For Parents ?? Moving to Level 5

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crazygymmom

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Our gym is starting to talk about who's moving up. The headcoach pulled me in and asked what I thought and told me that the choice was up to me as my dd could go either way-staying in level 4 or going to level 5. My dd is 7, just turned 7, and she is NOT as emotionally mature as the other girls, she's the baby in the group.

DD wants to go to 5, says she doesn't care if she doesn't place high (other gyms around practice more than we do and moving gyms isn't an option, they're all too far away!) DD is also aware that if she doesn't do well in 5, she will have to do it again.

I don't get along well with her coach and don't want her again next year! She tells me dd is misbehaving and can't tell me what she's doing wrong?? And the other coaches who help have no trouble with her. I think it's just a personality clash. Plus, the headcoach seems to work more with the "superstars" of the team and not share her time/love equally!

So, what do we do?? Which level would be better for her to repeat? 4 or 5?

Thank you so much :)
 
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gymmom14

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I vote move to 5 as long as she did fairly well at 4. If you repeat a level, 5 has the dreaded kip, vault over the table, fhs and double bhs. It is a big step up and as long as she can do these skills by competition time I think you would get more out of repeating 5 than 4. Just my $.02.
 

bogwoppit

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Hmm I thinnk I would go for the L5 choice. Getting away from a coach that doesn't like her would be good. Even if she repeats, I think L5 would be more fun to repeat.

Though, she has competed this year. Did she do well? Did she place? If she didn't place how did she deal with loss? Does she cry when she doesn't place?

To move up may mean less success, is she emotionally ready to handle that?

Can she move up to L5 and train until she is totally ready to compete, or does your gym send out their L5 team no matter what they look like?

Good luck, this is a tough choice.
 

crazygymmom

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Thank you :)

In 4 they place all the way out and she only got upset once when they gave out trophies for top 3 instead of medals?? It was also an evening meet, and she doesn't do late nights well (awards were around 10 pm). After that meet, her focus and "drive" has improved remarkably! (as much as it can for a young 7 year old LOL!)

She was placing near the end, now it's more like in the middle to towards the top (never 1st, but still around the top quarter or so). She finally has all the skills, it's just fine tuning them. Her floor and vault have been in the 9's the last few meets, her bar was an 8.5 at the last meet, and her beam has improved the most, scores aren't worth bragging about, but all of our team had two huge deductions at this meet that were never deducted before (whole team got nothing better than an 8, she got a 7.8, and we have girls who place first on beam every time).

We have 3 more meets. I'm hoping for more improvement, and that may make the decision easier.
 

Blackie6

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Tough question. My DD did 2 years of L4. While I also felt I had an imature gymmie too, I also preferred the L4 hours and wanted her to spend more time learning the basics. 11 hrs for a 6/7 year old were much more attractive to me. I know my DD would have loved to have moved up last year but I wanted to make sure she was ready for L5 and mature enough to handle the adjustment in hours. Gymnastics is also a HUGE financial burden for us. We know she loves it and want to keep her in it as long as we can, but we have no money to throw away if she is not 100% interested in the committment. Another year also bought us time to re-evaluate if she still loved the sport...could improve and progress..and she did! Our L5's train anywhere from 14-16 hrs a week. My DD does other sports and also has 1st Holy Communion this year. We also have a great coach that also does L5 so coaching wasn't an issue for us. If it is for you, I might move her up to L5 and see how she does. My DD is not having a hard time with the bars (knock on wood) right now, but for a lot of her team friends who placed high as L4's, it's a whole new story. Your DD may not have a great year as a 1st time L5 & repeat but at least she is working on skills that can be used for later levels. Being with a coach that she likes helps since they are in L5 more hours than L4.

Honestly my DD was pretty bored with another L4 season since she too loves to learn new things too. Maturity had nothing to do with her ambitions. But, our coach did keep them happy by mixing old skills and re-fining them along with new skills. This really kept the whole "repeat" team interested.

A great person to comment on this situation would probably be Gymonkeymama since her DD only spent one yr as a 6 yr old L4 and then moved right up to L5 and competed as a 7yr old.

Whatever you decide your DD is still young to either enjoy another L4 year or move on up to L5. Can she do a couple practices with the L5's to see how she likes it first???
 

mariposa

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From what you have said, I would let her be moved to L5. :)
 

gym law mom

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I don't agree with the coach putting the decision in your lap. There should be some discussion between the coach and you pointing out the pluses of moving up vs. the minuses and an overview of the skills dd will need to master and where she is in learning them. If you make the call and dd has a disappointing L5 year, she might well blame mom since mom made her move up. Stay at L4 and the same thing---mom made me stay at L4. No, the coach should have some say in this also.

