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Can a great athlete train anywhere ans still achieve greatness?

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Calimomof2

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Do national team members ever come from gyms without an elite track record? If not when do you know its time to search for another gym? Do more well known coaches show interest or do you possibly alienate your gym by going to check out other gyms?
 
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Aussie_coach

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Of course elite gymnasts can and do come from gyms that have never produced an elite before. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any, because every gym had to have its first one at some stage.

But athletes can’t train anywhere and still make it. Most coaches and most gyms are either not willing or not capable of taking athletes to the top level.
 

Calimomof2

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Of course elite gymnasts can and do come from gyms that have never produced an elite before. Otherwise there wouldn’t be any, because every gym had to have its first one at some stage.

But athletes can’t train anywhere and still make it. Most coaches and most gyms are either not willing or not capable of taking athletes to the top level.

So how do you know that you have a coach and a gym willing to go to the top.
 

Aussie_coach

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So how do you know that you have a coach and a gym willing to go to the top.
To be honest, it is like winning the gymnastics lottery.

As reanndrops points out, the first option is to ask. As many coaches/gyms are unwilling to pursue this avenue. Developing elite gymnasts is expensive for the gym. They need their top coaches to worked almost exclusively with a very small number of gymnasts. They must pay them high wages, for high hours, for a few kids. The coaches will need to be out of the gym a lot travelling to camps, competitions etc. The less kids at the elite level the harder it is to afford. Elite programs generally run at a massive loss. The goal for bigger gyms is that the prestige it will bring will attract more students to their facility, to make up for the losses in other ways.

The coaches may also be willing to tell you that they simply don’t have the expertise to take kids to this level, and even if they pursue this knowledge are unlikely to develop it in time to take your child where they want to go.

But the problem is you might have coaches who think they are capable of achieving this goal, and aren’t. So asking the gym isn’t nessesarily going to get you the full answer you need.
 

FlippinLilysMom

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My daughter's gym is embarking on the elite journey for the first time. So yes, it can be done but as the above comment states, the road to elite is a tough one, the coaches have to want it just as much as the gymnast. They are in the gym for longer hours, they have to give up their weekends (a lot of holiday weekends too) to travel to the elite qualifier meets, all with the very slim chance that one of their gymnasts makes it. Its a gamble that a lot of gyms just don't want to take. One plus for us is that our gym owners are also our head coaches.
 

gymdog

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I don't necessarily 100% believe that but I think the BEST example of this in our sport is Shannon Miller.
 
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jenjean70

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One of my son's friend just won the US Championship in the Jr division 15/16 year old age group as a 15 year old. His gym is only a year old but he and his brothers did follow their coach from their previous gym. That being said both of his parents were collegiate gymnasts so I think there are genetics at play also. :)
 

OzZee

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Another reason coaches may not want to do it, is they don't believe that the physical and mental strain is worth it for the athletes they train. They want happy unbroken but successful gymnasts who have a well rounded life.
 

Cheryl

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I think it might be different between boys and girls programs. There are so fewer gyms that focus on boys, and it seems, just from reading here there is less pressure on the guys to reach a certain point by a certain age, possibly because boys develop later and it’s hard to tell who is going to excel before puberty, while once girls hit puberty it’s a race to elites. I have a young 13 year old boy who has no signs of manliness yet. Nobody seems concerned.

What I would look for is a program that firstly doesn’t favoritism really young girls, and looks at each girl’s strengths and weaknesses and try to build and improve. Any comments about weight, or comparison to teammates would raise a red flag. More importantly I would look to see how many kids are still on the team at higher levels and still enjoy it, even if they aren’t getting scholarship. Nothing is gauranteed to burn a kid out quicker than feeling they dread practice.
 

jessifrostR

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No I don’t think so. I think a great athlete needs to fall in the hands of the right coaches to really excel. My daughter would have been a great TOPS candidate. She has always been way ahead of her teammates in strength without even trying. Super strong and flexible naturally and always the first one to get a skill before they even start working on a skill! But our gym does not have TOPS and is overall not very competitive so any potential and natural talent doesn’t really matter if the coaching isn’t individualized. Sometimes I think you have to actually move gyms like you said. But that’s only if the coaches don’t have too much pride to say “hey you should consider taking your kid somewhere else because her talent is beyond our scope of coaching”. I would also like to know the answer to your question “when do you know it’s time to move gyms?”
If you have superior gyms and it’s feasible then yes I wouldn’t consider looking elsewhere. We would have to move in order to go to a better gym.
If my daughter makes it to optionals and still has that fire in her and level of talent then I will consider moving. By then she might be “too old” but we’ll see!
 

profmom

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One of my son's friend just won the US Championship in the Jr division 15/16 year old age group as a 15 year old. His gym is only a year old but he and his brothers did follow their coach from their previous gym. That being said both of his parents were collegiate gymnasts so I think there are genetics at play also. :)
I know that situation, and it is definitely an outlier. The child in question (as well as his brothers) trained at a different gym known for producing top gymnasts for a long time.

Even at the non-elite levels, coaching matters. My kids' gym is not producing elites, but it is a cachement in the area for gymnasts who want a shot at college gym, and many times has picked up an athlete at around L5-7 and seen the athlete begin progressing much more quickly than in the previous gym.
 
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jenjean70

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I know that situation, and it is definitely an outlier. The child in question (as well as his brothers) trained at a different gym known for producing top gymnasts for a long time.

Even at the non-elite levels, coaching matters. My kids' gym is not producing elites, but it is a cachement in the area for gymnasts who want a shot at college gym, and many times has picked up an athlete at around L5-7 and seen the athlete begin progressing much more quickly than in the previous gym.
Yes. They did and many of the boys followed that coach to the new gym. Their dad still coaches girls at the old gym. I know that our coaches are learning with our boys and I often wonder if my own son would be a top gymnast if he went to one of the other gyms in our area that is top in the nation but since that isn't HIS goal and he loves his gym, the boys and the coaches we stay.....BUT I secretly wish they would do something to make us mad so I could go to that NEW gym those boys moved to because it is literally 5 minutes from my house and we could carpool with the family whose gymnast in national champion....plus that gym has a smaller boys team AND they don't have a home school program....but we really do love everybody at the gym where he is now and it's only 30 minutes away and 2 of the coaches live in my neighborhood. Sorry for the long post- I am always talking myself through these things. Lol!
 
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