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For Parents Possible switch to cheer

Avasmom

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My daughter turned 13 in October and her world is changing. Her friend group is basically divided right down the line. One set of friends play volleyball and the other does cheer. This year she has watched as each group grew closer and she grew apart from them. School is different too. She only sees the same cohort group of kids because they stay in the same class all day to avoid exposure. She wants to hang out with her friends on the weekend but the volleyball kids do stuff together and the cheer girls do stuff together. It's no one's fault. They didn't not include her but she is always at gymnastics practice. Recently she has mentioned feeling like she has no friends. This is completely untrue though. It's just they are isolated because of covid rules and the girls are sticking with their sport and their group of friends. I have tried not to intervene b/c my thought was this will pass. My biggest piece of advice has always been live with no regrets. I can't help but feel a little bad for her though because friends are hanging out and she has practice. On the other hand she chose this. Recently my daughter has mentioned doing competitive cheer. She is not sure at all and not ready to give up on gymnastics either. I don't even know if it would be possible to do both but I would lean towards no. She is a level 6 gymnast practicing 18 hours a week. Have any of your daughter's made the switch to competitive cheer successfully? Did they have regrets?
 

Carly

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Two of my dd teammates switched after level 5 to do competitive cheer and one after level 7 so that is definitely able to be done.

For my dd, there would be no way to do 18 hours of gym a week along with cheer and school. If she really wants to do cheer, maybe she could do Xcel gymnastics and cheer depending on the time commitment. However, I would think that meets and cheer competitions could overlap unless your gym was flexible about attending meets. I can't imagine that she could miss a cheer comp since it's a team sport.

Hope it works out for her. It's definitely hard even during normal times for these busy kids to see their non-gymnast friends.
 
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mommyof1

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An eighth-grader on my daughter’s team competed Platinum and did competitive cheer last year. She only made it to two or three of the four gym practices each week (Platinum trains 3.5 hours x 4 days with JO L5 and optionals), and there were gymnastics meets and cheer competitions some of the same weekends. I doubt that any other gym would have allowed this arrangement, but it’s a small and flexible program. The gymnast had originally quit gym for cheer but missed gym enough that everyone involved wanted to make it work for her. There was definitely a social component to the kid’s desire to do both. She seemed to be enjoying herself, but her mom was run ragged and was talking about cutting back on activities.
 
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MuggleMom

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One of my daughters friends switched to cheer and seems really happy. Her older sister cheers so she knew alot of people going into it. There are a lot of cross over skills between the two sports so that will definately help. Cheer teams always love a good tumbler and stunting should come easy with the body control learned in gym. I would see if she can do a trial week of cheer classes before she switches to see if she really likes it.
 

Faith

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Mine switched to cheer this year. She is a very talented gymnast but never had that drive to get new skills and move up. She is more about the team and the social aspect.

so cheer has worked really well for her. Practice is only 3x a week, so once lockdown is over she can come to kids crossfit for some s&c.

we fully intended to carry on with gym by moving to tumbling, which she hd been doing 2 days a week anyway alongside her normal squad. When we asked though they said they could only offer her the elite 5x a week tumbling squad for ££££££, so we declined.

Unfortunately for DD after the first lockdown she broke her finger, was out for 10 weeks, then back into lockdown just as she was back to full training!! So we haven’t had the full cheer experience yet, but there seems to be some great opportunities for travel and comps she wouldn’t have had with gym.
 

cheergym101

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I would ask your DD why she mentioned starting cheer to you. Is it for the social aspect of seeing her friends? It might be a good idea to help her set up a virtual movie night or something similar with her friends. Like you said, if she doesn’t really want it, she could regret it.

If not, if she really wants to try cheer, she should. Competitive cheerleading is one of the most rewarding sports out there; there’s a teamwork requirement like no other, as well as the opportunity to better yourself as an athlete. It wouldn’t be “downgrading” as an athlete or a gymnast. I think you could make both gymnastics and cheerleading work— if you’re both willing to give up some free time— by giving up some gymnastics hours. If she’s serious about doing both, maybe try a switch to XCEL, or if her middle school or her high school has a gymnastics team? Cheer practices tend to be 3x a week and 1.5-2.5 hours depending on level/age.

