Animal SportsFantasy SportsIndividual SportsTeam SportsThe Olympics

Competitive Gymnastics for Young Girls: What to Expect.

Updated on May 30, 2016
krsharp05 profile image

Kristi has been a competitive gymnastics coach for 25+ years, coached levels 3-10 to state, regional, western and national titles.


All information contained in this hub is protected.

┬ęcopyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012

Madison Desch started her gymnastics career as a gymnast with me! Madison is performing a switch-ring leap.
Madison Desch started her gymnastics career as a gymnast with me! Madison is performing a switch-ring leap. | Source

The Good

Gymnastics is one of the most beautiful and dynamic sports in the world. Less than 3% of all young girls will successfully compete in what USA Gymnastics considers the "age group" program. This program is the precursor to the Elite level of gymnastics. Little girls have about a 1:300,000 chance of making it to the Olympics but if you ask these aspiring young ladies in the age group program, many of them will tell you that their ultimate dream is to be an Olympic gymnast. Gymnastics is in the top three most watched Olympic events!

Why Gymnastics? Did you know that gymnastics develops 26 multiple intelligences in children? What's a multiple intelligence? Thank you, google. The benefits are tremendous. It's an "all body" sport that develops muscle memory, strength, flexibility, kinesthetic and haptic awareness, depth perception, socialization, discipline, organization, prioritization, internal motivation, respect and the list goes on. If you are lucky enough to find a coach who is a fantastic role model, your gymnast will also gain wonderful life lessons because coaches become pseudo-parents since they spend a great deal of time with the athletes. As gymnasts move up into higher levels they spend more and more time in the gym and often times they will spend more time with their coach than they do with their parents. Trust? Yes, it can be a scary extension but a necessary incision.

Gymnastics is the type of sport that once you commit to it, it's in your blood forever. There is no "gray area." It's very black and white in the sense that you either do it or you don't. It instills a sense of purpose and duty because the athlete works for herself and for the team. From an early age kids can learn the value of doing a "job" and a sense of duty. In this day and age parents often dig their heels in to this type of motivation however having a sense of accomplishment is a wonderful thing for a child. All of the toys and candy and "things" you can give a child could never replace or outlast for that kiddo to know how good it feels that she's done something well.

Things to Know Before You Select a Gym

If you are searching for a competitive gym, look for the following characteristics:

  • Is it brightly colored and kid friendly?
  • Is the staff at the front desk friendly and helpful?
  • Check out the equipment in the gym - there should be 2-3 sets of bars, 4-8 beams, a full 40x40 spring floor and at least one vaulting table.

Questions you should ask:

  • Does the gym compete as a USAG (USA Gymnastics) team?
  • Are all of the team coaches USAG certified?
  • What is the highest level of gymnast they have competing in the gym?
  • How long have their coaches been at their gym and how long have their coaches been coaching gymnastics?
  • Do their coaches receive continued training on a regular basis through regional or national congresses?
  • Do they have any policies about children missing work-outs?
  • Is your child is required to attend every gymnastics meet?
  • Do they have a team handbook or an R&P (Rules and Policies)?
  • Is there a liability release? (If so, make sure you READ CAREFULLY before signing)
  • Is there an estimated expense sheet for the entire season?
  • Is there a tentative meet schedule with estimated prices for each meet for the entire season?
  • Is there a Booster club? Booster clubs are a wonderful thing when they are independent entities from the gym. ;)
  • Does the gym host meets and if they do, are parents required to work at the meets?
  • Are there specific requirements for how the gymnast must wear her hair during competition?
  • What style of teaching do the coaches use? Do they use drills? or Is it a "go-and-throw" method (this type of gym you want to steer clear of).
  • Is there a lot of positive reinforcement?

Don't be afraid to ask questions. Most of these questions won't be questions because you will know if you are at a reputable gym. If you are new to the world of competitive gymnastics, you will undoubtedly have many questions. If the coaches or administrative staff is disinclined to answer, I would find another gym. The welfare and future of your child's competitive gymnastics career is important. If you are met with hesitation in getting clear and concise answers, move on. There are great gyms in every city and every region.

It's not just dreams anymore.
It's not just dreams anymore.

The Hard Part

If your daughter has been asked to join a competitive gymnastics team you should know that you are making a life choice. It is a choice that will affect your entire family. If your gym has a team handbook make sure you read it cover to cover. Don't skim! Read it! Especially if you have to sign a team contract. Many times you will find that your tuition fees are non-refundable if your daughter quits and you have signed a contract. Do your homework. Some typical expenses you should expect are:

  • Leotard fees ($150-$300 each)
  • T-shirt and paraphernalia fees ($100+)
  • Warm-up fees ($75+)
  • Booster Club fees ($500+)
  • Travel expenses
  • Coaches compensation fees
  • Tuition fees
  • Additional equipment fees (therabands, wrist weights, ankle weights, kettle bells)
  • Team event fees

If your gymnastics club offers fundraisers, participate in them because it helps ease the financial burden. Competitive gymnastics can be very expensive.

