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For Parents STILL pondering switching from USAIGC to USAG

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JessMom

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Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
479
So, we're looking at doing level 5 USAG next yr OR another yr in USAIGC bronze . . specializing on floor and beam silver.

Sort of at a lost . . . everyone (parents) is telling me I need to switch to USAG and that another yr in USAIGC is a waste of time. BUT how do you go from BHS on beam to cartwheels? I know they said they would continue to let her work on her other skills BUT . . . I think she's going to find the level 5 Floor and beam routines boring.

Don't get me wrong - there are things that are new to her, but it's things like the leap . . . . I don't know

I know, she's young, but she needs to be challenged.

I'm wondering if another yr USAIGC then switching to USAG the next yr as level 6 would be better? Or maybe a bunch of private lessons on bars so she can do 6 next yr?

Thoughts?

I don't want to be seen as one of THOSE parents and I think I might be on the edge of becoming a THEM . . . HELP!:confused:
 

MeetDirector

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Oct 13, 2008
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Good Morning -

Allow me to suggest that you check carefully with your gym. As I read the USAG rules, you can't "jump in" at level 6 without competing at least one meet at the prior level. In USAG we call that "scoring out" of a level. In the USAG system, level 5 is the first official competetive level; see the following extracted from the USAG Junior Olympic program guidelines"

"Athletes may not skip any level. They must advance one level at a time by scoring the minimum mobility score at any USA Gymnastics sanctioned competition (Exception: Levels 1- 4)" also "Athletes whose competitive experience has been outside of the USA Gymnastics structure may petition the State Administrative Committee for entry into Level 6 or below and must prove their proficiency at that level."

At our gym, we had a girl this year that did a single meet at level 6 (having previously dodne a full year at level 5), met the mobility score, and then did level 7.

Good luck.
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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I think you have to look at the gym as a whole, not just the USAG vs. USAIGC issue.

Do they focus on form and progression of skills through drills, etc or do they just let them throw skills before they are truly ready, risking learning bad habits, getting injured, etc?

Do they have a good conditioning/strength program?

Are they challenged throughout the year, learning new skills as they can, etc?

Is there a good coach:gymnast ratio?

Do you trust 100% that your child is safe there when you aren't there (and even when you are)?

Does the USAG gym uptrain year round? Are their girls in say level 5 also pretty proficient at most of the level 6 skills?

I would imagine that level 5 will be a little boring for her, but it will also give her a chance to really get down the basics that USAG system builds upon and get stronger for level 6, so when she goes to level 6, she is ready for that as well.

Those are the questions I would think of, more than the routines, etc. I had to ask myself those very questions, though it was still going from USAG gym to USAG gym since that is all we have here. It was possibility of doing level 5 at old gym or repeating level 4 at new gym, but when I factored in everything, it made sense to go to the gym where my questions as a whole gym were answered in the positive.

Good luck on your decision. It is tough sometimes for sure! :goodvibes:
 
M

Megley

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I think Mariposa hit the nail on the head with her post. Much of gymnastics is indeed boring and repetitive, but it's necessary in order to drill good form that enables the girls to ultimately progress and do harder and harder skills. I am quite sure that my dd is not fond of doing bhs or fhs drills over and over and over again, but they are necessary in order that she have a good foundation for future tumbling. Just being able to do the skill is not enough; it has to be done with perfect form.

I think as long as you find a gym that does uptraining, your dd will not be bored at Level 5. My dd is a Level 5 this year and they are working on all Level 6 skills and the girls that are ready are working Level 7 skills too. You'd probably also want to see if you can find a gym that would consider skipping her through Level 6 (i.e., competing one meet at 6) to Level 7 should her skills come along quickly enough to warrant it. That way, she will be able to move forward quickly if everything comes together for her.

And look at it this way, as another mom told me, time spent practicing cartwheels on beam is not necessarily time lost because often girls use that cartwheel and connect it to a back tuck for their L7 beam dismount. :)
 

JessMom

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Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
479
This is the reality check I needed - THANKS! I feel better. I may talk to the coach and see what her plans are for her. Just so afraid of turning into and coming off as one of "THOSE" parents. LOL
 

mariposa

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Sep 25, 2007
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I don't think that asking questions about what a gym's plans are for your child makes you one of THOSE moms.

All kids are different. Some kids are perfectly happy staying in one level for 1-2 years and not learning new skills, just perfecting the ones they are working on. Others get bored quickly and need to be constantly challenged and don't care for perfecting each think before moving onto something else.

