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AquaticSoul

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Hi everyone,

I’m in some desperate need of advice. Some background info is that my daughter has been in gymnastics for 2 1/2 years (7th grader) and started a new gym for Level 5 in August due to an understaffed previous gym. I thought things were going well until her coaches approached me (first meet is in a week) and brought up the idea of her repeating Level 4, which she regularly scored 34.00+ in. She has all of her Level 5 skills except she needs a spot for her back tuck on floor. The coaches reasoning is that while she’s talented and they can’t pinpoint any issues with ability, her confidence is suffering, which is true. She is required to do a pike-on for bars whereas her old gym had her do a squat-on. She spent 30 minutes trying to get her required 5 pike-ons in a row, only getting four, after numerous attempts and tears of frustration in being unable to move on to other skills and events. I feel like repeating Level 4 would be a waste of a year because she has the skills mastered and she is so close to having her Level 5 skills with a whole season ahead, to master. Her confidence really has suffered at this gym though. She hasn’t been very welcomed by the team although she is kind and hard-working. I just don’t know if to switch back to her old gym, an entirely new gym, stay and consider Level 4 or see how Level 5 goes. The coaches left the ball in our court as to which level she trains this year. I just want her to be happy and still challenged because she loves the sport, but she doesn’t want to repeat Level 4 and I don’t want her to stay where her confidence is suffering and likewise, make her experience yet another gym switch. This is such a critical age for confidence. I appreciate any advice and please be kind! Thank you.
 

Gymx2

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She still hasn't been in this new gym for all that long, so it can take a while to connect with new teammates- especially if they have been training together for a while. Are you otherwise happy with the gym- the coaches, the facility? It's fairly common to have to repeat a level when moving to a new gym, and in this case it sounds as though they really want her to be successful- they aren't trying to punish her. Can she start the season at 4 and move up after a meet or two?
 
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Cmumgym

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She still hasn't been in this new gym for all that long, so it can take a while to connect with new teammates- especially if they have been training together for a while. Are you otherwise happy with the gym- the coaches, the facility? It's fairly common to have to repeat a level when moving to a new gym, and in this case it sounds as though they really want her to be successful- they aren't trying to punish her. Can she start the season at 4 and move up after a meet or two?
agree with this on top of that it sounds like the new gym has prerequisites with levels at the above standard than the average gym I.e having to pike on all the Time instead of step up. I have always appreciated the quote “you never want to be the best at your gym” you always want to have a challenge. You always want to have team mates who can help you strive to be better. By the time a gymnast gets to level 5 you need to expect to repeat. Either through puberty. Injury. Change of gym/structure. Never see it as a disadvantage. They will either repeat now and gain the confidence. Or repeat as a level 10. Either way you have to expect it at some stage. The fact your dd has a new gym and new friends to be able
To repeat is an advantage because they don’t see their old Friends in a different stage each day in the gym. They get to make new friends whatever level. It’s a positive. You never want to push through levels. It’s not a gain.
 

Ty’s Dad

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I say stay in level 4 and get all the necessary skills so she can be ready for 5. Trust in the coaches
 
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ldw4mlo

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I’m sorry. But a huge red flag for me is not being able to move on to other things until 5 in a row of xyz (in this case pike) happens.

JMO it’s a cr#ppy way to coach. I’d be heading off elsewhere.

As far as the getting to know kids thing. Most gyms kids have been together a long time. That takes time.
 

Cmumgym

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I’m sorry. But a huge red flag for me is not being able to move on to other things until 5 in a row of xyz (in this case pike) happens.

JMO it’s a cr#ppy way to coach. I’d be heading off elsewhere.

As far as the getting to know kids thing. Most gyms kids have been together a long time. That takes time.
All gyms have a different coaching technique. Some do have a strict outline with very high expectations. It’s nor crappy or positive. It’s just the way it is. To suggest heading off else where when they’ve just left somewhere and not gained the full knowledge of this way is very closed
Minded. To be able to have the opportunity as a gymnast to see through expectations of different gyms is a great way to build resilience overcome obstacles that the other gym may not have given them is great. A young level and age gives the opportunity to see a lot. Have a look at your new gyms results and how far they’ve been able to bring their gymnasts. If they have highly qualifying results with higher levels and have been around a long time I would trust their knowledge even if their technique isn’t seen a positive to others (given there is no abuse as we have to state this these days ) but expecting a lot from gymnasts has negatives and positives in a career. However you will find the gyms who don’t give out participation medals and only acknowledge “the top 3” as an example. Is a negative way of training these days. But is usually the old school way that brings top results. So if you find a coach expecting to get 5 out of 5 as a red flag. That is ok. Because that coach and gym has probably been around for many years and doesn’t want a bubble wrapped child to have a parent complain every three seconds that their child should just do the minimum required for that level because they only need to step up to the bar to compete and not pike on at a competition.
 

