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For Parents My Gymnasts are Cheerleaders

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Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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UGH! After 6 years of telling my oldest DD she cannot cheer, I finally relented and let her try out for our town's competitive squad. This was only because cheering ends on Dec 7th, and she will be competing Level 8, which doesn't start till January 09. Of course, how can I tell Little Monkey no? I let her as well, since she will be repeating Level 5, also starting January.

So...both of my girls made the town competition squad which means they are also required to cheer at all football games. In addition, our gym owner also had an All Star cheering team, which lost many of its team members. They are trying to rebuild that team ....with the gymnasts. They have been practicing with this squad as well (no additional gym fees for the cheering time, thank goodness!!) Needless to say, I've been running around even more, with these additional practices.

Well, my girls are loving cheering! They are on 2 different squads (because of age/grade) and both are going to be doing tumbling passes during the routines. Little Monkey is the "point" in one of the cheers and will also be a Flyer. Their teammates and parents are amazed at how quickly they picked up the cheer routines.

The deal I made with my oldest DD is that her time in the gym has to be even more focused since she will be missing a couple of hours of practice a week. She has been complaining about Level 8 skills being "hard" and she doesn't "want" to do them, although she has not complained about actually going to practice. I'm not sure where this will take her... she has been wishy-washy about gymnastics before. There were years when she loved it, and others when she didn't want to compete but didn't want to quit either. Part of me wishes we had never gone down this road......:(
 
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GymTwinsMom

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That is a-w-e-s-o-m-e! LOL. Big dds did cheering as well, until they realized all they wanted to do is tumble, not cheer and dance. They were both the flyers, so when I first saw them go up in the air, I went nuts. LOL. But just remember, first a GYM mom, always a GYM mom.. never a cheer mom. But, glad they are enjoying it. Hope you meet some nice moms and hope that big and little monkey find some nice friends on the squad.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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Since we have a huge competition cheer gym near us we have lots of gymnasts who go over to cheer. I know a few girls who were level 10's at 11 years old and gave it up for cheerleading - and never looked back or regretted it for a second. They love that they can still compete in something, tumble, etc. but only be in the gym for about 6-8 hours per week instead of 20+. They can have a life, hang out with school friends and all that. Also they say they like being part of a team - competing together instead of against each other.

My dd has never had any desire to try cheer - but I have a feeling if she ever decided gym was too much she would be over there lickity split.

I hope your girls have fun with it :)
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
She has been complaining about Level 8 skills being "hard" and she doesn't "want" to do them, although she has not complained about actually going to practice. I'm not sure where this will take her... she has been wishy-washy about gymnastics before. There were years when she loved it, and others when she didn't want to compete but didn't want to quit either. Part of me wishes we had never gone down this road......:(

I feel for you, last summer DD came to us for the first time and said she wanted to quit.. she was stuggling with L8 skills. Well, we told her - you dont have to go to L8 - stay at L7, she did and had a good year. Now she is DETERMINED to get L8 skills.. I think sometimes these little girls put too much pressure on themselves and all we have to do as parents is step in and say you dont have to do this... you see the relief in them..

I am glad your DD's are finding things they like and are still able to do the gymnastics they love!

Good luck!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Good for you for letting them try. Cheer does look like fun.

It has only just begun here in Quebec, but now two of our local clubs have cheer groups and I can see why older girls are moving from gym into it. Being part of a judged group is way less stressful than the whole individual thing.

I hope your girls have a blast.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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Hope you meet some nice moms and hope that big and little monkey find some nice friends on the squad.

Thanks! Actually, these are all of their school friends, and the main reason why big DD was so crazy to try cheering. She thinks she's been misisng out. Many of the moms are ones I've been friends with since the girls were in kindergarten, and some even from preschool.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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Well, we told her - you dont have to go to L8 - stay at L7, she did and had a good year. Now she is DETERMINED to get L8 skills.. I think sometimes these little girls put too much pressure on themselves and all we have to do as parents is step in and say you dont have to do this... you see the relief in them..

