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relocating?

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lagymmom

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Jan 21, 2008
51
Hi--I posted this in the parents forum, but haven't had any response, so I thought I would try here. Has anyone ever had to relocate because there was no place for their child to train? I would love to hear about your experiences with this and how you handled it with your child/children. Thanks!

lagymmom
 

hunde2

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Nov 5, 2007
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We relocated a few years ago.Gym was not the real reason we relocated.We wanted to be closer to a bigger city and there where better jobs too.It was only 40 miles away.The gym she was before trained only up to a certain Level and she progressed pretty quick.The only reason I would move is if my child was very talented and already competing in a high Level.
 

gymdog

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I haven't known anyone who relocated at the JO level, but I do know some people who drove an hour or more to a gym. If a gym closed and a lot of parents are experiencing this problem, maybe they could try outlets like petitioning the YMCA for a gymnastics or starting a nonprofit one (there are a few models for that).
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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I've only heard of people moving if their children were ready to train elite. I would never move for gymnastics - but then again my dd isn't ever going to be an elite gymnast.
 

mariposa

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I've only heard of people moving if their children were ready to train elite. I would never move for gymnastics - but then again my dd isn't ever going to be an elite gymnast.
exactly what i was going to post. i think it is uncommon at lower levels. i definitely would check out gyms if we had to move anyway, since i really hate driving. LOL.
 

ZJsMom

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Some gyms really discourage moving just for a kids' gymnastics, even if the goal is elite. Of course, some elite gyms do collect gymnasts from all over the country. The problem with moving just for gymnastics is that it puts a lot of stain on the family and pressure on the gymnast. What if she is injured or burnt out 6 months later? It's hard for her to say she wants to quit when the whole family moved to further her gymnastics career.
 

lagymmom

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Jan 21, 2008
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Thanks for your thoughts on this. I guess I should explain why I asked. We already drive an hour to a gym (really small gym) once a week. In our small town, there is no gymnastics at all. The gym we go to does not train in the JO levels after L2. They only do prep-op. I wouldn't even be considering this if I didn't think she had amazing potential to go far. I realize that there are many kids with amazing talent out there, but if she doesn't even get the opportunity, how will we know? I'm not saying that we are going to do this, I really just wondered if anyone had ever had to deal with something like this. I really hate being put in this situation because I feel like she might one day wonder why we didn't give her the chance to go somewhere with gymnastics. Also, I think about my boys, and if they had some incredible gift/talent, would we do everything we could to help them succeed (even if it meant moving)? I really don't know what to do. We can totally give up gymnastics (because I can't imagine paying that much money just to do prep-op), or we try to move to where she can actually train. The closest places are about a 3 hour drive away from our home now, so there would be no commuting----we would definitely have to move. So maybe this little bit of info will help some of you understand where I'm coming from. Thanks again!

lagymmom
 

mariposa

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wow. that is a hard situation. my DD loves gym. her coach says she is a natural, but i don't see her as an amazing talent or anything. she is in the top half of her class, the youngest of the top half and is just about the same as those girls. i don't even consider elite in her future. i know she loves gym, but i don't think elite is an option for us. luckily, i don't think she is a future elite either.

i don't think i would move JUST for gymnastics at this age. if there were other reasons that would support a move and would be beneficial overall for the whole family, then i would definitely consider it. especially since i absolutely hate to drive in traffic, etc, on a regular basis. LOL. i can't imagine driving an hour for gym and think the parents that do are pretty amazing! we are 10 minutes from our gym. BUT, we live in a huge city and have all the disadvantages (and advantages) that can bring.

so basically, i don't think i would move at my DDs age/level (she is 5.5 years old, moving to L4 in march) just because of gymnastics. but i also do not consider her a future elite, so that makes a big difference. and the fact that we are not in the situation makes it impossible to truly know what i would do.

do you have the possibility of moving? job opportunities in the bigger town, etc? if so, and the rest of the family is up for it, then i guess it would be worth it. i totally wanted to live in a small town, far from the city, but we got stuck here in a big city. now that we homeschool and DD is in activities (which i never would have imagined we would be doing) i am glad we are in a big city with lots of resources. there is always a trade off to being in a small town vs. big city. i hate some of the things about where we live, but have learned to just appreciate the positives.

good luck! it is a hard position to be in. we want our kids dreams to come true and for them to have the chance and sometimes that is hard to do.
 

bogwoppit

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We briefly, or literally momentarily, went through this. Our gym is 40 mins away, we only have girls up to about level 7/8, no one trains more than 11 hours a week, there are no develpoment classes, only a few six to eight year olds get to train over two hours week.

When my oldest was 6 she showed a lot of promise and we did talk about moving to a bigger town with a real gym. We very quickly decided against it, we did not want to live the "elite family" lifestyle. We wanted more for our family.

Oldest DD is now 11 and one of the best in her club, that's funny isn't it:D. She has also been injured for over a year on and off. Both my girls are very happy in their gym. My 8 year old is also one of the best her age in our small club, but she is nothing compared to many of the 5/6 year olds on this board.

All that to say we decided gym will be for fun, the stats show that very few ever "make it", tons of girls burn out or quit before they reach even level 6. Our girls are succesful gymnasts on their own terms based on our family lifestyle.

The decision to move would change everyones life. It just wasn't worth it to us. Think very hard before you do change your lives completely.:)
 

gymdog

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Thanks for your thoughts on this. I guess I should explain why I asked. We already drive an hour to a gym (really small gym) once a week. In our small town, there is no gymnastics at all. The gym we go to does not train in the JO levels after L2. They only do prep-op. I wouldn't even be considering this if I didn't think she had amazing potential to go far. I realize that there are many kids with amazing talent out there, but if she doesn't even get the opportunity, how will we know? I'm not saying that we are going to do this, I really just wondered if anyone had ever had to deal with something like this. I really hate being put in this situation because I feel like she might one day wonder why we didn't give her the chance to go somewhere with gymnastics. Also, I think about my boys, and if they had some incredible gift/talent, would we do everything we could to help them succeed (even if it meant moving)? I really don't know what to do. We can totally give up gymnastics (because I can't imagine paying that much money just to do prep-op), or we try to move to where she can actually train. The closest places are about a 3 hour drive away from our home now, so there would be no commuting----we would definitely have to move. So maybe this little bit of info will help some of you understand where I'm coming from. Thanks again!

lagymmom
Hey lagymmom. That is a difficult situation. There are a few options short of moving in my experience. I will cover all the ones I know and maybe you can investigate some of these:

-Is there a high school in the area with a program? They may have equipment and a coach who knows about gymnastics (or maybe not lol). If there is one anywhere within your radius, perhaps this person would be willing to work with your dd. It is unusual but not unheard of. Also if there is a university anywhere in the area with either an NCAA or club team, there might be an opportunity there. Universities that maintain gym facilities usually have small youth programs, and some club teams (NAIGC) open their practices to members of the community (including youth), and there might be an older experienced gymnast who could work with her.

Harder, but possible:

-nonprofit, parent owned, parent operated gyms. There are definitely examples of this and from what I've been hearing over the last few years, it's a growing trend (a very small growing trend, but nonetheless). There must be others in communities within an hour of you interested in gymnastics at various levels too. Like any nonprofit, you would have to get initial funding before tuition could take over, but proving the marginal benefit to society of such a program in a time of growing obesity and inactivity concerns wouldn't be too bad. If there is a YMCA in the area, perhaps interested parties could approach them. There are many YMCA gymnastics teams. Here are some links to such nonprofit gyms, perhaps you could contact them and see if they can advise you on the feasibility of such a task in your area:

http://www.kokokahigymnastics.com/index.html

http://www.spiralsgymnastics.org/AboutUs.html

http://www.teamcentral.org/id17.htm

Some areas have gyms as part of their county parks and recreation services. These gyms sometimes have to trade off; the county may limit the hours the team can practice for instance, but some have successful optional teams. Perhaps there is a possibility of this.

I wouldn't move until push comes to shove and you're out of options though (and she's exhausted the current gym). There is a chance your current gym could attract new coaching and expand their program, for instance. If there are other parents facing this dilemma, maybe they can get together and push for that. Perhaps the program has just existed as it is because there's been a presumed lack of interest in expanded programs. Or maybe no one currently wants to work the JO optional track, but if you express interest, perhaps they may be willing to do that for your dd when the time comes. But gymnastics is a very fickle sport...if the benefits of moving for your entire family work out, then I think it's reasonable to seriously consider it. But if apart from this issue, everything is good now and you really like where you live, I think it would be difficult to in good faith suggest anything other than the sheer numbers: it is a low percentage that even makes it through the compulsory levels, probably 10% or less of girls who start competitive, although I don't know offhand. So while I think you could start making plans for this being a possibility in the future, I would wait until you hit the wall before you really do it.

As far as never knowing, I see a direct correlation in time spent in gymnastics and disappointment when it ends prematurely due to circumstances not working out...the longer you're in this the more disappointment it's going to be if it's a strain on the family and doesn't work out. Right now her attention could probably be diverted to another activity that she can be just as promising in if she's generally athletic. 25 hours a week of training down the road, when you're in middle and high school and haven't tried other sports, this gets harder. That doesn't mean it isn't worth it, but it's something to consider.
 

lagymmom

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Jan 21, 2008
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Hi Gymdog,

Your suggestions might would work if I lived anywhere other than rural northeast Louisiana. There is absolutely nothing here, nor is there anyone who wants to do anything to make things better----maybe down the road, 10 or 20 years, things could change. I have hope with our new gov (Bobby Jindal), but who knows!

I'll kind of go through your list of suggestions and explain:

High school----there are no h.s. teams anywhere within driving distance of where I live.

University---the 2 universities are Centenary in Shreveport and LSU in Baton Rouge (either way, it's a 3 hour drive for me)

Nonprofit gyms---again, where we live---it would never work---just not enough people for something like this to work, and then where would we get the coaches from?

Our current gym---I could ask her coach to keep her in the JO levels. This may work, but if she says no, then I guess I'm back to square one. It's already hard to drive an hour away for training, so if we don't move, we'll more than likely just quit gymnastics---this breaks my heart because she loves it so much.

The only other sports available to girls where we live are softball (there is a spring league (dixie youth) and school related basketball beginning at 7th grade. There is also dance. She took dance lessons at age 2, 3 and 4, and she was (naturally) very good, but it bores her.

I really appreciate all the great suggestions. Oh, and someone asked how old my dd is---she will be 6 years old in February. She's level 2 right now and has been doing gymnastics since she was 3 (believe it or not, the gym has a great preschool program).

Thanks again!

lagymmom
 

ZJsMom

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Frankly, at that age, she just isn't old enough to really know whether she wants to be a comptetive gymnast in any capacity. And although you and her coaches may see her as very talented, I just don't think you can tell who's going to be the standout that young. Gymnastics is an incredibly mental support. It takes a lot of guts and determination, in addition to some God-given talent to make it to the highest levels. I think moving because you believe your dd is going to excel at gymnastics is a really bad idea. On the other hand, you do point out that there's a general lack of opportunities in your area. If you're moving because it's the best thing for the entire family for a variety of reasons, that's great. But if you're telling yourself and your dd you're moving so she can be a great gymnast, IMHO you'll be making a mistake.
 

momof5

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Oct 26, 2007
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At her age and level I would definately stay where you are and let her develop as far as this gym can take her. As she gets a little bit older and matures a little you will be able to tell if she continues to be very passionate about the sport. If at some point down the road she feels that the current program is not suffient for her then It would be something to consider if there were other factors besides just gymnastics. Talent at this age is a dime a dozen and what will play out down the road is whether she has the drive and motivation to pursue this far. There are a lot of talented young kids who love the sport but as they get older and train longer a lot decide its not for them. I would only consider moving if my child was at the elite level and needed a program that my current situation couldn't handle. My sister in law as an 11 year old was very talented and passionate about the sport. The gym that she was at felt that they couldn't take her any further and spoke to her mom about her training with Bela Karoli (sp) and her mom said that she didn't want her daughter at such a young age to leave home. So her parent said no and she eventually switched to diving and was very sucessful but to his day she is still a touch resentful that her parent would not let her pursue her talent and dreams.
 

catesmom

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Nov 9, 2007
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It's always a hard decision to make when you are trying to do the best for your kids, I feel the strain that you are feeling. Let me tell you a story that happened at our gym. We had a very talented level 5, lets callher Sue. Sue scored very well as a level 5 and her parents were very supportive of her. Our gym has no elite gymnasts, we have one training but thats just started this year.

Anyway Sues parents were very devoted to having her compete. She actually finished 1st at states in her age group. We didn't learn till later that her parents were having real finacial difficulties paying her way. They were paying for gymnastics instead of meeting their other finacial responsibilities. Eventually their home was foreclosed on and they had to move out of state to find work. Even that didn't stop the dream. They sent their dd back to live with a family that home schools so that she could continue. She was very sad to be away from her family, especially her younger b's and s's and eventually she quit and went home.

I guess all I am saying is that for this sport to work it has to be in the best interests of the whole family. It is important to be sure that all your families needs are met, then comes gymnastics. I love this sport, and I am glad that I am able to have my dd participate, but I make sure that it is not a strain on the rest of the family, especially finacially.

I would never make a move just for gymnastics, but then again we are not on the elite track. My dd is competing at level 6 and I am totally happy that next year she is moving to level 7. so few girls make it to that point. There is another thread that shows how the numbers change at each level, it might be a good thing to look at. My second child started out in gymnastics and at age 6 changed her intersts to other sports. Now she plays softball, basketball and still does dance. you just never know.

Please think carefully before you move just for gymnastics, but if it is what you choose to do, good luck on your future.
 

hunde2

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Nov 5, 2007
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I would consider trying out a summercamp to see how my daughter is doing in a bigger gym,if she would like it.It could be a trip for the whole family.I just remembered that my daughter's gym has a 7 year old girl on the team that lives about 4 hrs away from the gym.They either stay in a hotel or have their daughter stay with a friend.I don't know what she does for school.This would defenetly not be an option for us.I do admit(see my first post)since we moved(not just for gymnastics)my daughter has come a long way.
 
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flippymonkeysmom

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You said she also danced for a few years - a lot of dance studios have competition teams that include acro classes. That may be a happy medium.
 

gymdog

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I think the main question is, is where you live currently the best place for your family despite the lack of elite child athletic activity? If it is, I wouldn't move to pursue child athletics. If this is just one part of dissatisfaction with the area in general, then you could view it in terms of that. But still, I'd caution against deciding where to move based on gymnastics, because it seems too likely to lead to disappointment, especially at this point in her progression in gymnastics. There aren't many guarantees. I know kids who found out at 8 or 9 they had genetic back problems that were really going to be problematic with gymnastics and they had to make the decision to quit then rather than go down the road of surgeries, etc at age 10.

I think the first thing you have to do is talk to her current coaches about how far they are willing to go. It may be now that they only have older girls who want to do prep op, so that's what they're doing.

I am not sure if this is where you already go, but this seems to have been posted today:

http://www.thenewsstar.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080123/SPORTS/801230338

http://www.rustonleader.com/sports.php?id=3472

It seems like this is program is new but prepared to expand as the girls progress and work with whatever goal they are aiming towards.

How close are you to parts of Mississippi or Arkansas?
 

lagymmom

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Jan 21, 2008
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My nephew goes to this school. It is about 1 hour and 20 minutes from where we live. I had heard that they had a team, but didn't think this was an option because this school (obviously) isn't in our school district. I told my husband about it and he thinks that if you live in a school district that does not offer your sport, then you are eligible to move to that school, even if you don't live there. I'm not sure if this is correct, but if it is, this may be worth looking in to. It wouldn't be as far for us to travel, and we could still live where we are. It would mean getting up really early every morning to take her to school though and going every Saturday (ugh!). I actually get the news star paper, but didn't even get it out of my driveway this morning (how crazy is that???). Thanks for the link though! I actually have a little hope now.

lagymmom
 

gymdog

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http://www.cedarcreekschool.org/site350.php

Here is the link to the contact info. It appears to be a private k-12 school, not part of a public school district. It doesn't say whether you have to be enrolled in the school or not. They might just not have a policy on that yet, perhaps they can just work out tuition for gymnastics? I would definitely contact them and see what they say about it. Maybe if you are willing to volunteer to help somehow they will want you :) Worth a shot I guess.
 
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