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For Parents What's after gymnastics?

Eleven sol

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Proud Parent
Aug 23, 2015
61
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USA
Another Xcel athlete. She is pretty happy with her path looking back and has no inclination to put the time in for JO. My daughter has tried soccer, dance, swimming and cheer in addition to gymnastics. We do gymnastics because she likes it. She has had to take time off due to minor injury at times and was very sad. She missed her teammates, mostly, but met new friends in other activities while she had to be out. I think gymnastics is a good way for her to learn about sports, nutrition, fitness and persistence. I hope she will be able to finish out high school and coach the little ones if she likes. She has gone way beyond what I ever expected and I think what her coaches expected at age 6 so no real expectations at this point. She may continue with cheer in college or not. She loves animals and has other interests outside of gymnastics that she is likely to spend more time on once she is done. She also has learned how to manage her fitness and diet to stay healthy, which is worth a lot.
 

Pirouette

Member
Proud Parent
Oct 16, 2014
157
49
Country
USA
My DD17 is XP and didn't start gym until 6th grade, so although she loves gymnastics and would love to continue with Club in college, it isn't her whole existence. She pole vaults on the high school team, runs XC, enjoys treerunners and ninja courses, and is starting to think about exploring other sport options on a club level in college next year. She's in this sport with eyes wide open and knows the journey is finite, so she's enjoying every step. (being out of the gym for 6 months due to covid-closure was sad, though, not going to lie!)

My DD18 was a dancer for 15 years. When covid took away her last ballet, her final recital, her summer job . . . so sad. But she's resilient, and now she participates in a club dance team (mostly remote right now) at college and is really spreading her wings and enjoying new interests. Life moves on.
 
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GYM0M

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2013
1,287
DD is 14, elite level, DI college is likely, with national team aspirations. I’d say she’s in the top 10 on beam for juniors. She left brick & mortar public school after 2nd grade. She has very few friends outside of gymnastics. If her gymnastics career had to end today, she would be devastated and I’d bet confused for a while; however, from the beginning of the decision to embark on the elite path, we’ve always stressed that this sport promises tomorrow to no one and that gymnastics is not, has never been, & never will be forever. We’ve never let her education or grades slide. She’s incredibly intelligent, a straight A student in advanced classes and plans on pursuing a career in architecture and/or engineering. After the dust settled and the shock wore off, I’m pretty confident that she would move on to the next stage of her life.
 

MUTigerMom

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Proud Parent
Jan 17, 2017
76
43
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USA
This is a very timely discussion for me as my 12 year old daughter decided to retire this week.

For us it was a gradual process but she knew when it was time. In August 2019, she was diagnosed with spondy. She was out 9 months due to lingering pain.

Doctors told her she should never practice more than 9 hours a week due to the lingering back pain, so she switched from JO to Xcel. She was about to be released to practice, and then COVID. Finally went back this summer for 3 months, got most skills back but had back pain and developed Severs.

It was so severe the podiatrist made her stop all physical activity. She took up water polo since it was the only thing she could do. She fell in love. It has become her favorite sport. The doctor let her gradually add back soccer first and then gym.

She went to 2 weeks of gym before deciding to retire. She said, "I still love gym, but my body doesn't. Every time I do it, I am in pain. I want to focus on other things." She then gave a list of a million things she wanted to try (basketball, theatre, etc.)

She (and I) were sad but we are also excited about what lies ahead. Her gymnastics training has made her strong and athletic. She is able to use the things she learned in gym to successfully jump into new sports.

So... It's select soccer and water polo for now, but who knows what she'll ultimately focus on. We plan to let her try it all!
Sorry for the long post, but it was therapeutic to tell her story.
 

Eleven sol

Member
Proud Parent
Aug 23, 2015
61
Country
USA
DD is 14, elite level, DI college is likely, with national team aspirations. I’d say she’s in the top 10 on beam for juniors. She left brick & mortar public school after 2nd grade. She has very few friends outside of gymnastics. If her gymnastics career had to end today, she would be devastated and I’d bet confused for a while; however, from the beginning of the decision to embark on the elite path, we’ve always stressed that this sport promises tomorrow to no one and that gymnastics is not, has never been, & never will be forever. We’ve never let her education or grades slide. She’s incredibly intelligent, a straight A student in advanced classes and plans on pursuing a career in architecture and/or engineering. After the dust settled and the shock wore off, I’m pretty confident that she would move on to the next stage of her life.
That’s so impressive. Congratulations to your daughter. I think whenever you reach for the stars, there is risk, and some people would say it’s not worth it. But so much is learned from going after a dream.
 
