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Panda-girl's Mom

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Jan 9, 2008
781
Hi Im new to this. My daughter is a new level four gymnast. She was placed on the team this past September. She is 7 half of her teammates are 6 the rest are 7. We have been to 2 meets this year, the girls were only able to compete in vault. The meets are 2 to 3 hours away. This is becoming frustrating. When I asked the coach she said the girls are really young and they need to be able to sucessfully do all the skills for the other events. They practice 10 hours a week but only did 2 a week in the summer, they have been doing gymnastics for 3-4 years did preteam for a year. Has anyone experienced this? Shouldn't the girls have learned their routines prior to competition season? Do coaches put girls on the team in hopes that they will get all the skills by competiton season. My daughter and I really like this gym, they are very good with the kids.:confused:
 
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laurameer

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We're also first year on team, but at our gym the girls have to have all the skills at least fairly consistantly and know all the routines before they are allowed to compete. The girls who aren't quite ready don't go to competitions. They are L4 still, but don't have the exact same schedule for practices. Some are combined with the ones competing and others aren't. Our girls who will be competing L4 soon are already starting to learn the L5 skills. It seems like a lot of time and expense to go through to just compete on one event to me. Hang in there, I'm sure she'll be ready for all events soon.
 

Aussie_coach

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Thats crazy, I can't believe you are expected to drive 2-3 hours just to compete vault. Vault takes about 10 seconds. A 3 hour drive for a ten second event! Yes the coaches generally do put girls on the team in the hope they will be ready for competition, most coaches are quite good at picking those girls with enough talent and drive to be ready for the season. But it can take longer to be ready. There are a few different paths usually taken in this case.

What we do if the girls aren't ready for level 4 but still working in the competition team, is work the level 4 skills but have the girls compete level 3 until they are ready for level 4. This may not work in your situation. In Australia the girls can compete from level 1, I understand this isnt the case in all states in the USA.

If this isn't an option and the girls are really just not ready they should not really be competing. The coaches may want them to get used to performing in front of a crowd and learning how meets work but this could be done at their home gym with fun club based competitions, which wouldn't require a 3 hour drive.

Many coaches will not have girls compete on apparatus where their skills are not yet there as it can be devastating for a child to compete and get an abysmal score. The score would not be low because the performed badly, but if a set skill isn't completed there are huge deductions. However, if these kids are 6 and 7 they will still be a bit young to fully understand the scoring system. At 6 and 7 they are generally happy with themselves when they are told that they did a good job. If the coach emphasises the fact that they got out there and did their best, and performed in front of a crowd bravely. They could propably cope with low scores. However, the coach may not want the kids scoring poorly as it reflects badly on the gym.
 

gym mom

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Sep 8, 2007
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I have never heard of just competing 1 event at l4.My dd competed last spring at l2 then during summer got ready for l3 to compete in fall at l3 the first 2 meets some of the girls had to be spotted on there mill circle but was not a big deal.they have just been moved up to l4 they range from 7-9 years old.They are hoping to have them ready by July for the nationals if not they will compete l3 and start in sept.when our qualifiers start. We still have a few meets this spring at l3.I know our group at 6-7 were quiet a handful short attention spans they are getting better know as they get older.Have you watched your dd and team mates in practice do there routines?
 
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nettyinpa

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That doesn't make sense to me, either. If they practice 10 hours a week, why don't they have the other 3 routines? Sounds like the coaches aren't doing their job or they moved the girls up too quickly. I would not pay the meet fee, just to drive 2-3 hours, for a 10 second event. Waste of time and money, IMHO. Have you talked to the coaches about this? You're paying good money to have her in the gym that many hours a week. I think you have a right to find out why and what can be done about it. Maybe your gym could do a mock-meet, just to give the girls the feel of a real meet? Our gym did that twice before the actual first meet. It really helped the girls understand what was going to happen at a real meet. They ran through the warm-up, presenting to the judges, etc. We have 16 girls on our team. Three of them are 6, about 5 of them are 7 and the rest 8-9. They're all doing the same skills, pretty consistently. I would be very frustrated. Talk to the coach.
 

