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Moving from rec to team

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purpleleomom

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Happy New Year everyone...

I'm curious about the move from rec to team. My DD is 7 and started rec gymnastics at the end of August. She started out 1 day per week, and we have since added 2 additional days for a total of 3 hours per week. She has moved up a level since she started (they are colors, so I'm not really sure how that corresponds to the actual levels - I'd say she's 1-2), and she is really interested in being on competitive team. I have done what I can to support her based on threads on CB - don't be a CGM, be encouraging and positive and friendly, ensure she has the proper attire and hairstyle for class, show up on time and not miss class, pay on time, enroll in extra clinics, open gyms, showcases, etc. So a few questions:

1) We are most likely moving to a new state this summer. Does this mean there is no point in even trying to move to a pre-team practice at our current gym right now? And when we do relocate, is it normal to "interview" gyms and let them know your child's goals from the beginning? And at her age, should she be doing most of the talking?

2) If we stay where we are, I would like to keep our gym. The staff is lovely, the coaches are great, and most of all my daughter seems happy there. Plus it's only 15 minutes away in traffic. However, the gym has 2 sites, and we didn't know it at the time, but we enrolled in the one that is more rec oriented. They do have some lower level Xcel girls practicing there but that's it. It's really not big enough to support higher levels. It seems like we need to be at the "big" gym to get anywhere unless she wants to do Xcel, which is certainly a good option.

I guess I just don't know where to start. Should my daughter approach her coach? Should I ask the desk? Should I call the owner/HC? I've been trying to help her make a good impression, but in the end it comes down to her attitude and willingness to learn. It's hard to evaluate this from the parent deck, but she usually seems to be the hardest working kid in class (not necessarily the best), and she is always full of joy before and afterwards. I hate to see her get passed over because we don't know the "code" or something. :)

Thanks everyone!
 

Amusibus

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I am not all that experienced in this area or anything, but I just want to say this: A while back, I happened to run into the owner of our current gym at the grocery store. My daughter had taken rec classes there as a toddler but changed gyms and was on the preteam at the other gym. We got to chatting, and I told her I was unhappy at that gym, and she said to bring my daughter back to their gym for the preteam program there. I am telling you this because of this one thing she said : "I never knew you were even interested in team! I always thought A___ had talent but I never said anything to you because you never expressed interest in that". So..... my point is, if you are interested, they may not know, and it couldn't hurt to inquire and show your interest.
 

EastCoastGymMom

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I would start by mentioning your dd's interest to her rec coach and see what the general process is to get on team - if the girls move up rec levels to preteam, are randomly pulled from rec to preteam, there are try-outs for team, etc.... if you can't get the answer you need from the rec coach, then you can ask the office staff. It would also be extremely helpful if you could talk to a parent whose dd is on team - they can usually give you scoop!
 
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txgymfan

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Hi, Welcome to Chalkbucket! If you do move you will be looking for a new gym. This is potentialy a huge decision that may have a big impact on your and you dds ( dear daughters) future. There are several threads in our archive that discuss this. Here is a link to one thread that may be helpful.

http://chalkbucket.com/forums/threads/new-here-not-on-team-yet-long.42934/page-2#post-256718

Please let us know if you have any additional questions, we have many knowledgeable coaches/parents/ family members etc on CB.
 
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juststartingout

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I would say that even if you are moving this summer you should still start working on getting her on pre team now. I don't know about your gym but at ours there is a huge difference in the way rec and team or pre team classes are taught. I recently put my 5yo in rec classes and there was not a lot of individual attention at all and not much strength training. They moved her to preteam 2 or 3 weeks ago and it's so different. Also how far is your gym's other location from you? I would move her to that one as soon as possible if it's not too far. My older daughter who is on team started at our gym's other location which was 2 minutes from our house. She loved her coaches there but it was just like yours, more of a rec program. She was 5 or 6 at the time and was in class with mostly 10 to 12 yo girls. Moving her to the main facility was one of the best decisions I've made and honestly I wish I had done it sooner. She is leaps and bounds above where she was then.
 
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Faith

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. I am telling you this because of this one thing she said : "I never knew you were even interested in team! I always thought A___ had talent but I never said anything to you because you never expressed interest in that". So..... my point is, if you are interested, they may not know, and it couldn't hurt to inquire and show your interest.
I don't quite get this approach from coaches. A parent with no knowledge of gymnastics may not know team even exists- many just think they stick their kids in gymnastics, and they progress through the levels from mommy and me. Heck, I've been in gymnastics all my life but I thought that when I first put DD in rec- if the kid is doing good, they get moved up, and up, and up.

With my coaches hat on, I will always say to a parent if I think a kid has potential. I'm the supposed *expert* with the learning and knowledge. The parent watching their strong and crazy kid fling themselves around may not realise she has more potential down the line than the hyperflexible kid who can learn BWO and splits in a session.

