- Apr 5, 2017
My 8 year old DD joined Xcel at the beginning of June. She has been in Rec level 2 for two years prior, practicing 1.5 hours once a week. Now she has gone up to 6.5 hours/week. She loves bars and is acquiring skills quickly. First practice she "got" her squat-on, second practice was squat-on with jump to high bar. She has enough strength to do the skills and look pretty (this is my assessment when comparing her to her older sister who can throw lots of skills but not necessarily prettily) but I'm not sure she has the strength to do them without injuring herself. The last two practices she has been complaining about knee pain with landings and last night she kind of collapsed when landing the dismount from bars because it hurt her knees so bad. I know this is just part of the Xcel philosophy--at least at our gym. The idea seems to be that the kids learn as many skills as they can in summer, and then the coaches decide which group they will compete (bronze, silver, gold etc) and they spend fall and competition season perfecting the skills. My assessment of this may not be entirely accurate, but this is what last season for my older DD in silver looked like. I love our Xcel coaches for many reasons but I can't really get a read on how informed they are on "athletic training" in general (as opposed to just teaching gymnastics skills). I know that if she were to move to level 3, she would get the proper conditioning, as those coaches have an interest in the longevity of their athletes in the sport. But my DD is not interested in just doing one sport, (she is also a swimmer) AND she loves the adrenaline rush of learning new skills, so I don't think JO would be a good fit for her. I, as a parent, though, am concerned about her longevity in gymnastics and I don't want her leaving because of pain. Should I mention it to the coaches? Should I get her some physical therapy outside of gym? I have been an off and on Crossfitter (between 4 kids and a full time job to pay for said kids) and when I start up I usually have knee pain for a while until my quads get stronger. But as an adult, I'm able to modify my workouts as needed. She doesn't have the knowledge to do that and she has to do what the coaches tell her. Maybe her pain will go away as she gets stronger? Parents and coaches invited to chime in here with any thoughts. Thanks all!