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For Parents Sit back and wait or express interest

Jillybean1415

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Oct 5, 2020
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Thanks everyone. To be honest my daughter had the owner over the summer after being away from gymnastics because of COVID and my daughter was super rusty and not that great. But in August and September I’m not kidding she got a ton of skills, splits, pullover, bridge kickovers, last night she did 3 strict pull-ups, backbends, round off, backward rolls and the list goes on. The owner who responded to my email she doesn’t even know she has those skills yet. Her new coach knows she has some of these skills and has asked my daughter to demo skills in class and even asked the other girls to step aside and asked my daughter to try a vault into a handstand (which she couldn’t do). Her coach doesn’t even know she can do backbends yet.
She spotted my daughter in a pullover and my DD goes I can do it by myself and showed her (she got this skill practicing at home).
I don’t think I’m being unrealistic about my daughters skills it’s just a shame that the owners impression of my daughter is completely different than how she is now!
 

lostinfog

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It’s great the gym emailed you back acknowledging your interest. Most gyms would not overlook a child with those skills. Where I am 4 local gyms compete L1’s. Another gym will put girls straight from rec with less skills than that into Bronze but the problem after is they cherry pick who goes JO for level 4.

If the gym is otherwise occupied or doesn’t give your DD a clear path to trial pre team then look elsewhere for a 2nd opinion. That is not pushy at all. My DD started team at 6.5 and was literally with half the girls in L2 being barely 5 years old so I wish I would have asked the question you asked your gym sooner.
 
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MagicCrystal

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Sep 24, 2020
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I’m really torn what to do here...my daughter is 6 years old and is fairly decent. Here are her skills:
Round off
Cartwheel
Backbend
Bridge kickover
Pullover
Splits
She’s also strong enough to do a strict pull-up

We just started at this new gym in September and if you had asked me in June If I would even write a post like this I would laugh because my daughter had about zero gymnastics skills. My daughter started cheer and gymnastics in the summer and she is getting a ton of skills in the last few weeks to two months. She’s pretty close to getting a back walkover. I know nothing about gymnastics and I really know nothing about our new gym nor do I know anybody who goes there. Some classes I feel like my daughter stands out where she’s the only one who can do a pullover or the teacher asks her to demo some skills. Today they did vault and my daughter is not great at that at all and doesn’t have any standout skills. My daughter said she wants to do preteam, after she saw them in class and wants to compete.
I guess my question is, do I sit back and wait to see if they ask or pick my daughter for preteam?
Do I express interest and say my daughter is interested?
I find this to be hard because I want my daughter to earn this so I’m leaning towards just sitting back and see if she gets picked instead of coming across as the pushy mom. However, I’ve read on here to express interest so I’m torn here...anyone have any thoughts?
I would definitely let the gym know. Let them know that your daughter is interested in a competitive path and if they have any upcoming preteam tryouts. I don't think they will view that as pushy especially since you are new there. Let them know that you are all in!
 

LemonLime

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Jul 16, 2007
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Sounds like you are handling the situation extremely well and looking out for your daughter. Everyone gave great advice.

It's a sad gym world we live in, however, that asking a very reasonable question on behalf of your daughter risks labeling a mother as "pushy." I understand we should trust coaches, but they have a lot on their plate and a business to run. Some only want high-performers, others have full teams, have to respond to pressures from their seniors, or pay the bills. All of these pressures are completely acceptable, but we should acknowledge the NON-gymnastics interference in gymnastics is HIGH.

The truth is if we are labeled a pushy parent, it can impact our children. We throw up smoke and mirrors, get overly nervous and strategic when speaking to them, send emails in the dead of night, happen to "catch" the coach as they walk to their car, bring them donuts at 6 am practice, and work 70 hours with no pay at home gym meets ... just to show we are not pushy.

I don't have to bring my dentist donuts to ask them how to treat my tooth. I wish there was better communication between coaches and parents. Schools have report cards, tests, grades, and parent-teacher conferences. This open environment helps schools and could help gymnastics if coaches felt comfortable being honest and had discernible standards they could communicate to parents. Gym is not school, but gym is hella important to a lot of athletes. It consumes their friendships, education choices, and costs families a large part of their budget. The coach/parent relationships should be professionalized to improve sports communication, but to also make us healthier and happier humans.
 