Cmumgym

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I’m sorry. But a huge red flag for me is not being able to move on to other things until 5 in a row of xyz (in this case pike) happens.

JMO it’s a cr#ppy way to coach. I’d be heading off elsewhere.

As far as the getting to know kids thing. Most gyms kids have been together a long time. That takes time.
It’s not a politically correct way of coaching, apparently these days, however deffinatly is not a crappy way of coaching. High expectations does affect a minority. It deffinatly depends on your resilience and goals in the sport.
I’m sorry. But a huge red flag for me is not being able to move on to other things until 5 in a row of xyz (in this case pike) happens.

JMO it’s a cr#ppy way to coach. I’d be heading off elsewhere.

As far as the getting to know kids thing. Most gyms kids have been together a long time. That takes time.
It’s not a politically correct way of coaching, apparently these days, however deffinatly is not a crappy way of coaching. High expectations does affect a minority. It deffinatly depends on your resilience and goals in the sport.
It sounds as though the op has moved their dd to a higher competitive gym that focuses on the increase in skill rather than the level they are at. Which is great. You want to spend less time at in comp season and more time uptraining the skills needed for the next level. If you only need to step up to the bar now but higher levels need that pike on then the gym is focusing on getting that pike on now rather than later. It’s like the back walkover on beam in comparison to a cartwheel. Lots of gymnasts cartwheel instead of backwalkover at the comp. you want to be at that gym that works on making your gymnast get that back walkover instead of just allowing them to do the cartwheel. it restricts their ability for higher levels and may be harsh if the gym says you don’t get to compete unless you have that back walkover. But realistically it either lights a fire under the gymnasts butt to get it done. Or it gives them a year not competing in the next level to learn the growth needed to achieve it. It’s not crappy. Not at all. It’s life lessons and realness that children need to learn to overcome their fears.
 

AquaticSoul

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I

agree with this on top of that it sounds like the new gym has prerequisites with levels at the above standard than the average gym I.e having to pike on all the Time instead of step up. I have always appreciated the quote “you never want to be the best at your gym” you always want to have a challenge. You always want to have team mates who can help you strive to be better. By the time a gymnast gets to level 5 you need to expect to repeat. Either through puberty. Injury. Change of gym/structure. Never see it as a disadvantage. They will either repeat now and gain the confidence. Or repeat as a level 10. Either way you have to expect it at some stage. The fact your dd has a new gym and new friends to be able
To repeat is an advantage because they don’t see their old Friends in a different stage each day in the gym. They get to make new friends whatever level. It’s a positive. You never want to push through levels. It’s not a gain.
Thank you so much for your input. That is a great quote and it does exemplify one of the main reasons she switched. She was in fact the best at her old gym, they even wanted to skip her to 6/7, but wasn’t getting the training and challenge she needed and I wanted her to be a strong 5, rather than a so-so 6. This new gym is the best in our area and did have to clean up some bad habits from her previous gym.
 

AquaticSoul

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She still hasn't been in this new gym for all that long, so it can take a while to connect with new teammates- especially if they have been training together for a while. Are you otherwise happy with the gym- the coaches, the facility? It's fairly common to have to repeat a level when moving to a new gym, and in this case it sounds as though they really want her to be successful- they aren't trying to punish her. Can she start the season at 4 and move up after a meet or two?
Thank you for the response. Other than dd still not feeling like she quite fits in and the struggles with her confidence struggles, we are happy with the gym. We have already paid for all the competition fees so I don’t think it would be at any loss to them to integrate her into Level 5 competition when she’s ready. We agreed to get some private lessons for her and have her work on relaxation techniques to overcome her mental blocks. Of course, it just isn’t how we expected to start competition season. It broke my heart to see the expression on her face when the coaches told us about her struggles and the possibility of Level 4. At her age, it would be unlikely for her to compete at college level in the future (her goal) and so much easier to quit, but she still loves it.
 

