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help needed please for new gym mum in France!

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Dr Maleficent

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Oct 29, 2013
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Hi everyone, this is my first post on here, and I have two issues that I would love some advice on. I live in France, and my DS, then aged 7, started gymnastics in september last year, just in a normal class. Within a couple of weeks he had been asked to come twice a week, then three times. Then the coach asked that he be transferred to a private school next to the gym so that he could be picked up by the coach (with the 3 other boys of his age on the team who have also been placed at that school). Since reading this forum, I have realised that in some ways we are very lucky as for 15 hours a week training we pay the equivalent of $412 for the year, and don't have to pay for competition entry and gym cover 75% of his school fees. Anyway, my first question is about catch-up times. The other 3 boys are first or second in their age categories for the SouthWest of France, and so my little bean is a loooong way behind. He competed last year and was very sad not to place despite careful explanations! As they don't compete by levels over here but by age (this is where we are less lucky as his birthday puts him in the 10 year old category even though he is currently 8) I imagine the same will probably happen this year too - is it possible that he would catch up with other boys who have been doing this for years, and is a home mushroom a good idea to help him with his nemesis? Or is that going too far?
Second question, my DD has just turned 6, and did what is called 'babygym' here last year. This is the first year that she could potentially be put into a development group in the system here (I am totally amazed by stories on here of 3 year olds competing and doing back handsprings - is this ok for their skeletal development?) but so far the coaches have not mentioned anything. She is mega-keen, and has even taken up ballet (which she detests) to improve her posture and movement. She is a tiny bit 'cuddly' and I wonder if she is not taken seriously because of this, or if she just isn't cut out to be a gymnast. Is it pushy to ask the coaches if she could be given a chance in the development group, or should I just let her pootle on in the normal ('rec') class and see if she gets noticed one day? thanks for any advice!
 

Iwannabemargo

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Aug 28, 2011
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No advice to give re your daughter, @Natalia I think is also in France, although on the other side of the country from you, and may be your best source of advice on the French system.

Sounds like your you lad is doing very well and what a great opportunity for him. I use to live in Toulouse, the south west is a fabulous part of the country. :)
 
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gymmomtoo

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Sep 27, 2011
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I always say it doesn't hurt to simply ask. "DD really loves gymnastics--do you think she would have a chance at the developmental program?"

No idea about your DS--haven't been involved with boys gymnastics at all!
 
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Dr Maleficent

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Oct 29, 2013
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thanks guys. IwannabeMargo - we're in Toulouse too, it's fab. Gymmomtoo, thank you for your suggestion, I'll try that. I'm a bit torn because if they say ok, it means 6-8pm training, but on the other hand, if she really wants to give it a proper try then it would be nice for her to have the chance
:)
 

dunno

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in the end, and if your son stays with it, you won't be able to tell how long the 3 of them have been doing gymnastics. us boys take a bit longer to develop than the girls. and yes, get him a mushroom. that is not over the top at all.

you'll have to ask what to do with your daughter. you can ask them that. :)
 

Iwannabemargo

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Ooooh so jealous ! I lived and worked in the well dodgy areas when I was there, Bagatelle, Bellefontaine, Empalot, but I loved the city and still have friends in Cugneaux and Blagnac.

Allez les Rouge et Noirs !
 
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Azgymmiemom

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Mar 12, 2010
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Welcome! I have a ds in gym, too, and he had a heck of a time with that pommel at first. Now it's his best event! Getting a mushroom for home is a great idea. With pommel, the only thing that helps is doing circles, circles and more circles. And then more circles. ;)

I don't think it's pushy at all to ask the coaches about your dd. If she really likes to do gym, let them know! They can make sure she's placed in the right class. If she's not ready for a harder class right now, that doesn't mean she has missed her opportunity to compete. Some kids just develop their maturity sooner or later than others.
 

Natalia

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Dec 30, 2010
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France
Bonjour,bonjour

I'm afraid I know nothing about boys gymnastics.

DD is curently in sport étude in Haguenau,Alsace.

She is also picked up from school by the gym at 15h00 every afternoon and goes straight to gym.She's currenty going 21 hours a week and has just turned 9 years old.

We came back to France when DD was 7,she had been doing gymnastics in Mexico before we came to France.She tried out one afternoon and was invited to join their sport étude program.

