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Hello Chalk bucket and Aussie Coach

Aussie_Gymnast

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Oct 23, 2019
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Hello. I am new here on chalk bucket. I love gymnastics. I am an adult gymnast that started gymnastics incredibly late (Unfortunately) but I am happy to at least be training/competing WAG level 6 in Australia at the moment. I also coach a bit of recreation gymnastics. I love gymnastics but feel a bit lonely being partially self taught. Does any one have any ideas abut getting other adults interested in competing in WAG or even MAG levels as opposed to just doing recreation or parkour type stuff? Also any ideas on how to get accepted into a proper WAG competition class that has structure (not open gym- it can be a very confusing and lonely place).

I just wanted to say that this website seems to be a great resource for gymnastics people. There seem to be some lovely people on here such as Aussie Coach. I don't know you guys personally but the threads have been super interesting to read, so I decided to join. I would love to have the privilege to ask questions about share things about gymnastics and chat to people like Aussie Coach. By the way please let me know if my username is offensive, I may be able to change it.
 

Aussie_coach

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Hi Aussie_gymnast, thanks for your kind words.

You can certainly compete WAG Levels as an adult, there is no age limit. It is pretty common in Australia, because our systems are quite different to the US. You will hear a lot on this forum (as its mostly a US forum), of kids graduating from their gyms at the end of high school and there seems to be an unwritten rule (or maybe even a written rule in some cases), that kids leave their gyms after 12th grade.

This is not the case here, as most kids don’t go away to college, they tend to attend local universities and continue to live at home with their parents, and there is no such thing as college gymnastics. So I know at least for our gym, when kids graduate and go onto further education they just continue on with their gymnastics like before. So there is a bit no set Age.

You are in a bit of a different situation of course, starting later. But I know of plenty of people who have started gymnastics as an adult and competed successfully.

A lot is going to come down to where you live. Some gyms will not allow an adult on their teams, especially more competitive gyms, where their teams skew on the younger side, because the age gap may feel in appropriate. But smaller gyms tend to have a huge age range in their classes anyway. As it is a level 6 class could have kids from 8 to 17 or so anyway so having an adult really does not feel out of place. You will need to contact gyms in your area, and be prepared to face a few no’s before you get a yes. If you live in a rural or remote area, this may be more difficult because you will have a smaller selection of gyms to choose from.

Your other option is masters competitions, these are getting more and more popular in Australia. They have divisions for people from 20 right up to senior citizens. These are great because it is more flexible so you can highlight your strengths. Many gyms have adult classes, and a lot of these will participate in masters comps. If you decide to do regular WAG comps you won’t be eligible for masters comps unless you have been out of regular comps for 2 years.
 

Aussie_Gymnast

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Oct 23, 2019
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Hi Aussie_gymnast, thanks for your kind words.

You can certainly compete WAG Levels as an adult, there is no age limit. It is pretty common in Australia, because our systems are quite different to the US. You will hear a lot on this forum (as its mostly a US forum), of kids graduating from their gyms at the end of high school and there seems to be an unwritten rule (or maybe even a written rule in some cases), that kids leave their gyms after 12th grade.

This is not the case here, as most kids don’t go away to college, they tend to attend local universities and continue to live at home with their parents, and there is no such thing as college gymnastics. So I know at least for our gym, when kids graduate and go onto further education they just continue on with their gymnastics like before. So there is a bit no set Age.

You are in a bit of a different situation of course, starting later. But I know of plenty of people who have started gymnastics as an adult and competed successfully.

A lot is going to come down to where you live. Some gyms will not allow an adult on their teams, especially more competitive gyms, where their teams skew on the younger side, because the age gap may feel in appropriate. But smaller gyms tend to have a huge age range in their classes anyway. As it is a level 6 class could have kids from 8 to 17 or so anyway so having an adult really does not feel out of place. You will need to contact gyms in your area, and be prepared to face a few no’s before you get a yes. If you live in a rural or remote area, this may be more difficult because you will have a smaller selection of gyms to choose from.

Your other option is masters competitions, these are getting more and more popular in Australia. They have divisions for people from 20 right up to senior citizens. These are great because it is more flexible so you can highlight your strengths. Many gyms have adult classes, and a lot of these will participate in masters comps. If you decide to do regular WAG comps you won’t be eligible for masters comps unless you have been out of regular comps for 2 years.
Thanks for your answer. I do realise it is possible to compete in regular WAG comps after high school because I have already done so. I really love competitions and the levels program so that is really the route I would like to take. There are a few that compete after high school but it really looks like there are less older girls now since they got rid of state stream and everyone had to compete in national stream. I started gymnastics during that transition period and have noticed that a lot of older girls were dropping out. I personally like the new levels program because it puts everyone on the same playing field. The old one was great too and definitely gave girls who did less hours a fair competition too.

