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For Parents Out of state meets?

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gymjourneymom

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Mar 9, 2008
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Just wondering how other parents feel about traveling to out of state meets? In our state there are many(and I mean many!) meets within in a reasonable driving distance. So why would a coach plan out of state( flying distance) meets??? I feel the expense is just too much at levels 7 & lower. Of course we can always just skip those meets...but then I'll feel like the bad guy. Am I a gymnastics "scrooge"???? I think travel is fine for the gymnast looking for exposure for college....but level 7 & lower:confused:
 

hunde2

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Nov 5, 2007
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Our state does not have alot of meets and we went to some out of state meets.The one within driving distance.DD was Level 8 last year and we decided not to go to the ones you have to fly to.We decided to go to meets further away when she is a Level 9 or ten so she has more competition.Our state does not have very many upper Level gymnasts.I would not spend that much money for trvaling at a lower Level.I would just go to the once you can drive to.
 
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Billy

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We are doing two meets this season that will require overnight trips, although both are within driving distance. Hilton Head is a huge meet and the gym always goes to that one. Although it is not required, we wouldn't miss it. I know one reason our HC chooses the meets is based on space at the meet. If the meet cannot take all of us (all levels), none of us go. We had to make a change last year because one meet would only take our level 2s but didn't have room for the level 3s or 4s so our HC said no. Either we all go or we find another meet, which is what she did.
 

Aussie_coach

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Perhpas the idea is to offer something exciting and different to the gymnasts. A trip away builds great team commeraderie and is a lot of fun, it also gives the girls a feel like they are competing at a national level.

But really, I find it surprising that the coaches would take them to many out of state meeets when there really is no need. I would say 1 a year should be the maximum for lower level gymnasts. Once gymnasts are at the higher level then this may be the only way to ensure they are getting good competition.
 
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Billy

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I will say that last year's Hilton Head meet was my DDs worst one. She had tons of fun and it was exciting for her to travel and stay at the hotel and everything. But, that also meant that she didn't eat well, was too excited to sleep, etc, which definitely affected her performance at the meet. Maybe out of town meets are a way to help gymmies get used to competing under less-than-ideal circumstances.
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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This is a big pet peeve of mine. Our former gym did not participate in a single local meet the entire year, except the one we hosted. And there are several good reputable gyms in town that also host meets. Nope- didn't do them. Instead, we traveled several hours for just about every meet. Crazy stupid! They always attend one big travel (flying) meet that we used to participate in for the above stated reasons, but after several years, we caught on that this is not necessary, and a severe strain on the family budget. I just said no thanks, and let them know at the beginning of the year that dd would not be going, and to not charge me for it.
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
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Well, for compulsories, the gym stays close to home. They'd never be asked to fly. Optionals, however, need the exposure of out of state meets.

When athletes get to the point where they'll be competing in regionals, the gym wants them to experience competition throughout the region so they know what they'll be up against. When, for instance, you look at the regional qualifying scores and see loads of 37s for Wisconsin and nothing even close to that for Nebraska, you might think WI has better gymnasts. Nope, Wisconsin just scores high while Nebraska judges are very tough. You actually have to go to a state and compete with them to see how you place. Then it's not so intimidating.

Once you get girls realistically looking at scholarships, you need to give them even wider exposure and experience.

Naturally we travel as a team, so 7s are optionals and they go where the 8-10s go, even though their highest level of competition is state. We don't have the option of opting out of any competition. You're on the team, you're expected to go where the team goes.

For us, then, almost every meet requires an overnight stay. Some families fly, but if the our whole family goes, we consider anything 12 hours or less as driveable.

So, while I see the necessity of the out-of-state travel, this year, I don't feel good about it. The cost of transportation to the meets of the schedule this year has me hoping dd2 opts to be done at month's end.
 

gymjourneymom

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The other thing that bothers me about these long distance meets is that many of them have girls compete on Fridays & Mondays:confused: Is this the new trend???This adds to time missed from school & work for travel. Say DD competes Fri...then we miss Thurs & Fri from work/school. Our gym has 3 fly distance meets scheduled! At level 7 DD might go to 1 for the "experience". I personally think even that is too big of an expenditure at level 7. We have gone to local (2-5hrs away)meets when the timing of competion made it more convenient to stay over in hotels. Yes, the girls go swimming have, stay up too late & have fun(so do the parents!). Our girls aren't lacking in the "team" social aspect at all:) I just don't think at level 7 we need to fly across the country & pay big $ to do those same things;)
 

Ingymmom

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Jul 12, 2007
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I am not fond of the expense - of course, but we actually really enjoy our travel meets. I think about 4 out 8 were travel meets last season, and I am hoping for a similar meet schedule this year.
 

