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tumblerK

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Feb 8, 2008
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Hello all!

I'm a currently a level six gymnast, though I didn't really start gymnastics until I was twelve or thirteen. I was in gymnastics when I was really little, but circumstances caused me to quit when I was six. Six years later I finally got back to it and I love it.

I'm actually sixteen now and gymnastics is my stress reliever, but lately I feel like my age makes me stick out a whole bunch at competitions and it also effects my abilities because I'm so tall. Add that to less practice time once school started and a change of coach means that I have haven't had much success lately.

Are there any other old gymnasts out there who know what I'm talking about?
 

gymgymgymnast08

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Thats awesome, theres nothing wrong with being in older gymnast in fact I think its amazing! 16's not even old. If you were 25 then maybe! lol! Mohini and Annia in the 2004 olympics were in their 20's and they were in the olympics!
 
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gracefulone

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I'm a 16 year old level seven. GYm has always been my passion; I've just had to work hard for every success I've had (except flexibilty, that's natural ;)) I'm finally seeing mass improvement on vault and floor, which makes me so happy!. So anyway, 16 is not so old at all.
 
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NYgymfan

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Hello all!

I'm a currently a level six gymnast, though I didn't really start gymnastics until I was twelve or thirteen. I was in gymnastics when I was really little, but circumstances caused me to quit when I was six. Six years later I finally got back to it and I love it.

I'm actually sixteen now and gymnastics is my stress reliever, but lately I feel like my age makes me stick out a whole bunch at competitions and it also effects my abilities because I'm so tall. Add that to less practice time once school started and a change of coach means that I have haven't had much success lately.

Are there any other old gymnasts out there who know what I'm talking about?
Success is what you make of a situation. If you love it and it relieves stress, I think thats success right there :D. Good luck and don't worry about sticking out and not having as much time as you want...just do ur best with what you have.
 

tumblerK

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Feb 8, 2008
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I guess 16 isn't that old. It's just weird because at competitions I am the oldest, the next might be 14 and probably 90% are under 11. The other problem is I'm not a natural at all and I psych myself out for meets and I have never performed like I do at practice.

Wow I sound really whinny. There's nothing like doing gymnastics in front of people who know you outside of gymnastics and seeing their faces when you do the splits or a back handspring.
 

Aussie_coach

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Don't worry there are lots of people out there who don't take up gymnastics until they are adults and then they are the only adult in a competition with heaps of younger kids. 16 is fine, being tall can make you feel older but don't think of it as competing against younger people and don't think of it as a competition for young kids. Think of it as a level 6 competition and you are competing against other level 6 gymnasts they happen to be younger than you only becuase they started training earlier in their lives. But if you think about it the odds are at 16 most of them won't even be doing gym anymore so you are already ahead. Hopefully you will contiue with it for many, many years to come.

Sometimes it is actually a good thing not to be a natural gymnast. Gymnasts who find everything easy often do well at the early levels but when the skills and strength get harder they may struggle and quit because they are used to it all being easy. Those who had to work hard from the begining tend to excell more when it does get harder and all the natural talent in the world can never replace hard work. It may also mean you could make an excellent coach when you grow up. Often those who struggled the most as gymnast make incredible coaches because they have a better understanding of the development of skills while the naturals often like to say "just do it" and expect it to be done. Being tall would also help you if you wanted to become a coach as it is easier to spot the larger girls.

Things should also inprove when you get to level 7 and above because your coaches can coreograph routines that suit your height. Some skills look better when done by taller people and dome skills are harder for you whne you are tall. For example because you are tall it will be hard to get a double back but tall people often make excellent twisters. Stradlle casts to handstand on bars can be used instead of legs together. Try backward stalder circles on bars instead of clear hips and so on.
 
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gracefulone

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It's easy for me b/c my YMCA has 5 girls in my age group, and we pretty much always dominate the podium. This one meet, they only went out two places and our team swept every event! It was fun. But those girls are my sisters, and the girls my age age from others y's and I have gotten so close after all these years that we're always hugging and cheering each other on. That's what helps me, I guess. Absolutely adoring the sport doesn't hurt either!

And there's this girl on our team who's a level 8 and she's 21. The next oldest girl is usu. 15/16, but she keeps going b/c she loves gymnastics.
 

gymgurl

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I am 15 nearly 16 in level 4 open (Australia) most of my squad is older tho the youngest.
 
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NGL780309

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Don't worry about your age at all. Maybe you might feel uncomfortable at meets, but feeling a little uncomfortable is better than not doing gym at all right?
 
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Gymnast13dr

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I know exactly how you feel!!!

i am a level 5/6 gymnast ( supposed to be 6 but i am suffering from severe back problems so my coaches are making me compete 5 again) and gymnastics is my life! i am completely obsessed! i am 15 years old and i feel like i suck because all my teammates are soo much younger and better than me. at meets im always like the oldest one there. it is my dream to make it to college gymnastics i really hope i can accomplish it. :)
 
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Mack_the_Ripper

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I started competing when I was 13, and I'll be doing L7 this year at 15/16 (birthday mid-season). It is a challenge and I have to remember that I can't watch an 11-year-old do a BHS on beam and assume that if I do it with the same form and timing she does, mine will be as good as hers. In fact, that was very tough for me - all my teammates learned BHS on low beam with a squat, pause, jump. When I did it like that, I fell on my face. Finally a coach told me I should time it a quick stand, quick slight bend, GO! I got my BHS on low beam within a week after working on it for months!

So gymnastics is essentially different, requiring different timing and more strength, when you are taller and older - remember not to look at little girls and assume because they are successful you should copy their moves! I know how it is to be the oldest at a meet - you feel like everyone's looking at you, going "Why is SHE here? She must suck." So wow them with your "mad skillz"!

Once a little teammate of mine said to me, out of the blue as we were lined up on floor, "Before I knew you, I thought you would suck cause you're so old."
I was like "Uh...that's great, Jessie." (made-up name)
She said "But you don't suck. You're actually pretty good."
And despite her strange insult/compliment thing, she actually looks up to me and always wants to be my partner on strength. :)
 
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