What future is there for gymnasts in the NDP program?

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bargy

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Oct 28, 2013
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Hi. My daughter is 7 and in NDP Level 2. Our gym only offers club or national. Is there any future in the national stream? What will my daughter acheive besides strength and flexibility. She trains hard and it's expensive. I guess I just don't know where it goes from here.
Thanks
 
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OzZee

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Where do you want it to go? What should your daughter gain other than strength of body and mind, an awesome childhood (or few years) doing something she loves, sense of teamwork, ability to work against the odds, prioritise, work with others. To have a life long love of sport and physical fitness. To spend time being fit and healthy not watching tv.
We have no college gymnastics (or other sports) here so no stream leads anywhere. Yes a very very very tiny few in the IDP stream will make it to national team or olympics, but then where does it lead, well nowhere really, but they've had a hell of a ride.
At any level some may do coaching - and I know the teenage girls who coach it's a great after school job that doesn't involve serving fries, lol, learning to deal with children and adults, instilling their love of the sport in others, very rewarding and enjoyable.

If we only did things to get something long term out of it then why bother doing any sport as it's pretty unlikely you will get a career or elite out of any sport.
 

Aussie_coach

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She can work through to level 10, but not elite or Olympic levels.

But what will she achieve by doing the national stream?

She will learn confidence, self discipline, coordination, agility, strength, flexibility, balance, goal setting, determination, perseverance, passion.

She will learn that she can achieve almost anything in the world she sets her mind to if she has the drive discipline and passion. As a result she will have the chance to be successful in any career path she chooses in life.

Isn't that enough?
 
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gymgurl

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Just because she's not going to the Olympics or on to elite doesn't mean she gains nothing. I have been a state stream gymnast (below NDP) since I started competing and I was never going to get the opportunity to trial for elite or even go to nationals but do I look back on my gymnastics 'career' and think it was a waste of time and I didn't gain anything? Of course not. Here is a list of things I gained from just doing gymnastics for fun with no hope of Olympics or Elite
  • Self discipline
  • Time management
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Another family
  • Sportsmanship
  • Perseverance
  • Determination
  • Balance
  • Agility
  • Commitment
Not only that but I had fun and I enjoyed (almost) every minute I was in the gym. It was hard and at times it seemed impossible but gymnastics taught me that anything is possible. At no point did I regret spending hours at a time in the gym and i would do it over and over again.

As for a future in gymnastics they can all become coaches if they want too, judges too.

Does everything someone does need to specifically lead to something more after or can it just be fun.
 

Faolmor

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I'm only new here, and new as a mum to a gymnast too - so I hope it's okay if I jump in? I'm really glad the question was asked, (thanks Bargy!) because I had just begun to wonder the same thing. I don't think they offer IDP at my daughter's gym, and since I really knew nothing about levels, or how it all worked, I had been under the impression that it was sort of like the USA, where after level 10, you could still work to become an elite - not necessarily to go anywhere with it, but just to "be" an elite, iykwim?

OzZee's reply put it all in perspective for me. I think we are so geared to looking for rewards - what will they get out of this? How will they be "rewarded" for all their hard work and years of training and sacrifice? We want it to mean something for them. When actually, with gymnastics, it is the journey itself that is the reward. The meaning it makes are all the wonderful attributes listed above - self confidence, perserverance, physical health, mental fortitude...what powerful gifts they all are to "reward" a child with!

So glad I joined this forum!
 

txgymfan

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Faolmor, welcome to CB! You are learning a very important lesson early in your journey. As we often say on CB "It is a marathon not a sprint". Enjoy the process with your daughter.
 
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OzZee

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And also remember that at even levels 2,3,4 these kids have skills that are the envy of their friends, tend to do well in school sports due to their fitness and strength. (as well as all the other benefits that aren't gymnastics ones as above).
Love 'it's the journey that's the reward', these kids do gymnastics because they love it, doesn't matter if they make level 1, level 4, level 6, level 10, state stream, ndp, idp.
 
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Faith

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I do kind of think it is sad though. "The Olympics" is nearly every little girls dream when they start their gymnastics journey. While I completely agree that the journey is the reward in itself, to not even be allowed that dream right from the start?

My DD was 8 when she realised Elite was off the table (we have a similar elite vs. club stream in the UK), so much as she loved gymnastics, she picked a sport she at least has that dream for now. It may, or may not happen, but at least she knows she aimed high and gave it her all to get there.

