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For Parents Holding gymmie back?

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Jun 11, 2008
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Region 1
I haven't posted in awhile, been busy with school but... It seems my gymmie is being held back and I was wanting some more experienced opinions before I approach the gym (if I even should).

She is on the level 4 (USAG) team and turned 6 in July. She practices with the team girls but they did not register her with USAG or order her a competition leo, etc saying they wanted to "wait until she is ready" without giving a definitive timeframe. I was not bothered at first becasue she IS their youngest gymnast and I know they (as a gym) have never had a child younger than 7 compete. Still, we thought she would get the meet experience this fall, just later. The season is winding down to the point that I don't think she would be able to compete this fall now. She knows this and is getting discouraged. She wonders why her team gets to compete but she does not.

The coaches are always so busy, it is impossible to get some time to speak. When I do get the time, they give vague answers like "we'll see".

I don't want to be the "whiny" mom or make it sound like I am pushing but from what I can see, she is past ready! She has every level 4 skill and most of level 5. She can kip, almost back tuck, cast to handstand, 4 full straddle presses (up and down) on the beam in addition to the level 4 routines.

Does it seem odd that she would not be allowed to compete this year just becasue she is a young 6? They let her do mock meets with the girls and the coaches (some are certified judges) always give her scores in the upper 8 to mid 9s.

Should I gripe to the gym owner or just let it go and figure she will have an awesome competive year next fall when she is 7? Also, I get the feeling they are overly wanting the high team scores to build up their gym (they are 7 years old as a gym) reputation and I wonder if that is the reason? Oh and I should mention we pay the full team price which is what really bugs me since we do not get full team "benefits." 240$ each month for no meet experience.

TIA!
 

midwestgymmom

Active Member
Aug 27, 2006
661
midwest
My DD did 3 yrs as a level 4 which was good they waited until she was ready in every way now she will be competing as a level 5. They may be seeing how close they can get her to a higher level before they register her. Some clubs like to have their younger talented ones skip the lower levels. Once you are registered for a certain level they have to score out of it to move to the next level by waiting longer they may end up skipping some levels :shrug: Just a guess.
 

Monkeygirlsmom

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Feb 10, 2007
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I have no clue but I know my girls were teh ones being held back on preteam and to be honest it turned out to be a good thing since dd#1 fractured her finger and it is def cheaper. good luck I hope you can get some answers tho from the coaches.
 

ZJsMom

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May 11, 2007
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The age for level 4 is 6. It's 7 for 5 and 6. And there's no mobility score for moving from 4 to 5, so that's not an issue.

I would be bothered by the lack of communication, if I were you. I don't think it's too much to ask when she'll be allowed to compete if you're paying team tuition and all the other girls she trains with are competing. If the answer is "we don't think she's mature enough and want to wait till next year," then fine at least you know. There's no reason the coaches shouldn't be able to give you some idea of what they're looking for or waiting on.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I may be wrong but thought you had to be 7 to compete level 4.

You have to be 6 to compete L4, 7 to compete L5.

My little Monkey turned 6 the year she was a L4 (July 25th bday, 1st meet 9/16). She competed with her team of 10 girls, ages 8-12. She loved competition, but was definitely the odd man out as far as team bonding. Still, it was a good experience for her. However, that spring her teammates were all allowed to try to score out of Level 5 into 6 and again she was left out because she was too young. The following year, she competed 5 (along with the girls who didn't score into 6). This year, she was left behind again, when everyone else moved up to 6 (and after one meet, to 7). She is the only one remaining from the original 10 who either did not move up, or has not quit gymnastics. She continues to get "crap" from the older kids who think they are better than her. Yes, she struggles with some skills like vaulting & bars because of her size, but if you look at scores, she did as well as the others. My DD is only 8, and she should have a great yr as a 2nd yr Level 5. I know that and her coaches know that, she is small and they want to give her a chance to really shine. We have talked repeatedly about it, because I hate that she's been discouraged about being "left behind" and being mistreated by the older girls. The year after she started, there was only a small team of Level 4's and they were closer to her age (7-8), which in retrospect would have been better for her as far as girls getting along with each other.

Sorry I'm rambling.... As for your DD, Level 4 is not "required". Maybe they will let her skip to Level 5 next year if she has all of her skills? Even though it was good for my DD to get the experience, there were definitely struggles which she didn't need such as the bar routine - from the toe tap in the beginning (which she couldn't do b/c she could not reach), to the shoot thru & mill circle!

