Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Not being moved up because she is “too young”

Status
Not open for further replies.

Rorysmom17

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Jul 6, 2017
16
Country
USA
I just found out that my daughters pre team coach plans to move almost all of her class up except her, and her coach mostly implied it was because she is still young, and not because she was lacking skills- she also said that my daughter would be in the more advanced group for her current level.

I don’t want to push a level up if my daughter isn’t ready, but I also feel like she is on the stronger end in her class (I also coach and have even subbed her class) and she will be crushed to see all her friends move up without her although she isn’t lacking skills and is working hard. I understand that she isn’t as physically mature as some of the 7 year olds in class though, and although she has some really beautiful skills she is still 5 and sometimes does 5 year old things! (Although the coach is thinking about moving another 5 year old in her class.)

My daughter is very smart (only child who spends a lot of time around adults or at the gym) and I am struggling imagining explaining this to her as she has been talking about moving up since the summer when some of her class was moved up, and I know she will be absolutely crushed to find out that pretty much her entire class was moved except her and there is essentially no reason except there not really being a rush with her.

This is not happening right away- I did tell her coach to let me know when it would be happening so I could potentially prep her for it so she isn’t totally surprised, and I did let her know she would be really disappointed.

If anyone has advice I would appreciate it! :)

I know it’s not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but I finally feel like my daughter is wanting to do gymnastics vs. just doing it out of convenience since I am always there and I just really don’t want her to be discouraged!
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jard.the.gymnast

raenndrops

Well-Known Member
Coach
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Oct 24, 2009
6,338
The 'Wood, Ohio
Country
USA
Are they moving up from Pre-team to Team? And if so, what level would they be competing?
If they are moving up to Level 3, then she isn't old enough to compete until she is 6.

We have a little one that has almost every skill for Level 3, but she won't be age eligible until June.
We don't offer Level 2. Instead of moving her up and having her doing routines-routines-routines (which we normally do a lot in meet season... but when we have more than 2 weeks between meets, we do spend extra time working skills and uptraining drills and skills), we are keeping her in our version of Pre-team and letting her continue to work on skills. She is currently working on connecting her RO-BHS and her kip in addition to working on perfecting her other skills.
 

LindyHopper

Active Member
Proud Parent
May 25, 2016
813
Country
USA
I just found out that my daughters pre team coach plans to move almost all of her class up except her, and her coach mostly implied it was because she is still young,
Moving up where? Another level of pre-team? L1, L2?

Knowing where everyone else in the class is moving to might help people clarify their answers.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jard.the.gymnast

Rorysmom17

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Jul 6, 2017
16
Country
USA
This group would be moving to more of a level 1, so they would not compete until next year- Level 2 (or sometimes they just practice that year and move to level 3 the following) so she would be age appropriate.

I guess she could also be moved later, but I worry that she will be frustrated and thrown off having new kids thrown in from a lower group and I want to keep her interested in gymnastics, and I don’t want her to be totally bored at this age. Her coach isn’t the type to give one kid harder skills. She has been in this class with most of these kids for the last year.

Are they moving up from Pre-team to Team? And if so, what level would they be competing?
If they are moving up to Level 3, then she isn't old enough to compete until she is 6.

We have a little one that has almost every skill for Level 3, but she won't be age eligible until June.
We don't offer Level 2. Instead of moving her up and having her doing routines-routines-routines (which we normally do a lot in meet season... but when we have more than 2 weeks between meets, we do spend extra time working skills and uptraining drills and skills), we are keeping her in our version of Pre-team and letting her continue to work on skills. She is currently working on connecting her RO-BHS and her kip in addition to working on perfecting her other skills.
 

Madden3

Active Member
Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
704
47
Country
USA
I was going to say there is probably no reason to get into the stress of competing in those really low levels, but if these kids are likely to not compete anyway until level 3, it basically sounds like this is more pre-team, meaning, what? More practice time is the main change? Or is it a different coach or? Or could it have something to do with the family commitment as far as team goes (maybe they are trying to spare you that for as long as possible?)

Also it sounds like you think the issue is age, but in fact this new class would be age appropriate. So, what does that mean, exactly? What is the specific concern the coach has?

I would suggest, ask the coach to clarify exactly why they are saying your daughter is not moving up, and explain to them what your concerns are about her not moving up. I think there are lots of communication breakdowns at gyms because parents are either trying to have quick convos while the coach is rushing somewhere or the kid is standing right there, or communication is all e-mail or text which does not always give you the clarity you need. So I suggest, have a back and forth in person or telephone conversation at a time neither of you are rushed and your daughter is not present. Maybe the coach will give you information that lets you see this in a whole different light. And maybe they will concede your point, and maybe it need not be all or nothing, maybe she can move up a little bit later but not wait a whole year, whatever.
 

scgymmom322

Member
Proud Parent
May 16, 2015
61
37
Country
USA
I agree with Madden3 that you need to find out exactly why she is being kept in this class.

