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For Coaches Question for a Coach in the US or anyone that can help

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gymnicetics mom

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Aug 25, 2008
18
I have a daughter that is 9 and a L6 competing compulsory. Her coaches approached me the other day and want to put her in the TOPs program. They also said they would like for her to compete in Australia. I am concerned about fast tracking her at a young age (Mentally and Emotionally). Also if she is that good why is she competing compulsory? She loves gymnastics and I dont want her to burn out. Is there any advice that anyone might could pass my way? Thanks:eek:!!!
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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I have moved this to the coaches forum, it might get more answers here.
 

Valentin

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Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

If your daughter enjoys gymnastics, you can afford it and are prepared to support her (because the Elite road requires a serious commitment from gymnasts and parents), and her coach feels that she has the right stuff (which is the biggest gamble, to trust the coaches intuition) than the answer is pretty simple. Do it. The TOPS in itself will probably only result in some extra training (depending on your club it could be a little it could be a lot) and the trip to camps and testing.

I don't see the connection between entering TOPs and competing in AUS. I would imagine that it would be at an Opens/ Optional level, however i know the requirements between the US and AUS are different and it seems silly. This i would question the coach on, as to why he/she feels this is the right option. Especially if you are going to have to fork out the cash to make it all happen. You want to know that this isn't for a good reason... i can't think of one based on the scenario you are describing of your daughter and her possition at the moment. There is plenty of GOOD solid competition across the border in CAN if all this is for International exposure or experience or whatever.

Reason why your daughter might be doing compulsories even though she is so talented according to the coach might be
1- To ensure she has a decent development start, to get the basics
2- To asses her ability
3- Club program/structure
Best person to answer this would be her coach, i or anyone else could only guess.
 

gymnicetics mom

New Member
Aug 25, 2008
18
As a coach do you feel that a child at 9 years old would be emotionally and mentally ready to compete at that level? She eats, drinks and lives for gymnastics. Her coaches say that it would be good for her to go to Bela's ranch. They also said that in 2 years she would be ready for HOPES. Is this realistic?
 

Aussie_coach

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As far as gymnastics is concerned, 9 is not a young age to fast track. In fact if they want to get to the elite level and compete internationally 9 is quite a late age to identify them. Keeping in mind that I am from Australia and we have different requirements for this.

As far as competing in australia, our requirements are not that different. We also have a similar program with our levels being roughly equivolent to those in the USA.

For us level 7-10 is optional just like in the USA but many of your routine requirements would be different because we use the FIG code of points for level 7-10. So things that you can do in the US like a tuck on low bar jump to high bar are not allowed in Australia because they are not in the FIG code. Skills will also not be worth as much, for example I have heard that a straddle jump is a C in the USA on beam, in Australia it is only an A because of the FIG code, so you would need to play with routines. Also we have no difficulty restriuctions in any level from level 7. You can do E and F and G skills as a level 7.
So you would need to play with the routines a bit.
 

Valentin

Coach
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Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
As a coach do you feel that a child at 9 years old would be emotionally and mentally ready to compete at that level?
Most definitely, however the coaches, the program, and the parental support are what is going to make or brake the road the Elite or International scene.
To be honest i dont know your child, so i can't say that if she will be ready for HOPES in 2 years. However as i said, this is where you have to just assume that the coaches know what they are talking about, and are not being over ambitious.
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
I would sit down with her coaches and discuss the plan for her. Regional TOPs testing is over for the year, so she should be training for next year. As a 10 year old- she will be doing L8 skills if she makes the testing at the ranch- so they should have a plan now. The testing and camps for TOPs are mostly fun and not very intense. (but they are very competitive.)

Valentin said it well, participatine in TOPs is not a 'sure thing' for elite success and as long as she is getting what she needs and her coaches are good, then it all will be fine. There should definitely be a plan in place now to get her ready for HOPES in 2 years.

I wold be concerned about an athlete of that level traveling to compete in Australia- what is the point of that? VERY expensive!
 

gymnicetics mom

New Member
Aug 25, 2008
18
Met with the Coaches!! Still Confused...

I would sit down with her coaches and discuss the plan for her. Regional TOPs testing is over for the year, so she should be training for next year. As a 10 year old- she will be doing L8 skills if she makes the testing at the ranch- so they should have a plan now. The testing and camps for TOPs are mostly fun and not very intense. (but they are very competitive.)

Valentin said it well, participatine in TOPs is not a 'sure thing' for elite success and as long as she is getting what she needs and her coaches are good, then it all will be fine. There should definitely be a plan in place now to get her ready for HOPES in 2 years.

I wold be concerned about an athlete of that level traveling to compete in Australia- what is the point of that? VERY expensive!
Ok we met with the coaches they have a plan i think they were not very clear. I asked them if they were going to keep her in L-6 they said yes and that she would also be traing for TOPs as well. They said that the testing was 13 months away. I do not know if this is the norm or not. If a child were traning for TOPs would they still compete at the level she is at or would she go right into traing for the bigger stuff??? I am so confused!!!!:eek:
 

Valentin

Coach
Coach
Nov 12, 2007
376
USA
Hi

From my experience yes it is. Its is important to upkeep the skills she will need for L6 competitions so that she doesn't lose form. However are they planning on increasing her hours to cover the extra work load, or are they just going to squeeze in the TOP training in her regular hours? If they can do that 1 questions arises. Why haven't they been using that time effectively to already have her prepared for TOPS or other more advanced skills.

Overall from what you describe about your DD coaches plan, i don't think its a problem, it is what we have done with out girls who entered a REgional development squad. Keep working their routines/Level skills + whatever is needed for regional development squad (which we were doing before hand already so its all good).
 
T

TuesdayPillow

Guest
Just because a child is training harder skills doesn't mean the coaches will train her at that level. Some gyms compete for success especially at compulsories (because that's where you tend to need to keep the most numbers and tend to have the most parents still thinking about "where can my child win"? rather than "where is my child happy")?
They have her training the skills and doing the TOPs conditioning but compete her to be successful at Level 6. I don't know the paradigm of your gym and their philosophy when it comes to competition so that's something you'll have to observe or ask about.
 

gymch34

Member
Aug 2, 2008
322
east coast
If your daughter is going to be ready for "the ranch" next year and she is a L6- she should already have her giants, be working on blind changes and front giants, clear hip close to HS, back handspring on beam, working a series, back tuck and a flipping dismount from a RO or a BHS. Vault she should be working a yurchenko, floor twisting, front handspint front salto, and whips.

These are the skills a 10 yo competes at TOPs national testing.
 
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