Granny Smith

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At dd's gym you basically do not travel out of state until you are a level 8. Even at level 8, you might travel regionally, but I am doubting that dd will go to the flyaway. I may be wrong, but I wouldn't be surprised if 8's didn't go. If she doesn't do the flyaway, more money in my pocket. Dd is only going into 7th grade, she really doesn't need to go to a flyaway. Also if 8's do go, most likely it would just be me and her, we probably couldn't afford for dh and ds to go - which dh would truly miss it. He likes to see her compete.

Honestly, we don't even have the comp schedule yet, who knows what's going on.
 
Jul 12, 2008
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At our gym, we do as many if not more out of state meets. Our reasoning behind this is why train year round at such a difficult sport to compete against the same people over and over at instate meets?

It really bothers me when my parents at the gym don't go to the out of state meets. In my opinion, not only are you wasting your time and money training but you are hurting your team because every score counts at these larger meets.

Also why would you not want to travel and meet other people? Plus coaches talk about each other programs and bounce ideas off each other. Another good thing is that judges from other states and regionals can see your team more than once before the regional and national competitions.
 
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gym law mom

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Our gym sends L7s to one out of state meet(flying/hotel etc) to get the experience of being at larger invitationals---basically a prep for then they get to L8. The L8s and up go to 2 out of state meets. The booster club makes enough from bingo to pay for plane tickets/hotel rooms for the girls. If parents want to go(most do) then they pay their own way. Also, they have parent chaperones and if you want to do that then you get your trip paid for.

The gym also schedules one "away" meet for the compulosry girls. Not sure where it will be this year---they were talking Aspen or Albuquerque. It gives the compulsory kids a chance to go someplace neat for a weekend.

As to missing some school for the out of state meets, last season my gymmie had to miss school on Friday for 2 in state meets too. When she did the out of state meet, she took some homework with her and they do have some study time built into the schedule.
 

gym monkeys mom

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Oct 3, 2007
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We do 1 out of state travel meet with our whole team. It is a 5-6 hour drive so not bad at all. I am really bugged by the fact some opt out of it. I could understand if it was expense but, that is not generaly the case at our club usually parents don't want to be botherd with traveling. The thing they don't realize it is so good for the team and exposure to other judges is great. Out judges are tough and WI is a lot nicer judging. We as parents who go always car pool and usually only go as moms it is great fun for all. I can understand if you are a Level 4 but, they usually all go its the upper level parents who never want to. UGH!!! Oh well I hope this year everyone goes that is my goal as our boys team is going along also.:cool:
 

mom2kazkids

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Feb 16, 2008
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Since we are not doing our compulsory season this year, our coaches have the girls doing 2 or 3 out of state meets. The first one is in MN so that the girls can get their nerves out in front of judges that are not from WI. Also our coaches use to own a gym in MN. The second one is in IL-- Chicago Style meet so that the girls can experience a larger meet with different teams.

The third meet will be a totally optional meet for the families, more than likely in Orlando at Wide World of Disney. Our family would go as we are already planning a Disney Vacation for April/May 2009, so we would just move it up to January.

Really we need to travel for all meets that we attend with hopefully the exception of one, that DD former gym started to host last year. Otherwise it is a 2 hour drive for us to her closest meet.

Barb
 

gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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Sure, everyone has made some great points. It's fun to travel and meet people, and the kids love to miss school on Friday every now and then. (I'd love to fly my family to an expensive Carribean vacation resort every year for all the same reasons but that's not happening either!) And, the exposure to other teams and judges is a plus. But, at the cost of flying, staying in a hotel, food and meet fees, sometimes it's not do-able to attend a flying travel meet for just a weekend. That would be 2-3 days! Especially, when there are some very good meets going on locally. We have done it, loved it, glad we did it, but some years, because of the expense or the time it takes, or work, or school, we just simply are not able to do so. If that's the case, I feel like the team and coaches should understand, and not make it mandatory, as some of you have suggested, to boost the team score or whatever. As I've said before on this site, they are children, and this is only a sport!
 

Livinatthegym

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Feb 4, 2008
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Sure, everyone has made some great points. It's fun to travel and meet people, and the kids love to miss school on Friday every now and then. (I'd love to fly my family to an expensive Carribean vacation resort every year for all the same reasons but that's not happening either!) And, the exposure to other teams and judges is a plus. But, at the cost of flying, staying in a hotel, food and meet fees, sometimes it's not do-able to attend a flying travel meet for just a weekend. That would be 2-3 days! Especially, when there are some very good meets going on locally. We have done it, loved it, glad we did it, but some years, because of the expense or the time it takes, or work, or school, we just simply are not able to do so. If that's the case, I feel like the team and coaches should understand, and not make it mandatory, as some of you have suggested, to boost the team score or whatever. As I've said before on this site, they are children, and this is only a sport!

