Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Does it really matter what gym they go to at 5,6,7 years old

Dad1234

New Member
Proud Parent
May 12, 2018
16
40
Country
USA
Does it really matter what gym your child goes to when they are 5, 6, 7 years old? My five year old daughter goes to an average gym. It is family oriented and there are no weekend practices. It’s a low hour gym and the older kids can still participate in other sports if they choose to. It is also on the lower end for coaches fees and tuition. My daughter is five and competed level 2 last year as a very young five year old. She will repeat level 2 again this year in order to mature a bit. She seems to have some natural talent and picks up new skills a lot quicker than most of her teammates. There are other gyms that produce better gymnasts in my area and might challenge her a bit more than she is currently being challenged. I feel like she is being held back a little bit at her current gym and maybe there is good reasoning from her coaches behind that (maturity being one of them). I see kids throwing bigger skills at young ages and with the right training, I think my kid could do stuff beyond what an average kid her age could do. She already has some higher level skills (level 4 skills) that were introduced this summer for fun during practices. She acquired them the same day or a couple of practices after they were introduced. Her coach has mentioned to me how quickly she acquires new skills. My kid isn’t going to be an Olympian or an elite gymnast and I have no aspirations for her gymnastics in regards to college or anything like that. I’m am curious from those who have taken their kid all the way through this sport from a young age if where she goes to the gym matters at this age. If she decides she wants to do something with her talent someday (as in trying to pursue college gymnastics) does any of it really matter at this age? For all I know, she might decide a year from now she doesn’t want to do gymnastics. Another seasoned parent on team told me that if I was ever considering a gym switch that I should do it while she is young and she can still make friends on the team. Her daughter switched when she was older and wasn’t accepted by her new teammates because she was winning. Switching gyms would mean longer training hours at higher levels, increased tuition at the higher levels, and weekend practices at the higher levels. Right now though, it would be the same training hours, no weekend practices, similar tuition/coaching fees, and the gym is 15 minutes closer to my house. I prefer to stay at her current gym, but I also don’t want to take an opportunity away from her by keeping her where she is if where she trains at a young age actually makes a difference. To me it is such a big “if” because she is so young and five year olds are fickle. Thanks for any input!
 

skschlag

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
10,021
Region 9
Country
USA
Enjoy the low hours and fun gym as long as possible. It sounds like she is making great progress at this gym and they are taking care to make sure she is happy and having fun. That is the key to longevity in this sport. My son did a low pressure, fun gym until he was 6, switched to a gym with a boys' team at that point, so more hours, but still very much fun while learning. He is now a 3rd year L10. he is at a 3rd gym (boys' programs seem to close :( ). this one has more hours, but he is 17 and can handle it. It is still fun and challenging.

Good luck! Sounds like you have a good little gymnast on your hands :)
 

CLgym

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
1,023
Country
USA
I agree, no rush to change gyms right now. Happy and healthy are key. I kept my DD in a nearby Xcel program until she was age 7 (almost 8) out of convenience, and do not believe it had any longterm negative impact on her gymnastics trajectory. In fact, I'm glad she had time to explore other areas of interest (figure skating, baseball, sports camps, art, etc.) before finally settling on gymnastics. And I definitely wouldn't worry about making friends following a possible gym change later on. New girls are welcomed at my DD's gym all the time, even pre-teens and teens, and are integrated into the team with no problem. Honestly, a team that does not welcome a child because they are "winning" sounds like a team/gym with bigger issues! My DD's team would look at a high-scoring teammate as a plus -- better shot at a team banner!
 

kipnastic mom

New Member
Proud Parent
Nov 14, 2016
28
Country
USA
I could be wrong, but, I don’t think you can compete level 3 until they are 6. That might be part of the reason why it appears she is being held back. Enjoy the low hours and the low pressure gym. You want her to continue to enjoy and progress!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Dad1234

thefellowsmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 13, 2010
1,291
Country
USA
I agree that keeping it fun and a great environment at that age is key. I think In addition to all the big skills you see the tiny gymnasts doing crazy hours at “better” gyms you will also see that many many many of them aren’t doing gymnastics for very long or they move to an actual good gym and have to start over. Enjoy the environment and if she decides in a few years she is ready to take it more seriously and your gym can support that Your set.

Now saying that, it is essential that if high level gymnastics is to be left open as an option that she be given a good foundation to build on. At this age it is all about strength flexibility and shaping. Excellent basics and the foundation of conditioning and technique to carry her through.

She’s five. But she also already competed level two so there is some talent there. I’m all about keeping options open and not having to undo bad habits or mentally have to completely change trajectory so I tend to see it as the earlier the better.

Some low key gyms just don’t have the coaches with the chops to do this right. Some do a great job and have excellent coaching. If you are at the latter then all good

There is also lots of middle ground between a low key family gym that just can’t or doesn’t want to support the level of detail, shaping, technique and conditioning to develop high level athletes and those crazy hours gyms with 5 year olds doing optional skills. Great gyms come in all shapes and sizes.