My problem is not about weather it is possible to compete. It is more about the training situation. I have trained in a regular competition group with younger girls in the past and I miss it so much. It was very hard to get accepted in a team because many coaches around here are only interested in little girls. I feel very lonely in the adults classes at the moment because there is no one at a similar level to me. They are either recreation adult beginners that don’t compete doing things that are too easy for me, or level 9-10 competition gymnasts which I also don’t fit in with because they are doing twisting layouts and double back saultos, (also double fronts) as if they could do it in their sleep.

I also train alone and write my own training programs. It is good to have some freedom like that but I really miss training in a structured group because sometimes it would be nice to have a coach that can stay with the group the whole time telling you what to do so you know if you are doing the right things to improve. I feel a little confused at the moment. Is it ok to ask some questions about writing your own successful training programs and also maybe about some specific skills? I do have a coach but it is different because they are a floating coach and go around to help everybody but you have to ask for help specifically. It feels like a mess in adults class because it is normally crowded and everyone is doing completely different things. There is nothing organised such as apparatus rotations.

Thanks for the suggestion but masters is definitely not my thing. I have seen what it is before and even competed at one competition and was very disappointed. It doesn’t make sense to me that they say you have to be out of WAG/ MAG for 2 years. I find it a bit depressing because it is not very strict or competitive so it doesn’t leave people with a reason to learn or do higher level skills unless they learnt it when they were younger. It doesn’t seem to be about making significant progress as an adult. It is more about what skills can you still pull off after retiring from MAG and WAG. I still want to improve and not feel like it is all downhill when you get to a certain age. I know some people love masters but it is not my thing. It is good that there is something for adults especially though. Most of them feel better to be mixed with other adults.
 
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Aussie_coach

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I totally get what you are saying. I have seen the issues with adults classes, and it’s often a lack of structure, or a lack of commitment from the students, a great variation in ability levels and so on.

That doesn’t mean you won’t find the perfect fit if you keep looking. I have adult classes at my gym, and they are a 100% structured class, fully coach directed, giving drills etc. don’t give up, keep at it and you will either find an adult class that works, or a gym that accepts adults onto their team with teens.
 
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Aussie_Gymnast

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I totally get what you are saying. I have seen the issues with adults classes, and it’s often a lack of structure, or a lack of commitment from the students, a great variation in ability levels and so on.

That doesn’t mean you won’t find the perfect fit if you keep looking. I have adult classes at my gym, and they are a 100% structured class, fully coach directed, giving drills etc. don’t give up, keep at it and you will either find an adult class that works, or a gym that accepts adults onto their team with teens.
Thank you so much for those encouraging words. It was just what I needed to hear brighten my day. You sound like an awesome coach even though I have not met you. I am sure there must be people that you coach that benefit greatly from your positive mindset. Gymnastics is a hard enough sport on it’s own. We need more coaches with positive mindsets to keep athletes in the sport mentally healthy.
 

Laura

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Oct 22, 2007
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Hi Aussie gymnast
I tried to send you a private message measage for some reason it wouldn’t go through.

I was a competitive gymnast until the age of 29 and after a few years break I’m about to give it a go again as I miss it.

Feel free to message me if you’d like to
 

Aussie_Gymnast

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Oct 23, 2019
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Hi Aussie gymnast
I tried to send you a private message measage for some reason it wouldn’t go through.

I was a competitive gymnast until the age of 29 and after a few years break I’m about to give it a go again as I miss it.

Feel free to message me if you’d like to
I am new here so I don't know how the private message thing works. It would be good to chat to you.

Well done on continuing on up till 29 and then being brave to start again after a break. I am a little younger than that but still feel so old in gymnastics mainly because of being told I am old by other coaches and being around many younger gymnasts. I really try not to let it get to me because I love gymnastics and competing. The type of gymnastics most adults do almost feels like another sport. It feels like the adults version of gymnastics is just not satisfying because it is just not challenging or rigorous enough. No one (coaches) seems to push adults to become good at gymnastics.
 

Laura

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Oct 22, 2007
203
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I am new here so I don't know how the private message thing works. It would be good to chat to you.

Well done on continuing on up till 29 and then being brave to start again after a break. I am a little younger than that but still feel so old in gymnastics mainly because of being told I am old by other coaches and being around many younger gymnasts. I really try not to let it get to me because I love gymnastics and competing. The type of gymnastics most adults do almost feels like another sport. It feels like the adults version of gymnastics is just not satisfying because it is just not challenging or rigorous enough. No one (coaches) seems to push adults to become good at gymnastics.
I was lucky to be at a club that allowed me to just keep training and competing and supported me even though I was by the end, a lot older than the girls I was training with. Haha i has been doing gymnastics (a lot) longer than they had been alive! It was also funny at competitions when the other girls realised how old I was

Yes, I’ll see how I go with a “lesser” form of gym. However the club I’m thinking of training with are very well known for adult gymnastics and have well structured classes etc.

If you check the top of your page there is a little envelope and that is for private messages. If you can get it to work, feel free to send through a message
 
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