For Parents Pak be straddleback

Gymmom2020

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My daughter is learning a Straddleback to handstand ,, but all of her team mates are learning the Pak. The other day she told me she thinks that means she doesn’t have a chance to go elite or college because gymnasts who do straddlebacks are considered not as good. Does anyone have any idea why she would be learning the straddleback over the Pak ?
 
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Gymmom2020

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No she’s doesn’t have any issues with the flyaway. She has been their top scoring on the team in bars. There are other girls taller than her training the pac. But for L8 they want her to straddleback instead of pirouette . They keep telling her it’s because she will look beautiful doing it.
 

Gymmom2020

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No she’s doesn’t have any issues with the flyaway. She has been their top scoring on the team in bars. There are other girls taller than her training the pac. But for L8 they want her to straddleback instead of pirouette . They keep telling her it’s because she will look beautiful doing it. But the others are piroutting and learning a Pak instead. She’s literally the only one out of 13 girls doing the straddleback.
 

gymnast0812

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I competed a straddleback to handstand this last year for level 9 and scored very well with it (9.5+) and won bars a few times. We had 4 out of 19 level nines do straddleback to handstand, about 5 do paks, and the rest did shoots (bails). Everyone on the team scored in the 9’s and did well, so at our gym it’s just another release option.
 
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Gymmom2020

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I competed a straddleback to handstand this last year for level 9 and scored very well with it (9.5+) and won bars a few times. We had 4 out of 19 level nines do straddleback to handstand, about 5 do paks, and the rest did shoots (bails). Everyone on the team scored in the 9’s and did well, so at our gym it’s just another release option.
My daughter researches a lot and read that the Pak is for better gymnasts who will go elite. Which is what here she wants to eventually go. They are having her do the straddle back in L8, but everyone else on the 8 team is learning paks for level 9 and since she is learning a straddleback she doesn’t think they will teach her a Pak for 9. She’s learning front giants and blinds instead of pirouettes and everyone else is doing pirouettes and paks. Last year she was the highest scoring in bars and the coach said she does 9.8 ,9.9 bar routines. So I think she’s confused at why she wouldn’t be doing the other skill.
 

gymnast0812

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My daughter researches a lot and read that the Pak is for better gymnasts who will go elite. Which is what here she wants to eventually go. They are having her do the straddle back in L8, but everyone else on the 8 team is learning paks for level 9 and since she is learning a straddleback she doesn’t think they will teach her a Pak for 9. She’s learning front giants and blinds instead of pirouettes and everyone else is doing pirouettes and paks. Last year she was the highest scoring in bars and the coach said she does 9.8 ,9.9 bar routines. So I think she’s confused at why she wouldn’t be doing the other skill.
Gotcha Maybe her coaches want her to have more options then? One of the younger 9’s (I think she’s 12) competed the straddleback this past season, but she also has both her bail and her pak. Maybe her coach just wants her to start with the straddleback and then learn the pak a little later.
As for learning blinds and front giants instead of a pirouette, that’s probably for the better. Blinds are really good for level 9/10/elite because they can move into front giants, jeagers, blind fulls, etc. She’ll also probably learn the pirouette super quick later on, while blinds take longer to learn.
My guess would be that the coach is teaching a “lesser” bar transfer and while allowing her to get further ahead on the skills that will help her more later on.
 
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LJL07

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This is for level 8? I really haven't seen any level 8s do a straddleback in place of a pirouette. I saw a few straddle backs competed on level 9. How old is she? I would ask her coach only because it is unusual for level 8. Doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad thing though.
 
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Gymmom2020

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This is for level 8? I really haven't seen any level 8s do a straddleback in place of a pirouette. I saw a few straddle backs competed on level 9. How old is she? I would ask her coach only because it is unusual for level 8. Doesn't necessarily mean it is a bad thing though.
We asked the coach and she said that it is accepted to do a straddleback in level 8 in place of a pirouette. She’s 12. But, all her level 8 team mates are practicing paks. We asked and they said it was because she would be more beautiful doing it, but she doesn’t necessarily believe this explanation. She’s questioning it because she read a column online that said if she didn’t learn a Pak for 9 then it means she’s behind in bars. But, they have told us time and time again her bars are extremely strong and she does 9.8, 9.9 routines. So it’s confusing her and I’m only here asking cause we’ve asked an she gets the same answer. I don’t know anything about gymnastics because she only been doing it 2 years.
 