I personally think the earlier you can find your good fit of a great gym the better.
 

gymbeam

Active Member
Proud Parent
Mar 18, 2014
1,906
Country
USA
Mine didn’t even start gymnastics until she was 8.5 years old and that was at a low hour, very non-competitive gym.

At 9.5, we switched to a much better gym, but they would only place her on their Xcel team due to her age and lack of skills, strength etc.

Nine months later, at age 10, she was asked to move over to train with JO5s (she never did 4) and now 4 years later she is getting ready to compete her first year of level 10 as a 14 year old. And actually would have competed it last year at 13 if she hadn’t had an extended illness and a couple of injuries!

So may answer is definitely “No” it doesn’t matter at that age. Won’t be long until it does matter, but for now she’s fine! Her potential can definitely be reached without having to start intense from the beginning.
 

GAgymmom

Active Member
Proud Parent
Judge
Oct 25, 2010
1,681
Country
USA
Mine didn’t even start gymnastics until she was 8.5 years old and that was at a low hour, very non-competitive gym.

At 9.5, we switched to a much better gym, but they would only place her on their Xcel team due to her age and lack of skills, strength etc.

Nine months later, at age 10, she was asked to move over to train with JO5s (she never did 4) and now 4 years later she is getting ready to compete her first year of level 10 as a 14 year old. And actually would have competed it last year at 13 if she hadn’t had an extended illness and a couple of injuries!

So may answer is definitely “No” it doesn’t matter at that age. Won’t be long until it does matter, but for now she’s fine! Her potential can definitely be reached without having to start intense from the beginning.
Not to highjack, but I always wonder at the ones who say their kid skipped 4 or 5 or never did one of them. I hope you mean she scored out, because it can be a serious thing if they discover she’s missing her mobility score at those levels.
 

gymmom10

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 16, 2012
289
Gosh I am torn as to how to reply. Because there is no right answer. There are very valid points to staying and enjoying the moment as she is very young and it’s convenient and she’s having fun etc. But then these are also the formative years and they are crucial to setting habits and well, form.
My DD is now on a great D1 college team, but there are things I still wonder if we should have done differently. So we started in a very low hour, not very serious program through old L5 (now L4). Though we moved her to a much better program, she had to work on correcting sloppy form from then on, and still continues to work on that now. It was a big problem that not everyone else had. But there are obviously a lot of factors involved in being ultimately successful in gymnastics and my daughter did overcome her issues. I think you have to do what feels right for your family. Just know that you will have to move her in a few years if she is very serious about gym and it will probably be much harder at that point.
 

Gigi

Member
Proud Parent
Apr 20, 2016
121
Country
USA
If you don't think the coaching is good at your current gym, you should move her. But I wouldn't move her only because she didn't get moved up. Many girls at our gym moved because of that and ended up repeating anyway at their new gyms.
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,237
59
Country
USA
Depends on the gym and what works for your family and child
 

doublestrike

Member
Proud Parent
Jun 16, 2018
54
55
Country
USA
It certainly can help a gymnast be at a top gym to build the right foundation and technique. There are gyms that are known for their lines, technique, pointed toes. You win compulsory titles with form. Is it necessary at the age of 5? No. You should be aware of the difference and take note of the gyms that produce the strong compulsory teams and make sure they have strong optionals as well. If she stays in it, I'd move her to the other gym when she has at least two compulsory levels left. I have two daughters, one was very much a natural, the other one was not, and we were at a very well known gym from the time they were 3. My other daughter who was not the natural, may have done better and enjoyed a more rec-oriented gym, but because of the comparison to her sister, did not enjoy this gym. She did pre-team but quit. I think she liked the sport, but the gym was ideal for her sister so we stayed and I put my other daughter in dance. Conversely, if we were at a rec gym, I don't know how well my gymnast would have done without that training. I guess you need to find what's right for you child. My gymnast is still in the sport, is getting recruited by the schools she wants and my dancer is on the high school dance team and loves it.
 

Lai

New Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Aug 8, 2019
2
31
Country
USA
Hi my son started doing gymnastics for fun at age 3 in a average gym, by the time we figured out that he actually like it and the coaches were talking about moving him to pre team I started putting attention to the team kids and I noticed couple of them with injuries so I started looking for a better gym. we finally moved him and they told us that he had bad form on a couple of things which is really important to be on a team, good form gives them the win, they can’t win with bad form.
my point is make sure the gym you choose have good coaches that actually teach based on The correct form and the rules, if they learn with bad form it is really difficult to correct that. it’s like trying to rewire their brains to forget what they learn and learn it again the correct way.
which was difficult for my kid, thankfully I moved him soon enough and he was able to correct his form after a couple of private lessons during his first season.
Hope everything works out for you and your little gymnasts :)
 