You mentioned she just got her skills---I'm assuming you're talking L4? If so, doesn't sound like she's had much time to work on any L5 skills. L5 as mentioned has the kip which can drive everyone(gymnast, coach and parents) crazy while they learn it, using the vault table, jump to high bar(this does freak some kids out), high bar skills for the 1st time, hs and cartwheel on beam. The routines are longer and more complex. The judging is tougher and they expect more especially in form.

Kids will say anything or act like they understand what we as adults are trying to get across to them. She may say that she understands she might not be competitive at L5, but in reality, will she really be able to deal with it? Also, what about an increase in practice time(not to mention more $)? You said she is a little lacking in maturity at this tender age, so that might be a concern. As an example one of our 7yo L5s(we don't do L4) had a very hard time after being moved up. She did fine on pre-team with those practice hours(9/week), but the move to L5 really threw her. She just wasn't ready for the more intense practice. Struggled with her ROBHSBHS even though she could do it fine on pre-team. Got that fixed and then had issues with vault and was scratched off that for 3 or 4 meets. It was a tough year for her and her parents. She did qualify for states at the last meet, but her state meet was a struggle. Mom and coaches agreed before the end of the seaon to have her do L5 again and felt she just needed some "grow up time."

There is alot to consider and no simple answer. Talk to some of the L5 parents and see what they say about increased hours and how long it took to get skills. Also if you get a chance, stay and watch a L5 session at a meet.
 

crazygymmom

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I totally see where you're coming from.

The hc said dd was right in that "bubble" that it would be "ok" either way. He said it was a hard decision. No decisions have to be made for a couple months.

She has had all her 4 skills, except the middle circle, pre team.

I am going to talk to the 5 coach, she was her preteam coach, so I think she'll have some insight. Plus, they got along great vs. her coach now.

I don't think dd totally understands.

She is a HIGH energy girl, so if she's not at practice, she's outside on the trampoline or on the beam or running around, so the extra activity shouldn't bother her??

I am not making her move up. I am leaning towards doing 4 again, but she wants to do level 5. I know that she is not old enough to make that decision, but I'm afraid if we do 4 again, she'll get bored, like she is now. Plus, I can not deal with that coach again for another year!
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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My Dd was a 6 yr old Level 4. The season ended in January and from March thru end of May, she competed USAIGC where she did very well, and learned & competed the L5 vault. During that summer when she turned 7, her coaches and I had a discussion and we agreed that since L4 was not a "requirement" and we would like to see her try L5 and move up with ALL of her other teammates. She competed L5 as a 7 yr old, and held her own with every skill except for the squat on/jump to high bar. She did very well on floor and beam. She then competed USAIGC again and won the State Championship for FX in the 6-8 yr old group of some 30 kids. That summer, it was decided by the coaches that everyone else would be moving up, but b/c of DD's size and age (and bar struggles) she would stay in Level 5 where she could really shine. DD was upset initially, because she felt slighted by all her teammates moving up. She is very dedicated and focused, and mature for her age (more-so than my then 11 yr old who was going from L7 to 8). Well, the Level 6/7 season came and we watched all the older girls who moved up struggle barely squeaking into Sectionals, and only 2 making it to States. DD was sad that she couldn't compete yet and could hardly wait for her season to start. When it finally did (a few weeks ago), I KNEW this was the best move for her.

So, only doing 1 yr of L4 and moving up spending 2 yrs at L5 has been a good move for my DD. This gave her extra time to train for skills she needed for vault and bars.
 

Aussie_coach

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It is very unprofessional for the coach to put that desicion on you even if they feel she could go either way. The coaches should know the kids and their abilities and personalities and make the best desicion for the child.

It sounds like you best bet would be to get her up to 5 because of the coaching change. Her mediocre scoring could be as easily caused by the coach as by her ability. If she gets a coach that she really clicks with you may find she starts to shine. If she is bored already i would definatly not reccomend another year at 4. Imagine what it will be like when all the new little ones come up and they have to go back over everything again and she does those same routines for a whole season longer.

It is much more beneficial for the kids to do a second year at 5 than at 4. The skills in level 4 are often not too progressive, they don't lean as much into the higher level skills. The skills at level 5 are much more progressive and there is more benefit in doing more of them.