Of course, you're absolutely right. It's just a sport, and one that very few will continue participating in beyond age 12 or so. Those of us in smaller states, though, do not have the option of good local meets. This year, in fact, Chow's may be the only gym in Iowa hosting a meet for optionals. (Sure, this year, it'll be a big one, but it's still only one.) The tuition and fees are high, but at the optional levels, it's the travel, for us, that makes gymnastics nearly unaffordable.
 

gymjourneymom

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DD2 was 3yrs old when she started her gymnastics career. It was a cute little combination ballet/gymnastics class, held in the teachers home. DD2 & her older sister,(DD1) attended separate classes with the same warm & loving teacher. DD1 didn't really enjoy ballet or gymnastics, they just weren't her thing. But this teacher pick up on DD2 gymnastic talent & suggested that we check out a highly regarded local gym. DD2 joined pre-team there...that was 10yrs ago. When we left that cute little class, the teacher gave me a piece of advice I will NEVER forget....."always remember you have 2 daughters". She saw our future...maybe she had experienced other families like ours in the past. It's easy to get caught up in DD2 gymnastics success....but I have 2 daughters to consider. I wish I had unlimited funds & unlimited time-off from work...in fact I'd prefer to be independently wealthy!:) But, that's not my life unfortunately:( I can't spend unlimited amounts of money on just one of my children...I must be fair to both. Gymnastics is an expensive sport, even just going to local meets. We do what we can & I hope it isn't held against my DD. I'm glad our coach seemed to be understanding. I told him we won't be doing any fly away meets for the time being... maybe one when she's level 8. Hopefully I'll hit the lottery before she's a 9 or 10:) Doesn't someone on CB sign off something like...'gymnastics isn't fair, but it should be fun and accessible to all'???? Really, there are numerous competetive meets within driving distance in our area....that's how it was always done before. Our gym never required 7's to do fly-away meets...until we got a new owner last year. Guess I am in the minority with my thoughts on fly away meets....but DD's are both happy & that's what matters most to me.
 
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gymnomore

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Aug 3, 2007
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DD2 was 3yrs old when she started her gymnastics career. It was a cute little combination ballet/gymnastics class, held in the teachers home. DD2 & her older sister,(DD1) attended separate classes with the same warm & loving teacher. DD1 didn't really enjoy ballet or gymnastics, they just weren't her thing. But this teacher pick up on DD2 gymnastic talent & suggested that we check out a highly regarded local gym. DD2 joined pre-team there...that was 10yrs ago. When we left that cute little class, the teacher gave me a piece of advice I will NEVER forget....."always remember you have 2 daughters". She saw our future...maybe she had experienced other families like ours in the past. It's easy to get caught up in DD2 gymnastics success....but I have 2 daughters to consider. I wish I had unlimited funds & unlimited time-off from work...in fact I'd prefer to be independently wealthy!:) But, that's not my life unfortunately:( I can't spend unlimited amounts of money on just one of my children...I must be fair to both. Gymnastics is an expensive sport, even just going to local meets. We do what we can & I hope it isn't held against my DD. I'm glad our coach seemed to be understanding. I told him we won't be doing any fly away meets for the time being... maybe one when she's level 8. Hopefully I'll hit the lottery before she's a 9 or 10:) Doesn't someone on CB sign off something like...'gymnastics isn't fair, but it should be fun and accessible to all'???? Really, there are numerous competetive meets within driving distance in our area....that's how it was always done before. Our gym never required 7's to do fly-away meets...until we got a new owner last year. Guess I am in the minority with my thoughts on fly away meets....but DD's are both happy & that's what matters most to me.

When I read your post, I first got goosebumps, and then I cried. It made me realize, looking back, that I have spent a boatload of money of dd2, versus dd1, who didn't quite have the same amount of talent no matter how hard she tried. Dd1 has always been very supportive, and we always included her when it came to wonderful places we traveled for meets. But, when the time came that coaches started to talk about the team traveling to meets without their families, then that put an end to traveling meets for us. Our family is a package deal- and sometimes the shipping price is way too high! Thanks for an important reminder.
 
T

TeamDad

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Here's a good reason to travel to out of state meets. The smile on DD's face as she hoisted the first place trophy in the AA was well worth the time and travel and expense. It was also a good experience to compete against an international field.



DD was thrilled and was invited back to the Pro AM on Sunday to represent her team as the amateur on bars alongside her older team mates. They lost the Pro Am by .01 to the home team (the winner gets free meet fees the following year) but they won the award for best team spirit. Everyone who competed had a great time. This really gave her a big confidence boost and certainly made the trip home seem shorter:D

As an aside, we started an anonymous fund for out of state meets feeling that everyone should be able to attend whether they could afford it or not. The fund is there so that everyone that wants to attend can. All any parent has to do is ask the parent rep for assistance, and the rest of us do what we can to make it happen.
 
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gymjourneymom

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Congratulations to your DD. I personally think team spirit is the BEST award & something to be quite proud of. Wishing her continued success for the rest of season:)
 
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