AquaticSoul

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All gyms have a different coaching technique. Some do have a strict outline with very high expectations. It’s nor crappy or positive. It’s just the way it is. To suggest heading off else where when they’ve just left somewhere and not gained the full knowledge of this way is very closed
Minded. To be able to have the opportunity as a gymnast to see through expectations of different gyms is a great way to build resilience overcome obstacles that the other gym may not have given them is great. A young level and age gives the opportunity to see a lot. Have a look at your new gyms results and how far they’ve been able to bring their gymnasts. If they have highly qualifying results with higher levels and have been around a long time I would trust their knowledge even if their technique isn’t seen a positive to others (given there is no abuse as we have to state this these days ) but expecting a lot from gymnasts has negatives and positives in a career. However you will find the gyms who don’t give out participation medals and only acknowledge “the top 3” as an example. Is a negative way of training these days. But is usually the old school way that brings top results. So if you find a coach expecting to get 5 out of 5 as a red flag. That is ok. Because that coach and gym has probably been around for many years and doesn’t want a bubble wrapped child to have a parent complain every three seconds that their child should just do the minimum required for that level because they only need to step up to the bar to compete and not pike on at a competition.
I really appreciate your perspective. It makes complete sense and in the past, dd has always sought out a challenge as she knew her previous gym was not challenging her. She was the best there and when her Level 4 coach wanted to skip her to 6/7, we were hesitant because we wanted her to be a strong 5 and she wants to be a better quality gymnast rather than one who is skipped because of not having stronger training and teammates. In the past with back handsprings, pike ons and fly aways, she was introduced early to the skills and did well, approaching them with confidence. However, when current level training continued and training ceased on these new skills, it was harder for her to reacquire them. My worry is that if she trains 4 again and is no longer training on her 5 skills, it will be harder for her to relearn them and lead to even more mental blocks and confidence issues. Thoughts? Thank you again!
 

ldw4mlo

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It’s not crappy. Not at all. It’s life lessons and realness that children need to learn to overcome their fears.
Again, JMO.

It is. There are many ways to support and help a child work through fears and acquire new and challenging skills. There are a multitude of life lessons to be taught and learned.

And not letting a child move on until they ”just do it”. To the point of frustration is the least effective way. And lazy.

It causes more children to just give up then to get through. It teaches that they just don’t have the elusive “it” And it’s their fault.

Of course those who survive the cut are much less work and easier for the grownup to deal with

Persistence and resilience can be taught in many ways. Including, stepping away for a bit, dialing it back and doing something to build strength and confidence and approach again.

I just think of all the things my child has had to work at.

Learning to walk, ride a bike, tie her shoes. i could not imagine making her stay on the task until she got it.

Homework and school challenges. Sorry you can’t do this rest of your work until you get this one thing/problem.

Oh heck no. Let’s go take a break and reduce your stress and frustration. Let’s step back and review the previous skills. Those are life lessons

You don‘t leave the table until you get it. Teaches I’m the boss of you.

My daughter is currently struggling with a skill. She is working it where she is at. Her and her coaches will be sitting down next week and working a plan of Steps to move her forward.

I can’t even imagine them saying. No you stay there until you do xyz.
 

sevenatenine2

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I agree.....and sometimes the "high standards" gym that has excellent results doesnt indicate superior coaching, but rather running off all but the very best, toughest minded kids. They may not have created those kids, but those may be the only ones to make it through.
 

sevenatenine2

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We have a private school here that is known as the best in the area. No. I have seen so many kids (average and above) totally beaten down and even asked to leave the school because they can't keep up with the grade level curriculum that's about three years ahead of the grade level standards.

Sure, they're SAT scores are great. That's because they've kicked out anyone who struggled and they're left with only the super high ability kids.
 

AquaticSoul

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Again, JMO.

It is. There are many ways to support and help a child work through fears and acquire new and challenging skills. There are a multitude of life lessons to be taught and learned.

And not letting a child move on until they ”just do it”. To the point of frustration is the least effective way. And lazy.

It causes more children to just give up then to get through. It teaches that they just don’t have the elusive “it” And it’s their fault.