I know a local club who goes into schools to talent spot. I'd say the vast majority of parents are surprised when their kid gets picked, and I've had several parents of 8/9 year olds say to me *if only I'd known she had talent* they'd have joined up much earlier..

With regard to the O/P- it doesn't hurt to ask at the office if they have tryouts, or what the procedure is, or if you can make an appointment to discuss with the coach. And if you're moving, it's an excellent opportunity to go "gym shopping" to find the best fit for your DD, without having to worry about all the politics that can be involved in gym switching.
 
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My dd moved out of rec in November a few weeks after turning 7, like you I was wondering what you had to do to move to team. What happened was:

Around late spring dd injured herself during a rec session and didn't tell anyone until she had finished the session, I asked to speak to the coach who was with dd and the coach came out and spoke to us and gave dd an ice pack, the coach chatted to us for a little while and said that she thought dd was doing well and that she thought the dd moved well on the beam, she asked me if I was interested in dd moving out of rec and I said that I didn't know how dd would feel about moving up and that she had mentioned dd to the head coach (I wanted dd to move up but wasn't sure how dd felt and I sort of brushed of the question as I didn't think that the coach was qualified to ask the question as she she was quite young and just thought she was making conversation and being nice), I told dd what the coach said and dd said she was interested in moving out of rec. A few months after the conversation with the coach I had a meeting with the head coach about dd moving up and he said that he had noticed my dd and she was on his list for a new group he wanted to create but he had to wait for a new coach to join the club, fast forward to dd's birthday on October, dd had her birthday party at the gym and the young coach who I spoke to after dd injured her self was one of the helpers at the birthday party and we got talking again (it turns out she in qualified more than I thought) and I mentioned about the conversation with the head coach and she told me again how she felt that dd should move out of rec to more serious training for strength etc and that she is one of 2 coaches that has a small class of girls aged 9-10 and would dd be interested in that class, I said yes.
A few weeks later dd was still in rec and was about to give up thinking dd will be stuck in rec when the same coach pulled me aside after dd's session and said that she would like her in her group and she asked how old dd was and said wait a minute, she spoke to the head coach and said can dd start the new class that very week (dd is 3 years younger than the other girls so I guess she had to get the head coaches permission for dd to start), dd has been going 5 weeks in her new group and she loves it, it is small with 3-4 girls in it including her with 2 coaches and she goes once a week for 2 1/2 hours, it is so much different to rec and they do a lot of conditioning and strength work (1 hour at the beginning of the session and 30 minutes at the end) and they also do beam and bar work more than floor and vault, dd has improved so much in her flexibility and strength with just 5 sessions.
 

juststartingout

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I don't quite get this approach from coaches. A parent with no knowledge of gymnastics may not know team even exists- many just think they stick their kids in gymnastics, and they progress through the levels from mommy and me. Heck, I've been in gymnastics all my life but I thought that when I first put DD in rec- if the kid is doing good, they get moved up, and up, and up.

With my coaches hat on, I will always say to a parent if I think a kid has potential. I'm the supposed *expert* with the learning and knowledge. The parent watching their strong and crazy kid fling themselves around may not realise she has more potential down the line than the hyperflexible kid who can learn BWO and splits in a session.

I know a local club who goes into schools to talent spot. I'd say the vast majority of parents are surprised when their kid gets picked, and I've had several parents of 8/9 year olds say to me *if only I'd known she had talent* they'd have joined up much earlier..

With regard to the O/P- it doesn't hurt to ask at the office if they have tryouts, or what the procedure is, or if you can make an appointment to discuss with the coach. And if you're moving, it's an excellent opportunity to go "gym shopping" to find the best fit for your DD, without having to worry about all the politics that can be involved in gym switching.
I also think it's strange that a parent would have to request to have their kid move out of rec. At our gym they just assume everyone who starts gymnastics wants to be on team and they pull girls from rec who they think are a good fit for team. Sometimes parents approach the coaches and ask about their kid being put on team and it's uncomfortable for the coaches. Our gym does have a novice team though so even kids who are not selected for team can still get the team experience. I would ask some team parents how it works at your gym to see what your next step should be. At our gym you just wait it out until they ask you but it seems like there are plenty of gyms where you have to ask or let them know you are interested and if that's the case you don't want to miss the opportunity.
 

purpleleomom

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Thanks for the replies everyone. You definitely made me feel less crazy for wanting to ask. :)

Last night after class, DD ran up to the front desk and said she wants more hours. We all laughed, but I decided it was a good excuse to call and ask today. However, I called the "big" gym since that's where the team practices and just kind of played dumb. It turns out their process is to work through the rec levels, which coincide with 1-4, and then they can go pre-team or stay in rec. I'm pretty sure they have developmental classes and TOPs too, but they weren't mentioned. I guess it was assumed that if she was a superstar she would've already been approached about those.