LJL07

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We asked the coach and she said that it is accepted to do a straddleback in level 8 in place of a pirouette. She’s 12. But, all her level 8 team mates are practicing paks. We asked and they said it was because she would be more beautiful doing it, but she doesn’t necessarily believe this explanation. She’s questioning it because she read a column online that said if she didn’t learn a Pak for 9 then it means she’s behind in bars. But, they have told us time and time again her bars are extremely strong and she does 9.8, 9.9 routines. So it’s confusing her and I’m only here asking cause we’ve asked an she gets the same answer. I don’t know anything about gymnastics because she only been doing it 2 years.
I have no experience with elite gymnastics. My daughter was 12 and did level 9 last year. She did a pak, but all of her other teammates did overshoots/bails. Your daughter doesn't have to do a pak, and she wouldn't be "behind" if she learned a different release move. I actually have no idea why the coach picked a pak for my daughter. She is definitely not going elite, so it wasn't for that reason. My youngest daughter will be a level 8. All of the 8s are doing pirouettes. She does drills for both overshoots and paks. The coach told the girls he will pick what seems to work best for the gymnast. I didn't see any level 8s across our region get 9.9s even at regionals with or without a pirouette. Maybe a couple of 9.8s at regionals. A 9.8 or 9.9 on bars would be crazy high on level 8. That's not to say that I'm doubting she has good bars, but something isn't adding up. Straddle backs are not very commonly used on level 8, and I don't think they have anything to do with paks. I'm no expert either though. If she is that set on a pak, I would definitely ask the coach. A good pak can take a while to learn correctly.
 
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Gymmom2020

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Thanks. We have girls who scored 9.7-9.8 easily on level 8 last year. Our gym is very strong on bars and every meet we went to our gym took all the spots for bars on the podium . We are much weaker on other events , like they struggle with vault, and floor which usually keeps ours out of regionals. She finished level 7 this year and moved up to 8 a few weeks ago. They keep telling us she is exceptional at bars and that’s why she’s training higher skills. We asked multiple times and they say the same thing that she will look beautiful doing a straddleback. They will not give any other reason why she’s not training a Pak and they won’t say if she’ll ever learn one. It’s like pulling teeth getting any info beyond her looking beautiful doing it. So like I said it’s confusing her , she knows a pac will take longer to learn , so since everyone else is training it and not her it’s concerning her. I realize that most likely only time will tell what happens since we are not getting clear answers from the coach. I appreciate the input.
 

Gymmom2020

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Thanks. We have girls who scored 9.7-9.8 easily on level 8 last year. Our gym is very strong on bars and every meet we went to our gym took all the spots for bars on the podium . We are much weaker on other events , like they struggle with vault, and floor which usually keeps ours out of regionals. She finished level 7 this year and moved up to 8 a few weeks ago. They keep telling us she is exceptional at bars and that’s why she’s training higher skills. We asked multiple times and they say the same thing that she will look beautiful doing a straddleback. They will not give any other reason why she’s not training a Pak and they won’t say if she’ll ever learn one. It’s like pulling teeth getting any info beyond her looking beautiful doing it. So like I said it’s confusing her , she knows a pac will take longer to learn , so since everyone else is training it and not her it’s concerning her. I realize that most likely only time will tell what happens since we are not getting clear answers from the coach. I appreciate the input. But I agree something doesn’t add up and so it’s making her very confused and me too because She’s only been in jo 2 years and I don’t know much. It’s all confusing to me.
 

mom2newgymnast

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I remember you posting something similar before about the pirouette a while ago. I know you were concerned about why the coaches were choosing what they were back then. Did you ever figure out why they weren't teaching her the pirouette? I think you are saying that she is learning the straddleback to compete in level 8 instead of the pirouette right? I would think if they are telling you that her bars are amazing and she looks beautiful doing it, that this should be considered a positive not a negative. I know we didn't see any straddlebacks in level 8 last year at the meets we went to, and I probably would have been impressed if I had seen one. I wouldn't assume that she isn't going to be learning a pak or shootover for level 9/10 either. She might still be learning that for level 9 later. I mean if they are working with on front giants and blinds, it's not like they are leaving her behind. Does your gym have successful level 10s and elites? I would assume they do since that is your daughter's goal, but then you said that vault and floor keeps them out of regionals some which would be surprising for an elite gym I would think?
 
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Ty’s Dad

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Can you have a meeting with your coach and tell her/him your daughters goals and she wants to do the pak. Your daughter might be right because I don’t remember seeing a straddleback in hopes or elite last season, so if it was me I’ll talk to the coach and have my daughter them where she wants to go in this sport, and then see if you can get a clear answer.
 

