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Tryout for JO Compulsory

Jessleemom

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My 9 year old daughter has been doing gymnastics recreationally, once a week, for about 2 years. She recently joined the Xcel team at her gym and was ready to move up to level 4 in the rec classes before she joined Xcel.

She's been insisting she wants to do JO so I pushed and the JO coaches have agreed to let her tryout. Her tryout is to workout with the compulsory team for 4 hours on the 26th of this month.

She's strong, flexible and coachable but there are going to be A LOT of skills she doesn't know. Am I setting her up for embarrassment? What skills should she work on in the meantime?
 

FutureGirls

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My 9 year old daughter has been doing gymnastics recreationally, once a week, for about 2 years. She recently joined the Xcel team at her gym and was ready to move up to level 4 in the rec classes before she joined Xcel.

She's been insisting she wants to do JO so I pushed and the JO coaches have agreed to let her tryout. Her tryout is to workout with the compulsory team for 4 hours on the 26th of this month.

She's strong, flexible and coachable but there are going to be A LOT of skills she doesn't know. Am I setting her up for embarrassment? What skills should she work on in the meantime?
 

Jessleemom

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What level
In JO will she be trying out for? Level 2? 3?
I'm honestly not sure. I think they're letting her work out with the compulsory team to get an idea of where she stands level wise. I know she can't do a lot of the level 4 stuff. I think she could manage to do most of the level 3 stuff, but she may not be able to do it well.
 
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FutureGirls

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Well pull overs, front hip circles, back/front walkovers, back handsprings, splits, handstands. Does she take direction well, how she does with conditioning... having your daughter work on her splits over the next week or so is always a good idea but really talk to her about her confidence and her kindness and listening well. she’ll do great !
 

Jessleemom

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I just asked and she'll be with girls who just competed level 3 and are working on level 4 skills. She takes direction well and loves conditioning so there shouldn't be any problems there. She can do some level 4 stuff. Round off double back handspring, squat on/jump to high bar, front handspring vault. But she doesn't have her cartwheel or dismount on beam yet and she hasn't even started to work on a kip. I also don't think she's ever been prompted to do a front hip circle in rec classes. I think she could do it but she's never tried.
 

txgymfan

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If she wants to work on something, CB’s coaches almost always recommend stretching, handstands, pull ups if you have a bar, push-ups sit-ups and basic conditioning. Again, only only if she asks to do it. Absolutely no real gymnastics skills at home.
 
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Jessleemom

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She's in the gym 6 hours a week right now so she has another 18 hours of gym time
before her tryouts. We don'thave any equipment at home right now. She's taken to doing her round off back handspring anywhere and everywhere. I know it's not a good idea but I also don't know how to stop her when I'm not around. Maybe tattle on her to her coach so they can tell her to stop it?

Thanks for the advice! I'm happy with her being in Xcel, I'd be happy if she made JO. I'd be ok with it if she wanted to quit tomorrow. I just don't want her to go to this tryout/workout and leave feeling bad about herself.
 

txgymfan

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She's taken to doing her round off back handspring anywhere and everywhere. I know it's not a good idea but I also don't know how to stop her when I'm not around
Personally I would tell her it’s a safety issue, and it is. If she does it on a non gym surface, she could injure her wrists, ankles or worse, land on her head and permanently damage her neck. As a consequence, the first time I caught her doing ROBHS outside of gym she would miss her next class ( or if I hear about it from any other trusted friend, caregiver, etc.)

My words would be “ If you refuse to do it safely you will not do it at all. Do you understand me?” Said in my serious voice. I’m tough about safety issues.
 

Flyaway

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In a situation like this I would assume they are not testing her to see if she can do the skills right now, but whether she has the strength and ability to learn the skills necessary before meet season.

A kip is the gateway skill to level 4. Her placement on a JO level is going to depend a lot on how close she is to that and whether or not the coaches think she'll get it soon.
 

Gym Geek

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If she has strong half turns, round-offs, back-hip circles, pullovers, handstands, and splits, she is in good shape. A mill circle would help too, since you need that for the Level 3 bar routine. If she has a kip, or is close to one, the coaches may put her in Level 4. Previous work with back handsprings would be helpful, but a it’s not needed until Level 3.

I would talk with your DD beforehand. Explain that there will be more conditioning (much more than rec) and she will have to be attentive and willing to try new things. This will make a good impression on the Coaches. The Summer months are a prime time for Team Girls to get new skills, so the coaches will most likely be looking at your daughter’s possibilities rather than her abilities now. Good luck!
 

Jessleemom

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She does have a strong half turn. Her good leg split is perfect but she has a little work to do on her bad leg split. Pullovers and back hip circles are good. Handstands could use some work. She just got her roundoff back handspring a few weeks ago but has already moved on to a roundoff back handspring back handspring. And she can do a roundoff back tuck on the resi mat.

You guys are making me feel more positive about it! She's done a few Xcel practices, which are 3 hours. It will be interesting to see how she feels about which program she wants to pursue after she does JO practice, which is 4 hours. Even if she gets invited to JO she may decide she likes Xcel better.
 
