For Parents Star system to move up- normal?

Status
Not open for further replies.

kenziesmommy85

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2019
10
35
Country
USA
So, my daughter started at a gym where every two months they hold evaluations and do a star rating for each skill on all events plus strength and flexibility. Either 1-3 stars. Learning, attempted, mastered. 128 stars in all for her level. In order to move up you have to have all 128 stars. If you are missing even one 127 out of 128 you have to wait two months until the next evaluations. She trains three times a week, and if she gets a lower star the third practice during evaluations week they take star away as well. Anyhow, is this typical of all gyms? Now her gym does have team girls with impeccable form which I appreciate and very disciplined but it seemed semi-crazy to me that a few “2s” could really hold you back. Seems like this could cause very slow progression?
 
Did ChalkBucket help you?... help us too.

If you can't help financially... tell a friend about us!

Podlet

New Member
Proud Parent
Fan
May 20, 2019
7
Country
USA
I think that's pretty draconian myself...the part I have the most issue with is removing stars. That can get pretty demoralizing pretty quickly. So if a gymnast had a few off days, or has an injury and loses skills, they take her earned stars away? That's awful in my opinion.

If they had a system where earned stars were kept it would be slightly better, but it still seems pretty harsh as a system.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,806
60
Country
USA
I have to say that the wait is only 2 months to try again is not bad. Along with the fact that there are clear expectations. I like it. Star, number check mark, it’s an indicator. You know how far you need to go to get the skill. You can ask what will it take. Clear expectations. Multiple chances to earn the star. And the expectation of consistentcy.

Many gyms if you don’t hit an AA score of a certain number or are missing one thing you don’t move up for at least another season and a lot of them don’t up train.

Or the coaches just say they aren’t moving and you have no clear idea why.
 

kenziesmommy85

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2019
10
35
Country
USA
I think that's pretty draconian myself...the part I have the most issue with is removing stars. That can get pretty demoralizing pretty quickly. So if a gymnast had a few off days, or has an injury and loses skills, they take her earned stars away? That's awful in my opinion.

If they had a system where earned stars were kept it would be slightly better, but it still seems pretty harsh as a system.

Yes, they take the stars away. They had evals all week.. and my daughter had three stars for a skill and then I check at the end of the week it went down to one star because she has a one star day. Which I don’t like because 1) if my daughter was only training once a week the scores would stick? And 2) if you have an off day or are tired your punished?

I honestly just couldn’t believe they need every single star to progress. Like I said, I totally get have moves down etc but to be so extremely stringent on young kids seems like it could cause kids to lose hope. And the star system could be subjective to whichever coach is doing it. I see girls in the level ahead that do skills she’s tested on not nearly as good.

I was just curious how other gyms determined progression.
 

AV24

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 26, 2013
144
Country
USA
Are you talking about rec classes? I'm guessing so since you mentioned that they re-evaluate every two months. From what I've seen of rec I would think that is pretty unusual. Many gyms don't even have regular evaluations for rec classes, and if they do they aren't so specific. They have general skills that need to be acquired to move to the next level such as cartwheel, handstand, pullover on bars, leaps on beam, backhand spring on a trampoline, etc... We haven't been at a gym that gives and takes away stars to move levels. I definitely understand your concerns about taking them away if they have a bad day. I don't think I would like that either. I remember thinking that I would love to get an evaluation to see what my kid still needed to work on to move up, but the way your gym is doing it puts a lot of pressure on them to be perfect, and I don't think rec needs to be about perfection.
 
  • Like
Reactions: PinPin

FlippinPrincess

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2016
249
Country
USA
I really don't understand the reason for taking away stars. If you earn them, then you clearly know how to perform the skill well and safely and there should be no reason to lose a star because you didn't complete it perfectly on another day. That systems seems silly and unhelpful to me. I can't imagine how disappointed a child would feel after losing a star they had already earned for "mastering" a skill (sounds like punishing them for not being perfect at all times.) I also think this system is the type of system that makes parents start pressuring their kids to be perfect.
 

Anthurium

New Member
Proud Parent
Jun 1, 2018
14
29
Country
USA
Our gym uses the same star system but I don’t think they take away stars, and they will move the child up if they think they are ready even if they don’t have all the stars, just the main required skills.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner
Jan 4, 2008
3,423
Country
Australia
The issue is that gymnastics builds on itself, so if even one star is missing it might make the next level impossible to learn. Before a gymnasts can learn to handstand forward roll, for example, they must be able to do a handstand and a forward roll. If they can't do one of those skills, then they just can't learn the next stage.