Most of the girls are "détectées" in baby gym,they're invited to a test session and then may be invited to join the sport étude program.The younger girls have fewer hours,so your DD would start off with far fewer hours,but be aware it gets intensive quite fast.

Also be aware that if your DD loves this sport and shows talent she might be invited to a Pôle when she turns 10 or 11 years old.You will then have to make some very hard decisions.I mentioned this here http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/threads/centralized-or-decentralized-national-programs.42919/.

There are less competitive streams,usually training hours do not exceed 10 to 15 hours a week.Before you ask your club if your DD can join their competitive program,ask the coaches how many hours she will be training and how this might evolve.

Then speak to parents of other girls and see what they think of school,training and family life balance....

Then if you still want in,ask.
Nothing ventured,nothing gained.;)
 
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Dr Maleficent

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Oct 29, 2013
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France
Hi Natalia, thank you for your message - it's good to know someone else in the sport-etude programme. I wondered if you would mind explaining the different competitions? there seem to be so many acronyms - DC, DN, DIR, DC, inter-comite, and I have not really understood what they mean.
best wishes,
Sam
 

Natalia

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Dec 30, 2010
161
France
Ah,yes ,the wonderful alphabet soup.

When I first arrived I tried my best to understand what the heck it was al about....18 months later I just try to understand where DD has to be and at what time:confused:.

This is what I have understood so far,but I might be wrong.

Last year DD competed in Criterium.
They competed by year of birth,not by level.
The first competition was departementale,this allowed you to qualify for regionale followed by "finale de zone".When they are 9 years old the first four gymnasts of very zone qualify for nationals.

In criterium the routines for every element is qualified by level of difficulty going from B,the easiest to G,the hardest.The same girl can do a B on bars(equivalent to a U.S level 3)and an D on beam.This means that no single apparatus will hold a girl back.They also choose their own choreography on floor and can add certain skills that will give some bonus points.

When the girls are 9,they can participate in the "coupe nationale",this is not the national championship,but rather a chance to be seen by coaches of the different national training centers and qualify for "avenir,espoir,"basically competing to be placed on the elite track.Those that obtain the best results in the coupe nationale are automatically qualified for nationals.

Divisions nationales .I beleive there's 6 national divisions,clubs participate with their teams and can move up the ranks to first division.

I've been to the website of the french federation but the page that explains all the different categories is under construction LOL
 

GymBee97

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Feb 13, 2012
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Welcome to the CB!

I'm not in France so I can't comment on that system but I never compare where my son or daughter are in relation to others on the team. Every gymnast develops at their own speed. Some will get bars quicker but falter on floor. Some will be vault super stars but have an event that is their challenge event (mushroom was my sons and beam is my DD). You have to look at where he started and ask yourself "did he/she improve". If you have concerns don't be afraid to make an appointment with your sons coach and discuss where your son is at for the time he has been in the program. For your DD it never hurts to ask what the coach thinks and let them know your open to the idea of your daughter moving up.

On a side note - !!! $412 for the YEAR !!!!! Wow I pay more than that for a month!! not including meet fees, uniform costs and travel costs. So jealous on this one ;-)
 

Natalia

Member
Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2010
161
France
I've just reread your last question and I see that you asked about the inter comite.

Ok,this is what I know:every region has a local gymnastics comittee,they organize competitions to select the regional team to participate in the inter comittee meet,the Alsace team has 4 members.3 girls born in 2003 and one 2002.

The first selection meet was incredible fun,after the girs finished competing,there was a frendly international meet,we saw Paul ruggeri do an uneven bar routine!A dude on the girls bars, great fun.It was great for our girl
s to be participating in an event with international stars.Here's a pic
 
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Natalia

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Dec 30, 2010
161
France
Welcome to the CB!

On a side note - !!! $412 for the YEAR !!!!! Wow I pay more than that for a month!! not including meet fees, uniform costs and travel costs. So jealous on this one ;-)
It does seem cheap,but we pay for it with our taxes.It does ensure that gymnastics,even high level gymnastics is within reach to nearly everyone.
 

Dr Maleficent

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Oct 29, 2013
2,898
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France
Hi All, thank you so much for all the replies and information, I am finding these forums (forae?!) such a great source of info as this is a whole new crazy world for us. The issue of competing by age versus competing by level is an interesting one - for us it would prob be better to compete by level, at least for this year but I guess that if you compete by age it gives the gymnast a chance to progress even if one area is weaker, and probably it all ends up the same in the end!
 
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