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Level 9 bars / overshoot vs pak

Flopsygymnast

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Hi my sister (age 10 level 9) has been told to compete her pak this season. She has trained a perfect pak but can also do a brilliant overshoot. She says overshoot is easier for her to do and she thinks she would get less deductions and an easier routine if she competes that. She has an in-house meet in 2 wks.
All her teammates are competing overshoots, she is the only one singled out to compete a pak.
I want to know is there any difference score-wise between a pak and an overshoot?
Do you have any idea why she was singled out to do a pak i.e. why did the coach choose her?
Also, she has been training Bhs + bls + bls on beam for level 10 next year. She has that almost perfect! (She's very strong on beam) Would there be any advantage for her to compete that this year (level 9) i.e. would she get a higher SV? Coach allows her to compete it but not sure if its worth the deductions as she doesn't have it perfect yet. She doesnt fall off the beam when doing it, but has bent knees on the last lay etc.
Coach has been off for the last 2 wks (quarantine) so they are just finishing off working out their routines!
Thanks for taking you time to answer my questions!
 

gymisforeveryone

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She sounds like a very talented gymnast!

Are the other gymnasts in her team older/taller?

It could be possible that for the rest of the team, the end goal is just to compete this one bar transition, but for your sister they have higher hopes and they are hoping that she learns several different bar transitions and this is where the coaches want her to start.

Good luck for the competition!
 
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JBS

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The Pak would be my choice for an athlete that was on an extreme high level route. You don’t have to catch it in handstand and it has the ability to directly connect to things like a Maloney.
 
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mom2newgymnast

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I agree that if she has a perfect pak and perfect shootover at 10 years old, she is obviously very talented. Doesn't sound like she needs to worry too much about deductions. My daughter is a level 9 and only 1 of the 9 girls are on her team does a pak, while the rest do shootovers. The one that does the pak is the youngest (just turned 11) and smallest. According to my daughter, she learned the pak because of her size. She just wasn't reaching the low bar on the shootover and I think the coach didn't want to have to adjust the settings for just one gymnast. It could be something like that.. Or probably, since she is already preparing for level 10, her coach feels like the pak is just the better option for her long term. She'd have to really talk to the coach to know why. But regardless, it sounds like she will do quite well at level 9.
 

Flopsygymnast

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Thanks for your replies. Yes she is very talented for her age! She is in a team of 7 level 9's, she says 4 12 yr olds, 1 11yr old and another her age. She is slightly on the shorter side so maybe pak is easier for her than others.
She has a goal of qualifying elite next season, so I think the coach is trying to push her to do harder skills in preparation. She is very strong on bars and beam, less on floor and vault. I think she is too young to properly understand the concept of blocking the vault, just sort of flies over it!:)
 

Flopsygymnast

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Change in plans! Coach wants her to compete level 10 this season! She would compete level 9 at an in-house meet next wk and then level 10 at 2 out of state meets in March. She's not sure now whether she wants to do this or compete a whole level 9 season, with a possibility of medalling and Easterns... I would love to hear what all of you would choose! Her skills are as follows:
Vault: Piked Yurchenko (not strong on vault)
Bars: Gienger, pak, 360 pirouette, double back layout dismount
Beam: Series bhs blso blso, aerial, split leap, double wolf turn (a bit shaky) ro 1.5 twist dismount
Floor: ro bhs double back piked, front aerial front pike (very weak on this pass), ro 1.5 twist. Working on a double back layed out... double turn, switch leap, ring leap.
Coach has been away recently so team a bit unprepared for this meet season...
Would you compete a full level 9 season or skip to level 10?
 
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novagymmom

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Your sister sounds like a very talented 10 year old. Obviously you guys will make this decision with her coach and i don't have experience with the elite track, so have no idea if competing L10 earlier will be important from that perspective. If it were my own kid (where L10/college would be the ultimate goal and not elite), then I would be encouraging a full year at L9. Nice to get an opportunity to compete at Easterns and can still train (and compete) many L10 skills. And she's so young . . . still LOTS of time if she becomes a L10 next year. Sometimes the kids that move up SO fast tend to burn out quicker.