My DD didn't want to do Level 8, she wanted another yr at Level 7. However, likely, she would have done 7 in the fall and would have been told to go right into 8 in January, b/c the HC felt she was 'ready'. But, there have been girls who were (and also are now) being pushed up like this that either mentally or physically are not ready to move up to 8. Anyway....this worked out for cheering for this year, because if she was competing Level 7 again, there would have been no time for cheering.
 

gym mom

Active Member
Sep 8, 2007
724
florida
Conrgats to your dd's! I just want to no how they have time for cheerleading and also gymnastics l5-l8?I cant imaging finding the time now and my dd is only l4
 
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GymTwinsMom

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Thanks! Actually, these are all of their school friends, and the main reason why big DD was so crazy to try cheering. She thinks she's been misisng out. Many of the moms are ones I've been friends with since the girls were in kindergarten, and some even from preschool.

Oh! Well, your all set for carpooling LOL. How do they like it so far?
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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This is what I cannot wrap my head around. Think about all of the time, dedication and not to mention, money, it took to get to Level 10.....

They didn't want to hurt anymore. One one hand it does seem baffling - but then you remember, they are just little girls.
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
Cheerleading is a great sport! If she wants to do it, let her go for it. There are several advantages to cheerleading: First, crowds at games LOVE watching the cheerleaders perform and genuinely appreciate their efforts.Think about being at a gymnastics competition and your dd performs. Of course you get a great round of applause from your own team, but no one is all that impressed because my gosh, every kid there has the same skills. Then you get polite applause from everyone else. At a ballgame, the crowd goes crazy over a simple series of back handsprings thrown by a cheerleader in a cute outfit! Throw in a flip and wow! They go wild! It's nice for the girls to get that kind of excitement going on. Secondly, they get to participate in an activity with their classmates from school. This is priceless; it's what high school memories are made of. Lastly, the pressure is off. it's a nice break for these kids to go out there and do their best, and no one holds up a number, rating them on just how good (or not) they did. Just let them work their magic and have fun!
 
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Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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Region 7
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Oh! Well, your all set for carpooling LOL. How do they like it so far?

They love it! Tonight, we have tickets to a baseball game and little monkey's squad called an extra practice. So I told the coaches we'd have to leave early for the game. Now LM says she wants to stay for the whole practice and go to the game afterwards!!
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
1,991
Region 7
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Conrgats to your dd's! I just want to no how they have time for cheerleading and also gymnastics l5-l8?I cant imaging finding the time now and my dd is only l4

So far, they have skipped 4 gym practices this month, to go to cheering practice. It's not either of their seasons (L5 and L8 compete Jan-May in NJ) so if they miss a few more gym practices over the next 3 months, it's not earthshattering. When school starts, gym will be 5:30-8:30 Mon-Thurs & Sat. Cheering is going to be Sun/Mon and one other day for LM. For big DD it will be Mon, Tues, Thurs. They are going to go to 1.5 hrs of cheer and 1.5 hrs of gym each night that there's a conflict. That's the compromise which I had already pre-arranged with the cheer people before I signed the girls up. I told them, they are gymnasts first, cheerleaders second, if you want them on your squad they are NOT going to blow off gymnastics every day. The only person not really happy is our head coach who was already giving big DD a hard time. However, this is a girl who has missed maybe 10 practices over the last 5 YEARS while her teammates were running off to do dance class, basketball, soccer, etc. So I said he needs to cut her a break for once!!!
 

MdGymMom01

Active Member
Mar 5, 2008
2,236
North America
They didn't want to hurt anymore. One one hand it does seem baffling - but then you remember, they are just little girls.

I did see a lot of 11-14 yr old girls give up gymnastics for cheer at the cheer gym last year because they wanted to be with their friends and do something more "girly and fun" (their words). The training for cheer is a lot less and doesn't involve the same time committment but they still get to compete, travel and work hard.

I think it takes a very special person to stay with gymnastics even when times get tough and all their friends are doing the more popular things and all. '

Also, when kids are starting gymnastics at age 3 and then they decide to quit at age 11 or 12, they have already put in 8-9 years of training. When you think about it like that, most people would definitely say it's time to give it up and try something new!

But, that just goes to show how special and amazingly dedicated these young women are who stay with gymnastics all through high school and college.



Sometimes it is good to do something different, in your case cheer, because it gives you a new appreciation for other things. Also, cheer is really fun and it will give the girls a great creative outlet!!! Just make sure they don't start doing cheer facials in their floor routine and saluting the judges after their cheer routine!!!!!!



