For Coaches Downside (or upside) to Dropping Back to L10

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My husband and I are about to finalize the adoption process for my younger sister who just turned 14. She’s done gymnastics since it was the trendy thing when she was three and every little kid in the neighborhood did it. She did elite testing last summer and competed in a few meets with variable success. I think by then life was starting to get in the way of gymnastics. She came to live with us in December and due to moving nearly across the country to do so, this being an unplanned thing, and her getting extremely physically ill shortly after that gymnastics came to an abrupt halt.

She got back into some conditioning and strength training stuff and did compete floor exercise for the jr. high/high school team here in late winter/spring which led us back into the gym at the gym where her high school teammates train year round. (This is also really the only gym in town or an kind of reasonable driving distance). She's gotten back into shape and is back to doing all events again. Her coach originally told us that since she had tested elite that she could not compete L10 and being gymnastically clueless we didn't realize that wasn't really correct. According to some helpful posters here (and confirmed by USAG rules once someone pointed me in the right direction) she can petition to drop back to level 10 through the regional training coordinator. I discussed that with her coach who now does believe us but said that he wouldn't recommend that. We're going to discuss this more (he had a mini family crisis come up in the middle of this conversation) but I was wondering if from a coaching standpoint others had opinions on the positive or negative points of this.

From my standpoint:
*Positive
-I still don't think she is quite back to where she was last summer (although I think she's getting close)
-Because she has friends on the L10 team she is ok with this (and I would think she could continue to work on new skills/routines just not compete with them)
-From my perspective there is much more going on in life right now than gymnastics. I realize that gymnastics is important to her so I'm trying to be understanding about that but...
*Negative?
-From what I understand if she does this then she would not be eligible to compete at US Jr Nationals in 2009 however she could do level 10 nationals and she could always retest elite at some point later in 2009 or 2010
-Her coach thinks she is above a L10 level (although perhaps there are still ways to make it challenging anyway). I'm not sure this is such an issue since apparently girls do drop back to L10 so if she does she conceivably might not even be the only one in her region to do so this year. Also everyone improves at different rates and I'm guessing that there probably isn't a huge gap between the bottom of the elites and the top of L10 (correct me on this I'm not coming from a gymnastics background).


 
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CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
Girls drop back to level 10 all the time, if thats what she wants go for it. She can be a successful level 10 and still get a college scholarship. I guess it all really depends on what her goals are.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
It's really not that big of a deal. If she is really that good, she could compete L10 and her coach could send a video to Martha and they could invite her to a camp. It actually happens a lot.

L10 would be a good way for her to get back into the groove as well. Level 10 is very competitive, and many meets have "open" sessions where elites and 10s compete together.
 
S

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It's really not that big of a deal. If she is really that good, she could compete L10 and her coach could send a video to Martha and they could invite her to a camp. It actually happens a lot.

L10 would be a good way for her to get back into the groove as well. Level 10 is very competitive, and many meets have "open" sessions where elites and 10s compete together.

That was basically my feeling--her other option would be doing some of those "open" meets so I'm not sure it's really that different (although I guess that could also be an argument to go the other way and not drop back). He actually raised the point that he thought competing L10 was going to be more rigorous than doing a few open meets which I guess is true if she does 6-9 meets (in L10) vs. 2-3 meets that we pick.

As I see it she basically forfeits an opportunity to try for national team by doing this but I don't know that we would allow her to be on the national team even if she didn't drop back and did qualify (and there are multiple levels of if in that statement I realize)


 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
drop back?

Hi,
It really is a big deal.

It all depends on what meets she competed in as an elite. Did she get a qualifying score of "international elite" when she tested and compete in a US Classic? If she did, she must officially drop back to Level 10 because she is considered an "elite". She would have to compete level 10 for one full year, and then retest elite (compulsories/optionals.) if she wanted to do elite again. If she does not officially drop back, she will not be elligible for State and up meets.

If she scored as a pre-elite and competed in the US Challenge, she can bop back & forth between pre-elite and L10 until she gets her international elite score and competes in the US Challenge. I would contact your Regional Elite Chairman (and her old coaches) and find out if she is considered elite or pre-elite. I would get all the info you can, and then find out what she wants to do, and if in fact her gym is ready to do the elite route because the season is very different than level 10 (into the summer).

If she is elite, you should think about officially dropping back because of her age if she wants to be an elite. There is no senior "pre-elite" category anymore, so she would have to test as an international elite only the year she turns 16, which might be harder and would require more travel than if she did regional pre-elite qualifiers.

Let me know if you have more questions.:D
 
S

Smile :)

Guest
Hi,
It really is a big deal.

It all depends on what meets she competed in as an elite. Did she get a qualifying score of "international elite" when she tested and compete in a US Classic? If she did, she must officially drop back to Level 10 because she is considered an "elite". She would have to compete level 10 for one full year, and then retest elite (compulsories/optionals.) if she wanted to do elite again. If she does not officially drop back, she will not be elligible for State and up meets.

If she scored as a pre-elite and competed in the US Challenge, she can bop back & forth between pre-elite and L10 until she gets her international elite score and competes in the US Challenge. I would contact your Regional Elite Chairman (and her old coaches) and find out if she is considered elite or pre-elite. I would get all the info you can, and then find out what she wants to do, and if in fact her gym is ready to do the elite route because the season is very different than level 10 (into the summer).

If she is elite, you should think about officially dropping back because of her age if she wants to be an elite. There is no senior "pre-elite" category anymore, so she would have to test as an international elite only the year she turns 16, which might be harder and would require more travel than if she did regional pre-elite qualifiers.

Let me know if you have more questions.:D
Yes, she did hit the qualifying score and has competed in the US Classic in the past so she would have to officially petition (which is probably why her coach initially didn't think it was possible) through the regional training chairperson. I also think the hassle of retesting is why her current coach was advising against this. I didn't really realize that it was harder to qualify as elite at older ages which is what you seem to be suggesting. She will be fifteen next summer (when it appears she would be ineligible to compete in the anything beyond JO if she dropped back) and then sixteen in 2010.

As for the gym issue: they have not had girls competing past L10 and they are a relatively young gym I think their 10 year anniversary is sometime this year. Having said that her coach does feel that he can help her add skills and improve so I guess we will see how this year goes.
 
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