The highest level of gymnastics requires what I consider a "total package athlete" to be very successful. By definition that means a gymnast has to be physically strong, mentally stable, emotionally sound and have an excellent support system at home. Kids who have a lot of fears are not good candidates for competitive gymnastics. They may be able to do recreational gymnastics but because of the nature of how skills grow, adapt and become higher, faster and more powerful, in nearly all cases, that fear will rear its ugly head and their progress will plateau. Gymnasts who don't have the "total package," who may be lacking one of the qualities I suggested, can still be successful if they are committed to being a gymnast and to continuing to make progress. In my entire career of 25 years, I have come across three of this type of athlete. Only one of them is competing at the international level right now. However, I have coached many athletes to State, Regional, Western and National titles so it is possible to be successful in gymnastics without all the perfect pieces.

©copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012
©copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012

The Not-So-Good

Gymnastics can be brutal to a child's body, mind and emotions. If you choose a gym that has a high rate of success, chances are, you might encounter a coach that has what I consider a "zero tolerance" policy for every child. They don't recognize that children are unique and different. They see kids as robots and expect them to perform exactly the same without regard to any outside influences. This type of coach will expect the athlete to work-out and compete when she is injured and may have unrealistic expectations. I've seen coaches single out athletes for being late to gymnastics meets by verbally berating them in front of the entire team. The last time I checked, 10-year-olds were not legally permitted to drive so in my opinion, that conversation should have taken place with the parent, not the child.

Gymnastics can also be taxing on a child's body. Statistically, the United States Elite Coaches Association has done numerous studies in reference to gymnastics injuries and how to prevent them. They are breaking ground on preventative measures and a lot of certified coaches are following suit. The problem is, it takes time to condition the body. On average, a new conditioning program should be altered every six weeks with progress being shown at the same interval. The problem with conditioning is over-use. If the coach doesn't have a well designed conditioning plan the athletes suffer. If several athletes are experiencing the same type of bodily pain, it may be due to a conditioning failure.

Visit the USECA Website at the bottom for more detailed information about the United States Elite Coaches Association.

All Rights Reserved
All Rights Reserved | Source

To Compete or Not to Compete?

Competitive Gymnastics is not for everyone. It requires a sizable time commitment from at least one parent and as I stated earlier, it can be expensive. If your child is asked to be on a competitive gymnastics team and she is only four-years-old, don't fret about her age. If you are at a quality gym, they will take excellent care in teaching her properly. Most likely your young daughter will be starting out in Level 1, 2 or 3 which are really just about having fun and learning to compete. Depending on which competitive region you are in, once they hit Level 4, that's when the real competition starts. (see link below to USA Gymnastics)

Gymnastics is not the "dangerous" sport that people make it out to be. All sports come with injuries, that's the nature of competition. Competition can cause anxiety, depression, anger, frustration and pain, but so can romantic love. Kids hanker for competition because they like to feel proud of themselves and let's face it, winning is fun. If you are at a crossroads about whether or not you should allow your child to compete, find someone who was a competitive gymnast and ask them their opinion. Then start searching for the right gym!

Final thought: Don't assume that because your daughter does beautiful cartwheels in the front yard and climbs the walls that she has the talent of Shannon Miller. Allow the coaches to do the evaluating. When your daughter is asked to join the team, allow the coaches to do the coaching. They are the experts!

Good Luck!

If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way!

©copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012
©copyright ALL RIGHTS RESERVED 2012

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • silverempiress profile image

      silverempiress 5 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Good job on your hub. I really enjoyed it. It has a lot of great info for parents to consider.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 5 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you. I appreciate you taking the time to comment.

    • Simone Smith profile image

      Simone Haruko Smith 5 years ago from San Francisco

      My mother was a gymnastic coach for many years- I've always enjoyed hearing about gyms, classes, and the sport in general, but I also know that it is not a sport to take lightly! Your advice is fantastic. Splendid Hub!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 5 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you. It's definitely a life choice! I appreciate you taking the time to read!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Great job! Congrats on the HOTD! Thanks for sharing the information. I only have 3 boys but my youngest is so flexible and agile I could see him going into gymnastics as he gets older. This is important information for anyone to have that has a child in the sport.

    • amilypitt profile image

      amilypitt 4 years ago from Washington, USA

      Good to read this useful hub. A lot of efforts is required to post such kind of informational hub. Good job done. Keep it up.

    • amord profile image

      amord 4 years ago from nigeria

      I really enjoyed and appreciate the good job you have done here, and God will give you more inspirations

    • vespawoolf profile image

      vespawoolf 4 years ago from Peru, South America

      Congrats on Hub of the Day! The checklist for selecting a gym is great!

    • ComfortB profile image

      Comfort Babatola 4 years ago from Bonaire, GA, USA

      Congrats on the hotd award. I stopped to read because this is something my daughter was interested in when she was little, but we never pursued it because of some conflicting schedules etc.

      I do appreciate your write-up on this, and thanks for sharing.

