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What does it take to be elite??

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gymnasticsbabie

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okay so i want to know what everyone thinks it takes to be an elite.
sooo...
What do YOU think it takes to be an elite???
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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Determination and a love of the sport.

Or were you looking for something more concrete?
 

DEMom

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Oct 27, 2007
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From the perspective of a parent, this is what I think gets you to the upper levels & elite in gymnastics . #1 You have to want it more than anything. #2 You have to stay healthy (no injuries). # 3 You have to have a competition mind - no head games, #4 You need to have natural ability, #5 You need a Good Coach, #6 You need to make make smart decisions, #7 you need the money trees to keep growing. LOL
BTW excellent video on youtube! You've got the ability Go for it!
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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#1 You have to want it more than anything.
Actually, I would argue that this isn't true, at least not in all cases. I'll use myself as an example; I will be competing next year as an elite on floor and vault, but going elite has never been a goal of mine until very recently. And it was really a "what the heck, why not?" sort of thing.

And I'm not insanely talented either; I'd consider myself to be moderately talented, and I coach a number of kids who I think have far more natural ability than I ever did.

I'd say the most important thing it takes to become an elite, more than ANYTHING else, is enjoying the sport enough to stick with it. Kids (and even old farts like me) always work hardest when they're having fun, and those who really love the sport have more fun when they're working hard. So we get a nice little positive feedback loop, which tends to really propel kids upwards in terms of ability.
 
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DEMom

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Oct 27, 2007
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Yes I agree. I thought I listed working hard. We have a number of gymnasts at our gym and they each seem to have 1 or 2 of the qualities. Some are so phenomenal and natural but they develop head issues, some work hard as can be and want it more than anything but there not natural, and some are so calm cool and collected at meets and consistent but don't want it as much. I have commented to the other parents if we blend the 3 kids we could have a phenomenal gymnast! But I am a parent and it is just my POV. And I'm sure you are too modest. If you are training elite you are very talented. WTG!
 

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To be elite where I live you have to be

Starting gym and obviously talented by about age 6
Natuarlly strong
Naturally flexible
Short
Without any physical problems (like pidgeon toes, hyperextended arms and legs etc)
Prepared to train a huge number of training hours from a very young age
Prepared to reduce the amount of time you attend school in order to attend training.
Prepared to be regularly tested for body weight and told how much you need to lose
Have a parent who is prepared to dedicate a huge amount of their time and their income to your training
A natural performer who likes being in front of an audience
A person who is not stopped by fear

I am not saying this is my opnion for what it should take to be elite, because I don't agree with al of the above. However these are basically the requirements to train elite in my state and country. In Australia being an elite gymnast is not a goal for gymnasts who reach that level it is a goal designed only for those with a serious potential to represent your country at an international level of competition (ie world championships and olympic games).
 

I-Heart-Beam

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Sep 9, 2007
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"Training is principally an act of faith. The athlete must believe in its efficiacy, he must believe that through training he will become fitter and stronger, that by constant repitition of the same movements he will become more skilful and his muscles more relaxed. He must be a fanatic for hard work and enthusiastic enough to enjoy it."
A quote on our wall, I love it. I think to succeed you have to be completely and utterly dedicated and crazy about what you want to succeed in.
 

cccam

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Dec 1, 2007
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i honestly don't know what it takes to be elite. I see girls at my gym with enormous potential, then i look out to the elites now, and see the girls at my gym are practically nothing compared to the elites

i guess, being an elite gymnast means you have to give up and sacrifice whats neccesary to get to that level. Some don't have to sacrifice much. You need to love gymnastics more than you love anything to give up normal things like going to school [in some cases] and having a social life. You have to be willing to sacrifice your health [partially] because sooner or later whether its big or small, you will get an injury.

