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Gyms in Florida?

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msl529

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Hello! I am a parent of a 2nd year L5/training L6 gymnast. Our family is moving to Florida in the next few months. My daughter is currently training for L6 at her gym. She loves it there & is sad to move, but we have to, for various reasons (NOT gym-related!). Her current club focuses on excellent technique, the girls compete well (she earned a 36.1 AA at L5 States, several others across the levels at her gym are 37-38 AA'ers), and yet the coaches manage to be kind and supportive of the girls there. They do expect them to work hard and focus, yet they still have fun w/ the girls. They do not overly pressure them for super high scores and are very helpful and sweet to them at meets. Ideal, really! We are looking on the East coast of Florida, anything driving distance from Boca Raton, and I am trying to get my hubby to look at the St. Petersburg area also. I have loooked at the USAG Florida website and spoke w/ a few gym coaches there. Ultimately, my kid will have to visit the gyms & see what feels best to her. ANYHOW.....just wondering if there are any personal opinions/stories to share about any programs out there. This is her second gym, she's competed 3 seasons, so I DO get how gyms can seem one way on paper/on the phone, but quite different, once you have been there for a while!Thanks for any help!
 
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awposey1

Guest
We are in Stuart FL which is about 1.5 hours north of Boca on the east coast. We go to the YMCA in Stuart FL. Most Y's are not very good but we have a large compulsory and optional team. Head Coach is russian and awesome, altho very tough. We also have a caoch who is a level 10 judge. We are blessed with the best facility in the area for space and equpiment and pit. Below is a link where you can view my daughter who is level 10 (we have 3 tens in the gym) and this meet was our home meet (we host 2 meets a year) so you can see both the level of training and also get a glance at the facility. There are other videos as well. Where are you coming from?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BkrG1QEAwic&feature=PlayList&p=EE88835C0A09A514&index=0&playnext=1


http://www.youtube.com/user/awposey1

You may have to cut an past the links...First link is the meet last weekend and the second is my channel which has training footage. If you want to communicate more, my e mail is
awposey1@bellsouth.net
 

Ingymmom

Active Member
Jul 12, 2007
981
isn't Jana Bieger's gym in that area of FL? I thing it is Bieger International... sorry I can't help with word of mouth for that area... I have not heard anything about their gym, but it may be worth at least checking out :D How many hours does your dd currently train?
 

gym mom

Active Member
Sep 8, 2007
724
florida
we live 1hr n of st.Pete/ tampa our gym has a strong opt. program but not as big has some in tpa area my dd competed this winter as l3 so I have not seen the upper levels compete.there are 2 strong teams in tpa that I know do very well at meets Lafluer's in Largo have strong comp& strong Opt teams,Tampa bay Turners have strong opt teams I attached there websites http://www.tampabayturners.com/Competitive.htm
http://www.lafleursgymnasticclub.com/staff.htm
 
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msl529

Guest
Re: Gyms in Fla?

Thank you for the responses! The videos of your Level 10 daughter In Stuart, FL are awesome! :) She seems very strong, and especially confident in her tumbling skills on beam & floor. Also great bar & vault skills! We had an Optional meet this past weekend at our gym (we are in NorCal), and while our own Optionals looked very good & prepared, I was surprised at how many other gyms came w/ their girls quite unprepared to do some very difficult skills. Consequently, there were a few nasty injuries on the other teams, which was a bummer. I don't know if my kid will ever get to that level, or even if I want her to, after seeing the amount of injuries they sustain as a result of all the heavy training, and/or being forced to compete when they are not ready. Even our team has about half of their optionals out, due training injuries. Yikes! Anyhow, the gym in Stuart is probably a bit far North for us at this point. But good to know it's there in case the closer ones don't work out. Re: other quetions-yes, we will look at Bieger, & also American Twisters in Coconut Creek. I have spoken to coaches @ both & looked at websites & they both seem good. However, I am left w/ another question..WHAT IS PREP-OP?!! We do not have this here in NorCal. Twisters says they do not compete their girls at L5-6, but jump from L4 to Prep-Op, then to Optional. I thought per USAG Rules, you have to advance one level at a time and could NOT skip levels. I am not aware that Pre-Op is a valid USAG level. :confused:Any thoughts...?
 

kls0418

New Member
Nov 3, 2007
20
I am from the Tampa area and competed in gymnastics for 20 years. I went to Lafleurs Tampa, the brother gym of Lafleurs Largo. I know that both gyms are very good there. When I competed American Twisters were very good and had good coaches.

I believe that Prep-Op is a pre-optional level (somewhat of a mix between level 6 and level 7). From what I remember, I think that you have to compete at least one meet per level. I know that some gymnasts have skipped levels before but I don't know exactly how. I hope that this helps.
 
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msl529

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I am from the Tampa area and competed in gymnastics for 20 years. I went to Lafleurs Tampa, the brother gym of Lafleurs Largo. I know that both gyms are very good there. When I competed American Twisters were very good and had good coaches.