    • StephanieBCrosby profile image

      Stephanie Bradberry 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thanks for providing such detailed coverage of what to expect when making the decision for a child to be a competitive gymnast. My daughter is 2 and has been in gymnastics for about half a year now. Gymnastics seems like a great fit for her with her personality, frame, and natural abilities. I tried to start gymnastics with my son, 3, but I just don't think it is for him. So he never went past the trial class.

      I would love to say I am living vicariously through my daughter because I always wanted to be a gymnast. But she will have the option to stop whenever she wants. I just love that gymnastic skills are transferable to so many other activities.

    • randomcreative profile image

      Rose Clearfield 4 years ago from Milwaukee, Wisconsin

      Congrats on getting Hub of the Day! This is a great resource.

    • Express10 profile image

      H C Palting 4 years ago from East Coast

      Useful and informative hub. Gymnastics is a life choice similar to that of figure skaters. Gymnastics is absolutely beautiful and makes me want to do it every time I see it.

    • catherine2255 profile image

      catherine2255 4 years ago from Wales

      Becoming a gymnast was my dream when I was 9 but I was already too old to be trained properly. I tried to get Olympic tickets this year but missed out in the draw! I'm still waiting for the second round of tickets!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for sharing. I appreciate you taking the time. You can still get tickets to the Visa Championships which are being held in St. Louis, MO! All of the US Olympians will be there...just and idea :)

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      I agree, figure skating is beautiful and graceful and takes just as much dedication as gymnastics. I love to watch it too!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you! It was very unexpected and I am happy it was chosen.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      You're right that gymnastics can transfer to nearly any other sport. Plus, the muscle development stays with kids their entire lives. I hope your daughter likes it or even loves it and if you ever have any questions, feel free to contact me, I am happy to give you any insight!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you very much. I'm please that it is being read well.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you! I wanted to be as thorough as possible so hopefully it's helpful. Thanks again.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you, I rely a great deal on the inspiration I receive from the Lord - my coach :) I appreciate you taking time to stop by and read.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you. It was a 25-years-in-the-making list!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for commenting. I think that parents should really be educated and know the fine details that aren't necessarily presented during the "trial class". That was my intent. Thanks again!

    • pstraubie48 profile image

      Patricia Scott 4 years ago from sunny Florida

      Congratulations on hub of the day. I need to pass this along to my niece who is thinking of gymnastics for her girls. You have succinctly stated information she needs to know. Thanks for sharing this.

    • FitnessMarkLorie profile image

      FitnessMarkLorie 4 years ago from Longs, SC

      I have actually considered gymnastics training. At my age, 28, I wouldn't make it very far, but the strength training aspect of gymnastics interests me a lot. Gymnasts have more strength pound for pound than any one else....

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for reading! It's always good for parents to be informed and coming from the coaches perspective, hopefully it will be helpful! I wish your niece the best of luck! If you have any other questions, feel free to ask.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      The best part about gymnastics training is that it's all natural, we didn't use any fancy machines or additional weight systems. If you ever decide to get into the gymnastics style of training, look me up. I would be happy to share my volumes of conditioning training with you!

    • krillco profile image

      William E Krill Jr 4 years ago from Hollidaysburg, PA

      Well done article; especially encouraged by the section on the emotional side of the issue for kids.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you. I appreciate you commenting and taking the time to read.

    • Aley Martin profile image

      Alice Lee Martin 4 years ago from Sumner, Washington,USA

      gymnastics for young people is extremely harmful to their spines.My husband has treated many young children for curvatures of the spine that were either gymnasts or cheerleaders. Be very careful and make certain she gets good chiropractic treatments.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thanks for commenting.

      I think that saying it's harmful to all athletes is over generalizing. It can be harmful. I've studied a lot of information put out by the USECA and their focus is injury prevention for gymnasts. I've never read anything that specifically discusses spines which develop a curvature due to gymnastics but if that information is out there, I would be interested to read it.

      What I experienced was lordosis in very flexible kids who also had weak abdominal muscles which strained their back muscles.

    • ramachandrashenoi profile image

      ramachandrashenoi 4 years ago

      I read it because it is the Hub of the day.I had little knowledge of Gymnastics. After reading you I do know something about one of my favorite sports.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      This is really informative. Every sport has its demands on the body and the mind. The effects can have greater impact on children.

      I love watching the skills and competitiveness of gymnasts. But I did not know how tough it could be to get into the Olympics. 1:300,000 that's really difficult.

    • DzyMsLizzy profile image

      Liz Elias 4 years ago from Oakley, CA

      Congratulations on Hub of the Day! This was a well-written and informative piece with much valuable information.

      My younger daughter got a tiny taste of competitive gymnastics at an age when many gymnasts are "retiring" from the sport. She was in high school, and it was an extra-curricular activity that was offered. That means, she was a beginner in the 10th grade! The competed with other schools, and because it was a public school activity, there was very minimal expense. Some kids did get hurt, and she herself took a nasty fall off the vault horse one day...luckily, nothing broken, but a good scare for me.

