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For Parents Not cut out to be a gymnast

Gbmom

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Just wondering, do you guys truly feel that not everyone is cut out to be a gymnast? I feel like as my DDs are progression, less and less girls stick with it. DO you think that some kids are just not mentally strong enough, physically strong enough, etc to be a gymnast? I just wonder it because every time the not cut out to be a gymnast statement comes up, there is always an argument that you can still do it even if yo're not good.
 

Aussie_coach

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Gymnastics is one of the most beneficial things a kid can do regardless of natural ability.

It’s one of the only sports that uses such a wide variety of body movements and this movements produce a physical literacy that allows to the gymnast to excel in any other sport or activity. Hence developing a life long lives of physical activity, preventing many problems later in life.

The physical movements also enhance cognitive development and give kids a huge academic advantage.

It shocks me when we have parents say, they’ve decided to do other things because for some reason they think their kid is not good at gymnastics.

That teaches kids to give up on things they don’t think they are good at. We want kids to learn that they can do something if they enjoy it and it brings them benefits, it’s not important if they are the best or the worst.

Having said that there are many paths in gymnastics. Gymnastics for all, team gym, WAG, MAG, trampoline, tumbling, cheerleading, Acrobatics, Aerobics, Ninja gym, Rhythmic etc. Even within WAG there are many pathways.

There are some kids I would not recommend for higher level
WAG. Including those kids who are highly susceptible to injuries and those who could not be bothered to put in the hard work.
 

gymgal

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Not cut out for competitive gymnastics? yes, most kids in the general population are not cut out for competitive gymnastics beyond the very low levels. Just think about how many children go through your gym's rec program and how many make it to team. There are lots of reasons for it including talent, flexibility, strength to body ratio, drive/motivation, and fear.

Once you are in competitive gymnastics, the reasons for not progressing are a little different often times they revolve around preconceived notions from parent/gymnast/coach that the gymnast must continue to make forward progress or they're just not trying hard enough or have too many fears and therefore perhaps should move on to a different sport. This is also fueled by the gymnast's desire to spend more time outside of the gym with friends so the push becomes even greater to "quit". I think if more gyms took the stance that it's ok for gymnasts to progress at their own pace, then we would have a lot more retention. Unfortunately, repeating a level is often considered a sign of failure and having to repeat a level a second time is definite consideration to move on. Instead, gyms should be encouraging their gymnasts to progress at their own rate, while providing them with realistic expectations - It's fine if you only want to train 10 hrs a week but you likely will not be able to progress beyond level __ because you may not have the strength and enough training time to achieve these skills.
 

amiandjim

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I personally feel my own child was mentally/emotionally not cut out for higher level, competitive gymnastics. Physically, she is strong, flexible, has good shapes, etc and I have zero doubt she could have gone to level 10. Mentally, higher level skills were just too stressful for her and the pressure of gymnastics became too much. She was miserable. She is now dancing competitively and loves it!! It doesn’t matter how physically talented a kid is, once you get to level 7-10, they really need all of it to be happy and successful. That doesn’t mean kids cannot fight through fears, mental blocks, or learn to deal with the mental side, I simply don’t think it was ever going to be a good fit her in that aspect.
 

MuggleMom

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I guess it also matters what you mean by being a gymnast. Is level 4 a gymnast? Is level 10 a gymnast? To me yes everyone can be a gymnast to a certain extent but many will not be able to make it to level 10. I think that is to be expected just like any other sport making it to the top level is really only a small percentage of those in the sport.

Think of a starter on a championship level select soccer team-- of all the kids playing soccer how many make it to that level? Very few. Do lots quit along the way? Sure. Does that make the kid doing rec ball or HS ball any less of a soccer player? No. Does that mean those other kids should quit because they arent at the top level? No.

I do think gymnastics does a bad job of keeping kids engaged and active in the sport when they plateau and that is a problem the sport should overcome. Gymnastics should and can be a long term sport but many gyms seems to push to get as many to level 10 and its an act of contrition along the way as you lose those that hit their level and then get treated as though they are failing.
 

Pirouette

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IMO, the only kids who are not cut out to be gymnasts are those who would be physically risking their health and safety by training/competing, and those who don't have the interest in putting in the work to do the sport.

My DD17 is way too tall to be a gymnast (5'9.5") and didn't start the sport until she was 11. She still loves it. She loves it so much that she is planning to participate in club gymnastics when she goes off to college in the fall. She has terrible bars, always has. But she continues to work and improve, and has been blessed with great coaches and the XCel program where she can move at her own pace.

So is she cut out to be a gymnast? Not really. But she IS a gymnast.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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Everyone isn't cut out to be an upper level gymnast. I am sure the vast majority are not actually. But as far as who will last the longest in the sport - I have found if the gym is supportive of everyone - that natural talent or ability doesn't play that much into it. My daughter's Bronze team had 21 or 22 girls, and there are only 4 still competing 5 years later. Two of the highest scoring bronze/silvers, and two of the lowest scoring. They're at three different levels, and still trucking. One of the 4 probably has the ability to go to level 10, but with the way gymnastics is, she may or may not last the longest of them.