Gymmom2020

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I remember you posting something similar before about the pirouette a while ago. I know you were concerned about why the coaches were choosing what they were back then. Did you ever figure out why they weren't teaching her the pirouette? I think you are saying that she is learning the straddleback to compete in level 8 instead of the pirouette right? I would think if they are telling you that her bars are amazing and she looks beautiful doing it, that this should be considered a positive not a negative. I know we didn't see any straddlebacks in level 8 last year at the meets we went to, and I probably would have been impressed if I had seen one. I wouldn't assume that she isn't going to be learning a pak or shootover for level 9/10 either. She might still be learning that for level 9 later. I mean if they are working with on front giants and blinds, it's not like they are leaving her behind. Does your gym have successful level 10s and elites? I would assume they do since that is your daughter's goal, but then you said that vault and floor keeps them out of regionals some which would be surprising for an elite gym I would think?
Yes, we never got any real answers. It’s always the same thing and it seems as one thing is said, but it doesn’t seem to add up. I have had a meeting with the head coach and asked questions, mentioned goals and not much is said.
She is not learning a pirouette at all right now, just continuing blinds and front giants and the straddleback. And the coach is adamant about her doing that for L8. I researched it online and know it’s done at level 8 , but a lot more rare than a pirouette. It was hard to find video of a L8 routine with a straddleback.
There are several girls who have been signed to colleges, and a few who went elite. They have made regionals in the past , But they are really strong on bars and beam and not as on floor or vault. That’s not to say there aren’t girls who excel at floor and vault at our gym. There are girls who score really high on these two events. We have only been here two years. My daughter started Level 4 May 2018 and is now an 8.
 

Gymmom2020

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Can you have a meeting with your coach and tell her/him your daughters goals and she wants to do the pak. Your daughter might be right because I don’t remember seeing a straddleback in hopes or elite last season, so if it was me I’ll talk to the coach and have my daughter them where she wants to go in this sport, and then see if you can get a clear answer.
I’ve had several private phone calls with the head coach. They know she what she wants to do and they know she wants to do a Pak . There is one L10 who does a straddleback in our gym, but she’s the only other girl who has learned it.
 

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Maybe they are working towards an Ezhova and Jaeger if she is working forward giants. They obviously have a long term plan if they are taking the time to teach her something different than the other girls when it would be less hassle to just do the same thing with everyone.

You might just need to trust your coaches on skill selection. Maybe get your daughter to ask what they envision for her Level 10 routine.
 

Gymmom2020

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You are probably right. We are trying hard to trust and would be easier if they told us the future plan. The level 10 who does a straddleback does Jaegers. I dont like seeing her question herself and her future. Most of the girls on her team have parents who were either elite or went to college so I think they have a better understanding than me and know what the future holds for their daughters. I am completely blind into knowing how to help her navigate the sport and knowing what the future might look like. She’s asked them multiple times and she will ask if she can learn certain skills and they don’t give her much of an answer.
 

Gymmom2020

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You are probably right. We are trying hard to trust and would be easier if they told us the future plan. The level 10 who does a straddleback does Jaegers. I dont like seeing her question herself and her future. Most of the girls on her team have parents who were either elite or went to college for gymnastics so I think they have a better understanding than me and know what the future holds for their daughters. I am completely blind into knowing how to help her navigate the sport and knowing what the future might look like. She’s asked them multiple times and she will ask if she can learn certain skills and they don’t give her much of an answer.
 

mom2newgymnast

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You are probably right. We are trying hard to trust and would be easier if they told us the future plan. The level 10 who does a straddleback does Jaegers. I dont like seeing her question herself and her future. Most of the girls on her team have parents who were either elite or went to college so I think they have a better understanding than me and know what the future holds for their daughters. I am completely blind into knowing how to help her navigate the sport and knowing what the future might look like. She’s asked them multiple times and she will ask if she can learn certain skills and they don’t give her much of an answer.
I think it's pretty normal for parents not to be in the know about that kind of stuff. And the gymnasts too, honestly. It sounds like you are at an interesting gym though. Most of the girls at your gym had parents that were elite or college gymnasts? We might have a handful that were gymnasts, maybe level 10s. But mostly elite and college level gymnasts for parents? Wow, definitely a different environment I would think. Anyway, you said your daughter has only been in the gym 2 years and is training level 8. I can see why you are overwhelmed and questioning why your daughter is being taught different skills, but I think that you are stressing for nothing. Your daughter is obviously talented and is doing very well. I know you've said your daughter wants to train elite, but is there an elite training group at your gym and is she in it? Do you know how that works at your gym?

I think the coaches should be willing to answer your questions, but I think that maybe you are rushing things a bit. For reference, my dd is 12 and training level 9. Next season will be her 7th year competing. She's at a gym that doesn't train elite, but they have produced many D1 college gymnasts. I trust them to teach the skills she will need to succeed and I don't question their choices, because I was never a gymnast and I don't have a clue. lol. Her coaches are starting everyone with the shootover and blinds for level 9. But for some girls (not mine), her coach has mentioned that they might be better with paks and so they might transition to that. He prefers blinds in level 9, but some will do a pirouette if that is better. They've done front giant drills and spotted front giants, but that is just uptraining for level 10. I imagine her coaches have a general plan, but it's not like we've ever sat down and they've told me that at level x, she will compete y. I just don't know if it's reasonable to expect that level of information at this point in her career?
 
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