Are the kids evaluated by the same coach each day?
 

FlippinPrincess

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2016
249
Country
USA
The issue is that gymnastics builds on itself, so if even one star is missing it might make the next level impossible to learn. Before a gymnasts can learn to handstand forward roll, for example, they must be able to do a handstand and a forward roll. If they can't do one of those skills, then they just can't learn the next stage.

Are the kids evaluated by the same coach each day?
I agree with this but the star system they are using says 1 star=learning, 2 stars=attempted, and the 3rd star = mastered. If one day you give a kid a star for "mastering" a skill or drill, how do explain moving them back to "learning" or "attempting." You've either mastered the drill or you haven't (not including developing sudden fears.) If they haven't mastered the skill then they should never even give the 3rd star. I think that system is way too confusing for parents and children.
 

Aussie_coach

Moderator/Coach
Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner
Jan 4, 2008
3,423
Country
Australia
I agree with this but the star system they are using says 1 star=learning, 2 stars=attempted, and the 3rd star = mastered. If one day you give a kid a star for "mastering" a skill or drill, how do explain moving them back to "learning" or "attempting." You've either mastered the drill or you haven't (not including developing sudden fears.) If they haven't mastered the skill then they should never even give the 3rd star. I think that system is way too confusing for parents and children.
This is why I ask if it is the same coach evaluating the children each day. What one coach considers mastered. Any be different to another. For example the skill may be a pullover, one coach may consider it mastered if the child can get herself up to front support on the bar, even without perfect leg form. Another coach may only cmsider it mastered if the gymnasts can do the skill with legs straight and together throughout the entire skill.

With young kids, it is entirely possible (and very common) for them to be able to do a skill one day and not on another, or to do,the skill with good technique one day and poor technique the next. If they are going by only what the gymnast does on a particular day, then I would expect that the stars would go up and down, as opposed to passing gymnasts on skills theynhave seen them do consistently for a period of time, as is usually the case when evaluating older/team gymnasts.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jard.the.gymnast

kenziesmommy85

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2019
10
35
Country
USA
Lots of questions.. glad for all the helpful replies!

Yes, she’s in rec, at our gym you go through beginner, intermediate and advance Rec to get pulled to team. So, team and competing is where she would like to head.

As for the same coach, it entirely depends if that happens to be the coach for the time you have your class. The class I have her enrolled in is either one or two of the same coach. But they don’t have one specific person evaluating all. And yes, I don’t get that either. One day you have mastered it the next you haven’t. And to me it’s as if she’s at a disadvantage going three times a week versus once. For evals because if that one class she rocked it she’s good. But she had three eval days and that’s where her stars fluctuated.

And there’s soooo many skills they have hit mastered on to move up. All events plus strength and flexibility. Like I said, I know you need the basics and I do like they train from the beginning to have proper technique but I was astounded when the owner said they must have all 125 (or whatever it is) stars for stars to move up. And if the take a star away depending on the day!? But it’s like man.. but I had read a review once from a mom who had a daughter in level 3 or something who said because she was one star on one skill she stayed that level for 1.5 years or something.

I feel like with taking away stars or expecting 100 percent perfection at all times is so much pressure of you want to move up. My daughter was quite disheartened to know skills she felt quite confident in she got one star.

And to be honest I’m not even sure what they expect on some things. For instance she did a flat foot skip up and down the vault runway just like she always has and was told it was perfect but at evals she got attempted.

They won’t even , and maybe this sets them up for future greatness, give all three stars if you don’t have dead stiff arms with proper finger position ending every single skill.

Sorry not to rant. I love the coaches she has and it’s a nice facility but after witnessing evals I feel like at such young ages (she’s 6 almost) it’s extremely difficult to even move up in rec to hopefully get on team.
 

FlippinPrincess

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2016
249
Country
USA
This is why I ask if it is the same coach evaluating the children each day. What one coach considers mastered. Any be different to another. For example the skill may be a pullover, one coach may consider it mastered if the child can get herself up to front support on the bar, even without perfect leg form. Another coach may only cmsider it mastered if the gymnasts can do the skill with legs straight and together throughout the entire skill.

With young kids, it is entirely possible (and very common) for them to be able to do a skill one day and not on another, or to do,the skill with good technique one day and poor technique the next. If they are going by only what the gymnast does on a particular day, then I would expect that the stars would go up and down, as opposed to passing gymnasts on skills theynhave seen them do consistently for a period of time, as is usually the case when evaluating older/team gymnasts.
This is why I said it was way too confusing for parents and children. What is the point of giving a star if the next coach (or next practice) you're just going to take it away? What is this teaching the child? I just don't understand the point of it. It puts on display who had a good test day and who didn't, it makes parents question why their kid lost a star when they thought they had learned the skill, etc. I just think the system creates chaos.