I would not let placing at competitions to come into it. Why does she do gymnastics? If its for the love of the sport then great. If it is to win trophies and medals then find onother sport that is cheaper and requires less hours to builld her medal collection.

Kids benefit from losing as well. Learning to lose gracefully in sport will help them cope better with learning to lose in life.
 
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gymnut1

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Kids benefit from losing as well. Learning to lose gracefully in sport will help them cope better with learning to lose in life.
I so agree with this. I always feel sad when I read comments on here about American children crying because they didn't get a medal. In my DD first 4 piece competition last year there were 44 children and only the first 3 all around got a medal. No medals for any placings on pieces. She was 22nd so no chance! Was she upset - NO! Challenge is better than winning, winning is just a great bonus if it happens.
 

bogwoppit

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ITA with this. My oldest hasn't won a thing in two years, they only do medals 1-3 and the groups tend to be about 30 deep. She usually is around 10th place on everything except vault her nemesis. She has learned that competing is not about winning, but about doing her best and supporting her team mates.

I think in the US, where there are tons of medals and even trophies at meets, the girls get used to getting bling and are more prone to being sad when they do not place. It is not necessarily a good thing as life does not constantly reward acheivments.
 

mariposa

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I so agree with this. I always feel sad when I read comments on here about American children crying because they didn't get a medal. In my DD first 4 piece competition last year there were 44 children and only the first 3 all around got a medal. No medals for any placings on pieces. She was 22nd so no chance! Was she upset - NO! Challenge is better than winning, winning is just a great bonus if it happens.
This is very true, unfortunately, it is seen as more important here I think because so many end up getting medals and it is hard, especially for little ones, but even big kids, to see half or more of the kids get medals and you don't, especially when you had good scores. At L4 here, they tend to go out more for medals place wise, because it is the first and only level for many girls. From L5 up, the placements go out less and less.

I have TRIED to get my daughter to understand that medals aren't important, that doing your best and having fun is all that matters. Unfortunately, my hubby is very competitive and he will ask her what she brought home, so my kid gets mixed messages. She has never "won" a medal, yet she LOVES to compete and I know that she doesn't really care if she gets medals, but I also know that she wouldn't mind getting some someday. LOL. She cherishes the ones she got at meets where they gave out a medal for AA. She did cry one time because it was at our home meet and her and another girl were the only ones on their team that didn't get any medals at all and it just got to her. I talked to her about medals again and she hasn't done that again.

I actually can see how doing all the medals at L4 can be worse than never doing them. When they get to L5 and up, they get quite a shock unless they are placing really well.

Interesting topic.
 

crazygymmom

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I so agree with this. I always feel sad when I read comments on here about American children crying because they didn't get a medal. In my DD first 4 piece competition last year there were 44 children and only the first 3 all around got a medal. No medals for any placings on pieces. She was 22nd so no chance! Was she upset - NO! Challenge is better than winning, winning is just a great bonus if it happens.
I agree as well!!
When I told dd that she probably wouldn't win much at Level 5 because our gym trains less hours, she said, "That's ok, I just want to learn new stuff." I hope that's the case when the awards ceremonies come :)
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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I agree as well!!
When I told dd that she probably wouldn't win much at Level 5 because our gym trains less hours, she said, "That's ok, I just want to learn new stuff." I hope that's the case when the awards ceremonies come :)
Sounds like your DD is more than ready LOL!! You will be amazed at how well these kids "handle" things. They take their queues from their parents. We encourage the girls to do their best. My oldest who is a Level 8 is not going into meets with any expectations of winning/placing. She goes in with a goal of nailing a skill and she is happy if she does it.

The most important thing is that the girls are having fun!
 

mariposa

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Sounds like your DD is more than ready LOL!! You will be amazed at how well these kids "handle" things. They take their queues from their parents. We encourage the girls to do their best. My oldest who is a Level 8 is not going into meets with any expectations of winning/placing. She goes in with a goal of nailing a skill and she is happy if she does it.

The most important thing is that the girls are having fun!
I hope that my insistance that doing her best and having fun is what my kid will get out of all of it. My DH is always proud of her, but I know he pushes for her to win medals and I hope he doesn't ruin it for her. :( I have tried to get him to just leave it be, but he has his opinions and I have mine. Hopefully since I am with her more and tell her all the time to do her best and have fun and not worry about medals, etc, it will stick with her more. :D

My DD is like that about possibly moving to L5. I explained to her that they give out WAY less medals and scoring is harder, but she says she really loves the L5 routines and wants to work on harder skills.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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My DH is always proud of her, but I know he pushes for her to win medals and I hope he doesn't ruin it for her. :( I have tried to get him to just leave it be, but he has his opinions and I have mine.
LOL- I am the more competitive parent in our family, but I try not to impose that on my girls. Little monkey is more like me in that she is very determined, but she does not get upset over not winning either. It makes her work that much harder. My oldest is very much like my DH, they are both very laid back.
 