I would definitely try to book some time to speak with the coaches about what their plans are for your DD. In the meantime, just keep encouraging her to learn her new skills :)
 

midwestgymmom

Active Member
Aug 27, 2006
661
midwest
You have to be 6 to compete L4, 7 to compete L5.

My little Monkey turned 6 the year she was a L4 (July 25th bday, 1st meet 9/16). She competed with her team of 10 girls, ages 8-12. She loved competition, but was definitely the odd man out as far as team bonding. Still, it was a good experience for her. However, that spring her teammates were all allowed to try to score out of Level 5 into 6 and again she was left out because she was too young. The following year, she competed 5 (along with the girls who didn't score into 6). This year, she was left behind again, when everyone else moved up to 6 (and after one meet, to 7). She is the only one remaining from the original 10 who either did not move up, or has not quit gymnastics. She continues to get "crap" from the older kids who think they are better than her. Yes, she struggles with some skills like vaulting & bars because of her size, but if you look at scores, she did as well as the others. My DD is only 8, and she should have a great yr as a 2nd yr Level 5. I know that and her coaches know that, she is small and they want to give her a chance to really shine. We have talked repeatedly about it, because I hate that she's been discouraged about being "left behind" and being mistreated by the older girls. The year after she started, there was only a small team of Level 4's and they were closer to her age (7-8), which in retrospect would have been better for her as far as girls getting along with each other.

Sorry I'm rambling.... As for your DD, Level 4 is not "required". Maybe they will let her skip to Level 5 next year if she has all of her skills? Even though it was good for my DD to get the experience, there were definitely struggles which she didn't need such as the bar routine - from the toe tap in the beginning (which she couldn't do b/c she could not reach), to the shoot thru & mill circle!

I would definitely try to book some time to speak with the coaches about what their plans are for your DD. In the meantime, just keep encouraging her to learn her new skills :)


:goodposting: I agree. Why bother with lower levels when you have the skills to start at the higher ones? DD hated the level 4 bar routine too BTW.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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That would bother me. She is more than ready and you are paying the same fees as they are. I would also probably see if they will let her skip 4 if they aren't letting her compete this fall. Do they not compete in the Spring?

Anyways, she is doing awesome! She is obviously very talented. I am impressed with her skills. :D
 
B

Billy

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Can you schedule an appointment with her coaches to find out what they plan for her? That might help and they should at least give you some information on what they're planning.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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I had to come back to address the comment about "paying the same" and not getting meet experience. At our gym, we pay monthly tuition for the TRAINING. What we pay for the meets is completely separate....usually another $80-100 per meet. So, as long as the kids are learning their skills and being trained the same way ......
 
Aug 7, 2008
118
I think that the coaches need to give you more than a "we'll see" when you ask them why dd isnt able to compete in meets. It sounds like she has all the skills needed plus some. If I were you I would try to schedule a meeting with your dd's coach to discuss what is going on. Good luck and PLEASE let us know how every goes!
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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I think Shawn had a good idea about setting up a time to meet with the coaches. Sometimes trying to catch them after a practice isn't good or they don't want to talk to you and go ducking out another way(been there on that one). Making her a member of USAG is not a big deal(although will cost you money) and if really was an issue she could probably borrow a meet leo from someone else.

Its not all about skills in deciding to put a child in competition. Some is maturity, being able to take corrections, dealing with the stress of meets plus how her routines look overall. I would certainly want more of an answer than you're getting. At this point, by the time things are resolved the meet season may well be over, but you need to know what their plan is for your dd for the next 6-8 mos. I'm sure your dd is getting quite discouraged watching her teammates get ready and go to meets and then she has to hear about all their fun, medals, ribbons etc. at practice. Reality is that 1 child's "low" scores will not destroy the team score. Many meets take the top 5 scores on each event or top 5 AA scores.
 

ZJsMom

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May 11, 2007
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I had to come back to address the comment about "paying the same" and not getting meet experience. At our gym, we pay monthly tuition for the TRAINING. What we pay for the meets is completely separate....usually another $80-100 per meet. So, as long as the kids are learning their skills and being trained the same way ......
Yes; this is true. At the same time though, we pay for the extra training and kids put in the extra hours on team because they want to be competitive gymnasts. Kids and parents make the commitment and move to team expecting to go to meets and, I think, generally have the impression that being moved to team means the coaches think they'll be ready to compete in the next season. I can understand why a parent would question why he or she was paying team tuition if the child isn't have the full team experience.
 
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