I was bored one day and looked at the Texas level 4 state championships from 8 years ago. With the exception of the JR A1 and JR A2 categories, the higher scoring level 4s were not any more likely to have stuck with the sport than the lower scoring.

As for my own kid, she certainly has the physical ability, but I'm not sure she has the drive for upper level optionals. She may prove me wrong, or she may move on to other sports, or she may do Xcel Diamond instead. But it doesn't mean she wasn't cut out to be a gymnast.
 

Tmacs

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I agree that any level, any ability gymnast is a gymnast. But I think that to get to a high level in any sport, not just gymnastics, you need a certain type of physical ability, mental tenacity, and major competitive drive. Not everyone has all that but it doesn’t mean they are not an athlete in that sport. My dd is a beautiful gymnast and very athletic... I think could do well in certain sports but I’m wondering whether gymnastics is the best for for her long term...so much pressure!
 
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Aussie_Gymnast

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Most people are cut out to participate in recreational gymnastics but out of all the kids that start recreation there are so few that even make it on competitive teams let alone make it into optional levels. I don’t think it matters if you are not cut out for high level gymnastics, it can still be worth it since you can still learn a lot physically and also learn life lessons from participation in the sport.
 

Mommysunshine

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I am not sure the question should be, "is everyone cut out to be a gymnast?"
Maybe it should be "is everyone cut out to have one activity be important enough to spend the many hours a week that is required to continue to progress in gymnastics?"

Many gymnasts decide to move on to other activities/ sports/ hobbies/ clubs as they get to middle school because they are not willing to say no to all other extracurricular options so they can continue in gymnastics.

In the long run having more than one interest is probably better than only gymnastics. But it is hard to continue in gymnastics and do other activities. Xcel allows some to do that. High school gymnastics is not available in our area, but sounds like it allows some kids to pursue more than one activity.
 

cogymmom2dd

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I second everything you said and will add in money to the the first paragraph.
Unfortunately, DD2 has a friend at another local gym that IMHO falls under the category of not fit to be a high level gymnast. She has been competing for 3 years and still just doesn’t have the upper body strength and control needed to do the most basic skills. Her parents pay gobs of money for privates so that she can keep up with the rest of her team. She is a 10 year old competing XS. Privates should not be needed for this level, as the routines should be designed to accentuate their individual strengths. Unfortunately I don’t think this kiddo has many strengths and has to work this hard to score lower 8’s. I don’t see her ever getting to optionals.
However, she is always confident and determined and that is all that matters. I’m sure it is teaching her other important life skills along the way and maybe laying a foundation for her to be successful at something else down the road. Her parents can afford to do all of the extras, so that’s on them. If it were my DD in the same boat, I would maybe be suggesting other activities she could participate in at this point because I could/would not invest the time and money, but to each their own.
 
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Gymx2

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I second everything you said and will add in money to the the first paragraph.
Unfortunately, DD2 has a friend at another local gym that IMHO falls under the category of not fit to be a high level gymnast. She has been competing for 3 years and still just doesn’t have the upper body strength and control needed to do the most basic skills. Her parents pay gobs of money for privates so that she can keep up with the rest of her team. She is a 10 year old competing XS. Privates should not be needed for this level, as the routines should be designed to accentuate their individual strengths. Unfortunately I don’t think this kiddo has many strengths and has to work this hard to score lower 8’s. I don’t see her ever getting to optionals.
However, she is always confident and determined and that is all that matters. I’m sure it is teaching her other important life skills along the way and maybe laying a foundation for her to be successful at something else down the road. Her parents can afford to do all of the extras, so that’s on them. If it were my DD in the same boat, I would maybe be suggesting other activities she could participate in at this point because I could/would not invest the time and money, but to each their own.
This is pretty harsh. Maybe the kid loves it, and is therefore "cut out" to be a gymnast.
 

cogymmom2dd

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This is pretty harsh. Maybe the kid loves it, and is therefore "cut out" to be a gymnast.
She does love it, but after 3 years of team, still lacks the core strength needed for the fundamentals despite parents shelling out money for weekly privates. I don’t feel like I was harsh at all. Honest, yes. And my second paragraph stated that she was confident and determined, probably works twice as hard as her teammates, heck she probably works harder than both of my DD’s, which is a personality trait needed for gymnastics. She is no less of a gymnast than the rest. I said she is not cut out for high level gymnastics due to the fact that she’s 10 years old competing XS needing and needing weekly privates.
And I also said if were my kid, I would not be doing privates at that level, exsanguinsting my bank account in a sport that is already expensive. To each their own though.
 

raenndrops

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I second everything you said and will add in money to the the first paragraph.
Unfortunately, DD2 has a friend at another local gym that IMHO falls under the category of not fit to be a high level gymnast. She has been competing for 3 years and still just doesn’t have the upper body strength and control needed to do the most basic skills. Her parents pay gobs of money for privates so that she can keep up with the rest of her team. She is a 10 year old competing XS. Privates should not be needed for this level, as the routines should be designed to accentuate their individual strengths. Unfortunately I don’t think this kiddo has many strengths and has to work this hard to score lower 8’s. I don’t see her ever getting to optionals.
However, she is always confident and determined and that is all that matters. I’m sure it is teaching her other important life skills along the way and maybe laying a foundation for her to be successful at something else down the road. Her parents can afford to do all of the extras, so that’s on them. If it were my DD in the same boat, I would maybe be suggesting other activities she could participate in at this point because I could/would not invest the time and money, but to each their own.
If she is in Xcel Silver, she IS in "optionals" as all Xcel Levels are "optionals."
 
