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For Parents Skipping A Level

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TeamDad

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Hi,

I am the parent of an extremely competitive dd. By that I mean that my dd works very hard and is serious about gymnastics and competing to the best of her ability.
Her reward for her discipline and work ethic is when she gets to climb the podium at team meets. While it isn't decided, nor whatever the outcome, I don't think that I have a say in it, there has been talk of skipping her up a level from L5 where she competed last year, to L7 for this season.

I am curious if anyone here has experience with kids with potential who skip levels? Is there a huge let down as they try to catch up?
 

Livinatthegym

Member
Feb 4, 2008
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Region IV
Yes, my dd2 scored out of (skipped) level 5. I'm sure you'll hear pros and cons. Personally, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. Even when the athlete does well at the new level, eventually some of those basics that they missed sneak up and bite 'em in the behind.
 

bogwoppit

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Feb 26, 2007
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Here are some threads with previous discussion of this very hot topic. I am sure you'll get lots of responses too.


http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/question-answer/13269-skipping-levels.html

http://www.chalkbucket.com/forums/coaches-forum/12626-skipping-level-6-a.html


Just to add I would assume that you would have some input if you would prefer your DD to compete level 6 rather than skip ahead, you are paying the bills. If the coaches choose to have her do L^, I wouldn't expect as much input. She will have to compete at least one level 6 meet to score out and into level 7.
 
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TeamDad

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Thanks for those links they were very helpful. I'll work on using the search feature in the future.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Hey TeamDad, ask away. The skipping compulsory levels is a topic that has come up alot. Yes, L6 as you may have heard is tough. The judging is tough and the skills(especially bars) are a big step up from L5. I called it Optional 101 because I really felt the judges/coaches were getting the girls ready to move to that next level. Just my opinion, but with the number of girls that drop out before getting near L7 I think some coaches want to skip the "tough" L6 and push to L7 to try and keep kids in the sport. They dangle the carrot of getting your own floor music and own beam routine. Thing is most floor routines look very much the same as do the beam and bar routines.

As I said in another post regarding this I felt my gymmie benefited from her season as a L6. She really got strong clear hips, baby giants, flyaway etc. and she became a better competitior with that extra year. Your dd can always be training her L7 skills while competing as a L6. There is a method to the madness of compulsories and I really believe that having a firm base in the fundamentals will be a plus for any girl.

Don't know your dd's age----if she's under 11 or so, she can do 1 seaon as a L6 and be very much on track for making L10 and competing there for several years.

Best to you and dd whatever you decide!
 
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Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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Personally, I wouldn't recommend it for anyone. Even when the athlete does well at the new level, eventually some of those basics that they missed sneak up and bite 'em in the behind.

I completely agree with this. I have seen this happen in our gym to some highly motivated, talented girls... they did not have as good of an experience as the girls who moved up at a slower pace.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Jan 21, 2007
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I don't think this is a question that has one blanket answer for all kids. Some kids will be able to skip a level and do fine. Some won't.

The differences between 6 and 7 are minimal; if you can do the level 6 routines, you already have almost all the skills needed for 7. Whether it's best to skip 6 depends entirely on the kid, the coach, and the philosophy of the gym.

Many of my girls skipped 6 when we were competing compulsories (we no longer compete compulsories at all, and just do prep-op, so the question doesn't come up at my gym anymore.) It doesn't seem to have hurt the girls who skipped it. But on the other hand, we have definitely had a couple who had to compete a full season at 6.

It depends on the kid.
 

hunde2

Active Member
Nov 5, 2007
664
Hi teamdad,

my dd went to a rec opt class and scored out of Level 6.She was the Level 7 state vault champion and took second on floor.Our coaches thought for skipping the compulsery Level was that alot of girls get burned out.
She competed Level 8 the year competing Level 7 and trains for Level 9 now.She is going to be 11 in Nov and started gym when she was 6.
She did get nervous at some competitions and did have some mental blocks that she overcame.
Here is her youtube link
www.youtube.com/hunde2
Going that route for her was good.Although competeing a year of Level 6 might give more confidence.Let me Know if you have any questions.
 