Good luck to her(and you) with her decision!
 

ldw4mlo

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Of course she should be able to do both. Of course it would require cooperation.

Schools sports seasons are much shorter then gymnastI s.

we have lots of girls at our gum they do school sports and gym.
 

MuggleMom

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Schools sports seasons are much shorter then gymnastI s--.

I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
 

mndl

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Feb 21, 2011
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I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
My DD switched to all star cheer and loves it, the team aspect just worked better for her and she still gets to do the tumbling she loves, however I don’t think it would be possible to do both comp cheer and comp gym(unless maybe excel). All star cheer is year round and the competition season is mostly Dec-late April, roughly same time as gymnastics, she practices 3 days a week for a total of six hours but practices are often added during comp season. It is definitely a commitment like gymnastics and honestly almost as expensive depending upon the travel schedule.
 
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LJL07

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I got the impression that it was comp cheer not school cheer but I could be wrong I think comp cheer is a longer season/time commitment but not as intense as gymnastics is in most places. And School cheer can be time consuming at least for the fall and winter schedules (I did school cheer through high school) My HS Cheer coaches werent always that agreeable to doing sports that interfered with cheerleading unfortunately.
Right. I don’t think it’s realistic to do optional level gymnastics and cheer. My girls can’t do any school sports (covid aside) due to their gym practice schedules. There is no way they could cheer at evening games during the week or attend any of the cheer practices (also held during the week). When my youngest was a compulsory gymnast, she did competition cheer too. It nearly killed us because cheer season is the same time as gym meet season.
that being said, many gymnasts have transitioned from gymnastics to cheer and done fabulous. It’s a great sport for gymnasts to transition to!
 

ldw4mlo

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It’s very realistic to do optional gymnastics and school sports, including competitiv cheer. It requires every one helping to make it work, including the gym, the school and the child.

Our optional girls do gymnastics and various other school sports. Had it not been for Covid, my daughter would have HS gymnastics as well as her team, as do many other girls in our state. she also plans on doing HS lacrosse or track.

I can’t speak to all states/towns/districts. But the competitive Cheer squad at HS around here is a different team them the cheer squad that goes to the football/basketball games. They may or may not have the same members.

And our school sports practices end at around 4, I could get my daughter to gymnastics practice a wee bit late and leave school practice a wee bit early from time to time.

If Covid has taught us anything, missing an occasional practice for a meet/game elsewhere. Or adjusting hours a bit, is absolutely doable....... yeah my kid was out of gym from March until July.... getting to practice late a few times should not be a problem

Not a fan of “can’t”
 

gymgal

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I can’t speak to all states/towns/districts. But the competitive Cheer squad at HS around here is a different team them the cheer squad that goes to the football/basketball games. They may or may not have the same members.
I also got the impression that this is not a HS sports team but a club team outside of school. In our region, Cheer gyms are a big deal and they practice/compete almost as intensely as mid-level gymnasts

to the OP, I would have a more in depth discussion as to why she wants to try it and whether she would be happy with either transitioning to Xcel or stopping gymnastics all-together (or switching to a tumble team if you have one). What she gets out of gymnastics is also important. My dd was a much better beam/bar worker and "put up" with floor and vt in order to progress in the other two. Switching to cheer would not satisfy her because she would be giving up her favorite parts of gymnastics. But for those who love the mid level tumbling, a lot of times cheer is enough for them and then they get the whole other aspect of team work through Cheer. Also, if your child is not looking to go to the high levels of gymnastics, transitioning to tumbling and/or cheer will offer more options if she wants to continue sports into college

ETA: Several of dd's former teammates transitioned to HS cheer squads, a few to club Competition Cheer teams, and a few are on (or planning to be on) college acro/tumbling teams.
 
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raenndrops

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We have 2 girls that were gymnasts at our gym that moved to other states. Neither had done cheer before that ... and one of them had a major back tumbling block. They are both All Star Cheerleaders now. The first one went into cheer within a year of moving. The second one did find a gymnastics gym when she moved and she competed for 2 years. This year, she is in cheer. I don't know if she is doing both, but she may be.