      The instructor pretty much told them that they were in it just for fun at their ages...and she also said that every sport has certain long-term risks, stated a comparison thusly: "Gymnasts ruin their backs; ballerinas ruin their knees."

      Nonetheless, we still enjoy watching the Olympic gymnastics competitions on TV...I do just wish they'd refine their terminology, and not refer to "women's" gymnastics when there are no women, but only young girls in the sport at that level.

      Voted up, interesting, useful, and shared.

    • ImKarn23 profile image

      Karen Silverman 4 years ago

      Hi KR. Not sure where to start, so i'll start by saying excellent hub! I am a canadian who left home at 14 to train under Dick Mulveyhill at the national academy of artistic gymnastics in eugene. I'm pretty sure you know of it. I was 1 of 8 elite gymnasts - and the sole canadian. You are so right about the good, and the bad. Sometimes - it can also get ugly re: eating disorders that can have impact on a girls entire life. While i was training (6hrs/day) 2 girls were sent home(to their states) because their bulimia owned them - instead of vice versa. One was a 2 time olympian - i won't name names. In my opinion - while it can, like you say so well - be a brutally tough sport - the amazing life lessons learned FAR outweigh the negative...IF you live through the experience...LOL...(it took me several days of just LOOKING at your hub to actually venture inside of it..yes..gymnastics has impact!)ps - i'm 50 years old, have 2 kids, do yoga once a week only - and still have a gymnast body - including abs! My muscles now have better memory than my brain! haha...ha...sigh..Thanks for sticking this hub so far in my face that i could no longer ignore it! lol Can you say memories? i know i can...

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. I can appreciate why you would hesitate to read it.

      You know as well as I do that gymnastics is in your blood forever :). I still have my gymnastics body and muscles too. My husband hates that...lol. I do know of Mr Mulveyhill. That must have been a tremendous experience! As a coach, my gymnasts used to say that not only were we learning gymnastics but we had our one hour a week of "life lesson" time. Simply because the coaches become pseudo parents.

      I wouldn't trade my gymnastics memories for the aching knees, the pain, the multiple surgeries I've undergone. If I could do it all over again, the only thing I would change is that I would have tried to do more.

      Thank you so much for commenting.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for commenting. You are definitely correct that it really is for young girls however when it was introduced, there were more women in the Olympics than young girls!

      I have seen girls fall so many times that I don't even flinch any more - perhaps that's not a good thing. Mostly it's because as a coach I never panic because if I panic, the athlete panics. When an athlete falls you can see a literal ripple effect in the crowd. Nevertheless, I hope your daughter enjoyed gymnastics! Thank you so much for commenting.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for reading! It's a beautiful sport that like any other sport requires a lot of work! The VISA Championships will be showcasing the US athletes who will be competing in London. You should check it out!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      It is very difficult and the window of opportunity typically comes once, maybe twice in a lifetime.

      Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've been an avid fan of gymnastics (men's and women's) since the days of Olga Korbut. The level of skills and techniques has grown by leaps and bounds and with it the demands made upon the athletes.

      I would recommend this hub to anyone who is considering competitive gymnastics for their child. It's well written and packed with lots of information parents and athletes need to know before committing to anything.

      Well done.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you for commenting. Gymnastics has come a long way since Miss Korbut. She was an amazing athlete! I'm glad I can offer an inside perspective for people who are considering gymnastics or who don't have an inside perspective of the high levels of competitive gymnastics. Thanks again.

    • BLACKANDGOLDJACK profile image

      BLACKANDGOLDJACK 4 years ago from Blitzburgh area

      Kudos to you for Hub of the Day! I don’t know all that much about gymnastics, but this was an excellent hub for those involved in the sport. Hey, and I learned a new word—lordosis.

      I’ve done a similar analysis, but not nearly as comprehensive as yours, on soccer. My daughter has played soccer since around 6 or 7 and now it looks like she is going to play next year in college. She also plays on a travel club and the first game is this Sunday. When it’s not soccer, it has been basketball, both during the winter and in a summer league.

      One of the best things about sports is that it keeps the kids in shape. But more importantly, it keeps them out of trouble. Or helps anyway.

    • Pamela99 profile image

      Pamela Oglesby 4 years ago from United States

      This is an excellent hub for anyone that has a child entering gymnastics. Your well-written, comprehensive hub listed all the important considerations, with the pros and cons. Congrats on your well-deserved nomination.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thank you very much Pamela! I'm happy to be a part of the nominated group! It's a well deserved crowd!

    • donnatru profile image

      Donna 4 years ago from Danville, IL

      Thank you kr I shared your information with my daughter. My six year old granddaughter is pigeon toed. The pediatrician has recommended dance or possibly gymnastics to help improve balance and coordination. Your hub has very useful information.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      donnatru, Thanks for reading! One of the best things you can do for a child who is pidgeon-toed if she is considering gymnastics is have her walk on a surface at home (floor) that has a straight line and watch her own feet as they point forward - slightly out. I often suggested this for girls who had trouble on the balance beam and although any correction takes time this is a good way for girls to recognize their own body - kinesthetically. Best of luck to your granddaughter!