Panda-girl's Mom

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It easier to say they do not care if they get medals but lets face it ecspecailly for the young ones I am sure they really would like to see a medal for a job well done who wouldn't. I do not care how much you try to hide the scores from the young girls they know what the scores are they compare them to each other it's hard to avoid. I do not see what the big deal is giving them partcipation trophies in level4 to young girls starting out in the sport after all they go up in front of judges and perform, for a 6 or 7 year old to go out there and do the skills they do by themselves in front of everybody watching and judges why can't they recognize them. What I do not agree with is the girls who are 12 and over in level 4 getting medals in every event and all around because they are the only one or one of the few in this age level regardless of their scores. I have seen this scenario far too many time at meets and I think this is unfair.
 

Blackie6

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It easier to say they do not care if they get medals but lets face it ecspecailly for the young ones I am sure they really would like to see a medal for a job well done who wouldn't. I do not care how much you try to hide the scores from the young girls they know what the scores are they compare them to each other it's hard to avoid. I do not see what the big deal is giving them partcipation trophies in level4 to young girls starting out in the sport after all they go up in front of judges and perform, for a 6 or 7 year old to go out there and do the skills they do by themselves in front of everybody watching and judges why can't they recognize them. What I do not agree with is the girls who are 12 and over in level 4 getting medals in every event and all around because they are the only one or one of the few in this age level regardless of their scores. I have seen this scenario far too many time at meets and I think this is unfair.
I agree with you PandaGirlsMom,

Last year my 6 yr old spent a whole lot of time learning how to not expect anything at awards time. She did not understand the scores for the most part which was good, but still hard to go out there as a newbie and not get some kind of recognition. I also think younger girls need a participation award, justs something to say "hey, great job!"

This year she understands the scores and knows she has worked hard. She enjoyed lots of medals, ribbons and podium time, yet now it hurts (and tears) when she tries to up her personal bests and takes risks that sometimes leaves her out of the medals. She's off to L5 now so that will come with a whole new set of challenges & struggles I'm sure, LOL

My pet peeve at a meet is probably what happened this year at our L4 states. Girls there who have been seriously &obviously uptrained to L5 and L6 and even competed a couple L5 meets (no sectional so they can do that!) and scored in the 37AA as a L5 and then came back down to compete at the L4 states for the 3rd year just to break records and win medals. Come on!
 

gymjoy

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I agree with you PandaGirlsMom,
My pet peeve at a meet is probably what happened this year at our L4 states. Girls there who have been seriously &obviously uptrained to L5 and L6 and even competed a couple L5 meets (no sectional so they can do that!) and scored in the 37AA as a L5 and then came back down to compete at the L4 states for the 3rd year just to break records and win medals. Come on!

That's totally sandbagging - and cruddy:mad:
Why on earth would they need to break records at level 4.
Ah well, for so many people it all about the medal and the bragging rights - not the satisfaction of hard work and having fun with something you love. I've found that many of those girls fade away before the going gets really tough, and they stop winning medals so easily.

We have always tried to emphasize the doing your best part of gymnastics to our dd - not the winning. It's hard sometimes, as they get older and want to win, to keep this up. DD went through many seasons and meets being the only one on her team to not win a medal, or be the lowest score on her team. And yes, she cried. There were times she wanted to give up because it was so tiring being low man on the totem pole. But she never did quit. However, many of her team mates that cleaned up in level 4 and 5 and 6 have quit. Now she just competed her first level 8 meet and finished 3rd AA with some pretty tough judges and an injury that has slowed her training down a bit.

My advice (and you can tell it to DH because I also had one that often pushed to much when dd was little, but learned to take this few) is not to dwell on those medals too much at the lower levels. Focus on having fun, and learning the basics really well. Emphasize personal best and good sportsmanship. It's an unforgiving sport, and your dd has a long way to go. Winning medals at level 4 or 5 or 6 or 7 doesn't assure future success in this sport.

My personal feeling is that this sport has so much to teach our children about their lives outside this sport. That being successful in life means learning those tough lesson - like persistence, hard work, fairness (and dealing with unfairness). It's a long road ahead. Keep moving along and try to enjoy the ride along the way - even the bumpy parts.
 
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