Just my two cents since you asked. But best of luck to her whatever she decides! (And now the pak makes more sense!)
 

mom2newgymnast

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Your sister sounds like a very talented 10 year old. Obviously you guys will make this decision with her coach and i don't have experience with the elite track, so have no idea if competing L10 earlier will be important from that perspective. If it were my own kid (where L10/college would be the ultimate goal and not elite), then I would be encouraging a full year at L9. Nice to get an opportunity to compete at Easterns and can still train (and compete) many L10 skills. And she's so young . . . still LOTS of time if she becomes a L10 next year. Sometimes the kids that move up SO fast tend to burn out quicker.

Just my two cents since you asked. But best of luck to her whatever she decides! (And now the pak makes more sense!)
I agree completely. But, like @novagymmom, we are not at an elite gym and I don't have experience with that track, so there may be good reasons to compete 10 this season. But at our gym, where D1 college is the "goal", I think competing a likely successful level 9 season would make more sense. Especially given the vault and her super young age.. But I guess a lot also depends on what motivates your sister more, winning/high scores or just competing level 10 at 10 years old? I really think that it is best decided between your sister and her coach though.
 
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Flopsygymnast

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Yes of course the decision will be made primarily by my parents and her coach. (She is quite young to make such a decision). I am just interested in hearing what others would encourage! She is not planning to try qualify elite next year, will definitely do a full year of level 10. Her question is whether to enjoy a more laid-back year of level 9 where she would probably excel or push herself to get a head start on level 10. I think all her routines are level 10 besides the vault. On the other hand she wants to compete with her level 9 team-mates, who are more her age and have been with her for years.
 

LemonLime

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As for L9 vs. L10 for a 10yo:
1. Because it's January 3, I presume she turns 11 sometime in 2021 which means she's Hopes eligible. Is she going to try to compete Hopes during the abbreviated season for the O? If yes, she probably should compete L10 because her JO routines will better match her Hopes ones, but it depends. Top hopes 12/13 are doing elite routines, but the 10/11 are doing clean L9 with a couple extra skills. 14yo Hopes in 2021 is going to be BRUTAL, but that's a different issue.
2. Most elites are judged by their quad starting at a very young age, even if they are unlikely to ever make an Olympic team. An athlete turning 11 in 2021 is first eligible for the O when she is 18/19ish (?) so there is no hurry.
3. National Staff always watches Jr A/B at Westerns and JO Nationals. If you do well, are very talented, or have interesting skills with an interesting coach, you will be noticed regardless whether you are L9 or L10. Children who skip the top levels of JO often struggle getting noticed in the hopes/elite world, but I know this is a controversial subject with differences of opinion.
4. The longer an athlete has competitive experience with a skill, the more likely they are to hit it later, but splatting a lot in competition is no fun. Perhaps add one skill at a time to gain consistency, but it depends on the athlete? The calibration of moving training skills to competition surface is an art and perhaps the MOST IMPORTANT skill a coach can have. I have no wisdom to share, but I can definitely see the results. A child competing far below her skill set will be outpaced within 1-2 years by her peers, and a child competing above her skill set will fall so much she will not receive serious consideration by national staff.

As for triple serieses with two BLOSO strung together, I have a personal pet peeve against them because athletes increase their odds for falling for only .2 of CV which can be earned in MANY other more consistent ways. BUT, national staff loves them.

In elite, there are three reasons for paks instead of shootovers:
1. First, under the current FIG code, a pak is more advantageous because you can earn D+E .2. Paks can connect more easily to an E (pak to shaposh 1/2 for instance). Starting in 2022, however, this bonus reduces to .1. Meaning, all D+D (except for uprises) are back to .1. National staff has been pushing pak 1/2 and pak 1/1 because they are Es, but I bet there are some nice D connections with shootovers that may make a comeback.
2. Second, paks take less deductions unless you have a lovely, on-top-of-the-bar shootover. I once was at a US Classic when only 3 junior elites received full credit for their shootovers (at a time when most elites did shootovers).
3. Third, Larry Nassar suggested around 7-8 years ago that shootovers were causing OTD in elbows in hopes/young elite gymnasts. I never heard any science or studies to support this idea, but his position was widely accepted by national staff.