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ldw4mlo

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Yes all of it is true.

The higher the level more girls drop out. There are many girls who can walk across a beam, do an arabesque and a handstand. Less can do a cartwheel. Even less a BHS. And even less an aerial.

Some kids are not cut out to be a gymnast for many reasons. And they doesn’t make them failures. Their path is just differen.

And you can be “not good” and still be a good gymnast and enjoy it. Of course “not good“ is relative.

My daughter and a friend of her are 2 examples. started in preschool together. Mine was a podium first place finisher in compulsorities. If I was a different kind of mom. I’m sure I would of thought that this kid is going Div 1. But I knew, it’s a long road.
My daughters friend, finished in the bottom of the pack. And the mom would go she is just ”not good”. I was like she loves it, she works hard and she is willing to try things. Unlike my kid who never just goes for it. And her early gymnastics were not pretty.

They were together until Level 6/7. My daughter still a strong finisher, when uninjured. She no longer lived on the podium, her friend started spending time on the podium and turned into a lovely gymnast. And made the decision to hang up her grips. She wanted more time for other things. She gets her tumbling fix through competitve cheer and diving. Both sports offered at her school.

Mine might squeak into level 9. She will likely stay a level 8, between a couple injuries and the Covid, she has not had a full on level 8 season (for now going on 3 years) and has plenty of skills she can upgrade and work on. She has the potential to get to regionals with a full healthy season and she/we are fine where she is at. She will do gymmastics at least until she graduates. As our HS has gymnastics, if there was HS states this year she would have qualified. And she will also likely do lacrosse and perhaps track. she might will likely make it back on the podium when she competes USAG again, because she’ll be older and the age groups will work for her on placements. We have been at this long enough to how that works.

Beam is mentally hard for her but she persists, what a great quality to have. Along with time management, a strong work ethic and strong solid friendships. She still sees many of the girls who have moved on. But the friendships the lasted to L8/9 are her core, they are all amazing girls. 3 are at the same gym (ours) they are happy where they are. They enjoy gymnastics and also other sports. And they do amazing at their other sports. It wouldn’t surprise me if one got a ride for track. The fourth left our gym, she wanted more hours and is heading to level 10, but older then those “good” gymnasts. They still have sleepovers and zooms and text like crazy.

So in the eyes of many around here, none of those girls are “good”. I think they are amazing.
I have been told (here) my kid would never make it optionals because she didn’t go enough hours. There are many who think 34/35 scores are just ”not good”, and therefore define her as “not good”. Whatever. As I tell my kid. It doesn’t matter what everyone else thinks or does. I left a gym, when a coach said my kid (who was 7 at the time) wasn’t cut out for competitive gym because I didn’t want her going a bunch hours and giving up every Saturday. So I found a gym that worked for us.

Good is what works for you and your family.
 

littlebearmum

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I second everything you said and will add in money to the the first paragraph.
Unfortunately, DD2 has a friend at another local gym that IMHO falls under the category of not fit to be a high level gymnast. She has been competing for 3 years and still just doesn’t have the upper body strength and control needed to do the most basic skills. Her parents pay gobs of money for privates so that she can keep up with the rest of her team. She is a 10 year old competing XS. Privates should not be needed for this level, as the routines should be designed to accentuate their individual strengths. Unfortunately I don’t think this kiddo has many strengths and has to work this hard to score lower 8’s. I don’t see her ever getting to optionals.
However, she is always confident and determined and that is all that matters. I’m sure it is teaching her other important life skills along the way and maybe laying a foundation for her to be successful at something else down the road. Her parents can afford to do all of the extras, so that’s on them. If it were my DD in the same boat, I would maybe be suggesting other activities she could participate in at this point because I could/would not invest the time and money, but to each their own.
Ouch. This could be my kid (it's not). I still support her journey in this sport and consider her a gymnast. Is she ever going to be a level 10. Nope. But that is not what I am investing in.
 

Gymx2

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This Teddy Roosevelt quote pretty much sums up my thoughts on the "cut out for gymnastics" conversation:

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”

Whatever the level, whatever the eventual outcome, it's the kid who has the courage to get out there and try who I believe is "cut out" to be a gymnast.
 

ausnat83

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I think there are options out there for any kid who wants to do gymnastics to do so and benefit from it, and I strongly disagree that a kid's physical abilities or "talent" should determine whether they're encouraged or supported to continue in the sport. That said, many gymnasts and families struggle in practice to find a gym that truly empower each gymnast to do this in an environment & set up that really works for them. This has come a long way since I was competing, but there's still a long way to go. I love the growth of tumbling and trampoline as well as xcel and the (painfully slow) movement away from harsh, overly controlling coaching and insane hours.