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Too much, too soon? Making everyone crazy?

Lazymom

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My now 9 year old competed a level 3 full season in fall 2017, scored out of of level 4 in Jan 2018, competed a short level 5 season in fall 2018, trained 7, and is now just about to start level 7 season, except she isn’t quite ready, and her coaches want her to skip the first meet. So she is still 9 years old, almost 10, and has leaped from level 3 to 7 in about a year.

I’m SO PROUD of her, but wonder whether I should question the decision to push this pace, because at the moment she really isn’t quite ready to compete level 7, and feels like a failure because she is getting scratched from the first meet (I think mostly b/c bars - clear hip to handstand and giants to dismount).

Should we have a chat about maybe competing 6? Or even.... five at the invitationals?

And how much communication is it reasonable for me to expect? I got an email a week before the first optional meet saying she isn’t ready to compete.
 

suds

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Thanks for sharing.

A strong base of fundamentals, and appropriate strength-building over time, under the guidance of knowledgeable and experienced coaches goes a long way to prevent scary injuries at the higher levels.

At face value, the situation rings of not only short-term gain at expense of long-term safety, but perhaps a lack of experience of the coaches.

With racing up the levels as presented, a sit-down meeting between coaches, parents, and gymnast discussing strategy, including the degree of your support and your daughter’s interest level and goals, should be a key component at this point.

This would also provide an opportunity for you to ask about your daughter's safety.
Listen very carefully to their response.
 

profmom

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I agree -- your instincts are right. Try to meet with the coaches soon and ask them what they are planning. They may see her trajectory as one that can lead to a successful L7 season, but they may also be putting absolutely unnecessary pressure on her. The biggest question for me is how she is feeling about it. Some kids do better than others emotionally when they are competing right out at the edge of their skill levels. Also know that the bars skills you mention can be finicky and for many kids do not have a clear-cut time frame. Hopefully your daughter keeps moving forward successfully and without a lot of stress.
 
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Flicfliclay

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I would certainly be worried if they rushed her to level 7 and she isn't ready... Talk to the coaches and ask why not compete level 5 or even 6? How did she do in Level 5? My daughter took a similar path, but did two meets as a level 5 in the spring and had the remaining part of the year to train for 7 ( competed 7 at 9 ) 8 at 10 and now will do 9 as a freshly turned 11 year old.
 

bookworm

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The situation doesn't seem that odd to me.....my daughter did a similar score out from levels 5-8 , with a score out meet at levels 5,6,7 and then competed a full season at level 8 and did well. I guess the issue I do see with OP's daughter is she "scored out of 5 and trained 7" and they are now scratching her from the meet as "she's not ready" at 7 ....when my daughter scored out, she was ready at the next level to move on.

"Training level 7" doesn't equal "being ready for level 7 and having all necessary skills"...and that seems to be the sticking point. I would rather my kid compete either 5 or 6 while still working the 7 skills she is missing, versus scratching the whole meet.
 

Natasha

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Does she have the clear hip to HS and the giants to dismount and just doesn't have them consistent enough yet or is she still working to get them? Most girls competing 7 are going to have already had the skills by at least end of summer and will have been working on cleaning up, putting skills together to routines and working consistency as well as possibly uptraining for 8. The young ages are especially competitive. I too would be wary of competing 7- the season goes by very fast- depending on your state you are probably only 9-13 weeks away from State meet. If her previous competitive experience has been very successful, it may be hard for her to not do well- I would hate for a talented girl to become discouraged and start thinking she isn't good, when in reality she has made a huge jump in one year.
 

LJL07

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I haven’t seen that scenario work out well for any kids in our state, but that might be due to limited gym options here. I think if you are at a gym with very experienced coaches it is doable. My older daughter went from 4 to 7 as a 9 year old. She was ready to compete all skills by August. Even so, I wouldn’t do it again. My youngest was being pushed to go from 4 to 7 this season, and she was starting to get very stressed. She is doing 6 instead and it was the right decision. I think that kind of jump is a whole lot of pressure unless all the skills are already there. And yes, that A age group tends to be a very competitive age group.
 
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LJL07

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Oh, and the new vault adds a whole new layer of confusion to optionals. All the more reason I’m glad we pushed for level 6!
 
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Lazymom

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Does she have the clear hip to HS and the giants to dismount and just doesn't have them consistent enough yet or is she still working to get them? Most girls competing 7 are going to have already had the skills by at least end of summer and will have been working on cleaning up, putting skills together to routines and working consistency as well as possibly uptraining for 8. The young ages are especially competitive. I too would be wary of competing 7- the season goes by very fast- depending on your state you are probably only 9-13 weeks away from State meet. If her previous competitive experience has been very successful, it may be hard for her to not do well- I would hate for a talented girl to become discouraged and start thinking she isn't good, when in reality she has made a huge jump in one year.
She had a pretty successful level 5 season, what she competed of it. Was in top 3 AA at all meets, and won at least one event at each, but also had issues with consistency at level 5. Like - the meet she won floor, she fell on beam. The meet she won beam, she fell on bars. Like that. As for level 7 - no. She doesn’t have the bar skills. Close, but not quite. Everything else is ok, but, like someone else mentioned earlier - at the outer limits of her readiness. Like double BHS on beam is on and off. Fear all over her face. The layout for floor was great over the summer, but ebbed recently. She has accomplished SO MUCH in such a short time, and it hurts me to see her feel unsuccessful, when if she competed level 5 or even 6 this year, she would likely have a smash of a season.
 