Bars take years of layering skills to develop. The best routines by age 16 will be short, with less handstands, and with nearly every skill in connection to another skill. The best bar coaches start their Level 9 athletes with a bars plan for age 16 and they work toward that goal bar routine step-by-step. I do not believe every gymnast should do the same routine. If an athlete has head-out bars (which is a no-no but common), they will struggle pirouetting well and should work on dynamic connections. If an athlete is tall or inflexible, they may struggle between the bars. Athletes need at least two core circles and one reverse grip; shoulder and hip flexibility individually dictate which ones are best. No physical issue will hold back a gymnast on bars if their skill selection and development is individualized by their coach.
 

LemonLime

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FWIW, I don't believe burn out affects elites or JO athletes differently, and I don't believe elites are more injured than non-elites. Athletes are burnt out because their training or competition environment is not challenging and enjoyable. Athletes are injured by falling or by excessive numbers on old surfaces. Admittedly, elites are somewhat more likely to have such training environments than non-elites.

If you are a gym getting yelled at with one teammate or with many teammates who don't like you, you will burn out. If you have to tumble on a gym floor from 1995, your coach has athletes chuck skills, or you are poorly conditioned, you will get injured. If you have to hit 50 beam routines before you are excused, you are going to suffer from repetitive stress injuries. If you do dynamic skills (read me = switch rings), vault more than 15 times per day, or land on your bootie on fx or beam after a double tuck, you are going to get a stress fracture in your back.

And until someone finances an in-depth, peer-reviewed medical study into why our daughters are getting stress fractures in their backs, OTD in their elbows, and tear their hamstrings on fx, our children are in jeopardy. Everything is a best guess until those studies in these specific training environments are completed. I'm sorry to hijack the question, but these issues are very relevant for any 10yo in the sport.
 

Flopsygymnast

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Wow thanks for that reply!
She will be competing Hopes this year if they are held - USAG hasnt confirmed that they will be going ahead so she's not worrying about that at the moment. If they are held it will be in June so thats way off! She will still be 10 then so not worried about the difficulty of her routine...
Yes she is in no hurry to qualify elite, will wait another 2 years or so. Coach and she both want a full season of level 10 next year so will wait until the season after that probably.
She hasnt had a proper competitive season since level 7 2 years ago. (Last yr she had 3 meets at level 8 before covid). She says she wants to see how the in-house meet goes next week at level 9 and then she'll make her decision. Im expecting that meet to be a tough one - but I guess all scores will be lower as they havent competed in so long.
She is very consistent on the triple series but sometimes has form errors (bent knees, doesnt end in releve etc.) Not worried about her falling off. Just wondering if the extra 0.2CV is worth the possible form errors that may come with it.
I also have a preference to paks but she says shootovers are easier. I understand from what you wrote that a pak will get her much further in training elite routines.
FYI she is training 22 hours a week - not as much as an elite and has no plans to increase that at the moment. Has only been homeschooled since Covid, her classes are still mainly virtual and fit into her routine so she is still in mainstream schooling. She has another life besides gymnastics and I dont think she will burn out so quick.
My parents are also worried about the possible injuries, especially with the skills she is training at such a young age. To the best of my knowledge the gym are very careful about avoiding stress on the body, tumbling into pits and landing mats as much as possible. They mainly only tumble onto floor before meet season when they have to get used to it.
 

Aussie_coach

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If it were me, I’d say do Level 9. Even with elite goals at 10 she has plenty of time and once she is in level 10, she will be there for a while until she qualifies elite.

It will build her competitive confidence to have a successful season at level 9 and give her more time to develop her vault and front tumbling.

A chance to go to Eastern/Westerns is also going to be a great experience she will probably look back on fondly. If it’s in of course.
 