Of course those who survive the cut are much less work and easier for the grownup to deal with

Persistence and resilience can be taught in many ways. Including, stepping away for a bit, dialing it back and doing something to build strength and confidence and approach again.

I just think of all the things my child has had to work at.

Learning to walk, ride a bike, tie her shoes. i could not imagine making her stay on the task until she got it.

Homework and school challenges. Sorry you can’t do this rest of your work until you get this one thing/problem.

Oh heck no. Let’s go take a break and reduce your stress and frustration. Let’s step back and review the previous skills. Those are life lessons

You don‘t leave the table until you get it. Teaches I’m the boss of you.

My daughter is currently struggling with a skill. She is working it where she is at. Her and her coaches will be sitting down next week and working a plan of Steps to move her forward.

I can’t even imagine them saying. No you stay there until you do xyz.
I can respect the fact that she isn’t up to par with the top girls, but she isnt at all the worst on the team and when she had a private lesson a week ago, her coach sought me out and told me she was strong and talented, but just needed to get through some of her mental blocks. It is an issue all of her coaches have brought up, but it’s never interfered with competition time and last year she took second at state. I had a huge problem with the fact that the coach didn’t mention the severity of the issue a week ago and how not one of all three coaches didn’t once, go to spot or guide her on the pike on to instill the feel of it. She gets her legs on the bar, but doesn’t lean forward enough to get the balance to effectively push off to the high bar. I understand her needing the pike on consistently, but don’t feel like it’s helping her confidence at all by keeping her from working on her bar routine as a whole which coach said would score in the 9’s if she had her pike on.
 

cp13

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I think it depends on what your daughter wants. My daughter injured her back last year and only got back into the gym in January for her L5 season. We were afraid she wouldn't get all of her skills back in time to compete and I was worried about the back walkover with an injured back. They gave her the option to drop back to L4 but she wanted nothing to do with it because it would have been her 3rd year of L4. She was determined to be a L5. She had a few meets where she could not compete all around but she did compete all 4 events in the last few meets. Her podium placement was not great but she was very happy with herself and what she accomplished. At age 12, they have limited years left in the sport, I think her feelings about the situation are the most important to consider.
 

Muddlethru

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I’ve not read any of the posts above. So my post may be duplicating or contradicting other posts. But this is my personal opinion.

If the coaches left the decision in your hands, I’d say go to Level 5. However, you indicated, your daughter is struggling with confidence. So not having the full support of the coaches on moving up and potentially not doing well could have a negative effect on her already shaky confidence. As far as switching gyms, unless you have more reasons to switch gyms, I would not recommend switching again at this time. Coaches and gymnasts take time to get used to each other, get to know each other; as perhaps is evident at this new gym. It is likely the coaches still do not know what your daughter is capable, her fears, etc., that is why they still can’t pinpoint any issues. May I ask what made you pick this gym? It might give light to whether you should stay or not.

My daughter switched gyms after her first meet as a Level 9. That whole year at the new gym I felt was wasted. She was late going in and as such all the meets the new gym had registered were closed. Because she wasn’t competing I felt she was put in the back burner and not a lot of time was spent training her. She ended up repeating Level 9 the following year. Had she stayed in her old gym, even though the coaches were subpar, she would have competed the whole year and would likely not had to repeat L9. That said, she was still a five year Level 10 gymnast and is currently competing in a Div. 1 college team not as a walk on.

Have you asked your daughter what she wants? In my personal opinion, she’ll likely do better or work harder if she is given the opportunity to choose. That may not be true in all cases but it was for my four kids.
 

AquaticSoul

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I’ve not read any of the posts above. So my post may be duplicating or contradicting other posts. But this is my personal opinion.

If the coaches left the decision in your hands, I’d say go to Level 5. However, you indicated, your daughter is struggling with confidence. So not having the full support of the coaches on moving up and potentially not doing well could have a negative effect on her already shaky confidence. As far as switching gyms, unless you have more reasons to switch gyms, I would not recommend switching again at this time. Coaches and gymnasts take time to get used to each other, get to know each other; as perhaps is evident at this new gym. It is likely the coaches still do not know what your daughter is capable, her fears, etc., that is why they still can’t pinpoint any issues. May I ask what made you pick this gym? It might give light to whether you should stay or not.