And you have to have parents and coaches who believe in what you can do, and are behind you 1000% and they don't put pressure on you to win, the drive comes from the gymnast.
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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okay now... HELP!

hey guys! thanks for all of your opinions. it definetly makes me want to work harder in the gym. its really interesting to see what everyone thinks it takes.

i have a problem though. my coaches say i can move up to the elite group but im already a junior. i would be competing for the UK. My parents talked to some of the people for British gymnastics and they said that be invited to Challenge cup (the meet to qualify you to British Championships) and then hopefully qualify through to Championships (you only need a 48.00 to qualify you, so hopefully not that hard).
so the problem is first of all i think im too old (i just turned 16 last week) and i would only be an elite until i go to college, unless i train elite in college like alicia sacramone does or like shavahn church does, which is like a year and a half away! so my question then would be, should i go for it?? HELP!

the second problem is to be an elite at my gym you have to be homeschooled. my parents...well... they don't really like the idea of me being homeschooled lol. so how do you think i should convince them? HELP!

okay the THIRD problem is if i decide to stay in the A group (the group i train in now) then my bar setting will be at 2 below F instead of at FIG (2 below F is 4 below FIG... does that make sense haha). I don't know if i can adjust to going at FIG. i used to swing bars at FIG but now i swing further out at 2 below F. so im wondering if i should just stay in the group im in now and keep trying to adjust.

This summer im going over to England if i decide that i want to pursue an elite career.

PLEASE HELP i would love any help/ opinions on this because im really confused as to what i should do.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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It sounds like all of this should be up to you; assuming the capability to go elite is already there, there's really only one person in the world who can answer the question of whether or not you should go elite, and that's you.
 

ZJsMom

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If you coaches aren't worried about your being to old, I don't think it's something you should be concerned about. 16 would be late to come onto the scene in the US, but since you're trying to compete for the UK, it's probably going to be somewhat less competitve. Of course, you've got to make the decision in conjunction with your parents, but it seems to me that it may be worth a shot. Even if you don't make the UK team, I would think training with the elite group will help your gymnastics along and make you more competitive for NCAA.
 

bogwoppit

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If you really want this and your parents and coaches are behind you, GO FOR IT!!!!

Your youtube vid is lovely, you have obviously trained in the UK at a very good club, as well as in the US.

I think the problem with trying to be Elite in the US is the great depth of talent here already, so many great gymnasts to choose from, if you are not under the Marta/Bela magnifying glass at 11 years old it is hard to get a look in later. The UK System may give you exactly what you need, you will also still be eligible for NCAA just like Shavahn Church. Enjoy the freedom of your passport and just see what you could be!

Best wishes for whatever you choose. To stand in front of an open door like this is such an honour, use your skills and enjoy.
 

I-Heart-Beam

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I'm in the UK too and I'm ranked as a senior in my gym. To be perfectly honest I couldn't be an elite (in the FIG) and I know, I tried for a summer and it was just too much for me to cope with.

If your coaches say go for it, I would trust them. They'll have seen enough girls to know who will be able to make it.
Also, even if you try and don't succeed, you won't think for the rest of your life "what if?" But, like everyone said, it's up to you.

Good Luck!

ps are you gymnasticsbabie from youtube? I love your vids. if you are, I'm GymChicksRock. :)
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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thank you everyone for your encouragement and great awesome words of advice. i think im definitely going to go for it.

to I-Heart-beam: thank you so much!! yes i am gymnasticsbabie from youtube. im so glad you like my videos. I LOVE i mean LOVE your video "do you remember when" haha i've watched it so many times. its like my life story right there. im going to message you i have a couple of questions!
 

Tuduri

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Oct 1, 2007
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What does it take to become elite?

As a parent with a daughter who will attempt to reach the elite level via the Hopes program, this question is constantly on my mind. My observation of my daughter and of other gymnasts like her leads me to believe that they are motivated by some burning desire to excell, to attain perfection in whatever skill they undertake to learn or goal they seek to attain. It does not matter whether they are merely warming up or doing strenuous conditioning. Each and every exercise or drill is done with utmost excertion, pointed toes, straight knees, etc. They never cheat at conditioning or are found wanting in the degree to which they push themselves. They practice as though they are competing and compete as they have practiced. They are serious about every aspect of their practice and are conscientious about their eating habits and overall health. of anything that can affect their sport. Generally, their lives are well balanced and they even excell in academics. I don't know where this spirit comes from. It is a blessing. I do know these girls are having a lot of fun while doing gymnastics. Masochists they are not.