LJL07

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Change in plans! Coach wants her to compete level 10 this season! She would compete level 9 at an in-house meet next wk and then level 10 at 2 out of state meets in March. She's not sure now whether she wants to do this or compete a whole level 9 season, with a possibility of medalling and Easterns... I would love to hear what all of you would choose! Her skills are as follows:
Vault: Piked Yurchenko (not strong on vault)
Bars: Gienger, pak, 360 pirouette, double back layout dismount
Beam: Series bhs blso blso, aerial, split leap, double wolf turn (a bit shaky) ro 1.5 twist dismount
Floor: ro bhs double back piked, front aerial front pike (very weak on this pass), ro 1.5 twist. Working on a double back layed out... double turn, switch leap, ring leap.
Coach has been away recently so team a bit unprepared for this meet season...
Would you compete a full level 9 season or skip to level 10?
Aren't you in the UK??
 
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LemonLime

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I wouldn't focus on fx as the source of repetitive stress injuries. Athletes take 4x their body weight on beam dismounts. Dynamic flex skills like switch rings and switch leaps can hurt the ham and lower back. Propulsion off the arms on vault and possibly/probably bar skills can animate OTD.

10yo gymnasts get severs, osgoods, OTD, and hamstring injuries regardless of training level. The better the equipment, the better the technique, the better the skill selection, the better the conditioning, and the better the equipment, the less chance of injury.
 

LJL07

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I lived in the UK until 5 years ago when my family relocated to USA. I am currently studying in the UK but because of Covid I'm studying remotely from home here in USA.
Well, you posted back in October that you know nothing about gymnastics and now you have a child prodigy 10 year old sister who is skipping to level 10 with (according to you) no block on the vault and a gienger as her release move. It’s very interesting. It’s also really interesting that she’s also training “only” 22 hours a week, has a life outside of gym and won’t burn out, the coach has been quarantined the past two weeks but suddenly decided to have her skip 9, and she has both a “perfect“ pak and a “brilliant” shootover. Wow. That’s one in a gazillion. Even by chalkbucket standards, and there are some people on this board with very exceptional children. Anything is possible on this earth, but this is really something.
 

Flopsygymnast

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Well, you posted back in October that you know nothing about gymnastics and now you have a child prodigy 10 year old sister who is skipping to level 10 with (according to you) no block on the vault and a gienger as her release move. It’s very interesting. It’s also really interesting that she’s also training “only” 22 hours a week, has a life outside of gym and won’t burn out, the coach has been quarantined the past two weeks but suddenly decided to have her skip 9, and she has both a “perfect“ pak and a “brilliant” shootover. Wow. That’s one in a gazillion. Even by chalkbucket standards, and there are some people on this board with very exceptional children. Anything is possible on this earth, but this is really something.
I said I have been studying the UK for the last 2 yrs so didnt see how good my sister was besides a few videos. The last I saw she was doing back handsprings, learning tucks. I didnt take much interest in her gymnastics. Since I went abroad I heard she had taken to gym almost every afternoon, but I wasnt following US gymnastics, had no idea the levels system until recently. And I have only know about gymnastics from her, being home since November due to covid. Any other issues? Btw my parents are reading this forum so its not just me being curious - they are enjoying the advice.
 

Flopsygymnast

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I said I have been studying the UK for the last 2 yrs so didnt see how good my sister was besides a few videos. The last I saw she was doing back handsprings, learning tucks. I didnt take much interest in her gymnastics. Since I went abroad I heard she had taken to gym almost every afternoon, but I wasnt following US gymnastics, had no idea the levels system until recently. And I have only know about gymnastics from her, being home since November due to covid. Any other issues? Btw my parents are reading this forum so its not just me being curious - they are enjoying the advice.
The coach hasnt "suddenly decided to have her skip 9", the gym wasnt planning for a meet season due to the uncertainty and she assumed she would compete level 9 if they had a season. Seeing her amazing progress this yr the coach is pushing for her to compete level 10. As I said she will compete level 9 at an in-house meet next wk and if that goes well she may compete level 10. Gym only doing 2 meets in March so she will have 7 wks to prepare either way.
 

LJL07

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Since you say you are just learning about gymnastics, I will just say again that this is a really incredible story. I've heard a lot of amazing stories on CB, and this one is really way up there. You and your parents are getting some great information from people who have been involved in the sport for a long time. It's great that you are such a concerned sibling. Please keep us posted on your amazing sister.
 
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