I agree with you on everything you're saying about progression and coaches differing on when a skill is mastered, I just don't see the point of the star chart. Seems like unnecessary added stress and pressure.

Yes, she’s in rec, at our gym you go through beginner, intermediate and advance Rec to get pulled to team. So, team and competing is where she would like to head.
Our gym does stars for rec but it's to show they met a goal. It's purely motivational and never taken back. Your gym's system of earning and possibly removing stars probably would have devastated my daughter and we wouldn't have stayed long in that rec program.

Can you just inquire about her moving to/trying out for team or is the only path moving through all of the rec levels?
 
  • Like
Reactions: GAgymmom and PinPin

kenziesmommy85

New Member
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2019
10
35
Country
USA
This is why I said it was way too confusing for parents and children. What is the point of giving a star if the next coach (or next practice) you're just going to take it away? What is this teaching the child? I just don't understand the point of it. It puts on display who had a good test day and who didn't, it makes parents question why their kid lost a star when they thought they had learned the skill, etc. I just think the system creates chaos.

I agree with you on everything you're saying about progression and coaches differing on when a skill is mastered, I just don't see the point of the star chart. Seems like unnecessary added stress and pressure.



Our gym does stars for rec but it's to show they met a goal. It's purely motivational and never taken back. Your gym's system of earning and possibly removing stars probably would have devastated my daughter and we wouldn't have stayed long in that rec program.

Can you just inquire about her moving to/trying out for team or is the only path moving through all of the rec levels?
Yes exactly.. what’s the point if you take it away? The only thing I could think of is it is to show consistency but cmon.. to expect perfection every single time? Like, that one off day you had so a star was removed means you aren’t good enough to move up? I honestly thought it was totally skill based as the coach said before evals how most girls were gunna move up cause they just needed their pull over. I thought oh okay. And I figured they wouldn’t want a lot of ones (learning) but I thought okay 2s and over but no, all threes. Only. And if like you said, they got the star and that’s that it’s there to stay and they work towards obtaining other stars fine. And the three star system gets me too. It’s not good enough to have two stars.

And no, at her gym you must be skilled up to advanced and star out of advanced to get to team.
 

Cheryl

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 28, 2018
175
Country
USA
Our gym has a kind of similar program. However, it isn’t used to make Level decisions. Those are made by coaches at school year end.
Each boy has a binder with the skills and point values for the level he competes in. They get stickers for working on the skill, consistency in the skill and finally a star, which means mastered.
The stars aren’t taken away.
I think for our boys it gives them the road map to creating routines in the fall, gives positive reinforcement for working hard in practice and lets the boys know that they are at the appropriate level.

I’m just amazed that 13-18 year old boys are motivated to get the stickers. But they definitely are because I hear them chatting about it.
 

mls529

Member
Proud Parent
Feb 12, 2016
240
43
Country
USA
Our not-intense-at-all gym uses a star system for rec as well. It is viewable from the online parent portal, so you can track where your kid is and what is missing. The kids really like it and it helps aid in parent communication ("but my Susie can do XYZ and little Jane can't" - no seriously, check the online system, and just see what your kid is missing). Assessments are every 6-8 weeks. Even our old gym (much more intense than our current gym) used a checklist type system before making it to pre-team and there were probably over 100 items. Many were strength and flexibility related such as hang for X seconds, hallow hold for x seconds, etc. I actually liked it because it showed what was missing in a tangible way rather than making guesses while watching practice.

If you are at a high performing gym, they probably have high standards to meet all 125 points. As long as they don't make exceptions for some kids and not others, it doesn't seem unfair to me. However, taking stars away does seem pretty cruel for a bunch of littles.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jard.the.gymnast

CLgym

Active Member
Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2014
1,062
Country
USA
Slightly off topic, but does anyone else think it's kinda odd that rec and pre-team are essentially the same thing at OP's gym. I mean, what happens if you get all the way through advanced rec (with your 8 million stars or whatever) but don't want to go to team? Are there rec classes after advanced? Are there different rec tracks?