I believe that Prep-Op is a pre-optional level (somewhat of a mix between level 6 and level 7). From what I remember, I think that you have to compete at least one meet per level. I know that some gymnasts have skipped levels before but I don't know exactly how. I hope that this helps.
Thank you! I have been hearing good things about La Fleurs. You must be in great shape to have competed 20 years! Are you still walking?! Just kidding! I HOPE we can get a chance to look over on the West Fla. coast & check out TBT & La Fleurs. We'll see. I am sort of getting what Prep-Op is, but am still mystified how girls can go from there to Optionals, unless, as you suggest, they may just compete one L6 meet & then bump up. Still, those L6 routines are not easy & it would seem to me that the girls would need to train on the actual routines for a good amount of time. At least, at our gym they spend a lot of time fine-tuning them to get them just right for when season comes around. I will definitely report back on how this is done, once the coach at Twisters gets back to me on it. I am sure he knows exactly what he is doing, as he has been around gymnastics for a long time and has directed in the TOPS program, USAG Elite program, etc.
 
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medic3188

Guest
we just moved to florida 6 weeks ago. We chose a small gym for my dd in wellington, which is close to West Palm Beach. Where are you moving from?
 
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AnitaV

Guest
Check out the Florida USAG website newsletters. I am fairly sure Florida now requires level 6 competition verification before a gymnast can move up to level 7. Btw all the gyms mention are very good.
 
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msl529

Guest
We are moving from Northern Calif. How do you like Florida, & the Gym in Wellington? Where did you move from?
 
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msl529

Guest
Thank you. It's reassuring to hear that we have some good options. My daughter just said to me today "How do those gyms do at competitions?... I don't want to get worse". Now that she's had the experience of a really good gym, she wants the same wherever she goes! She sounds like a snob, but she's actually a really sweet girl, I swear!
 
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flippymonkeysmom

Guest
Florida is known for having some really good gyms. The tricky part is finding the right fit for your daughter. We faced the same thing 2 years ago. She was at a gym she loved and was doing really well, then we moved out of state. I did my research in our new area and there was a great gym really close by - girls scoring 38's, etc. Problem was - my daughter hated it there. The girls (and parents) were not very friendly and WAY competitive with each other. Then we tried another gym - but they didn't work quite hard enough for her. Then third time was the charm and she is at a gym where she is doing great - but most importantly she loves it and looks forward to going every day. Of course I wish this were the gym that was the closest - but hey - you can't have it all, right? Good luck finding the right fit.
 
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msl529

Guest
Florida is known for having some really good gyms. The tricky part is finding the right fit for your daughter. We faced the same thing 2 years ago. She was at a gym she loved and was doing really well, then we moved out of state. I did my research in our new area and there was a great gym really close by - girls scoring 38's, etc. Problem was - my daughter hated it there. The girls (and parents) were not very friendly and WAY competitive with each other. Then we tried another gym - but they didn't work quite hard enough for her. Then third time was the charm and she is at a gym where she is doing great - but most importantly she loves it and looks forward to going every day. Of course I wish this were the gym that was the closest - but hey - you can't have it all, right? Good luck finding the right fit.
Thanks! You hit the nail right on the head. There are gyms here in NorCal that score extremely well, but I would never send my kid there, due to just what you said--overly competitive, unfriendly girls and too much pressure. There is a very nice balance at her current gym, and she also looks forward to going every day, and comes home happy. Very important! We also moved to this current gym from another gym, and also ended up having to travel further to it than our old gym. Murphy's law, I guess! I hope we get a good fit w/ one close enough in FL, becuase I am not sure how well I will do driving in those sudden and heavy rain storms!
 
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msl529

Guest
isn't Jana Bieger's gym in that area of FL? I thing it is Bieger International... sorry I can't help with word of mouth for that area... I have not heard anything about their gym, but it may be worth at least checking out :D How many hours does your dd currently train?
Yes, it is Bieger International. They seem to do well at the Optional/Elite levels, but my kid is only training L6, so I want to make sure the gym we choose has a nice Compulsory program too. She currently trains 15 hrs a week.
 
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medic3188

Guest
WE LOVE FLORIDA.....The gym she goes to is great...small but very personal...we are very happy. Her first meet is next weekend.
 
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msl529

Guest
WE LOVE FLORIDA.....The gym she goes to is great...small but very personal...we are very happy. Her first meet is next weekend.
That's great news, and reassuring to know that the transition can, and hopefully will, go well for all of us. Where did you move from? We are moving from Northern Cal and our friends are all bummed at us for leaving, so they keep telling us things we won't like about FL as compared to Northern Cal---humidity, heat, bugs, etc. We really have it pretty good here, although the Winters in NorCal (as opposed to SoCal) are cold, wet, and gray. I hope we will like it equally well in FL. I grew up in SoCal, so I am more used to the warmer climate & being near the beach. I plan to adjust well!...Good luck to your daughter this weekend!
 
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medic3188

Guest
We moved from New York. The weather is so much better in florida. I can wear shorts year round.We are happy...Good luck with your move.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
Orlando Metro is an excellent gym, but I don't know where that is in relation to where you're moving.
 
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