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jls1969

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Sep 27, 2007
105
My daughter just turned 11 years old last month, competed 2 years of L5, won state her 2nd year, competed a meet in Feb. at L6 and got 2nd place with an 36.35AA. Now she is preparing for a full L6 season in the fall and will then move straight on to L7. Our gym just competes 1 meet of L7 and then you spend the rest of the year preparing for 8/9/10. She definitely trains ahead on beam and floor, not so much on bars and vault. We are in a competitive gym with a great elite program and excellent coaching. I have talked to the coaches and they both think she is talented with potential... my question is whether she is too old to make elite one day. She seems so much further behind other good gymnasts her age. I am not interested in the olympics, but my daughter is interested in college gymnastics. It is my understanding that the competitive college programs like elite girls. Is my daughter too far behind to have that as a goal? This is probably a stupid question, but we are getting ready to make some big decisions regarding her gymnastics and I am trying to get as much info as I can...I do not know very much about the sport at all. Thanks for the input...
 

CoachL

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Apr 9, 2007
217
You really don't have to be elite to get a scholarship to college. College programs are usually taking a look at girls that make JO nationals and even level 9 westerns / easterns.
 
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CoachK

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Look at it this way- she will be 12 and a level 8 next year. That gives her 5 years (roughly) until she is submitting videos and seriously considering college programs. Five years to move from Level 8 up to Elite should be no problem if your gym's coaches and program are strong.

And CoachL is completely correct that most college programs will seriously consider strong level 10 and even level 9s. Your daughter is not too old at 11- she is actually on a great track!
 

Aussie_coach

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She could definatly reach the elite level, but you said you dont know a great deal about the sport. It is important to mention that for her to become an elite gymnast it will be an incredible committment. Elite gymnasts generally train twice a day, 6 days a week for between 5 and 7 hours a day. The aim of elite is to be competitive internationally, so gymnasts must be at the same standard of the top international competitors in other countries.

If your daughter wishes to aim for elite she will be spending an enourmous amount of her teenage years in the gym, you will spend an enourmous amount of the next 7 or 8 years driving her places and an enourmous amount of the families income will go towards her training.

I am not trying to discourage you from taking this road. For a child who is truly talented it is an incredible thing to reach their full potential. Just hoping that you are completely aware of what the future may have in store.

The type of girls who are successful at elite are generally very energetic and don't get easily run down, but instead seem to thrive on constant activity. They are usually intellegent and do well at school even thought they have a vastly reduced amount of time to spend on homework. They need to be committed, dedicated and prepared to work hard without anyone pushing them to. They are the type of kids who do 30 push ups when the coach asks for 20.
 

jls1969

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Sep 27, 2007
105
I think I understand the commitment...when we moved to this gym 18 months ago---we explained much of this to her and then let it be her decision. She has consistently given things up for the sake of gymnastics. I feel that at 10 and 11 years old she has the ability to make some of those decisions herself. I am asking these questions because we are about to change schooling in order allow her to train twice a day. As her parent--that seems like you are making gymnastics about sport and less about an afterschool activity and I have been struggling with that change in perspective. I realize how hard this direction will be and I am not sure I want it for her. But I also don't want to pull her from the one thing she truly loves...I am not sure she will make elite, but I want to make sure she isn't too old to even venture down the path. I trust her coaches, but I am just trying to reassure myself with as much information as possible...
 

Aussie_coach

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It does sound like you are aware of the committment and the desicion you are facing is a big one. Many gymnasts go down this road and never made elite but they are not sorry they had the experience. To really committ fully to a sport like gymnastics will teach them thingsthey will take into their adult lives that they never learned in school. True committment and dedication, working hard to achieve what you want, goal setting, believing in themselves, self drive and motivation, many of these kids find their gymnastics experience invaluable in their future lives.

Even if she never ends up going elite there are many area's that high level gymnastics can take her. Many ex gymnasts go on to compete internationally in other gymsports such as trampolining, power tumbling, sports acrobatics and team gym. Others go on to professional performance or coaching careers. Others find careers that do not use their gymnastics skills at all but do use the many life skills they picked up in the gym.
 
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