My daughter switched gyms after her first meet as a Level 9. That whole year at the new gym I felt was wasted. She was late going in and as such all the meets the new gym had registered were closed. Because she wasn’t competing I felt she was put in the back burner and not a lot of time was spent training her. She ended up repeating Level 9 the following year. Had she stayed in her old gym, even though the coaches were subpar, she would have competed the whole year and would likely not had to repeat L9. That said, she was still a five year Level 10 gymnast and is currently competing in a Div. 1 college team not as a walk on.

Have you asked your daughter what she wants? In my personal opinion, she’ll likely do better or work harder if she is given the opportunity to choose. That may not be true in all cases but it was for my four kids.
Thank you for so much insight into my post and for sharing your daughter’s journey. My daughter is firm on training at L5 and has been pretty objective in evaluating her abilities to succeed at this level. It was shaky when she started pre-team (skipped L3) and L4, but toward the end of both seasons, she was thriving. I think this will be no different and her old coach agrees that it would be a disservice to her abilities to repeat a level she was successful in.
We switched gyms because her coach moved out of state and the team she left was understaffed 2:14 vs 3:12 at new gym. This particular gym was chosen because it yields the best scores in the state, but now I’m thinking it’s because they frequently have girls repeat levels if they averaged under 36 AA the previous year. At least that’s the trend I’ve seen.
 

Ty’s Dad

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Thank you for so much insight into my post and for sharing your daughter’s journey. My daughter is firm on training at L5 and has been pretty objective in evaluating her abilities to succeed at this level. It was shaky when she started pre-team (skipped L3) and L4, but toward the end of both seasons, she was thriving. I think this will be no different and her old coach agrees that it would be a disservice to her abilities to repeat a level she was successful in.
We switched gyms because her coach moved out of state and the team she left was understaffed 2:14 vs 3:12 at new gym. This particular gym was chosen because it yields the best scores in the state, but now I’m thinking it’s because they frequently have girls repeat levels if they averaged under 36 AA the previous year. At least that’s the trend I’ve seen.
At our gym if you get anything under a 36 they might send you to excel repeating won’t be an issue
 

Cmumgym

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I really appreciate your perspective. It makes complete sense and in the past, dd has always sought out a challenge as she knew her previous gym was not challenging her. She was the best there and when her Level 4 coach wanted to skip her to 6/7, we were hesitant because we wanted her to be a strong 5 and she wants to be a better quality gymnast rather than one who is skipped because of not having stronger training and teammates. In the past with back handsprings, pike ons and fly aways, she was introduced early to the skills and did well, approaching them with confidence. However, when current level training continued and training ceased on these new skills, it was harder for her to reacquire them. My worry is that if she trains 4 again and is no longer training on her 5 skills, it will be harder for her to relearn them and lead to even more mental blocks and confidence issues. Thoughts? Thank you again!
My thoughts are that if your dd is asked to compete 4 because she doesn’t have xyz does that mean the gym will cease her uptraining to learn? In my experience a good gym is no. They will compete her in level 4 however during comp season only which is about 3 months of the year. If that. The rest of the time they will use it as an opprtunnity to train the skills to improve without the pressure. It’s not black and white where she competes level 4 so is only open to level 4 skills. But is an opportunity to not have a pressure of achieving all highest skills for level 5 to show. But rather do level 4 get it done with so then she can go back and focus on higher skills. Whether those are level 5 skills or even above. Having a thought that because a child must have xyz to compete meaning it limits them to improvement isn’t the case. It allows them to compete to their highest potentional without stress and allows the coaches to focus on what high high expectations they have. Without the stress
 

Cmumgym

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Again each child is an individual and as you have read through this post that some gymnasts don’t adapt this this coaching technique. However it sounds this is the technique used in ur dds gym atm. High expectations to exceed above the minimal requirements. Which does affect some children negatively but also allows others the challenge they need. It’s like parenting. There’s thousands of ways to do it. All have negatives and positives. It’s all about the individual child. But deffinatly isn’t a wrong way. I’d say stick it
Out and see what happens. Just know levels aren’t important. It’s the skills learnt safely and future plan and program your coaches have for your dd. Do they have a 10 year or 5 year plan and can they describe that to you that they’ve studied and taken time to program to advance your dd. Or do they just see them as a body they have to teach a b and c with just to compete
 
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