have either until about age 7/8, Level 3. She is now age 10 and completed a season of L6 last year so just give her time.
Also, I have strong feelings against privates to learn form and technique. If they can’t get the that during practice, then coaching needs to be re-evaluated. We are heading into season 6 for my daughter and she has only ever had 2 privates. One was included with the price I paid for her choreography and music when she did a season of XCEL Gold. The other was because she had a rough meet where she fell off the bar twice trying to do a kip on the high bar and was afraid to get back up onto the high bar again. We paid for her to be with one of her favorite coaches to get a little boost of confidence, not to focus on a certain skill or technique so that she could compete at a higher level.
 

Gymsanity

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From my view as an owner, it's a no brainer. If you think your child is bored of her level, it's not even close to how bored she would be sitting there getting no medals at awards! It's my job as a coach to see that the kids are always successful and up training at the same time. I couldn't imagine a child being 'bored.' I would have to reevaluate because I must be doing something wrong.
As for privates, (I'll put on my fire-suit now as I can feel the flames coming lol) I would never do them. If someone feels like they need a 'private' at my place, we've clearly dropped the ball! Everyone needs a little something different and that's good, keeps us from getting bored! ;) Whatever extra that child might need you'll almost always find that it benefits the other kids as well. So whether more or different drills and stations, spotting, mats, etc. we do it for everyone during regular training hours. It's also been my experience that privates can cause a toxic situation between parents as there are the ones that are fortunate enough to be able to afford them and those that can't.
 

cogymmom2dd

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Feb 9, 2020
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From my view as an owner, it's a no brainer. If you think your child is bored of her level, it's not even close to how bored she would be sitting there getting no medals at awards! It's my job as a coach to see that the kids are always successful and up training at the same time. I couldn't imagine a child being 'bored.' I would have to reevaluate because I must be doing something wrong.
As for privates, (I'll put on my fire-suit now as I can feel the flames coming lol) I would never do them. If someone feels like they need a 'private' at my place, we've clearly dropped the ball! Everyone needs a little something different and that's good, keeps us from getting bored! ;) Whatever extra that child might need you'll almost always find that it benefits the other kids as well. So whether more or different drills and stations, spotting, mats, etc. we do it for everyone during regular training hours. It's also been my experience that privates can cause a toxic situation between parents as there are the ones that are fortunate enough to be able to afford them and those that can't.
I respect your opinion, as this is the stance that I have with privates and for the most part what our gym policy about privates is- if you can’t teach them the fundamentals during practice, then something needs to be evaluated. Are more coaches needed because groups are too big? Is there something that needs focused on? My kids have friends that go to other gyms in our area and their parents pay for privates just to learn back handsprings so their kids can compete at a certain level (last year it was level 3). I could not wrap my head around why that wasn’t something that could be done at practice, especially if that certain skill is something that is a requirement for their level and not an ‘up skill’.
 
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