As many of you know, I'm fairly new to the gymnastics game. To be a supportive and enthusiastic parent, I'm spending a great deal of my time learning more about the sport.
In my virtual travels, here in Parents, upstairs in the Gymnasts board, as well as many other Internet gymnastic sources and articles, I'm seeing young athletes aged 8-12, who claim to be training 20+ hours a week - and are in L4-7.
I can understand that much time being needed for L8 and up, but L4-7??? Something doesn't sound right to me.
To my under-educated mind, this much time ‘training’ sends up red flags that there may be either a quality, or efficiency issue with the coach or gym itself. How much of that time is devoted to actual training vs. downtime or "waiting" time?
When I combine these training claims with the USAG stats that most kids stop training (i.e. quit) around 12-13 yo; I'm wondering if this rapid decline in "interest" is really due to sheer burnout more then the more popular excuses of hormones, other school interests, boys, etc. After all... how many of you could train 20 hours a week - and carry a full or part-time job? I certainly couldnt.
So that all said, I have to ask:
How much time does your gymnast train, how old are they, and what level are they?
Also, for those that do train many hours a week -- When do they do homework? Play? Relax?
Again, please don’t take this post the wrong way. I'm not complaining, I'm just trying to get a better understand of what's truly normal and typical.
I'd also be interested in contrasting sports that require a large time commitment-- such as school Football, etc. I know they train quite a bit too. How does that compare to Gymnastics?
Coaches, how much do your gymnasts train at each level? Here's the (approximate) breakdown at my gym:
Level 4: 6 hours
Level 5: 9 hours
Level 6+: 12 hours
I only have one optional guy (Level 9, 16 years old) right now, and in addition to his 12 scheduled hours, he has an open invitation to come in and work conditioning and basics on his own anytime as long as I'm in the gym -- which I am any time the gym's open. I haven't decided yet what I'll do when I have more optional guys, but that won't be an issue until at least next season.
I don't know how many hours the girls practice off the top of my head.
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