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Supportive_Mum

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Hi all I am new here. To be honest I know next to nothing about gymnastics. My 5 year old dd has been asked to an assessment at WAIS (wa institute of sport) and although over the moon I have a million questions. Should my dd get in, I am wondering how much the coaching will cost...I am under the impression she will be training 8ish+ hours per week. Also how can I prepare her for the assessment. Thx sm x
 
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Jenny

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no idea but well done to her for getting an assessment. Let us know how it goes. There are plenty of Aussies here that can advise you.
 

Gymnastisism

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Well done! The cost of coaching obviously depends on a lot of factors, however if she's going to be in gymnastics for a few years it does get very expensive very quickly. Being only 5 years old there isn't much preparation you as a parent can do, just make sure she is well fed, hydrated, not tired and ready in appropriate attire (form fitting leotard) and neat hair the day of the assessment. Good luck!
 

leotardmakermum

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Best wishes to your daughter. She doesn't need to prepare any more than what Gymnastisism suggested. Presumably they will be looking at her strength, flexibility and shapes (the ones she makes with her body, not the shape OF her body).

My daughter does IDP, so there are others of us here. :)
 
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Supportive_Mum

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Leotardmakermum how old is your little one? How many hours does she do ? How r you managing school? How expensive is expensive ;) ? What age was she picked up? Was she spotted at her club? Do u just ditch your club when IDP is offered? How does it all work? Aaaaahhh I am totally thick to all this...but desperately want to help my little one achieve her potential (whatever that might b)
 

leotardmakermum

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Hi Supportive_mum. My daughter is 9. She moved from her old club (which we loved) to her new one when she was 7. We moved simply because she decided she *wanted* to do IDP (her old coach, who had previously been a national coach, felt she was in that league), and it wasn't offered at her old club. She did a "test" at the new club and they accepted her. We're in a different state to you, so not sure how it works in WA with WAIS.

She currently does 16 hours per week, but that will increase in the near future. It does not currently cut into her school time, but it will when the hours increase. We'll have to negotiate that with the school, but it will be approved.

School is not her love, though she does do ok at it. To her, it is what you do before you go to gymnastics training. She does have a post-gymnastics career goal, so we use that to remind her that she needs to do her best at school, and that school is important. She gets her homework on Monday and it has to be handed in the following Monday. She usually does it on the two afternoons that she does not train. Her teachers note her excellent time management.

Expensive for us is several thousand dollars per year. It will increase when she increases her hours. As yet she does not have travel costs for competitions, as she only competes within her state. When she starts competing nationally, that will be an added cost as well.

I spend a lot of time in the car driving her to and from training (and that adds $$ in petrol costs). That's common for most of the parents on this board, but as you're new to all this, then it is something that you may not have considered.

I hope that helps. I well remember how overwhelming it was to make the decision to move her into IDP, and to accept that into our whole family's lifestyle. It IS big. ;-)
 

Aussie_coach

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Hi, you have quite a journey in front of you. But it can be a wonderful journey if approached appropriately.

The average age for gymnasts at each IDP level is as follows.
IDP 1 5-7
IDP2 6-8
IDP3 7-9
IDP 5 8-10
IDP 6 9-11
IDP 8 10-12
IDP 10 11-13
Junior international 12-14
Senior international 15 and up

That is their age on Jan 1st. Most kids start in IDP at an early age because it is much easier to switch from IDP back to national levels than it is to switch the other way.

Hours usually start at 8 or so for 1, move up to about 12 by IDP 2, 16-18 by 3. By the mid IDP levels you are looking at about 25 hours a week, by the higher levels it will be well over 30 hours.

It can be very expensive, IDP training requires small classes and high hours, top equipment and experienced coaches. But if you attend the WAIS this will be offset to some degree by the governing body.

A place like the WAIS will have a program set up for schooling. Here in QLd our QAS has a link with a local primary and high school. They have a bus which takes them to and from the gym each day and their program is modified so they get what they need educationally.

School is rarely a problem for IDP kids, you have to be an intelligent and switched on kid to succeed at IDP, most do very well in school with minimal hours.

Girls are usually closed for IDP some time between age 5-10. If they are chosen at a younger age they really need no background in gymnasts, just the right talent. If they are chosen at an older age they should already be showing quite a lot of skill.

Going to the WAIS is not considered ditching your club, it is a way to represent your Club at a very high level. Most gymnasts keep a tie with their original club.
 
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Supportive_Mum

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Hi...thanks so much for the feedback. I have become a nervous wreck now wondering if she will even get in. I wonder what the chances are...I believe the numbers are very limited. Guess she has nothing to lose...after all we didn't go out looking for this....although I do hope with all my might that she gets in!!! I have no idea how she even got spotted...I was told a head coach was in our club.

Education is a priority to me as I am a teacher but you are right...she is a very bright and switched on child. She sets out to be the best in everything she does so I am sure she won't allow herself to slip behind. She is a very disciplined and determined child.

I am glad she doesn't need much skill as I have seen some of the videos on here of young girls and she can not do any of those things...yet! She is a tiny, petite girl and am sure that is the basis for which they have asked for this assessment.

Is she able to do National level and IDP levels at the same time? How do we stay connected to our original club? I am too scared to ask our club coz I feel so stupid not knowing anything about gymnastics.