GymKitty

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Jan 5, 2008
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I may be wrong, but it sounds like they are squeezing money out of you. No way would I pay for a meet, and travel 2-3 hours, for my daughter to compete one event. Did you have to pay, in advance, for all of the meets you were attending this season? By having the girls compete one event, your gym doesn't have to refund the parents. If the girls are struggling with a few skills, and the coaches still want them to go to the meet, then they should be spotted on those skills. Allowing the girls to get in front of the judges, even if they aren't quite ready, makes more sense to me than competing one event.
 

bogwoppit

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I am not in the US, but we do deal with this a bit. SOme of our 1st year comp girls are not ready for 4 pieces, usually it is bars that is the sticking point. They all do floor and beam and vault, even if they have to miss a few elements. They then can do bars if they can or if they only need spotting on one or two elements.

The coach tells them up front that their score cannot be higher tahn x, based on the elements they can do. It is often less stressful to get a 5 if you know your start value is only 6.7!!!

Her we use the new scoring scoring system, at our level four equivalent they are scored out of 13, we did see some scores in the 2-3 range!!! But, some of those girls did just fine on other things.

However our meets are all within a one hour drive and the fees are about $45. Parents always have the choice of not going and there are only three meets a year.

If the girls are really only ready on vault, perhaps they should still be pre team, not team, and continue to work on the skills they need. My DD got onto the comp team this year missing one element, her HS on beam, but she managed to get that. As another poster said, a good coach should be able to see shich girls will be ready to compete.

I think if it was my DD/money/tiem I would tell the coach that I would prefer my DD begin to compete when she is really ready. Save the money for later, 'cos boy you'll need it then.:D Of course this is IMHO!!!!!
 
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coachamyamerican

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I had a girl that did all of her events even though she struggled. (also level 4) We select team at the end of the season (right before summer) and spend the whole summer working routines and skills for the level that we are thinking they will compete. Sometimes they stay there... other times they advance quickly and move up... sometimes they move down. I would never ask any of my parents to drive even 10 minutes to watch their daughters compete only one event!
I would probably be talking to the coach, then the owner about their expectations and what is right pretty soon. Sorry to hear that is happening!
 

ZJsMom

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May 11, 2007
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I agree with what everyone's said here. Something is seriously wrong and you should be asking questions. I can understand scratching one event if the gymnast's not ready, but travelling all the way to a meet to compete one event (and the L4 vault is really a drill) is crazy.

Moreover, you said they're all just doing vault. If one kid's not ready, you can look at the kid. But if none of them are ready, you have to look at the coaches. There's been some serious miscalculation here.
 

mariposa

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My DD isn't on team yet, but I would be very upset if that were to happen when we move to team. She is on a devo/pre-team and they are already working on the level 4 routine skills. None of the dance moves or beam footwork stuff. My DD almost has all of the major level 4 skills and the other 2 girls that also do and her are moving to team in March.

I hope you get this resolved with the coaches because it seems you are not getting what you are paying for. Good luck.
 
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gymgirl0805's Mom

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wow..i don't even really know what to say to that to be honest with you. I'd be asking the coaches questions!! That's ridiculous to travel all that way and pay all that money (not only the meet fees but money for leos, warm-ups and everything) just for one event and for that one even to be vault?? I'd be finding me a new gym I think!!
 

gym law mom

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I have to agree with everyone else about this being basically a waste of your time and money. At both gyms we been associated with, no girl is moved up to a compulsory team until they not only have the skills required, but can also do the routines on all 4 events. Sounds like the gym you're at takes it quite easy during the summer when they could be doing alot more. Most gyms do move the girls up in early-late spring and then spend the summer getting skills/routines more refined and even starting drills for the next level. 10 hours/week of practice is on the high side for a L4 during the school year. Sounds like they are trying to cram routines and skills in during the fall which is when the girls are competing. How do they work it with the L5/6 teams?

I agree with the others. Start looking at other gyms and their programs. Your dd may have to go back to a pre-team program for awhile, but in the end it will be worth it to have her compete in all 4 events next year.
 

gymmomntc2e6

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Aug 25, 2007
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I must say I agree w/ the others. It does not seem right. Our gym has had gymnasts scratch on one event, but never all but one.

It sounds like the girls should not be competing at all if they don't know the routines. Our L3's practice 3 days a week, they learned the routines fairly quickly.

I would talk to the coach. You are paying monthly tuition, the girls should be learning.
 