Jillybean1415

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What a great response and honestly you are so right. The last gym I went to they actually tested the girls on the skills and you at least knew where your daughter stood. The team placement seems so opaque at most gyms. There doesn’t seem to be a standard open set of guidelines on how girls get picked. They just say “invitation only” for pre-team placement. I’m all about open communication. Even the email response I got back was vague and could have said specifically what my daughter needed to work on.
 

JBS

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The truth is if we are labeled a pushy parent, it can impact our children. We throw up smoke and mirrors, get overly nervous and strategic when speaking to them, send emails in the dead of night, happen to "catch" the coach as they walk to their car, bring them donuts at 6 am practice, and work 70 hours with no pay at home gym meets ... just to show we are not pushy.

@LemonLime That is definitely not pushy... that is awkward.

I guess my question is, do I sit back and wait to see if they ask or pick my daughter for preteam?
Do I express interest and say my daughter is interested?

@Jillybean1415 Pushy would be continuing to pester them after they have said... "No... we are not picking your daughter for team this year."
 

Jillybean1415

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Oct 5, 2020
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Just an update if anyone cares lol...today my DD had a makeup class which the owner coaches. And finally my DD was able to show the coach all her skills that she had which was her pullover, back hip circle, bridge kickover and her back walkover! After class the coach came up to me and asked if we were interested in team because she said my daughter was team material! Apparently she had the team coach look at my daughter during practice. I said we were interested and I asked what the time commitment was, which she said was 4 hours a week. She did say that she had the coach look at my daughters “body structure” to make sure...My question for you guys is what does that mean and what are they looking for?
My daughter is average height for her age and is thin and lean.
Lastly I wasn’t sure at the end of the conversation if she could be on the team bc she said they already started in Sept and they’ve been working hard together. So I asked if she could just start doing practices. It was a perplexing conversation. I’m just happy that she noticed my daughter has these skills and that at least she got recognized for it!
 
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Geoffrey Taucer

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Just an update if anyone cares lol...today my DD had a makeup class which the owner coaches. And finally my DD was able to show the coach all her skills that she had which was her pullover, back hip circle, bridge kickover and her back walkover! After class the coach came up to me and asked if we were interested in team because she said my daughter was team material! Apparently she had the team coach look at my daughter during practice. I said we were interested and I asked what the time commitment was, which she said was 4 hours a week. She did say that she had the coach look at my daughters “body structure” to make sure...My question for you guys is what does that mean and what are they looking for?
My daughter is average height for her age and is thin and lean.
Lastly I wasn’t sure at the end of the conversation if she could be on the team bc she said they already started in Sept and they’ve been working hard together. So I asked if she could just start doing practices. It was a perplexing conversation. I’m just happy that she noticed my daughter has these skills and that at least she got recognized for it!

If you're confused, let them know. If you have questions, ask. Communication is how you work together for the benefit of your DD.

As for "body structure," some gyms base their decisions of who to allow on team on whether they think the athlete has the right "body type." Suffice to say I am not a fan of this practice; however, that's not something I'd recommend you worry about.
 
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Oopski

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Just me or does the comment about the right body structure rub anyone the wrong way? That seems super weird for a coach to say.
Either way, congrats to your daughter!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Just me or does the comment about the right body structure rub anyone the wrong way? That seems super weird for a coach to say.
Either way, congrats to your daughter!
Oh it DEFINITELY rubs me the wrong way. If I were a coach at that gym I'd object, but I don't think there's anything to be gained by a parent worrying about it one way or the other.
 
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Madden3

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My guess is that while you wondered if they will accept your daughter for team, now they need to make sure you are ready to make that commitment. What that means exactly differs gym to gym. So I suggest, let them know, yes, thank you, daughter wants to be on team, how exciting, please give me all info I need. This includes way more than practice times. You probably want to know start date (moving from rec class to team practice), costs, expected commitment, contract yes or no, etc. As far as the timing of her joining the team, there are no rules about that that I am aware of, except she will need to join USAG before actually competing (I think) assuming this is USAG gym. This year may be odd in multiple ways due to covid shutdowns and restrictions.

4 hours a week practice for this age sounds very reasonable. Body type comment - yeah, yuck. But who knows what the coach actually said or thinks about this. This may be a bigger deal to the owner than the team coach. In some cases this focus is a generational thing. Perhaps owner was feeling they needed to reassure you that your dd was not "too tall" for team or something. Who knows? Just be aware going forward about unhealthy messages - body shaming, weight comments, food choice comments, etc. Of course I would suggest be on the look out for that anyway. You could also look at what the older girls on the team look like. If they are all a very specific body type... well. Just know, gymnasts come in many shapes and sizes.