If it wasn't for this forum I would still be not fully understanding the different systems.

Also how do I approach this appropriately...do you mean by just being a mum and watching my child develop? I don't want to become a 'gym mum' :)

Thx again for the input.

Assessment day seems like a lifetime away!
 

Dr Maleficent

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Hi Supportive_mum, welcome to the weird world of someone looking at your little one and saying "I think this small child who currently can do little/ no gymnastics skills has the potential to be a great gymnast and we suggest you change their school and devote your life to transporting them to and from the gym, and cancel your holidays etc etc!!!" It is a really strange feeling, the mixture of disbelief and hope for good things for them, and fear that they might do it/ might not do it. Good luck - I haven't really got advice, being new myself and not from Australia, but just wanted to say I know the feeling, and I hope it all goes very well for your daughter
 
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Supportive_Mum

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Oh thx. That's exactly how I feel. This has come as such a shock. Good luck to your little one too...one day we might meet in Antwerp ;)
 
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Gymnastisism

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I know this is probably obvious, but if its a long assessment make sure you pack a snack for your dd. Make sure it's healthy e.g fruit/nut bar, dried fruit etc and a bottle of water. Keep the lollies and chocolates until after you're out of the assessment :)

Also if your DD has a fringe pin it back, and clip down any stray hairs :) When is the assessment?
 

Supportive_Mum

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Thx the assessment is long. It's an hour and a half. She very rarely has junk food but I planned on getting her to have a lunch time sleep and give her a good healthy snack before we leave home. I have also thought to take her to the toilet before the assessment too. All the tips r so greatly appreciated. No fringe on my little one but have been googling cute hair back styles (nothing ott).
 

Flossyduck

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I know this is the Aussie?New Zealand thread, but I wanted to say good luck.

My only advice, as others have covered most of it, is to try and make a list of any important questions you might have. When I was called in to talk to the coach after dd's trial I was totally unprepared for the offer she made and what she was saying. She started talking about the days, the hours, nutrition sheets, the person to contact about fees and insurance, whether I needed a letter to give to the school and asking if she could start 'tomorrow'. Could she move club, go from four hours a week to 15 hours a week, miss school etc and start it all tomorrow...err...

It's like being catapaulted into a strange parallel universe. I'm a smart woman, but the coach must have seen the look on her face as she slowed down and said "do you think you should be writing this down?", lol!

I just wish I'd thought through the things I wanted to know and been able to ask them. Then again I had no idea what I wanted to know at the time...:confused:

Yours all sounds much more organised and sensibly planned, so you have a chance to do that.

Just good luck and make sure her feet are clean - people will be seeing a lot of them :)
 
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Aussie_coach

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Hi, no she can't do IDP and National levels at the same time, it has to be one or the other.

As for staying connected with your club. I am not sure how it works in your start but in my state the gymnasts stay as registered members of their old club and they train at the academy of sport, so when they compete they wear the leotard for their original club and represent them. We have our IDP gymnasts come in and do displays at our in club competitions and events.

Please don't feel scared to ask questions, coaches don't actually expect the parents to know anything about gymnastics, we welcome questions. It is the only way to know what you don't understand.

As for how do you approach it appropriately, well that is where it gets tricky. IDP gymnastics is not like normal gymnastics, there is a lot more pressure. The kids will get upset, there will be days when you pick them up in tears. Tears are often a part of the training. It is hard, and it is painful at times. The hours are very demanding, as she gets older they will want her about 36 hours a week. Injuries do happen and they need to be dealt with very carefully so as not to undo all the hard work. Holidays will no longer exist, she will be expected to train year round without a break, public holidays will just be a chance to train more. You will no longer see 1 1/2 hours as a long time, that will be a short session. You will be expected to not question the coaches and they are rarely nurturing.

It will take a lot of effort form you as a parent to balance her life and her self esteem. If you have other children their needs will often be compromised.

I am not saying it's not worth it, if your child has the right personality it can be an amazing experience. If your child does not deal well with pressure and stress don't even put her in this situation.
 
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Supportive_Mum

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@Flossyduck you are right the confusion was there from the moment I opened the letter. No one in the year we have been in the rec program has indicated to me that my little one has any potential so to say I was overwhelmed is an understatement. I didn't know what else to do but cry. They gave me the letter and walked away...left me there like a toad and I had to gulp down the emotion. I went to the desk and asked a series of I don't understand what this means questions and then they said train towards olympics...I couldn't hold back...I cried. I am now wondering how many girls will be trying out and what my dd chances actually are. I used to joke about going to the Olympics but now the sh!t just got real and I want it so badly for her. Not psycho badly but she is such a switched on, well adjusted child that I know she can handle the pressure and pace.

@Aussie_coach thank you so much for your input. Your posts here have been invaluable to me in understanding the system clearer. I can not thank you enough. I hope I do my child justice in parenting her well towards success. I am always up for advice.

fingers crossed everyone!
 

Aussie_coach

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Well we are here for you if you need it. We can be your online support network. Always feel free to ask questions and share the glories and the concerns.

If your daughter does take the IDP path you will end up with friends and family who just don't get it. So this can be a place to come and talk to people who do get it.
 
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