Lazymom

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What she had of a level 5 season was ok. Top 3 AA, and won the odd event, but also wasn’t as consistent as she was as a sweet level 3. Had she competed 4 all season, she probably would have crushed it. Instead, she had a sporadic short 5, and rushed up to 7, and is absolutely at the edge of her skills.
 

Lazymom

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I would hate for a talented girl to become discouraged and start thinking she isn't good, when in reality she has made a huge jump in one year.
Exactly. She has made this huge leap, in part because she really is pretty good at gymnastics, but I hate that she is feeling like she is disappointing her coaches because she is just not quite a competitive level 7! I mean - it really shows up on bars. They (not just my kid but all the kids in this mad double season track) just don’t quite have the strength to do the bar stuff, or the mental skillness to do the BHS BHS on beam, because they haven’t spent enough time doing the buildup stuff. I kind of feel like since she is only 9, that even with the biggest goals in mind, she could have taken another season.
 
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profmom

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Wait, wait, what? BHS BHS on beam? That is definitely not one you want to rush. It can cause all kinds of problems if she is pressed to do it and winds up with vestibular issues or another kind of block.
 
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LJL07

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She had a pretty successful level 5 season, what she competed of it. Was in top 3 AA at all meets, and won at least one event at each, but also had issues with consistency at level 5. Like - the meet she won floor, she fell on beam. The meet she won beam, she fell on bars. Like that. As for level 7 - no. She doesn’t have the bar skills. Close, but not quite. Everything else is ok, but, like someone else mentioned earlier - at the outer limits of her readiness. Like double BHS on beam is on and off. Fear all over her face. The layout for floor was great over the summer, but ebbed recently. She has accomplished SO MUCH in such a short time, and it hurts me to see her feel unsuccessful, when if she competed level 5 or even 6 this year, she would likely have a smash of a season.
You do not need bhs bhs for level 7--that is level 8. Walkover bhs is pretty standard for 7. It sounds like she is being rushed. That's what happened to my youngest, and she started getting scared. That is A LOT of skills to rush through in a year. She could compete a giant in level 6 if she has that. My daughter is doing some level 7 skills in her routines including the giant and some tumbling passes on floor. It's riskier in terms of deductions, but from a mental standpoint, her anxiety was reduced so much. She was scared of some of the beam stuff they were pushing as well as the yurchenko over the table.
 

LJL07

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Wait, wait, what? BHS BHS on beam? That is definitely not one you want to rush. It can cause all kinds of problems if she is pressed to do it and winds up with vestibular issues or another kind of block.
Yep. Happened to my older daughter. Spent the whole season on 7 doing walkover walkover with minimal upskill training, and as soon as regionals ended, it was "get up on the high beam and do bhs bhs." She did not like that one bit. There needs to be a progression.
 

GymDad44

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DD went from her first ever meet (which was XS) to her first L7 meet in just under two years, with a gym change and full seasons of L4 and L5 in between. It was challenging for her, to say the least. L8 was okay, but she's finally more prepared this year for L9 than she has been since XS.

Assuming the coaches are focusing on fundamentals, it really depends on the kid. In our case, she doesn't seem to be frustrated with mid-road AA scores that stem from inconsistencies due to rushing, so it's been positive overall for her. She focuses more on picking up the skills. OTOH, if the athlete is of the mindset where they see low placements as particularly stressful, I could see rushing through levels being detrimental for those girls.

Oh, and yes - our typical progression is BWO-BHS (L7), BHS-BHS (L8), BHS-BLOSO (L9). Seems they're asking a lot of an early L7. You can do BWO-BHS up to L8 without a deduction, I think.
 
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duyetanh

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What she had of a level 5 season was ok. Top 3 AA, and won the odd event, but also wasn’t as consistent as she was as a sweet level 3. Had she competed 4 all season, she probably would have crushed it. Instead, she had a sporadic short 5, and rushed up to 7, and is absolutely at the edge of her skills.
Very few are as consistent as when they were a level 3, because the skills get much harder.
 
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GAgymmom

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Wait, wait, what? BHS BHS on beam? That is definitely not one you want to rush. It can cause all kinds of problems if she is pressed to do it and winds up with vestibular issues or another kind of block.
And, level 7 can do BWO+BWO for series and do an isolated BHS somewhere else to fulfill SR #1. They don't have to BHS+BHS.
 
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UnoMas

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I would let her compete 6 while polishing up her skills for 7. No reason to not compete! Also no reason to rush her into a bars routine that she isn’t ready for. She can compete some L7 skills in 6. I just hate level 5 so I would never recommend that for anyone! ;)
 

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