Thegymnasticsmomlife

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 30, 2019
9
39
Country
USA
Does it really matter what gym your child goes to when they are 5, 6, 7 years old? My five year old daughter goes to an average gym. It is family oriented and there are no weekend practices. It’s a low hour gym and the older kids can still participate in other sports if they choose to. It is also on the lower end for coaches fees and tuition. My daughter is five and competed level 2 last year as a very young five year old. She will repeat level 2 again this year in order to mature a bit. She seems to have some natural talent and picks up new skills a lot quicker than most of her teammates. There are other gyms that produce better gymnasts in my area and might challenge her a bit more than she is currently being challenged. I feel like she is being held back a little bit at her current gym and maybe there is good reasoning from her coaches behind that (maturity being one of them). I see kids throwing bigger skills at young ages and with the right training, I think my kid could do stuff beyond what an average kid her age could do. She already has some higher level skills (level 4 skills) that were introduced this summer for fun during practices. She acquired them the same day or a couple of practices after they were introduced. Her coach has mentioned to me how quickly she acquires new skills. My kid isn’t going to be an Olympian or an elite gymnast and I have no aspirations for her gymnastics in regards to college or anything like that. I’m am curious from those who have taken their kid all the way through this sport from a young age if where she goes to the gym matters at this age. If she decides she wants to do something with her talent someday (as in trying to pursue college gymnastics) does any of it really matter at this age? For all I know, she might decide a year from now she doesn’t want to do gymnastics. Another seasoned parent on team told me that if I was ever considering a gym switch that I should do it while she is young and she can still make friends on the team. Her daughter switched when she was older and wasn’t accepted by her new teammates because she was winning. Switching gyms would mean longer training hours at higher levels, increased tuition at the higher levels, and weekend practices at the higher levels. Right now though, it would be the same training hours, no weekend practices, similar tuition/coaching fees, and the gym is 15 minutes closer to my house. I prefer to stay at her current gym, but I also don’t want to take an opportunity away from her by keeping her where she is if where she trains at a young age actually makes a difference. To me it is such a big “if” because she is so young and five year olds are fickle. Thanks for any input!
For our family, my daughter has lead any & all changes in her gymnastics career. She sounds similar to your daughter: catches on quick but immature. I just placed her in groups as the gym suggested & honestly thought this would just be a fun one or two day a week activity. She competed alright those first few years. Then she asked to be homeschooled when she was 6 so she could train in the mornings with the better coaches. It took me another year to agree to this but I did homeschool her in 2nd grade. She went from ok to winning every meet, winning state, & being on the state team at regionals. She will be in 5th this year, will compete level 8, & absolutely LOVES her life! She has passion, determination, & well-defined goals. All that to say, let your daughter be the guide in this. When she is ready to be serious about it, she will let you know by asking to be homeschooled, asking to go to the gym more often, etc. Let her make those decisions. If/when it happens, you will know. For now, let her have fun! As for switching gyms later on, plenty of girls do it in our area & it’s not a problem. I, personally, would consider to do that only if my daughter requested it for a specific reason.
 

LJL07

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jan 27, 2014
1,358
Country
USA
It certainly can help a gymnast be at a top gym to build the right foundation and technique. There are gyms that are known for their lines, technique, pointed toes. You win compulsory titles with form. Is it necessary at the age of 5? No. You should be aware of the difference and take note of the gyms that produce the strong compulsory teams and make sure they have strong optionals as well. If she stays in it, I'd move her to the other gym when she has at least two compulsory levels left. I have two daughters, one was very much a natural, the other one was not, and we were at a very well known gym from the time they were 3. My other daughter who was not the natural, may have done better and enjoyed a more rec-oriented gym, but because of the comparison to her sister, did not enjoy this gym. She did pre-team but quit. I think she liked the sport, but the gym was ideal for her sister so we stayed and I put my other daughter in dance. Conversely, if we were at a rec gym, I don't know how well my gymnast would have done without that training. I guess you need to find what's right for you child. My gymnast is still in the sport, is getting recruited by the schools she wants and my dancer is on the high school dance team and loves it.
I totally agree with this advice. My older daughter kind of bounced around and had fun in lower compulsory levels but didn’t get great conditioning or basics. My youngest daughter was at a gym with the best compulsory team in the state from the start. Every one of those kids is super tight, extremely well conditioned, etc. Unfortunately, that coach was not capable of coaching bigger optional skills, and she burns out a lot of kids by going overboard with hours and repetition in Compulsories. That being said, my youngest daughter has better basics for sure and has generally had an easier time with certain things than my older daughter, although I’m not sure the younger one is necessarily more talented overall. By the time you get to optionals, you do need a gym that is capable of producing solid level 10s. Ideally find a gym with both strong Compulsories and optionals, but where we live, it’s pretty hard to find a gym with both. I wouldn’t worry about friendships later on as a reason to not switch gyms. There is very high turnover in gymnastics. And as far as it fitting in because a child is winning, we haven’t seen that as a problem at any gym. If a child is humble, respectful, and friendly and in a healthy gym environment, that isn’t likely to be a problem. Good luck!
 

Similar threads