    • ripplemaker profile image

      Michelle Simtoco 4 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

      Yes it would be very important for a lot of tolerance and acceptance for kids to flourish in sports such as gymnastics! Loved this hub!

      Congratulations on your Hubnuggets nomination! Click here https://hubpages.com/community/Saturday-Night-HubN...

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Ripplemaker, Thank you for taking the time to read my hub! It was fun to write and I'm thrilled just to have been nominated!!

    • Natalie Dalton profile image

      Natalie Dalton 4 years ago

      Thanks for the great hub! I have debating whether or not I want to put my youngest in gymnastics. I don't want her to get too caught up in the competitiveness but it seems like something she would like to do. I think I am going to. (http://altiusgymnastics.com)

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Thanks for reading and commenting Natalie! I would say that gymnastics is absolutely a life choice. Once it's in your blood, it's always there! I hope your daughter loves it as much as I have. Best of luck to her!

    • johnr54 profile image

      Joanie Ruppel 4 years ago from Texas

      We live in Region III where a lot of gymnasts make the Olympics. Although I have a son, a lot of the same things apply to boys also. Nick quit as the State Champ for his age group and placed 2nd in our Region. He was only 11 years old but wanted to be in sports with his friends at school. Both things were good for him, but in the long run, I know we made the right choice.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Johnr54, Region III is definitely a very tough region with Texas and Oklahoma! Congratulations on having a state champ in region III especially a young man! It's very disheartening that men's gymnastics is slowly dying out! I'm glad you feel you made the best choice! Best of luck to you and thank you for reading!

    • profile image

      jj1603 4 years ago

      My daughter is 6 and began taking gymnastics in December. She is now on a level 4 team. The others in her group are all older and a bit ahead of her. At competitions in level 4, do they score by age or just by the level? I'm afraid I may should have waited longer about allowing her to start competeing.

    • profile image

      Dee 4 years ago

      My daughter is 8 and was asked to join the young team. Copper she started at a school about a year and a half ago then joined a new gym three months ago. She was in rec month one. Preteem month 2. And asked to join copper team month 3. I have worried about all sorts things from injuries to time to finances. Thanks for your article it was very informative. I am not sure about the level of her school. My daughter has the dream of many; the Olympics. If I invest time and money into all of this I want her to be able to go somewhere with her talent. I know the Olympics is a long shot but if so how do you know? How do you go about the training? How do you know if she started early enough? I probably have more questions too but could you answer some of these for now?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      jj1603, If she is competing in USAG sanctioned meets she will be scored by age groups and only against level 4 athletes. The age groups are decided on by how many kids enter at certain ages - meaning that if there are only five 6 year-olds and 5 seven year-olds and the director wants to have the kids compete in groups of 11 - 12, the age group will be 6-7 year-olds. If you have 11 six year-olds then the age group will be just six year-olds. Hopefully that makes sense. It totally depends on how many kids enter at which age and you won't know the age groups until you arrive the day of the meet - in most cases. Hopefully this helps. If you need more help, feel free to ask again. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Dee, These are your criteria: at the gym your daughter is currently working out, 1. How many kids are on the competitive team at levels 7-10? (the answer to this should be at least 15) 2. Do they have any Elite level athletes? (If your daughter truly wants to be an Olympian, the answer to this should be yes.)

      Don't think about whether or not she started early enough. It doesn't matter now. You can't predict whether or not a child will make-it but it sounds like she has talent or she wouldn't have been moved up. Training takes time. She seems to be on a faster track at this point and it's okay to be on a fast track as long as she is conditioned well and is strong.

      Please feel free to email me any questions you have. Thank you for reading and commenting.

    • profile image

      lasmom 4 years ago

      This was a good article and from my experience it was very true. Gymnastics takes a lot of dedication. I would love to see more (or any) programs where little girls can compete, but not sign their life away to the gym. My daughter is 9 and competes at level 3 and has for about a year. She's already getting burned out. She loves her team and the team spriit, but the 12 hours per week is killing our entire family! The meet schedule is too aggressive too, with meets once or twice per month from Sept to May. When I brought it up to her coach that she should start a watered down version, she acted as though I didn't appreciate the sacrifice part of the sport. She's NINE - I don't want her making sacrifices yet! So, I'm at a loss. She doesn't want to quit (and I don't want her to), but she complains about going to practice all the time. And the entire family is getting burned out on all the meets!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      lasmom, Excellent comment. I can completely understand what you mean. It's a life choice for the whole family because you have to rearrange your entire family's schedule to accommodate the meet schedule which can be grueling. Have you considered looking into gyms that workout less hours? I know that's never the best choice especially if you are happy with your gym. Are you locked into your meet schedule? Or can you choose to attend fewer meets? Is she in USAG or AAU?