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medic3188

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I agree with the crazyness of this situation. My dd was a level 4 in ny and had only the vault perfected when we moved. We moved her back to level 2 so she could compete in most of the events. She still struggles with bars but she will compete it with a spot. She only wants to compete. Maybe your dd can go back and level and compete while she is getting ready or get a spot for the other events. Does she seem to have the skills?
 

Blackie6

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You're not from NY are you? We have several gymnasts on L4 that came from a NY gym with similar complaints. Some of them had been in gymnastics for over 6 years and are quite talented and are doing very well in our gym. It's a shame they didn't make the move sooner. I guess you need to do some research. Does your gym compete USAG and if so how well do the girls score at L4-L10?? Stay at a practice and speak with the other moms. How long have their girls been on the team? I would not be willing to pay full team price for my daughter not to learn & compete all 4 routines and to sit thru all those meets for one event. Plus, you are paying for her to be in the meet anyway. My daughter went to her first competition this year and was not quite ready, but she did all 4. Not great scores, but great experience. Got to start somewhere. You may want to start looking at/trying some other gyms, sounds like you aren't getitng what you are paying for.
 

Ingymmom

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Jul 12, 2007
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Hi Im new to this. My daughter is a new level four gymnast. She was placed on the team this past September. She is 7 half of her teammates are 6 the rest are 7. We have been to 2 meets this year, the girls were only able to compete in vault. The meets are 2 to 3 hours away. This is becoming frustrating. When I asked the coach she said the girls are really young and they need to be able to sucessfully do all the skills for the other events. They practice 10 hours a week but only did 2 a week in the summer, they have been doing gymnastics for 3-4 years did preteam for a year. Has anyone experienced this? Shouldn't the girls have learned their routines prior to competition season? Do coaches put girls on the team in hopes that they will get all the skills by competiton season. My daughter and I really like this gym, they are very good with the kids.:confused:
I can see how going from 2 hours to 10 hours (only a few months ago) they may not be completely ready to compete just yet.... but it does seem odd to sign the girls up and then compete only vault. Was there any pressure from any of the parents to compete?
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
Hi,
Thanks for all your comments. I spoke to the owner of the gym today and expressed my concerns. We had a meet this past weekend where we traveled over 2 hours and where 5 of the girls including mine only did the vault. One of the 6 year old girls did do beam and she did very well. Both of the older girls ( 10 and 9) who did a developmental class last year did all around, they also did well. I questioned the owner if my daughter should be on the team or switch to a developmental if she does not have her skills to compete . She insisted that she should be on the team. She said it takes a long time and she hopes that she will be able to do more events in the next couple of meets but she did not make any promises. She stated that it is better to compete in one event than not at all. When I asked about her having more practice hours she discouraged it and said they are still young and they need to be able to do other things. I am sure if I said I did not want her to do any meets until she gets her skills she would be alright with it but I can't do that to my daughter it would upset her. The gym we go to is USAG and they have only level 4 and up competeing so she can't compete at level 3. The level 6 were also at the meet and competed all around and did well . I quess I'll hang in there and see what happens for the rest of the season.
Panda-girl's Mom
:D
 

Panda-girl's Mom

Active Member
Jan 9, 2008
781
Hi,
Thanks for all your comments. I spoke to the owner of the gym today and expressed my concerns. We had a meet this past weekend where we traveled over 2 hours and where 5 of the girls including mine only did the vault. One of the 6 year old girls did do beam and she did very well. Both of the older girls ( 10 and 9) who did a developmental class last year did all around, they also did well. I questioned the owner if my daughter should be on the team or switch to a developmental if she does not have her skills to compete . She insisted that she should be on the team. She said it takes a long time and she hopes that she will be able to do more events in the next couple of meets but she did not make any promises. She stated that it is better to compete in one event than not at all. When I asked about her having more practice hours she discouraged it and said they are still young and they need to be able to do other things. I am sure if I said I did not want her to do any meets until she gets her skills she would be alright with it but I can't do that to my daughter it would upset her. The gym we go to is USAG and they have only level 4 and up competeing so she can't compete at level 3. The level 6 were also at the meet and competed all around and did well . I quess I'll hang in there and see what happens for the rest of the season.
Panda-girl's Mom
:D
 
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