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Muddlethru

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I’d go with txgymfan’s conditioning and skill recommendations. Handstand, stretching, upper body and lower body conditioning are basic and utilized all through Level 10. So you can’t go wrong with those.

Are you setting her up for disappointment? Hard to tell. Have the JO coaches seen her practice at all? How hard did you push? I have 4 kids and they’ve had their share of disappointments. But they get over it and they sometimes learn from it and get stronger from it. If any of my kids, wanted to do something, I would likely to the same and help open that door for them. Good luck to your daughter and I hope she is assessed properly and put in the level where she will thrive.
 
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GymDadWA

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A kip is the gateway skill to level 4. Her placement on a JO level is going to depend a lot on how close she is to that and whether or not the coaches think she'll get it soon.
Second this either she has a kip or she doesn't, if she doesn't than level 4 isn't an option. Every kid is different and it is impossible to know how long it will take each child to learn that skill.
 

Jessleemom

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I’d go with txgymfan’s conditioning and skill recommendations. Handstand, stretching, upper body and lower body conditioning are basic and utilized all through Level 10. So you can’t go wrong with those.

Are you setting her up for disappointment? Hard to tell. Have the JO coaches seen her practice at all? How hard did you push? I have 4 kids and they’ve had their share of disappointments. But they get over it and they sometimes learn from it and get stronger from it. If any of my kids, wanted to do something, I would likely to the same and help open that door for them. Good luck to your daughter and I hope she is assessed properly and put in the level where she will thrive.
They haven't seen her practice. She was a late starter so obviously isn't following the traditional track. Rec/Xcel use one gym and JO is in another gym so they don't get an opportunity to mine for talent with the older girls. As far as how hard I pushed, I just emailed her Xcel coach and said she'd like to see if JO is an option before starting down the Xcel track. The JO manager emailed me for more info. I explained her experience (or lack thereof), her age and her goals and they invited her to come to a practice so the coaches can evaluate her. If you ask her what's going to happen she says, "I'M GOING TO DO IT!" As in, she's going to make the JO team. So maybe that attitude will carry her through.....
 

Jessleemom

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By "pushed" I guess I meant they didn't just offer. We had to request the opportunity.
 

NutterButter

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I would just encourage her to be polite, listen and most importantly to have fun during the try out (have fun but not be silly or act up). I would mention to her that she will probably see kids who can do different skills than her and would encourage her not to be intimidated by this.

The JO coaches will already know based on her past with rec and recent joining of Xcel that she won't be at the same place as the other kids. Even though she's been in a different room from the JO kids they probably 'know' who your DD is already and the fact that she was invited for a practice with JO is pretty telling that it's within the realm of possibility for you DD to move to JO.

My guess is they are looking at her overall potential and willingness/attitude most of all. Good luck to her!
 

Gym Geek

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She does have a strong half turn. Her good leg split is perfect but she has a little work to do on her bad leg split. Pullovers and back hip circles are good. Handstands could use some work. She just got her roundoff back handspring a few weeks ago but has already moved on to a roundoff back handspring back handspring. And she can do a roundoff back tuck on the resi mat.

You guys are making me feel more positive about it! She's done a few Xcel practices, which are 3 hours. It will be interesting to see how she feels about which program she wants to pursue after she does JO practice, which is 4 hours. Even if she gets invited to JO she may decide she likes Xcel better.
Wow! I had imagined she was a Rec girl who had only a little experience with back-handsprings! With those tumbling passes under her belt, there are a few other key skills coaches will also be looking at for Level 4. As said in other comments, a kip on bars will be one deciding factor. Some others are a front-handspring over the vault table and a handstand on beam. You say that her handstands could use some work, so I would have her work on the form on those if needed.

JO vs Xcel: I personally competed via the Xcel route, but I have heard great things about both programs! Xcel might be nice for the first year if you think the shorter, less intense, 3 hour practices are better for your family. The coaches can also play to her strong-suits in her routines. Xcel routines are not standard nationwide, and you can vary beam skills, dismounts, vaults, tumbling passes, and bar skills depending on what your DD is good at (to a certain extent). However, JO would include more focus on the basics and the longer practices would mean more time to improve. You could also start in one and switch to the other depending on which one your DD likes better (assuming your gym allows movement between the two).
 
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NutterButter

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As said in other comments, a kip on bars will be one deciding factor. Some others are a front-handspring over the vault table and a handstand on beam. You say that her handstands could use some work, so I would have her work on the form on those if needed.
None of these will be deciding factors for your DD. I can’t imagine there’s any expectation that your DD would have a kip right now being so new to Xcel and coming from rec. Ditto with the handspring vault. And even her handstands will not be judged to the same standard as what the current JO kids in the group have.

Don’t stress about this OP. They would not have invited her to practice if they didn’t see it as a possibility. Mostly they probably want to see how she takes corrections and how she does with all the strength/conditioning and see if she likes being part of the group.

My DD did a year of Xcel and then moved to JO. My DDs training group had already been together for 2-3 years before my DD joined and yes there were some things she had to work on but she was not expected to have these skills and the strength prior to joining JO.