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Competition requirements

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USAGymCoach

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Competition requirements for gymnasts

Do you have requirements for a child to compete a certain level?

Compulsory: If a child is missing skills, how do you handle that. I am a firm believer that if you don;t have your skills for the level you are at then you shouldn't compete until you do. I just wanted to see how other coaches handle this.

Optional: do you have cetain requirements that a chils needs to have to move up to a certain level?

How do you go about moving children up levels? do you require them to have all skills before they move?

thanks in advance.
 
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JBS

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My wife and I manage and very large recreational program...we were both competitive gymnasts. In a recreational program, you have to bend rules to keep everyone happy. If your too strict no one would stick with the sport.

With that being said, bending rules creates huge problems that usually lead to the gymnast or parents not being happy anyways. You move them up...then they are upset because they're not as good as everyone else. Yes, we received another months tuition...but they still dropped in the long run.

In a team, you are picking gymnasts (and parents) that you think can handle the guidelines that you created. Sometimes there are bumps (missing that kip), but they must follow the guidelines. Some will stay and work harder, some will move on. A competitive program will always eliminate gymnasts as the levels progress. Sometimes gymnasts that have learned these rules at a younger age become your hardest workers later on.

Don't bend the rules in your team program. You will end up with a safer, easier to manage team.

Also, make sure you do not discourage them to gymnastics as a whole. Our gym has many former competitive gymnasts (level 4, 5, and 6). They left their competitive gyms because they had team or nothing. Roll these kids back into the rec. program in your gym and the owner will love you.
 
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gymbabisMom

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Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
Have the skills but not well, or not at all? Some kids will get that intermittent skill as time goes by, but if they have to train a whole year more before they can use it they may get bored and quit. Especially if the program does not allow them to keep learning new skills (over the level they are training for). At our former gym, the girls were not allowed to work forward at all untill after state meets, then they had about a month to prove the were going to be able to learn the skills for the next level. Then the decision was made, mainly by coaches, as to who would be moved up. It was kind of stressfull.
 
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gracefulone

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At our gym, you can move up w/out some of the skills if your'e close and show that you'r willing to work hard. After state/nationals, you kind of have to train two levels b/c the coaches don't tell you if you move up or not until mid-august. Personally, I've always disagreed with it, but it's not my decision. I loved it when there were mandates! For level 4,if you got a 34.0 AA 3 times, you had to move up, no questions asked. It was a lot less stressful b/c you knew what routine to learn a lot earlier. Unfortunately, mandates have been out for about three or four years now.
 
My gym does not move you up unless you have two full seasons atleast (usually two years) and all your strength and skills. we had these two girls who moved up after only competing one year (they had a beautiful meet season) one of them got a 9.750 on her second meet on floor and placed first in each event. Plus they have all their skills and they passed the strength test so we moved them up early but we almost always have them do two full years in a level whether they have all thair skills or not.
 

midwestgymmom

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Aug 27, 2006
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midwest
Have the skills but not well, or not at all? Some kids will get that intermittent skill as time goes by, but if they have to train a whole year more before they can use it they may get bored and quit. Especially if the program does not allow them to keep learning new skills (over the level they are training for). At our former gym, the girls were not allowed to work forward at all untill after state meets, then they had about a month to prove the were going to be able to learn the skills for the next level. Then the decision was made, mainly by coaches, as to who would be moved up. It was kind of stressfull.
I thought I would bump this thread back up. My issue with not letting them train a next level up during the season is: If you have a level 4 who can't practice for example) the kip until season is over but you won't move them up without it has only 1- 6 months to get her kip. Is that fair to the gymnast? How many can learn those kind of skills in that amount of time?
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
That was my question as well. If you don't allow the kids to work forward at all, it's not very fair to expect them to then show they will be able to do those higher level skills in just a month or two. I will say this for that gym though, they were so thorough with thier drills and progressions that most of the girls didn't have too much trouble getting the skills. It was extremely stressfull to the girls and the parents though.
 

JBS

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I thought I would bump this thread back up. My issue with not letting them train a next level up during the season is: If you have a level 4 who can't practice for example) the kip until season is over but you won't move them up without it has only 1- 6 months to get her kip. Is that fair to the gymnast? How many can learn those kind of skills in that amount of time?
I don't agree with only being able to work routines and routine skills during the season...at least not at the lower levels. A level 4 should definitely be working level 5 and 6 skills year round.
 
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gracefulone

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I know! We're not allowed to work the next level up until after state( late March/early April). Our coaches make the decision as to who's moving up by August. The optionals coach is bending the rules w/ me though, b/c she reallly wants me to move up. She's already been talking to my parents a/b my level seven routines. But we can work whatever we wan at open gym........
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
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My philosophy is to have the kids compete as high a level as they reasonably can. I'd rather see a kid struggle at a high level and have to push themselves then see them ace a low level without effort.

I work new skills all year round. Out of the entire year, there is only one week when I do not try to train higher-level skills, and that's the week before states (regionals as well if applicable)
 

gymbabisMom

Parent/Coach
Jan 8, 2006
178
Ahwahnee, CA
It's funny how some gyms do it one way and some do it another. We recently were at a critique meet with our old gym and apparently even at the optional level they don't work them ahead on skills. You could tell they needed more work on some of the new skills. On the other hand, those girls are so good at what they are doing that they were easily scoring in the 36+AA range all last year. So I guess it depends on what you want from your gym. If you want to always be at the top of the podium maybe it makes more sense to only work on perfecting the skills that you need for that season. And winning helps bring new kids into your program.
Personally, I'd rather see Gymbabi work ahead. But it took her 2 seasons of level 7 to make a 35+ AA.
 
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gracefulone

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Yes, our coaches have been trying to make a few acceptions here and there, esp. when there's not a meet that weekend. A few new beam skills on low beam, a new leap/jump pass, cast handstands(which actually help for level 6). The coahces continue to bring up the fact that they think I could be making double back flyaways, but idk when/if I 'll try them. Nothing on floor or vault though.
 
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