It is our job as parents to make sure our kids are in the right gym situation for them. Constantly bugging coaches and questioning their decisions, etc, could be a problem, but simply asking them what their general plan is for her (understanding that these things can change based on many things) isn't a bad thing. :D
 

gym law mom

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Dec 23, 2006
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Sounds like you're going to make the transition to USAG either now or in 1 yr, so I would say make it easier on dd and do it now. That way she gets a L5 season in and can work on her L6 skills and wouldn't have to go back and "score out" a level or so. Also she gets used to USAG meets, judging etc. sooner than later.

You said there are some skills in L5 that will be new to her, so she will be challenged and just about everything in L5 is a building block for higher levels. Yes, the practice can be tedious at times. My gymmie was complaining that she hadn't "chucked a shootover in 2 weeks." Ok--its her favorite skill. Instead they've been doing alot of bar drills and she's been doing some drills to learn to do a blind which is uptraining for her----just not as exciting as flying from 1 bar to another.

I think once she gets into practices with a L5 team, she'll have alot of fun and will get a chance to show everyone her bhs on beam.
 

Gymmonkeymomma

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Mar 7, 2008
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My DDs do both USAG and USAIGC. The focus on our gym is USAG, we practice hours more than what is "usual" and "recommended" for USAIGC. For us, doing USAIGC is an optional program, that is "for fun". This is my oldest's 5th yr doing both programs, and IMHO, the training and the required skills are not as rigorous for USAIGC. For example, you can be a bronze level when you are USAG Level 4, 5 or even 6. At Level 5 there is already a bar change. For USAIGC, the bar change is not required till silver level. The bar routine for USAIGC has 4 skills required, the Level 5 as more. My little monkey is an example of a kid who did great at USAIGC (on the podium for every meet since she was 6 yrs old and State champ on FX last yr) but at USAG meets she really has to work at the routines to get scores and placements that are not quite as high. Even as a team, in USAG where some gyms (like Granny Smith's dd's) is known in our state as one of the top, our gym is probably in the bottom third. However, at USAIGC meets, WE are one of the top gyms. I firmly believe the difference is in the way our girls are trained.

As someone above said, you also have to consider HOW your gym trains as far as progressions. If your DD is doing BHS on beam, that's great. But at higher levels, she will need to do front as well as back skills on beam.

So....at some point if you are planning for your DD to switch to USAG, I would make the switch earlier rather than later. At level 5 and 6, there will be challenges for her, I think she will have fun learning lots of new things....
 

JessMom

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Proud Parent
Mar 6, 2009
479
Learned dive rolls and back extension rolls tonight!

LOL - she learned dive rolls and back extension rolls a yr ago in classes but the team doesn't really work on them because they don't use them in their USAIGC routines. She went to the new gym tonight and they worked on them and she seemed to have a blast. I spoke to the coach and she said she's not concerned - thinks Jess will do well in level 5 and plans to move her to 6 mid yr if she qualifies.

Feel so much better. She's going to finish her season at her current gym with 1 day at new gym a week. This way she can continue to get comfy with girls, the way the gym does things etc.

Thanks so much everyone for the reality check - I really needed it. never thought switching gyms would be so stressful for me - Thankfully I hide it well and Jess is taking it all in stride:p
 
C

cher062

Guest
Everyone here has given you great advice. I agree too that talking to the owners and coaches about what the plan will be for your child isn't making anyone into one of "Those" parents. This is YOUR child and you want what is best for her. I agree if your going to move to USAG anyway why not do it now. Most gyms in my area use the summer to get ready for the next level to compete in Sept. Our gym also has a "try it" team - this means a team for girls that think they want team but aren't sure yet. They spend July Trying the whole practice thing without adding the distracting factor to those on the team already. At the end of July the coaches and owner decided if team is right for them and what level they should start at. They do a sanctioned meet in Aug with judges etc for all team girls and boys (one day a girl comp the next a boy comp) but our gym is the only team competing. So if there is anyone that needs to move up and haven't scored in the prior years they can now get the score they need before the Sept season starts because it was a sanctioned meet. This is not an uncommon practice for gyms in my area.

In the end I have to say I would move now. Even if you think she is going to have an "easy" year. This way she has a year that isn't as hard and she can get use to the USAG way of doing things. When she goes to meets she will have the easier year to get use to the way the meets run, the scoring is etc before she goes into the level 6 year. Sort of an easy year under her belt with hopefully lots of top place finishes to give her confidence with the new gym and the new program.
 
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