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For Parents Focus at 6

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MagicCrystal

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I have a 6 1/2 year old that started gymnastics at 2 1/2 and we have been to three different gyms due to moves. At an early age she was always put in advanced classes and started pre team at 4. At initial glance and even first evaluation she looks impressive - lovely slim, narrow, muscular little body, strong and flexible, fearless, can do most anything they throw at her. However, she is lacking the most important thing - focus. I have been told this at all three gyms. "She has wonderful potential once she is able to focus more". The latest gym which is the most competitive we've been to wanted her to join team and compete right away. She performs lovely at evaluations. LOL. They were convinced they could bring her up to speed in 2 months. Well, you know how that went... after two weeks they said they reconsidered due to her lack of focus and would like her to sit out this year. My question is to you moms of older girls, have any of your daughters not been so focused early on and ever amount to anything in the sport? Wondering if we should look to other activities or hang in there.
 

raenndrops

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I have a 6 1/2 year old that started gymnastics at 2 1/2 and we have been to three different gyms due to moves. At an early age she was always put in advanced classes and started pre team at 4. At initial glance and even first evaluation she looks impressive - lovely slim, narrow, muscular little body, strong and flexible, fearless, can do most anything they throw at her. However, she is lacking the most important thing - focus. I have been told this at all three gyms. "She has wonderful potential once she is able to focus more". The latest gym which is the most competitive we've been to wanted her to join team and compete right away. She performs lovely at evaluations. LOL. They were convinced they could bring her up to speed in 2 months. Well, you know how that went... after two weeks they said they reconsidered due to her lack of focus and would like her to sit out this year. My question is to you moms of older girls, have any of your daughters not been so focused early on and ever amount to anything in the sport? Wondering if we should look to other activities or hang in there.
My YG spent extra time in lower rec classes due to "lack of focus" - but at 6, the focus often isn't there. She started competing 2.5 months after turning 7. There was a 13 year old in her level, and she acted as YG's "big sis" during meets and it worked great (meaning that the coaches didn't have to worry about keeping an eye on her when she was supposed to be sitting ... and her "big sis" would keep her in line ... and let her know when she needed to do something (like warm up an event or if she was the next to compete an event). The littles are so cute to watch at meets.
It took her a couple years of competing before she started focusing better. Luckily, our gym is willing to let little ones compete for the experience. The HC is also a teacher, so she understands that the focus will come. YG is now 16 and still on team.

Hopefully your gym will decide to allow her to compete for the experience - after all, this season is going to be so messed up anyways, there really isn't any harm.
 
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&bs

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Is she able to focus well in school and other activities or is it just an overall lack of maturity? If she focuses well elsewhere and this is just an issue at gym then maybe she doesn't have the passion/interest necessary for Competitive Gymnastics at this time. If she is unable to focus well anywhere then hopefully this ability will develop with age and her gymnastics training might actually help her with this in general.
It is difficult for even focused 6 year olds to remember routines and perform them well so sitting out a year of competition at this age is not a bad thing.
 

bogwoppit

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My youngest took a year off gym when she was 6. Same reasons as yours. Oldest DD still went. After a year she went back and was a different child when it came to focus.
 

ldw4mlo

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It's an age thing. Most 6 yr olds have a limited attention span. Time is the likely solution.

Also you did not mention if your child even likes gym. Does she? Does she even want to do that much gym? Does she even want to compete?

She is young, she should be exploring many different things.
 

Oopski

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I wouldn’t worry as long as she is having fun. My younger DD repeated pre-pre-team at age 6 due to lack of focus not lack of skills. She then ended up skipping level 3 and going right to 4. This year as a 10 year old based on skills we thought for sure she was set to skip 5 and compete 6. Again, due to lack of focus comments she was told end of summer she was repeating 4, well this news lit a fire in her I’ve never seen before, and she now has not only all her 6 skills but almost all her 7 skills also. So I’d say finally now at age 10 I’m starting to see a more focused child.
 
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MagicCrystal

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Is she able to focus well in school and other activities or is it just an overall lack of maturity? If she focuses well elsewhere and this is just an issue at gym then maybe she doesn't have the passion/interest necessary for Competitive Gymnastics at this time. If she is unable to focus well anywhere then hopefully this ability will develop with age and her gymnastics training might actually help her with this in general.
It is difficult for even focused 6 year olds to remember routines and perform them well so sitting out a year of competition at this age is not a bad thing.
She seems to focus age appropriately with everything else. I've never heard otherwise. I just realize that gymnastics requires exceptional focus even at 6. I wonder if she will develop this as she gets older. She tells me she loves gymnastics and often practices at home - things she hasn't quite got down yet like handstands and standing up from a back bend position. Her favorite thing in the world is a playground with a good set of monkey bars.
 

MagicCrystal

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I wouldn’t worry as long as she is having fun. My younger DD repeated pre-pre-team at age 6 due to lack of focus not lack of skills. She then ended up skipping level 3 and going right to 4. This year as a 10 year old based on skills we thought for sure she was set to skip 5 and compete 6. Again, due to lack of focus comments she was told end of summer she was repeating 4, well this news lit a fire in her I’ve never seen before, and she now has not only all her 6 skills but almost all her 7 skills also. So I’d say finally now at age 10 I’m starting to see a more focused child.
I try not to worry. I'm glad to hear that even with lack of focus it is possible to move through the levels.
 
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MagicCrystal

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It's an age thing. Most 6 yr olds have a limited attention span. Time is the likely solution.

Also you did not mention if your child even likes gym. Does she? Does she even want to do that much gym? Does she even want to compete?

She is young, she should be exploring many different things.
That is what the gym told me, she will likely mature to become more focused something like that, and "they didn't want to burn her out from the sport- wanted to retain her in the sport - by not pushing her to compete this season". She loves gymnastics and has never complained to go. She is a competitive girl and when she sees someone doing something she can't she will practice it at home. I don't even know if she is aware that the rest of the girls she practices with will be competing and she won't. We are new to this gym and it doesn't seem to phase her none. She has done ballet and hip hop and loved both. She honestly loves any activity I've put her in. When she had the dance recital she enjoyed performing and wanted to take every dance class offered to participate in every performance the next year. I think when she gets the opportunity to compete she will love that too.
 

novagymmom

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My daughter was the same way. She was taking classes at 6 and expressed interest in trying out for the team (she had a friend that did team). Because of her lack of focus her class instructor said "I'm not sure she's a good fit". We thanked her for the input and asked when tryouts were. She made the team and did pre-team/Level 2 at age 7. Fast forward a few years and my daughter competed Level 8 at 11 and will be doing Level 9 this year at 13. I will say that I think my daughter still lacks some of the focus/drive to succeed at the top levels. That being said, she enjoys the sport, has natural ability, works hard and is competitive. So, I'm fine with that. What I'm not fine with is that my daughter has said "None of the coaches like me. I know they like me as a gymnast, but they don't like me as a person because I'm too bouncy" (meaning not focused / hyper / etc.) So she still doesn't have the focus that most coaches look for and it's more of an issue at 13 than it was at 6. So, that kind of breaks my heart. :-(
 
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