Last year, due to age, my 5 year old had to do level 2 although she had all of her level 3 skills. She simply was not old enough to compete level 3. She hated her level 2 practices, which included no uptraining. She found them extremely boring, disliked that the other kids weren't as focused as her, and didn't want to go to practice because she wasn't being challenged at all. Due to a number of factors, although we weren't happy with how her practices were going, we made the decision to keep her there. Our older daughter was competing level 3 at the same gym and had amazing coaches, so we knew if our five year old could just stick it out in level 2, she would thrive in level 3. Luckily, she was also doing TOPS in addition to level 2, and that is the only reason we were able to motivate her to go to gym. She loved the conditioning and skills they worked on in TOPS. She is in level 3 this year, as a new 6 year old, and is thriving. They spend a lot of time uptraining and she looks forward to going to practice! She doesn't like it when she has a day off!

If her age is truly the only thing they are holding her back for, I would definitely fight to get her moved up. Like you, I would be worried that if they aren't really uptraining, she will get bored. If you look at the USAG rules, she is not too young to do level 1 or even level 2 as a five year old.
 

sce

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Mar 11, 2014
6,115
Country
USA
There can be too much too soon. Moving up often means more hours and more serious practice. That can be too much for a 5year old. Gymnastics is a long journey, where you want her to remain healthy and happy. Moving up at such a young age could burn her out.
 

Rorysmom17

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Jul 6, 2017
16
Country
USA
Very true- I am not really trying to push for a move up, I just feel that if everyone she is currently with moves up she will be disappointed or feel like she is not good enough, and I also worry that it will be a step back to be with a brand new class when she has already been in this group a year and has been steadily improving.

Part of it could be because I am typically not pushy about move ups or anything and I was initially hesitant about if she was ready for a big increase in hours when she was only 4.
 

sce

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Mar 11, 2014
6,115
Country
USA
Very true- I am not really trying to push for a move up, I just feel that if everyone she is currently with moves up she will be disappointed or feel like she is not good enough, and I also worry that it will be a step back to be with a brand new class when she has already been in this group a year and has been steadily improving.

Part of it could be because I am typically not pushy about move ups or anything and I was initially hesitant about if she was ready for a big increase in hours when she was only 4.
I think how she responds can greatly depend on how you talk with her about it. Just explain that she is young and has to stay in pre-team longer because of that. She is working hard and learning and just gets to continue doing that.
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
3,857
Country
USA
I think how she responds can greatly depend on how you talk with her about it. Just explain that she is young and has to stay in pre-team longer because of that. She is working hard and learning and just gets to continue doing that.
Agreed. But as a parent I would want to know the coach's reason as well. Perhaps they feel another jump in hours would be too much for her? Does she show fatigue or distraction during her practices? Perhaps they want to clean up some of her form if they feel she "could go far". It really could be anything - even that they just don't have enough space and she's the youngest. Just ask and voice your concerns.
 

scgymmom322

Member
Proud Parent
May 16, 2015
61
37
Country
USA
Agreed. But as a parent I would want to know the coach's reason as well. Perhaps they feel another jump in hours would be too much for her? Does she show fatigue or distraction during her practices? Perhaps they want to clean up some of her form if they feel she "could go far". It really could be anything - even that they just don't have enough space and she's the youngest. Just ask and voice your concerns.
Yes, this! It definitely depends on the individual child, and it would be nice to know the reasoning. Some 5 year olds are ready for the increased hours and serious practice, and many are not. With my daughter, we had lots of talks last year about things she could work on when she felt the skills were "too easy," such as making sure her knees were straight, she had a tight body, toes pointed, etc. We also discussed that it wasn't that she wasn't "good enough" for the next level, but just that she wasn't old enough.

I am also not the type that is pushy or would normally say anything about move-ups, coaching, etc. However, after seeing how my own daughter went from absolutely loving practice to dreading it, I do think it is important to at least find out for sure from your daughter's coaches why she isn't moving up and advocating for her if necessary. My daughter's own level 2 coaches even told me that the practices were way too easy for her, yet they wouldn't do separate uptraining for her, but there was no other class that was appropriate for her age/skill level at our gym, and switching wasn't an option.

Good luck!
 

Peachy88

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 21, 2017
215
36
Country
USA
My five year old would also be crushed in that situation and unless there was so serious issue like potential harm she is doing by performing skills I can't imagine that psychologically there were would any point to keeping her from a level 1 level 2 class. Is the gym wanting to make sure their scores are super high at meets? Maybe they don't think she can compete?
 

cadybearsmommy

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 31, 2010
1,683
Region 8
Country
USA
There are so many things that coaches see that we as parents don't always see. At this age, sometimes it's because of being younger, less mature, etc. Sometimes it's simply b/c they need work on form, or strength or flexibility before they move up. They can be super talented but just not be quite ready to understand and apply corrections at this age, or able to handle the longer practices and tougher conditioning. And too much too soon is a real thing, the more hours they do at a younger age means more overall wear and tear on their bodies.