I also think that pre-team training is sort of a unique beast. Less focus on skills, more focus on conditioning, shapes, etc. This type of training is not for everyone. Plenty of girls just want to learn how to do a cartwheel or bridge-kickover and have fun. I can't imagine the rec classes at our gym would be very popular if the hour was spent doing rope climbs, leg lifts, hollow holds, etc. It also sounds like the system encourages parents whose children are serious about making team to sign up for multiple rec classes per week with different coaches, kids, etc. Sounds a bit hodge podge to me.

Anyhoo -- As for evaluations to move up a rec level, I think that is pretty typical. Both gyms my DD has attended use some kind of evaluation system in the rec program. But neither use a system quite so strict! I can understand the frustration....
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,806
60
Country
USA
Slightly off topic, but does anyone else think it's kinda odd that rec and pre-team are essentially the same thing at OP's gym. I mean, what happens if you get all the way through advanced rec (with your 8 million stars or whatever) but don't want to go to team? Are there rec classes after advanced? Are there different rec tracks?
Our gym has little kid classes, rec/pre team you pick the name then team. They have one or 2 tumbling type classes for older kids.

So our gym doesn’t offer a lot if team is not your thing. So if you or your kid didn’t want to do team, you’d be heading to a different gym.
 

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,806
60
Country
USA
Ok, again. That these evaluations take place every 8 weeks is a huge opportunity that many many gyms don’t have. There are many kids who don’t move up and that’s a decision that lasts a year or more. And you get even less explanation.

My kid didn’t go from 5 to 6. Simply because her bars weren’t ready. That was the explanation.

There are gyms out there that make level and group decisions with no explanation and before they have even started training the skills.

Goes something like this...... But she hasn’t started training L4 yet why is she staying L3. Because she is not ready for L4.... end of conversation

I honestly just couldn’t believe they need every single star to progress. Like I said, I totally get have moves down etc but to be so extremely stringent on young kids seems like it could cause kids to lose hope. And the star system could be subjective to whichever coach is doing it. I see girls in the level ahead that do skills she’s tested on not nearly as good.
Yes exactly.. what’s the point if you take it away? The only thing I could think of is it is to show consistency but cmon.. to expect perfection every single time? Like, that one off day you had so a star was removed means you aren’t good enough to move up?
Unless you are a former gymnast with lots of experience (and if you are forgive because you should know this)

You really don’t know what exactly they are looking for.

Lots of kids look similar yet to a coaches eye based on what they are building on and what’s required they maybe in very different places.

Even the definition of attempted. Your and your daughters idea of attempted may not be what the coaches consider an attempt.

I’ve had my days were it was like hey coach I thought my kid did much bettter then Sally I mean she was much straighter or stuck her landing better.

And coach will go yeah but she needed to be hollow or arched not straight.
Or yeah her landing was cleaner but she needs more height, speed, better set or punch.

You really don’t know.

Perhaps the loss of a star is related to how they handle not doing the skill or correction, which is a big thing as well as consistency. Really getting a skill hit or miss is very different then getting it nearly every time. And how you deal with the adversity of not getting it is probably just as important if not more so then actually getting the skill. And depending on the skill it could be a huge thing.

Again, you have skills and expectations spelled out and Evals happen every few weeks. So much more then many gyms get.

Gymnastics is subjective. Even the expectations that are spelled out are subjective.

This is a sport where only one gymnast is guaranteed a spot on the Olympic team by placement. The rest of the team is decided in a back room.

Placements on meets/events can be a difference of a 0.025 of a point.

Your kid gets the highest score of her team and gets no medals because of her age group and who else was in that age group.

She does what you think is a clean routine and scores lower then a kid who fell 2x. Because your kid had sloppier legs and arms or a handstand wasn’t high enough or held long enough.

You will make yourself crazy if you expect a specific visible explanation for things.

At some point you have to trust the process. And your daughter needs to work on the skills, take the corrections the stars, checks, scores or whatever the measure is will follow.

Maybe I missed it but how old is she?
 
  • Like
Reactions: Jard.the.gymnast

ldw4mlo

Well-Known Member
Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
5,806
60
Country
USA
The question really isn’t why didn’t she get or keep the star. The question is what needs to be done to master whatever the skill is. Whether it’s a star or a check or a number.
 

skschlag

Moderator
Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
10,583
Region 9
Country
USA
The question really isn’t why didn’t she get or keep the star. The question is what needs to be done to master whatever the skill is. Whether it’s a star or a check or a number.

I disagree....

I have no problem with the stars being earned. Taking them away will create an anxiety in a young child that does not need to be there. Kids know when they struggle. they do not need to have things taken away. And if it is inconsistencies amongst coaches, that is even worse!
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Thank you for supporting our sponsors Energym Music & Norberts!