 
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DbacksMom75

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 18, 2008
112
Arlington, TX
Gymnastics to Cheer

Here in AZ it is common place for the gymnastics gyms to have All Star Cheer programs and cross their kids onto it. My oldest DD did cheer for 4 years. A lot of kids get up to the higher levels and then walk into a cheer gym and become instant rock stars. Any 11 year old that can throw a double full or even a single is going to be on a Jr. level 5 team, that World's Level. Cheerleading Worlds has become the Olympics of cheer. My daughter had a friend who was the same age as her and started cheer, she had been training 15 hours a week, at cheer she was only there 8 hours and was the "secret weapon" of the youth team (it was awesome).
Cheer can be a TON of fun, just make sure they aren't being pushed, my firend's daughter burned out last year because the coaches were pushing her to throw her ROBH Double Full and she was only 9.
My DD that is in gymnastics tried cheer but wanted to move all the time and she hated flying (she was to small for basing).

Liz
 

kristilyn73

Active Member
Jan 17, 2008
1,326
Minnesota
HC felt she was 'ready'. But, there have been girls who were (and also are now) being pushed up like this that either mentally or physically are not ready to move up to 8.

That is scary.. because as you know L8 is where they start throwing some seriously dangerous skills. If the girls don't feel confident in flipping a tsuk for instance it could result in her head crashing on the vault!

I am glad your DD knows and has confidence in her abilities! I think it will keep her safe!
 
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BlairBob

Guest
Hmm, honestly once I start seeing the girl's trying to juggle cheer and gym it generally just means they go nowhere in gymnastics. Especially if they are in HS. It kind of signals to us coaches that eventually they'll be leaving gymnastics.

I have issues with cheer as a culture right now. Too much makeup, period. Are they gonna stop wearing short skirts and showing off their bellies. No. Honestly, I don't care about that nearly as much as my other concerns with cheer.

Why aren't they doing something for their own glory versus cheering some guys on. This is why I favor competitive cheer versus being a roo-rah girl. I would rather see any girl of mine competing in a different sport for their own glory on the field. At least in competitive cheer they are doing it for themselves versus jocks.

However, if they are finishing up their gymnastics career or getting burnt out...why not?!

Another thing about cheer that frightens me is the lack of safety overall. It's getting better, but it can really vary.
 

gymnomore

Member
Aug 3, 2007
208
Hmm, honestly once I start seeing the girl's trying to juggle cheer and gym it generally just means they go nowhere in gymnastics. Especially if they are in HS. It kind of signals to us coaches that eventually they'll be leaving gymnastics.

I have issues with cheer as a culture right now. Too much makeup, period. Are they gonna stop wearing short skirts and showing off their bellies. No. Honestly, I don't care about that nearly as much as my other concerns with cheer.

Why aren't they doing something for their own glory versus cheering some guys on. This is why I favor competitive cheer versus being a roo-rah girl. I would rather see any girl of mine competing in a different sport for their own glory on the field. At least in competitive cheer they are doing it for themselves versus jocks.

However, if they are finishing up their gymnastics career or getting burnt out...why not?!

Another thing about cheer that frightens me is the lack of safety overall. It's getting better, but it can really vary.

Bob, you make some excellent points regarding safety and maybe the appearance situation, but much of that depends on how the organization is run, and parents have to choose this carefully. Now keep in mind, I'm speaking from our experience with high school cheerleading, where I'd rather see mine participate. My daughter's high school squad is run very well, and the girls have very decent uniforms that do not expose anything more than a mother would like to see exposed. (FYI Bob, leotards expose much more!) None of the girls wear more makeup than they would wear normally, so they don't have that "clown face" look that I've seen in some competitive cheerleading competitions. They are very limited on what they are allowed to do as far as stunting, so I consider it very safe. The gymnasts on the squad tumble, and those that do not are given extra instructional classes to help them. Back in team gymnastrics, I've seen coaches ignore gymnasts working on difficult optional level skills, thus causing accidents and injuries, so in our case, I feel like this cheerleading situation is much safer than gymnastics. You mention the issue of "why aren't they doing something for their own glory?". Comeon Bob!, you are either WAY out of the loop or you don't have kids in high school! Football games are a community event, and everyone wants to take part, whether they are the players, band, dance team, fans, or the cheerleaders. The games are fun, exciting, and being on that cheer squad performing and boosting the crowd spirit is just as important as what the players contribute. I personally think that gymnasts who want to take part in this school activity are picking up the lost piece that they lose by being in the gym all the time. Please don't think they are bailing out of their sport just because they want to be out doing fun things with their peers. It's a natural part of growing up.
 
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