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Loving your gym but very few Optionals

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consig

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So, last year I questioned finding a gym as ours closed. When the 2 gyms were combined we had a large team with several optionals. Some graduated and I assume others found new gyms. Now we seem to only have a hand full of optionals. The highest level is 8. Even my DD L3 team is only 5-6 girls this year and maybe 3 in L4 and only 1 in 5. It seems we now have a very large xcel team. I credit this gym with making my DD the gymnast she has become. She has blossomed this past 15 months. She loves her coaches and her teammates. And I do to but now I am questioning if staying there would be right for her. I see everyone here talk about the importance of the team producing good optionals. She has loved gymnastics since the first time trying it at 4. I can't say what the future hds for her. Should I just relax and see where she goes in Compulsorys and not worry about it or do I need to start looking into other programs? My goal is for her to continue to love the sport and be too busy as she grows up to get into trouble. I find it hard to think of an 8 yo to really know that she will want this years down the road. But in her mind she would love to compete though HS and college.
 

l.c.o

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It depends.. Yes, having higher level optionals is definitely an indicator of a solid, progressive program.

That said, the fact that your DD's current gym doesn't have many at the moment? It doesn't necessarily mean they don't have the ability to produce them. It could be a product of circumstance.

How did the gyms merge? How many coaches remain that have produced optionals in the past? Have there been many program changes since the merger? Why did the other girls leave? Are JO feeding into Xcel? Or are the focusing on recruiting Xcel more an JO? Are they pickier about JO girls than Xcel? So many questions!

It wouldn't hurt to research scores and history of your current/recent optional girls. That said, if your DD is happy and is scoring well and progressing well, it probably wouldn't hurt to wait it out.
 

coachp

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Impossible to say, once upon a time our gym had zero upper levels, we are now at 11 level tens and 12 level 9's. I actually did lose kids during this time because of that.... So all I can tell you is this,, If the coaches are good and the kids are good and your DD is happy then stick it out. :)
 
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profmom

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Nov 18, 2011
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Do at least some of the coaches have experience developing successful optional gymnasts? And do you have equipment that will facilitate training higher level skills (i.e., a pit)? If so, I would not be as concerned and more likely to figure the gym is rebuilding and will get there in time.
 
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AmandaLynn

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May 9, 2011
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So, last year I questioned finding a gym as ours closed. When the 2 gyms were combined we had a large team with several optionals. Some graduated and I assume others found new gyms. Now we seem to only have a hand full of optionals. The highest level is 8. Even my DD L3 team is only 5-6 girls this year and maybe 3 in L4 and only 1 in 5. It seems we now have a very large xcel team. I credit this gym with making my DD the gymnast she has become. She has blossomed this past 15 months. She loves her coaches and her teammates. And I do to but now I am questioning if staying there would be right for her. I see everyone here talk about the importance of the team producing good optionals. She has loved gymnastics since the first time trying it at 4. I can't say what the future hds for her. Should I just relax and see where she goes in Compulsorys and not worry about it or do I need to start looking into other programs? My goal is for her to continue to love the sport and be too busy as she grows up to get into trouble. I find it hard to think of an 8 yo to really know that she will want this years down the road. But in her mind she would love to compete though HS and college.
This is a situation where I feel like you should maybe sit down with the coaches and try to ask some questions about the direction of the program. Compliment them, tell them exactly what you said here about how much you love the gym and how much your daughter has grown since the gym merge. And then just mention that you are curious as to whether they are headed toward an xcel direction or if they are just trying to rebuild the JO track amidst all of the chaos of the merge.

Do not mention the possibility of switching and do not call them out in a negative manner in the lack of optionals. Come at it from a perspective of wondering what their plan is for your daughter's future within their team program and stay positive. Hope to help!
 

IreneKa

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I would wait it out a couple of years. Sounds like there were a lot of changes with the program recently, so they've just started to rebuild it back up. Your DD is only L3, progressing nicely, loves her coaches, that would be enough for me at this point. Research what happened to the high level girls who left. Are some of them still in the sport? How are they doing?
When DD switch to our current gym, there were almost no optionals, and I had the same concerns as you. Researching online, I noticed that at one point a lot of girls left at around level 7-8. I don't know what happened, we weren't around then, probably some parents\coaches drama. But some of those girls are now at the best gyms of the state, doing great at L9-10. That was comforting to me, that even those the gym was not able to keep high level gymnasts for whatever reason, they clearly had the ability to give them a strong foundation to go on a become successful optionals. We've been there for 3 years now, and the program is slowing building up. We are up to 3 L9s now.
If you trust the owners\coaches, then wait and see where this is going. You can always switch gyms later, when your DD is closer to optionals, if you feel like she's reached her limits at this place.
 
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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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When we started with our team, there were 7 girls on team - total. 5 Old L4 and 2 Old L5.
We now have a team of almost 50... 18 L3, 9 L4, 5 L5, 6 L6, 2 L7, 2 L8, and 8 Xcel Gold. We have sent 13 girls on to compete for the high school team... since seasons overlap, many choose to just compete for the school while others will compete 2 meets for us, then high school season, then 1 more meet with us (2 if they decide to go to Y Nationals).

I tell you all of this so you can see that a team can rebuild and grow as time goes on.
 

ZJsMom

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Programs go through transitions and numbers wax and wane. If your daughter is happy and progressing, I'd stay put for the time being.
 
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