So in the meantime, I will keep encouraging her to have fun and work hard. When we move, I will just ask lots of questions of all the gyms we check out.

It would be nice if this information was more readily available upfront. I just assumed ALL kids wanted to be on team. I don't have a sports background at all, so the idea that kids would want to stay in rec sports was kind of foreign to me, haha. I wish they'd provide a roadmap when you start, but then I guess a lot of parents wouldn't venture into this crazy sport if they knew too much. ;)
 
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LizzieLac

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Sadly, my DD did rec classes once a week for 2-3 years at a rec only gym. They only catered to young school aged children and didn't even have the proper sized uneven bars, etc. When DD got her standing BHS (ugly looking mind you), the instructor made a passing comment about DD "finding her sport."

I thought that meant she found something she loved. I knew NOTHING about competitive gymnastics and truly thought that only kids that were college or elite material competed and that they were all in special programs where they lived and were tutored at a gym. Yes, I know, I was an idiot.

Well, she outgrew that gym (literally) and I had to find somewhere else since she still loved it. Long story short, she is about to start level 6 but due to my ignorance is a little old to be college material.

I would simply ask the coaches and owner if there is a place for your DD on preteam. Don't be shy, don't worry about sounding ignorant. And, don't assume that because you might move, you will wait. If she has potential, you might as well get her the proper training now. :) Good luck!
 
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Amusibus

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"It would be nice if this information was more readily available upfront."

HAHAHAHAHAAA seems like nothing about team gymnastics is readily available upfront. It's totally the frog in the boiling water thing.
 
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purpleleomom

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Just to update, I decided to check out some other gyms in the area to compare. We went to one last and specifically asked for preteam. It was a small gym with a different philosophy. Coach wasn't wowed by my daughter but says she could probably make preteam in a few months. The impression I got was "don't walk into a new gym expecting to be placed in a certain group" so now I feel like a jerk for asking. We have 2 more visits to other gyms this week.
 

Kiwi

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It turns out their process is to work through the rec levels, which coincide with 1-4, and then they can go pre-team or stay in rec.
Every gym is so different in its approach! I find this a strange philosophy unless their rec program is already kind of pre-competitive in the way they train. DD's rec classses were totally different to the pre-comp class she eventually moved to. No conditioning, no work on body shapes, very very basic skills, mainly just fun stuff. The rec kids got to do novice competitions and I think that is how she got noticed and got the invite to pre-comp. I had already been thinking about approaching the gym and asking about a more challenging class for her. At that time I knew nothing about competitive and wouldn't have requested it, but I could see she needed more challenge.

Don't feel like a jerk for asking. Different gyms and programs have different requirements and things they are looking for. Let us know how you get on with the other gyms.
 
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purpleleomom

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So question for everyone. If we were going to add some additional instruction for DD, which would be the most useful to help prepare her for preteam:

Ballet
Lyrical dance
Tumbling
Additional rec class

This assumes we stay at our current gym.
 

Faith

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Ballet gets my vote :) Less stress on joints at a young age, flexibility, posture and active strength she'll be grateful for later on...
 
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Azgymmiemom

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So question for everyone. If we were going to add some additional instruction for DD, which would be the most useful to help prepare her for preteam:

Ballet
Lyrical dance
Tumbling
Additional rec class

This assumes we stay at our current gym.
Your dd probably won't want to hear this, but.... ballet. Ballet, ballet, ballet. Technique. Her form will improve and her coaches will be impressed.
 
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raenndrops

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I would say
#1 Ballet - most important
#2 Tumbling - especially if she is weak on the basics
#3 Additional Rec Class - only if they do actually work the skills and drills needed for the progressions.
 

Sasha

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Ballet gets my vote :) Less stress on joints at a young age, flexibility, posture and active strength she'll be grateful for later on...
I vote
1. Ballet - assuming it's a serious and form-focused class. They use the same terms for poses when they start doing routines, too..
2.Tumbling - but make sure it's a respected class that won't teach bad form. I have heard on here that some Cheer tumbling classes can sometimes mess up form. So investigate the class...
3. Additional rec - assuming they do some strength/conditioning/form to make it worth it.
4. If none of the above are to your satisfaction, pick something else that adds strength and endurance like rock climbing or swimming that would just be fun.
 

Faith

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Yes, swimming! Good for strength and flexibility, and an essential life skill :)
 

purpleleomom

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My poor DD hated ballet in Kindergarten, but she has matured a lot and may appreciate it more now, especially if it helps her gymnastics. If we do tumbling, I was thinking we would take it at our gym instead of a cheer gym or dance studio, but I don't even know how great our tumbling coach is. She coaches rec gym too, so I assume she coaches with an eye toward gymnastics. I've seen some cheer tumbling that truly scared me.
 
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