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krazykidzmom

Guest
Hi my daughter,11 now, competed level 4, one level 5 meet a few 6 meets and 3 level 7 meets. She competed a full year of level 8 and 9. There is a downside to this, she missed some fundamentals and the switching of groups and the animosity was tough. That being said, she is where she needs to be now, training 10. In her case she would of quit because she would of been bored. Also, some kids do better competing at a level where they win alot and are comfortable. My daughter is content with winning some and struggling as well to get where she wants to be. I know some girls if they were pushed through the levels would be frustrated with their outcome. It depends on your daughter, If she has some solid 7 skills NOW (giants and bhs on beam) then she may be ready, don't always assume she has time and will get it. Those are skills that need to be practiced for a while in my opinion. When my daughter went to 7 she was iffy on her giants and cast to handstand, and her flyaway, wow, you never knew if she was going to do a one and a half on her back. People always said level 7 was fun. We wouldn't know :)
 

gotgym

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Jun 11, 2008
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My daughters each went a different route. One did all the compulsory levels well and moved up to 10 gradually. Though not the most flashy gymnast ,she was always the most consistant and the gymnast you could count on in a clutch for the collegiate level. Though beam was always her strongest event and most winning event she'd always be in the top5 for all.,

The other skipped 6 and moved on to 7 where she was state champ for 7 and 8 and level 9 regional champ for beam and floor. She was always a better optional gymnast as she had a lot of flair and placed more in optionals than in compulsories.
For each this was the best choice.(I was coaching at a different gym at the time and left the decision up to the girls and their coaches)
This is the norm in our area where there are 5 gyms within in 10 minutes of each other and another 3 a halfhour away. However as a coach ,I make sure anyone we do allow to skip has good basics and can do most of the optional skills before their 5 season is complete.(Our seasons are Oct thru April.)With 25 level 5s each of the last 3 seasons I moved up only 5 each season.
 
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TeamDad

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Thanks all, considering that my daughter hasn't even started learning the L6 routines yet, she's going to have her hands full just getting ready for the first meet in a few months. After that, we would still have about six months to get ready for L7 regionals, so I don't think that my DD would have too much trouble qualifying with that much practice under her belt. She sometimes takes awhile to get a new skill, but once she has it, she owns it.

Things have been a little confusing at the start of this season with the lack of communication, but I'm sure she will do fine whatever level she winds up in. I just wish that her coach hadn't even mentioned L7 at the end of the last season.

We opted not to spend the summer in gymnastics camp and have her do 'kids' activities like surfing and wake boarding instead. She had a great summer and took the entire month of July off. I thought she really needed to rest her foot which hasn't been 100% since her injuries. I took her a few days at the beginning of August to a local gym to work and then she went two weeks to IGC. She's still a little behind the kids that worked out all summer, but has most of her new skills.

I watched her practice the other day, and she still looks great. She has such clean lines and a gracefulness that likens her to Nastia. Maybe all the ballet won't get her higher scores, but she sure is beautiful to watch.
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Just curious as to where you live as you mentioned L7 regionals? L7s only go as far as states---no regional meets until L8.

I would take it one day at a time since she's coming back from an injury and hasn't really gotten into the heavy practice mode again. We have girls that do a 6/7 season and they were beat at the end from trying to learn all the L7 skills plus practice L6 routines and do the L6 season(they were all 2nd yr L6s).

Good for you for giving her some kid time! Yes, some judges are impressed by the more fluid ballet look(something mine will never have---more like a hummer in a leo!)
 
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TeamDad

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Yes, you are correct, no regionals until L8. We're in NYC and I'm really looking forward to the new season. My DD's activities have become the highlights of the last few years. This is a great forum and I've learned alot just from reading here the last few days. It's really great to meat so many dedicated parents!!

After we started Team gymnastics, my daughter was accepted into SAB (School of American Ballet) and she also performs in the children's chorus at the MET (Metropolitan Opera House). It's really been great to see her develop into a self sufficient and confident young person. I truly don't know how she balances all these activities as well as school work, but I'm in it 100% as long as she remains dedicated to all of her endeavors and it doesn't affect her school work. She does get tired sometimes, especially when she has performances, but she's always been very active and has never needed much sleep....even as an infant.

This year is bound to get real crazy with the Nutcracker coming up at City Opera, and shows for La Gioconda starting at the MET. We'll have to wait and see how she holds up, but she refuses to quit anything and has been able to manage sucessfully up to now. Plus, she loves the big stage.

She's really something special, atleast I think so. Last year when she injured her foot she wasn't able to practice gymnastics for two months and she was miserable. She wasn't used to having 'nothing' to do. She spent her free time watching her favorite gymnasts on youtube and visualizing her routines with perfect execution. She was finally cleared to practice one week before L5 States. Unfortunately, she got the flu and didn't have a full practice until the day before the meet. The Team cleared her to compete and she was very releaved and excited.

I remember sitting at breakfast with my parents and commenting about how hard she had worked and that no matter how she does that I was just so happy she was going to be able to compete with her team....but knowing my daughter, there's always a chance she could win!! My parents cautioned me not to have high expectations, but I know what she's capable of.

She started the meet strong and finished first on bars, third on floor and was second overall. It was a heck of a demonstration of will, courage and determination. I am very proud of her.
 
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Billy

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Your daughter sounds like an amazing girl! I'm very impressed that she has such talent at ballet and singing as well as gymnastics. She sounds very special.
 
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