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GYM0M

Active Member
Proud Parent
Jul 23, 2013
1,287
That’s so impressive. Congratulations to your daughter. I think whenever you reach for the stars, there is risk, and some people would say it’s not worth it. But so much is learned from going after a dream.
Thank you!! For me, as the parent, I’m not sure it has been worth it. Even if she goes to the Olympics and wins 100 gold medals internationally, lol. I am super proud of her, and I think she is an amazing person and shaping up to be a beautiful independent woman; however, I am equally proud of other kiddos!! For me, it’s not a path I would have ever chosen to pursue.
 

KSLaura

Coach
Coach
Proud Parent
Dec 30, 2012
154
Colorado
Country
USA
Most of our older gymnasts (including my daughter) transitioned to coaching at some point. They love having the opportunity to share their passion with younger kiddos.
 
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FlippinLilysMom

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Proud Parent
Jun 7, 2016
1,600
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Region 4
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USA
Thank you!! For me, as the parent, I’m not sure it has been worth it. Even if she goes to the Olympics and wins 100 gold medals internationally, lol. I am super proud of her, and I think she is an amazing person and shaping up to be a beautiful independent woman; however, I am equally proud of other kiddos!! For me, it’s not a path I would have ever chosen to pursue.
I agree 100%. When my DD decided not to continue on the elite path I was utterly crushed. But now with time and a chance to reflect I can definitely say that she made the right decision. The sport had become her entire life. She was tired of being viewed as just a gymnast and wanted to experience more than just life in the gym. She is so much happier now and her goals are still well within reach.
 

gymgal

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Gold Membership
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Aug 22, 2008
4,037
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USA
I agree 100%. When my DD decided not to continue on the elite path I was utterly crushed. But now with time and a chance to reflect I can definitely say that she made the right decision. The sport had become her entire life. She was tired of being viewed as just a gymnast and wanted to experience more than just life in the gym. She is so much happier now and her goals are still well within reach.
I must have missed that news. I am sure it was a tough decision for her and the family but I am glad to hear that she feels it was the right one for her. Looking forward to seeing her compete in college in a few years if that's where she is headed.
 

alattejavatoo

New Member
Former Gymnast
Oct 6, 2020
16
55
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USA
I did gymnastics all through school and was offered a D1 scholarship, but I was told by a doctor not to continue if I wanted to walk after 40. Needless to say I was devastated. I cried myself to sleep for six months. I went away to college in the state where I lived and taking advice from my coach, older teammates and family, I got involved at school and was able to do new things that I probably would not have been able to do if I took the scholarship. I was ab editor on my college newspaper, an undergraduate TA, learned how to hang glide and rock climb. There will be an adjustment period when it’s over, and it may be difficult, but they will adapt and discover new interests and talents.
 

Jessleemom

New Member
Proud Parent
May 1, 2019
45
38
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USA
My daughter started gymnastics late. She was 7 and it began just as a fun activity for her to do. She did rec classes once a week and it became clear she was actually good at it. I pushed for her to be put on the JO team and after a tryout she was accepted. She did one season on the JO team and it was filled with missed meets and doctor visits as she was afflicted with gymnast wrist. The coach said she was too young for the injury, questioned the expertise of the orthopedic hand and wrist specialist she saw, just generally not supportive. It was very disheartening and not the environment I envisioned for her. If this was happening in her first year, what would the rest of her time on the team look like?

I pulled my daughter from the team and she briefly attempted competitive dance. That lasted about a month before she wanted to go back to gymnastics. Now she's on the Xcel team at her gym. Its less intense, more fun and she's not experiencing pain anymore. She misses her JO friends but its so much better for us to treat this as an activity and not a lifestyle.