      As far as her being nine, I hate to be the bad guy but nine isn't young for gymnastics. Sorry! Nine is a great age for girls to blossom in the sport. In our program our nine year-olds were typically level 5-6. Don't worry about her age, you have to feel totally comfortable with her coaches, the schedule, the training and how it's impacting your family. Lastly, is your daughter's coach young? Does she have kids of her own? Those are two questions that immediately pop to mind when you explain her reaction to you.

      I hope that you can find a happy medium so that your daughter can continue to do gymnastics since it seems that she loves the sport. If you have any questions, feel free to ask. -K

    • TripleAMom profile image

      TripleAMom 4 years ago from Florida

      We are just now looking into putting my 6 year old in gymnastics. She has played soccer, but really wants to try this and we try to let our children try things out. My 12 year old is going to take just for fun and to learn some tumbling skills for cheerleading. Thanks for your comments. Was wondering what you mean by a "go and throw" gym? Want to make sure about that.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      TripleAMom, thank you for reading and responding. A "go and throw" gym is the type of gym that doesn't teach the skills by breaking them down into drills and smaller pieces. They might just tell the kiddos to do a cartwheel on the beam. At a technique gym they would do the following:

      teach the cartwheel

      do the cartwheel on the floor on a line

      do the cartwheel on a stacked panel mat on a line

      do the cartwheel from one stacked panel mat to another stacked panel mat both with lines with a gap between the mats

      do the cartwheel on a panel mat that is at the end of a low beam and land on the beam

      do the cartwheel from the low beam to land on the stacked panel mat

      do a cartwheel on a low beam

      cartwheel on medium beam

      cartwheel on high beam

      It sounds like a long process however, typically girls can do more than one stage at a time. Hope this helps!

      The question you would want to ask is whether or not they use drills to teach skills. Best of luck to both of your gymnastics girls!

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      My 7 year old niece has been in gymnastics for 3 years. She amazes me. She prefers gymnastics to cheerleading. Thank you for the information. She is smart as a whip.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      dianetrotter, it's my pleasure. Thank you for reading and commenting. I hope your niece loves it as much as I do! -K

    • dianetrotter profile image

      G. Diane Nelson Trotter 4 years ago from Fontana

      She walks around flipping and splitting at the most unusual times. She loves to show off.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      dianetrotter, that's a pretty good sign that she's a gymnast :) I love it! -K

    • amord profile image

      amord 4 years ago from nigeria

      Olala, this is so lovely...

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      amord, thank you very much. -K

    • talfonso profile image

      talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      This Hub gets me into the hard world of competitive gymnastics. I have seen it from several gymnastics schools here in the USA and in the world. China is usually among the hardest, and some critics denounce it as very harsh.

      I have seen YouTube videos of coaches in China kicking, yelling at, and grabbing students until they get it right. One video showed a girl practicing her balance beam routine, and about midway, she was dragged by her coach, indicating that she must do it again till right. Fortunately, not all schools there and here have the bossiest ones like those.

      Anyway, good Hub.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      talfonso, Thank you for reading and I appreciate the compliment. Unfortunately, you are correct. When athletes compete at the highest level in any sport, there is a chance that the coaching will be forceful and perhaps even brutal in some cases. I believe it's less common in the United States since the USAG has enforced the ban on memberships when cases of abuse are reported. Regardless, it's unacceptable that a child suffers to be the top athlete in the world. The Chow's coaches (Des Moines, IA) have the recipe for success. Not only are they producing world class athletes, their athletes are happy. They are some of the nicest coaches to work with. Thanks again for your input. -K

    • profile image

      DMVmimay 4 years ago

      very useful hub, this will open door to parents who had a child who loves gymnast.. thanks for sharing!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      DMVmimay, I'm glad you found it helpful. I appreciate you taking the time to read and comment. -K

    • profile image

      jayla 4 years ago

      i need to enter my kid

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      jayla, Best of luck. I hope your child has a great experience in gymnastics. -K

    • profile image

      teresa 4 years ago

      Thank you for this article. It was very helpful. My daughter is 5 and is trying out for the training team today. She was in a recreational Level I class and was promoted to Level II after 12 weeks. She absolutely adores it. This article helped me understand what is ahead if we choose to go this path. Thank you.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      teresa, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. Hopefully this is helpful information for you as you navigate the world of competitive gymnastics. It sure sounds as though you're well on the way! Best of luck to your daughter! -K

    • profile image

      Sharon 4 years ago

      My daughter is competing Level 6, her coaches berate her and other girls at times In front of the entire team. I know gymnastics is a tough sport but this seems extreme. They told her she may not be able to compete in the next meet because they were not happy with her performance. While its true, she can do better, she finished second in her age group. Is this the type of coaching I can expect from competitive gymnastics?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Sharon, It's not typical at all gyms although I'm sorry to know and hear that it does happen. Placement doesn't necessarily determine progress because there are some gyms that like to hold athletes back for their own purposes - mainly so they can retain a winning streak but also so they can improve skills. My first question would be, does your daughter have all of her level 7 skills? Regardless, no child should ever be berated at any time. There are other options. If you have more questions please feel free to ask. -K

    • profile image

      Sharon 4 years ago

      thank you for your response. The competition they are considering not letting her compete in is the next meet, still level 6. It is not time to consider her for level 7 yet. I agree, placement does not determine progress. They sat all the girls down and the coach started yelling at a few of the girls in front of everyone. my daughter came home hysterical. Is there a method to their madness?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Sharon, There is a method to the madness but athletes shouldn't be yelled at. I hate to speculate on exactly what's going on with each coach but in my opinion, when a coach has to yell or use negativity with a child, it's almost always their issues coming to the forefront. I seem to have a lot of success with laughter, positive reinforcement and making kiddos feel good but again, I cannot speak on the behalf of every coach or each situation.