As a parent, I marvel at these girls' ability to focus and concentrate while training, and in leaning and performing gymnastics skills. In my daughter's case, I have no doubt that she has the will to become an elite gymnast. But, I can only hope that she possesses the physical potential that matches her strong will. One does not really know until one is there. Doing programs like Tops is a good indicator of physical ability. But you really never know until the overall goal is accomplished.

As a family, we try to support our daughter in every way we can. We make sure she eats well and gets lots of rest. I go to a portion of almost every workout and I attend every one of her meets. I read this forum and many articles on gymnastics, conditoning, and athletic psychology. to try to be a better gym parent. I communicate often with my daughter's coaches. And, most of all, I try not to bug my daughter about her practice or competition. I try to ensure she is happy but strive to not overdo things, too.

We have a teenage son who plays baseball. We try to provide the same things for him. Life is a balancing act. I am sure other families face the same obstacles in dealing with their own children.

Gymnasticsbabie, I believe you have the physical ability, desire and motivation to be an elite gymnast. Go for it. Just do it.


Tuduri
 

lannamavity

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Sep 13, 2007
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How about ask an elite/ex-elite gymnast? There are thousands of them out there...

If you really want the answer, there are probably better resources...
 

gymgymgymnast08

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I'm in the UK too and I'm ranked as a senior in my gym. To be perfectly honest I couldn't be an elite (in the FIG) and I know, I tried for a summer and it was just too much for me to cope with.

If your coaches say go for it, I would trust them. They'll have seen enough girls to know who will be able to make it.
Also, even if you try and don't succeed, you won't think for the rest of your life "what if?" But, like everyone said, it's up to you.

Good Luck!

ps are you gymnasticsbabie from youtube? I love your vids. if you are, I'm GymChicksRock. :)
OMG YOU HAVE THE DO YOU REMEMBER WHEN VIDEO! THAT VIDEO IS THE STORY OF MY LIVE! I have showed it to some of my teammates and some even cried! THAT IS AMAZING! I LOVE LOVE IT!
 
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gymnasticsbabie

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As a parent with a daughter who will attempt to reach the elite level via the Hopes program, this question is constantly on my mind. My observation of my daughter and of other gymnasts like her leads me to believe that they are motivated by some burning desire to excell, to attain perfection in whatever skill they undertake to learn or goal they seek to attain. It does not matter whether they are merely warming up or doing strenuous conditioning. Each and every exercise or drill is done with utmost excertion, pointed toes, straight knees, etc. They never cheat at conditioning or are found wanting in the degree to which they push themselves. They practice as though they are competing and compete as they have practiced. They are serious about every aspect of their practice and are conscientious about their eating habits and overall health. of anything that can affect their sport. Generally, their lives are well balanced and they even excell in academics. I don't know where this spirit comes from. It is a blessing. I do know these girls are having a lot of fun while doing gymnastics. Masochists they are not.

As a parent, I marvel at these girls' ability to focus and concentrate while training, and in leaning and performing gymnastics skills. In my daughter's case, I have no doubt that she has the will to become an elite gymnast. But, I can only hope that she possesses the physical potential that matches her strong will. One does not really know until one is there. Doing programs like Tops is a good indicator of physical ability. But you really never know until the overall goal is accomplished.

As a family, we try to support our daughter in every way we can. We make sure she eats well and gets lots of rest. I go to a portion of almost every workout and I attend every one of her meets. I read this forum and many articles on gymnastics, conditoning, and athletic psychology. to try to be a better gym parent. I communicate often with my daughter's coaches. And, most of all, I try not to bug my daughter about her practice or competition. I try to ensure she is happy but strive to not overdo things, too.

We have a teenage son who plays baseball. We try to provide the same things for him. Life is a balancing act. I am sure other families face the same obstacles in dealing with their own children.

Gymnasticsbabie, I believe you have the physical ability, desire and motivation to be an elite gymnast. Go for it. Just do it.


Tuduri
Amazing... thank you for all of your advice, i really do appreciate it. i hope your daughter (and son) achieve their dreams. good luck! and thanks again :)
 
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