With that being said, there's nothing wrong with having a talk with the coach about what the long term plan is for your dd. Is the plan to just work on polishing her up, letting her gain some maturity and then move to team in 6 months? A year? Perhaps they plan on holding her back a bit now and then advancing her faster later when she seems ready. I know none of us want to come off as crazy gym moms, but sometimes hearing that they do have a plan for her and why they think it's best for her can help her (and you) feel more confident in the process. If you don't think the plan is reasonable, you always have the option to look around at other gyms as well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Aero and SMH

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,382
59
Country
USA
Lots of good advice here. And would talk to the coach, well because that’s how I roll.

That said. Sometimes the lesson is patience. It’s a good life skill. And an excellent gymnastics skill to acquire when it gets harder, and there are growth spurts, injuries, mental blocks and skills aren’t as quickly or easily acquired.

Lots a things in life you have wait for until you are old enough/mature enough.

There is something to be said for being impatient and wanting more, rather then too much and burning out.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Lisbeth and Jenny

Rorysmom17

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Jul 6, 2017
16
Country
USA
I coach at this gym- so looking at another gym wouldn’t work. :)

I did tell her coach that it would be disappointing for her, and especially hard to see the kids she clicks with get moved and she did seem receptive to that, and agreed that there is a good dynamic and she is also hesitant about that.

I am hoping that the decision will be to just keep the group together for now and give it some time.

I think our gym has a much more slow and steady progression than my gym as a kid, and I really thrived with more of a fast pace as a kid. I don’t think that gymnastics should be boring at 5- although I get the idea of pre team and building strength and flexibility and body shapes, I would also like my daughter to feel like she is progressing, and being moved to a less advanced group when she is not even competing
 

Rorysmom17

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Jul 6, 2017
16
Country
USA
(Cont.) Doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to me. I feel like she would not progress with a brand new group, and would be sad seeing that her friends do get to work on new skills.

I also agree that this is part of gymnastics- groups change, and you do have to learn to deal with disappointment. I also agree with there being too much too soon- it is just a bummer that the kids being moved up aren’t actually more mature or skilled- it is totally age based and my daughter has been working hard and has had this goal in mind (moving up), and I want her to feel like hard work does get her somewhere!

Thanks for all of the advice!
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
3,857
Country
USA
please keep us updated. It sounds like the coach is receptive to your input. Being a coach there helps. :)
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

Flyaway

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2014
1,264
Country
USA
...and especially hard to see the kids she clicks with get moved and she did seem receptive to that, and agreed that there is a good dynamic and she is also hesitant about that.
I know this is hard, but as a coach you must know that it's rare for a gymnast to stay with the same group they start with. You will do your dd a favor to start preparing her now for inevitable changes within her group - whether it happens now because she's not moved up, or later. It will very likely happen. I don't really see staying with a group as a valid reason to move or not. I would push more on her actual ability to keep up in the higher group.
 

gymnastmom05

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 27, 2015
375
40
Country
USA
My very good friend had to deal with a similar situation. A group of girls were in a special, invite only class. Invites to join team (well, pre-team as they have at least a year of more training before they officially join the team and compete) were given out and most girls in this class were invited. They were all the same age/grade. Friend's DD did not get an invite. After much aggravation and talking to people, she finally asked the coach. Coach was open and said her DD had the skills but she lacked focused during class, therefore they didn't feel that she was ready to make the commitment that they were looking for at that time. They did tell her that it wasn't her only shot and if she wanted to continue, she could always join team at a later date when her focus was a little better. It was hard for friend and her DD to see this occur. Fast forward 6 years, this same child has been told this from multiple coaches in many different sports. She loves to play, she just doesn't have the commitment and focus (she's notorious for cheating at conditioning and practice when she thinks no one is looking). She's been able to continue in most sports but we all know you can't have this type of personality to be a competitive gymnast. Sometimes, I do think coaches are able to see these things way earlier than we do and they don't have parent blinders on. Not saying your DD is this type of kid. Just a possibility that it could be a reason. Also, is it possible coach is having a hard time saying something like this since you have a different relationship at the gym than the average parent? Sometimes it's hard to say things that might hurt feelings?
 
  • Like
Reactions: BachFlyer

SurpriseGymMom

Verified Coach
Verified Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Sep 11, 2013
2,181
46
Country
USA
I'm sorry that there is a possibility your kid may not be moved up with her peers this year, that is always hard!
As the pre-team/developmental coach who makes those decisions, I understand that it doesn't always feel good as a parent or kid. I know *I* always , always make those decisions based on what is IMHO best for the gymnast. I have moved girls up "early" to compete L3 as 6-yo, and I have decided to keep other girls another year in preteam because of individual issues.
My goal is always to keep the gymnast challenged but no completely overwhelmed. I have 6yos right now in my group that, talent wise, could certainly be moved to L3 (which I also coach) but I know their personality or focus or work ethic will not be ideal for moving to actual team next season, so I will keep them in preteam another year.
I will say that, as a coach, I try really hard to keep those talented-but-not-quite-ready kids engaged and challenged with progressions in practice so they don't get bored...
 
  • Like
Reactions: SMH, Aero and sce
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads