Welcome to our Gymnastics Community
Wanting to join the rest of our members? Feel free to sign up today.
Sign up

Repeating Levels - Best for Gymnast or Selfish Gym

Status
Not open for further replies.

edamame

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 21, 2012
10
All,

Can you please assure me that my daughter's coaches are making the "right" decision?

Background: My daughter competed L6 in the Fall of 2011 and finished 1st AA at all her season meets, scoring above 37.00 at every meet. She finished first at the State meet in her age group and was in the top 5 of all age groups. She competed L5 the year prior and did equally well. Our gym tests for the next level in the spring. She passed the L7 skills with a 98% only missing her switch leap on the high beam (her leap was only 170 degrees). Partly I have concern that the coaches did not try to push her to do L7 in the Spring of 2012, but I understand that it's better to have strong, solid routines than to be in the "middle of the pack." She did have all her skills in the beginning of 2012, but they told her she couldn't even try. I think the issue was partly due to the fact that the group that she trains with did not do as well in L6 2011 and some needed to repeat the level due to injuries. So there was no one to move up with her.

So the coaches want her to repeat L6 again this fall (2012). The coaches say that this will only benefit her and give her extra competition experience to keep her polished in performance. My concern is less with the added expense of another season, but whether this choice to repeat L6 is actually for her benefit or for the gym's. One coach has made comments like "I need her at States," which I translate to mean that he needs her scores for the State Team. Is this wrong? I was additionally troubled when my daughter made the comment that they are only working on L6 routines on bars (with only one or two passes of 7 skills). Does L6 really build on L7? It seems from my observation that it takes repetition of the cast to handstand and free hip/toe shoot handstand to get the muscle memory. (She's doing her L7 sets on the high bar, versus L6 on the low bar.) Shouldn't she be focusing on the L7 skills 90% and the L6 routines 10%?

Please correct me if I am wrong. (I hope I am.) We love our gym and the other gymnasts and families there, but the politics and inequality (unequal standards and miscommunication) are frustrating. There are a couple girls in the gym who are the same age, that train in a different group (different coaches) who did not do nearly as well as my daughter (35s and maybe a 36 last year), who do not have to repeat L6. It's frustrating for my daughter (and for me), and I don't know what to tell her other than, "Your coaches know what is best for you," (but I'm starting to doubt that).

My daughter just turned 10.

Thanks.
 
G

gymnut1

Guest
with what you have said I would be wanting her to move up also. If there are other level 7s I see no reason to repeat level 6. If there are no level 7s at all I would say stay with the others at level 6 is fine. Not much fun competing on your own and also might be difficult to organise/ expensive. I sounds like your dd already copes well with competition and confidence competing and presentation. Level 6 is often skipped over and that is a shame. There are great basic skills in level 6 and more time spent on them is worthwhile. Those who have mastered level 6 always look better in level 7 IMHO. Sounds like your dd is ready to go though if she has all her skills. Don't think she needs a switch leap in level 7 on beam but I could be wrong.

I think I would be wanting a longer talk with the head coach about it.
 

gymgurl

Coach
Coach
Gymnast
Oct 4, 2009
1,417
Country
Australia
I could be completely wrong as well as i am not even from America but i do remember reading on here that a split change is not required (or not allowed?) in level 7 as you are only allowed B skills in level 7 (I thought) and I am pretty sure a split change is a C, i would be annoyed if i were you as well, can you talk to the coaches about it? also she is still very young so its not like holding her back a year will harm her she might just get a little bored.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

JessLW

Member
Proud Parent
Apr 30, 2011
271
Beijing
Country
China
I'd be pretty irritated in your position too. How does your daughter feel? Is she wanting to move up or is she content to stay where she is? Most girls are usually pretty anxious to get to optionals so the delay I'd imagine is disappointing.

It is possible that the coaches were making the comments like "we need her next year" to sort of soften the blow, but if there are other girls who are not as strong as her who are moving up, then yeah, I'd start to think there was something else going on. It is not easy to get a 37 at L6 and seeing as how the jump from 6 to 7 is not that massive, I don't see the reason for a hold-back, not for a switch leap ...

Have you spoken with the coaches yet? Let them know how you and your daughter feel about the situation. You could always find a new gym but that should be a last resort if you're happy otherwise.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 person

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner
Jan 4, 2008
3,073
Country
Australia
It's not always so the gym will win, teams are extremely expensive to run. Most gyms run their team programs as a bit of a loss and make their money on their recreational programs. If they were to charge the team girls what it really costs for all their hours, more expensive coaches and smaller classes then few parents would be able to afford it.

If she was to be the only level 7 it would get very expensive providing for a coach for her competitions, travel for the coaches, judges fee's and so on. It may not be realistic for the gym. Yes, the child should come first in most decisions. But the financial liability of the gym has to come before 1 child.

The comment the coaches made about needing her at states may not be true. I actually use this line with a few of my gymnasts who have to repeat in order to make them feel important. Playing up to them that they will be the most experienced team member so they have a special place on the team. They could just be saying that to help curb her disappointment at having to do they same things again in competition.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people

MaryA

Proud Parent/Moderator
Staff member
Proud Parent
Jul 22, 2010
4,430
Country
USA
My dd is training 7 and I'm pretty sure they only need their switch leap on floor, not beam. If there are other girls moving up to 7 (or repeating 7) in the gym, I would be pretty annoyed if they were asking my DD to repeat, given the level 6 season your daughter had. Maybe if she was younger, I'd understand their "let's take it slow" philosophy. But yes, I would definitely be having more conversations with coaches. Good luck!
 

bookworm

Active Member
Proud Parent
Oct 3, 2009
2,994
On my couch either reading or doing nothing...
Country
USA
There is no way I would have my 10 yo repeat a compulsory level that she scored 37 and above all year long, especially if she has the skills to move up. Our old gym tried this with my younger daughter when she was Level 4 and I said "she will not be repeating level 4 in THIS gym so she either moves up to 5 or she's done here" as she had all of her 5 skills. I would put my foot down and I'd also be looking around at other gyms she could go to to and move up to Level 7, as she's clearly ready to move. Don't waste her time ( and your money) with another year at a level she has mastered.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 4 people

gymgymgymnast08

Active Member
Proud Relative
Former Gymnast
Dec 8, 2007
1,233
Country
USA
Like gymgurl said, A switch split leap is definitely not required in level 7. I'm not 100% sure if it is even allowed. Since she has all her other skills and had such a successful level 6 season, she is certainly ready to move up to level 7. It is really not fair to your daughter if she is held back just so that her level 6 team can do well at states. If her current gym will not move her up to level 7 when she is clearly ready, I would suggest looking at other gyms. Good luck!
 

GymBee97

Active Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2012
1,118
Country
USA
I wouldn't let my DD repeat for a switch leap (which L7 can't do anyway). I agree with the others - have a conversation with the coach and owner and let them know you strongly feel to hold her back at L6 isn't something you feel is appropriate with the scores and skills she has. If they don't budge then you have to be prepared to either suck it up and stay or let your feet do the walking to a gym that appreciates the skills she has and will move her up.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,447
Wisconsin
Country
USA
You're daughter is a part of a team. If the coach says that they need her scores in the fall season at L6 States...then that is what they need. She will still compete L7 in the spring right?

I would not waste my time and money training a gymnast whose parents are not interested in our team...they can train as an individual anywhere.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 people

skschlag

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
9,883
Region 9
Country
USA
We have been having similar conversations about my son. He repeated Level 5 this past season, scoring mostly 89s all season. We are not looking at repeating 5 again..thank goodness, but he is training 7. Alot of the boys he trains with have all moved up to level 8 because they are 11. D is 10, so he is still in the compulsary workout. Coach did say that he needed his leadership to help the younger gymnasts grow. D is thriving in that role.

Could the wait to move up have to do with the changes coming next year? Boys changes this year, but the girls are changing next year. maybe they are waiting for some reason because of that? I am of the thought that if you can't trust your coaches and have conversations with them when you are concerned, then you have a problem. Ds coach came to me when all the changes were takign place to make sure I knew he was working on how things were going to look for him (this week at workout it was him, training 7, and about 10 level 4s and 5 brand new level 5s. I was a little concerned.) you have got to have that trust of your coach in any sport.
 

momnipotent

Member
Proud Parent
Judge
Apr 5, 2012
299
Country
USA
You're daughter is a part of a team. If the coach says that they need her scores in the fall season at L6 States...then that is what they need. She will still compete L7 in the spring right?

I would not waste my time and money training a gymnast whose parents are not interested in our team...they can train as an individual anywhere.
Don't you think it is at all disingenuous for a coach to retain a child who has all their next level skills and placed first at state to artifically inflate team scores though? Why not keep one or two of the lower scoring girls at the level to try to bring the team scores up? As a coach, it seems there needs to be a balance of what is best for the team and what is best for each individual gymnast. If there were no gymnasts training level 7 it would make sense, and if they asked her to compete level 6 this fall but allowed her to train with the level 7 group for the good of the team I would think it was a bit shady but understandable. As it stands, I would perhaps talk with the coaches about her splitting her training time between the groups (current and L7) with the explicit understanding that she will compete level 7 in the spring.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 3 people

MaryA

Proud Parent/Moderator
Staff member
Proud Parent
Jul 22, 2010
4,430
Country
USA
You're daughter is a part of a team. If the coach says that they need her scores in the fall season at L6 States...then that is what they need. She will still compete L7 in the spring right?

I would not waste my time and money training a gymnast whose parents are not interested in our team...they can train as an individual anywhere.
And when this obviously talented gymnast decides that gymnastics is boring and quits, what good will it do the team then? If the HC could make a REALLY GOOD argument for her repeating, I would want to see LOTS AND LOTS of up training and it doesn't sound like that's happening either.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,447
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Don't you think it is at all disingenuous for a coach to retain a child who has all their next level skills and placed first at state to artifically inflate team scores though? Why not keep one or two of the lower scoring girls at the level to try to bring the team scores up? As a coach, it seems there needs to be a balance of what is best for the team and what is best for each individual gymnast. If there were no gymnasts training level 7 it would make sense, and if they asked her to compete level 6 this fall but allowed her to train with the level 7 group for the good of the team I would think it was a bit shady but understandable. As it stands, I would perhaps talk with the coaches about her splitting her training time between the groups (current and L7) with the explicit understanding that she will compete level 7 in the spring.
Now think of what you are saying and look where we as coaches get trapped.

You are saying that you are OK if your team is not as good as the other team...haha. Who cares if a club wins L6...not me. Oh but wait...ever hear of low level gymnasts switching clubs because the other club is better? Some clubs have a philosophy of winning (or doing quite well) at the compulsory levels in order to stay more financially stable and not lose gymnasts. Being part of a successful business will benefit the team program in the long run.

I could just as easily argue this thread the other way...but why...I felt like arguing this side of it today.

That's what's wrong with this site...instead of everyone thinking through all the scenarios that could be taking place...everyone just looks for validation of their view.

This site was created to help everyone learn more about gymnastics. Parents, gymnasts, and coaches all need to be able to see through each others eyes.

Let's put this in a different perspective. Imagine this was happening at a division I college. The coach was making crazy moves in order to win. Gotta look at things from all angles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 2 people

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
3,723
Country
USA
Well, my first question to the coach would be - what is your plan? - As JBS brought up, is the plan to compete 6 in the fall and 7 in the spring? If that's the case then it makes sense to repeat 6, if for no other reason than to keep her competition focused. but the added benefit of helping the team. you mention she has all her skills except the switch leap on beam - but that's not a level 7 skill (it's a C skill. Although I *think* they can do one, it counts as a B. Either way, it's not necessary for a 7 routine). Does her coach routinely require the girls to pass higher level skill sets before allowing movement to the next level (have all her level 8 skills before she competes level 7? - not competition ready but able to perform them with consistency).

If it were me, I would be talking with the coach again to get a better understanding of the plan. If the plan is competing 7 in the spring, then I agree with the coach about having her repeat 6 in the fall to keep her on her game and to help the team. But if they don't plan on putting her into L7 until jan of 2013, then I would take issue with it.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,447
Wisconsin
Country
USA
And when this obviously talented gymnast decides that gymnastics is boring and quits, what good will it do the team then? If the HC could make a REALLY GOOD argument for her repeating, I would want to see LOTS AND LOTS of up training and it doesn't sound like that's happening either.
So you know all this will happen by reading this online post? Why would a gymnast get bored if they are doing well and training up at the club? The question is still out there...is she going to compete L7 in the spring?
 

gymgal

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
3,723
Country
USA
And when this obviously talented gymnast decides that gymnastics is boring and quits, what good will it do the team then? If the HC could make a REALLY GOOD argument for her repeating, I would want to see LOTS AND LOTS of up training and it doesn't sound like that's happening either.
Actually, they must be doing uptraining because the OP says the gymnast was being tested on a switch leap on beam, which isn't needed until 8. She also mentions a cast handstand (level 8 - though the really good L7's have this) and a free hip toe shoot handstand (level 9?). She also mentioned that while the low bar is L6 routine, the high bar is L7. Well, this makes sense since most smart coaches have only a kip-cast-squat-on on the low bar for L7 to reduce deductions. All the skills are placed on the high bar. The OP also specifically said the L6 routines are happening at the bars but does not mention the other events. So we really don't know what is happening for uptraining there.

but this goes back to the point that the OP needs to have a clear understanding of the plan and that will only happen by talking to the coach

also to the OP - in terms of why girls from the other group are being moved up but your dd is not - given what you have said, there are clearly two different groups here. Perhaps your dd's group is one in which the coaches feel the girls have a better shot of going farther (college/elite) vs the other girls. If this is the case, then the focus on the two groups will be very different. The other group's focus will be on mastery and maintaining interest vs. your dd's group could be more focused on perfection which will help them excel at the higher levels. Only speculation here, butt certainly something to discuss with the coach and depending on what you want for you dd, you may want to ask about changing her to the other group...
 
M

Mack_the_Ripper

Guest
Just to reply to the bars workout thing - a level 6 bar routine is EXACTLY the same as the standard level 7 bar routine, except with a giant to handstand instead of a pullover on the high bar. The cast angle requirements are lower, but the top level 6s should be able to cast to handstand and clear hip to 45 anyway. So if you're working giants (and giant to flyaway) by themselves and also doing really good level 6 routines, the level 7 routine should be a snap to put together.
 

JBS

Administrator
Staff member
Verified Coach
Proud Parent
Former Gymnast
Sep 3, 2005
5,447
Wisconsin
Country
USA
Just to reply to the bars workout thing - a level 6 bar routine is EXACTLY the same as the standard level 7 bar routine, except with a giant to handstand instead of a pullover on the high bar. The cast angle requirements are lower, but the top level 6s should be able to cast to handstand and clear hip to 45 anyway. So if you're working giants (and giant to flyaway) by themselves and also doing really good level 6 routines, the level 7 routine should be a snap to put together.
Many clubs would say the standard is clear hip to handstand on the high rail. It just depends on what a coach is looking for.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.