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Moving to Northern Virginia

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Sunshine2085

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Jul 3, 2018
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Hi,

I have a 12 year old girl, level 7 gymnast and we are moving to Nothern Virginia and I’m looking for advice on gyms.

We are coming from a Y program and my daughter has aspirations of going as far as she can.

Any advice would be grateful. We have visited Capital and Paragon and are having a hard time trying decide we liked both gyms.

I’m wondering if 12 is past the peak and where we should look, I’m not understanding the Elite terminology and wonder at this late stage if that is out of the question?

Any help/advice and frank comments are greatly appreciated

Thank you
 

MILgymFAM

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Feb 6, 2014
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Welcome! We were where you are a year ago- moving to NoVa- though my DD was a 15 yo hoping to be Xcel Platinum (she ended up L6 and is now going L8). The two gyms you’ve mentioned are so far apart- the traffic here is blindingly insane. Where will you be living? Are you looking for a homeschool program? Does your DD have all the “typical” skills for the level or does she do different skills to meet requirements? When we first moved we tried Paragon, Novak’s, Apollo, Dulles, and another gym that’s Xcel only. We ended up at Youth Sports, which is like the island of misfit toys- and I mean that as the biggest compliment you could imagine. We wanted lower cost, lower hours, more open and understanding than the average gym here would be. There is also a YMCA in Arlington and a rec center in Fredericksburg that compete usag. If you give a couple more details I could probably give you more specific guidance.
 

gymdog

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Jul 5, 2007
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Did your daughter actually try out at those gyms and get accepted, or did you just visit? I agree with MIL, there aren't many places where those two gyms would both be a reasonable commute.
 

amiandjim

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Apr 18, 2015
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I’m going to just be honest and say that for the most part, at age 12 and level 7, elite is probably out of the question. NCAA...maybe. Of course, there are always outliers such as Jade Carey, but in general, an elite would be a 9/10 at age 12, if not already junior elite.
 

coachmolly

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Jan 18, 2009
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Traffic is a huge factor in the Northern Virginia area. Figure out where you will be living and then narrow it down to a few, then make the commute at normal practice hours to see just how doable it is.
There are lots of great gyms in that area with programs to meet a wide variety of needs- elite to purely rec kids who want to compete a few times a year. Xcel is very popular in Virginia and there are some Northern Virginia teams with very large (and very successful) Xcel programs. I don't know all the inner workings of those gyms, but I've often wondered if they try to channel all but their most talented kids into the Xcel track. All this to say I would be clear when trying out that she is looking to continue on the JO track.
Capital and Paragon are both great programs, but there are tons of other options out there depending on where you are located. So don't be afraid to shop around a bit to find the best fit for your family.
 
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