I do like the system in the US, that allows kids to work to the realisation themselves. Then there's no"what if"- If I'd been allowed to try IDP/elite, If I could have switched later, If…
 
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bargy

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Oct 28, 2013
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Thanks for everyone's replies. I'm an ex gymnast myself so I know the benefits of gymnastics. That's not what I meant. I was simply asking the question in terms of competitions ect. I wondered where NDP leads them as it is different to when I trained. I'm surprised by some replies. Gymnastics can be fun but it's also very disciplined sport. My daughter sets goals for herself and she is expected to train at a very high standard. I have 2 boys who do gymnastics too and they are the same. I suppose I should have asked, Can NDP lead anywhere? If it can't it doesn't matter. Just wanted to know that's all.
 

Faith

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In the uk, the club stream (so roughly equivalent to ndp) can lead to elite. You can compete in a qualifier (challenge cup) at any age, and if you get the required score the following year you move across to the elite track at a point appropriate to your age group.

However. In reality it's extremely difficult to cross over past age 9/10. The coaching is different, progression is different, hours, routines, competitions, clubs, all different. So unless you are in a club which coaches its ndp stream kids in much the same way as idp, the gap between the two streams just gets wider and wider.

It has been done in the uk- pretty much only successfully by one person, ruby harrold. But she was in a big, elite club, and competed ndp at roughly equivalent levels to idp, so had all the skills to cross over at age 11.

I found with dd, because there was no push to get certain skills each year, the progress was much slower. So by 9 she was quite behind where an elite kid would be on skills.
 
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OzZee

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I suppose I should have asked, Can NDP lead anywhere? If it can't it doesn't matter. Just wanted to know that's all.
Not sure what you mean by where can it lead? Same as IDP where can it lead. Gymnastics as a sport is dead end no matter how high a level you compete at. You get to the highest level you can get to - skill wise/body wise (ie injury)/interest wise/competition wise, and then you stop.

Where are you meaning by Can it lead anywhere?
Gymnastics wise, NDP can lead to NDP10. IDP can lead to Senior International.

But if you are thinking where past the last level of competition (whether this is ndp 4, ndp 10, idp 6, idp 8, senior international)
Some girls it leads into coaching or judging (as a career, part time job, job whilst at uni), some into an interest in sports and a career in sports medicine or sports science, a few work for the governing bodies (I can think of a couple of international standard athletes who work for Gymnastics NSW). For a number, esp the girls that have done coaching through their teen years a love of working with children and a move into teaching.

Just to add, whilst the US system seems that the move to Elite is available for any girl in the JO program, I don't think this is the case really, if a girl isn't in the right club, training with the right coaches in the right program, that chance is slim. We just formalise that because we don't have the volume of coaches and gymnasts that the US has and that handful of coaches and girls with the ability and interest in pursuing that level of gymnastics need to be brought together.
 

&bs

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From Level 4 NDP girls can represent their club at National Clubs, from Level 6 they can represent their State (NSW, QLD, ACT at least) and from Level 7 they can represent their State at National Championships. This year the top 4 Level 9's and 10's were selected to represent Australia in the Trans-Tasman Challenge in New Zealand.

You will find that the girls in the higher levels of NDP are better than most of the girls in the lower IDP levels will ever be so don't feel like you are missing out by not doing IDP. If you are at a club with a strong NDP program you are much better off than being at a club with an IDP program because (at least in NSW) most of the club IDP programs are rubbish, they only have the same number of talented kids as the next club but label them as IDP telling them all that they are training for the Olympics, they train the girls a ridiculously large number of hours so they can do the routines (15 hrs a week at age 5, much more than any HPC) and charge them bucket loads of money. The majority of the kids drop out before competing in IDP 5 or compete without full routines and then if they switch to NDP rather than quit they and their parents are shocked that they are behind kids the same age who are at the same numerical NDP level and that there are plenty of girls over the age of 12 doing gymnastics.

I am not anti IDP but I think the clubs that are running shonky IDP programs are doing a disservice to all the kids involved. They are losing the sport of gymnastics a huge number of talented kids who could achieve great things in NDP (competing, coaching and judging) who end up dropping out and for the kids that are truly talented enough (not just group fillers) and should be in an IDP program the coaching they are receiving in most cases is not what it should be.

NDP is the appropriate program for 95% of talented kids, who are still in the top 10% of all kids who start gymnastics. For the other 5% they should get to a HPC as soon as possible if that is the pathway they want to follow.
 

Aussie_coach

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That is not the case in my state. Only a handful of girls are ever selected for IDP and they train seriously and have serious talent. They don't compete part routines, but the vast majority always compete full routines. If not it will only be one skill they leave out,

If they don't reach the top standards they are kicked out of IDP but generally go on to be very successful NDP competitions.
 

bargy

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Oct 28, 2013
9
Thankyou &bs you answered my question well. Those are exactly the things I wanted to know. Great! :)
 
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