      I also believe that if you have a specific problem with an athlete you should take the time to discuss it privately - never publicly. If I knew you and your kiddo I would ask you: how long have you been at this gym? How long has your daughter been in gymnastics? Is your daughter working level 7-8 skills yet? Is there any chance that your daughter will be working with a different coach any time soon? If you feel that your daughter is receiving the benefits and can mature emotionally enough to handle what's being thrown at her - because let's face it, it's not really her issue, it's the coach's issue - then I would try to teach your daughter how to be strong through it. I cannot stress enough the overwhelming benefits of competitive gymnastics but, I would never tell you to stay with a coach that isn't working from a place of genuine love, trust, good sportsmanship and great coaching skills. I sincerely hope this helps and if there is anything else I can do for you, feel free to touch base any time. krsharp05@gmail.com -K

    • profile image

      Sharon 4 years ago

      OMG you are so fabulous and without knowing exactly what is going on in our particular situation you hit the nail on the head. YOU ROCK! thanks for your insight, it is invaluable!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Sharon, I'm happy to help and I wish you and your daughter the very best. Sincerely -K

    • profile image

      Emerald 4 years ago

      I love your Hub! I think I've read through the whole thing. My son is just turned 6 and is in level 2. There is almost no information out there about boys gymnastics -- It's a LOT different than girls. It seems like they really don't push the boys as early as girls, and I realize that it's because boys don't peak until around 18-20, whereas girls typically peak between 13 and 16.. But that's just a tangent.

      My question is, I read somewhere (and I can no longer find the source) that children should spend about a year on levels 1-3 and then about a year at each level after. That would put a girl at level 10 by 13ish, which is absolutely perfect for girls wanting to go Elite and be ready for the Olympics at 16 but not ideal for a boy. Do you have any thoughts on how long a boy should be spending on the pre-comp levels?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Emerald, Great question! I'm not as familiar with how boys move through the levels but I will speak with the male coaching staff and find you the best answer. Thanks for reading the hub. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Emerald, I spoke with a men's gymnastics coach and his reply was that if you're son is mature enough and is on an "Olympic" track, he should be fast-tracking. That's what coaches consider athletes who are moving through classes quickly. He stated that in a perfect situation, in order to be on the Elite - Olympic fast track boys should be in level 5 by the age of 6. He also said that age is not a concrete determining factor because kids can be as old as 10 in level 5. He was very adamant about the importance of a boy's maturity being an important element in placement. I sure hope this helps. If it doesn't answer your question, feel free to send me more details and I will make sure you understand the process. -K

    • profile image

      page2007 4 years ago

      My daughter is 5 and began gymnastics this fall. She moved up very quickly to Pre Team which practices 1 hr 2 times a week. She has always loved doing gymnastics, but recently she told me that she isn't having fun anymore. Her gym is very goal driven and her class is demanding. I don't want her to lose her love of gymnastics by making her stay if she isn't having fun. There is another gym in our town which is much more "FUN" based. I'm thinking of letting her try a class there to see if it is a better fit. Our gym now is great but if she's not enjoying herself, what's the point?! Any help would be greatly appreciated

    • profile image

      parkerpost 4 years ago

      Great Article!! My daughter just completed level 4 (36.5 overall) and she turned 8 in November. She will competing level 5 in the Spring. She worked extremely hard to get this score because she suffers from ADHD. She absolutely loves this sport more than anything but she has to work twice as hard as everyone else. It took her so long to learn routines,etc. I am a little nervous that level 5 is going to be too challenging for her. She will not be competing 5 if she doesn't know routines well. She is quite a bit older than the other girls in her group. In Texas, the girls start very young!!! I'm not sure if this will be the right sport for her going forward. She still struggles with grasping the vault and balancing on the beam. Is this something that takes time? We already spend 4 days a week at the gym. Thank you for help!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      page2007, I would ask her why she isn't having fun. It could be because she's changing classes so quickly in which case I would give her a chance to wait it out since she obviously has some gymnastics talent. It's common for kids to experience some nerves when they move up because the intensity increases but that will subside as they ease into the routine and as they become more familiar with the other athletes.

      The down side of leaving your current gym situation is that once you leave, it might be difficult to return if you don't like the other gym so before you make that choice, do your homework. Personally, being at a gym that is demanding and goal oriented is what you might prefer in the long run because when it comes to award time, kids will want to be on the podium receiving awards, not sitting in the crowd watching. As kids mature, they will understand the importance of knowing how to set and achieve goals. I hope this helps and I wish you luck in your choice. If I can help you any further, please let me know. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      parkerpost, Thank you for reading! It sounds like your daughter is well on her way to being a level 5 and she's not too old. While Texas is an extremely competitive state in Region 3, and it sounds like you do have some obstacles, there are ways to work through those obstacles. It sounds like your daughter is willing.

      I'm wondering what exactly about the beam and vault she's not grasping? Is she wobbly on beam? Does she just need more time on beam or a better understanding of how to work beam? With vault, does she have shape issues? Is she bending her arms?

      I also hear you saying that gymnastics seems to take a lot of time already and boy, that's for sure. As gymnasts progress those hours just increase. The good thing is that your daughter should start to acclimate more easily to learning the routines. Changes will be more subtle as she is promoted and it should be a more fluid transition. That said, if she has difficulty, you could seed out private lessons (if your gym allows it) but I do suggest that if you choose privates, find the best coach so that you make sure it's worth what you spend because private lessons can be very expensive. My personal belief is that kids should be able to learn everything they need in the time I coach them. If parents want something extra, that's what a private is for.

      Ending the year at a 36.5 is pretty good! (3.5 away from perfect) I would let your daughter be a level 5 and see where things go. I'm very interested to hear about her beam and vault. If she gets into level 5 workouts and she's really struggling, talk to the coaches about ways you can help her. Hope this helps! -K

    • profile image

      KindergartenTCHR 4 years ago

      This article was great. As a kindergarten teacher, I appreciate information that is present in a very simple matter :). I am writing because I want to know how realistic to be with my daughter and gymnastics. According to your article, she is in a great gym. However, she started this past August at the age of 9. She is tall for her age....and since I am close to 6ft., I am sure she will always be tall for her age. She started on level 1 and after 4 months, she is on level 5. I don't want to feel like they are just moving her along for the sake of moving her. I also don't know how realistic it would be to keep her in this sport since she is tall and I assumed this sport were mostly for short girls. As for now, she doesn't have any real expectations like Olympics, she simply enjoys it. However, if she is really good, then I want to pursue it fully and at least hope for a scholarship to college. Can tall girls do well in gymnastics? Is it typical for girls to move through the levels so quickly?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      KindergartenTCHR, Thank you for reading and commenting. It's unusual for tall kids to compete in high levels however it's also uncommon for a good competitive gym to move a child up in rank if they are not ready. I would suggest that you allow your daughter the opportunity to compete since it sounds like she is doing well, and see how far she can take it - especially because she is in a good program. There's no way to know how tall she'll actually be and if you can afford her the opportunity at a college scholarship, by all means! The most important thing is that she is enjoying and learning regardless of how fast they propel through the ranks. If you have any additional concerns feel free to ask. -K

    • profile image

      katie 4 years ago

      im a level 4 gymnast to about to a copticen in spring in chesterfield mo

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      katie, I wish you excellent luck this year in Region 4 and hope that you win gold at all your meets! Thank you for reading and commenting. -K

    • profile image

      parkerpost 4 years ago

      Thank you for the great advice! As far as the vault is concerned, her run is a bit funky and she studder steps when approaching the springboard. She has difficulty with multi-step situations--the arm circle and the jump really throw her off. She also pikes at times. I think she picked up some bad habbits early on that were not immediately corrected and during the competition, he mind defaults back to them. With beam, she has improved a ton but she still struggles with balance. In addition, her arms are never by her ears-they are always in front (any exercises you can recommend would be much-appreciated!) and on turns, her arms are low. She struggles in general with her arms as she doesn't have the shoulder flexibility to hold arms as far back as they need to be. Her hands are sometimes in a claw position when she's turning. She lacks grace--she doesn't know how to hold hands in a ballet position. I have tried to help her a bit at home, but she forgets at the gym and it's often overlooked bc of the large class size. She also struggles with handstand on beam--she cannot hold it. I don't think she has the core strength to do so. We have taken private lessons which are expensive, but they do work! Are there any drills at home that she can do to work on handstand on beam and overall work on beam on vault. We have a short beam at home. Thanks so much!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      parkerpost, The good thing is she can overcome everything you explained and most likely will!

      Do you have a cheese wedge at home? If not, put the end of your beam against a wall. Have her lunge and kick to handstand and hold the handstand against a wall. Make sure her back is nice and flat against the wall. (no arch or head out) You can also turn the beam and work the cartwheel to handstand without the dismount. Remind her that she has to stay tight or she'll fall :) just like at the gym. To upgrade, have her kick up to handstand (anywhere) and hold her shoulders while she works to maintain balance and good shape. Have her use the required hand placement when she's kicking into the respective handstand to ensure she'll learn them better, even if you're just practicing them on the floor on a line. It will be better for her muscle memory.

      If she's working on the beam for an English handstand, when she comes down she will want to watch her first foot land but not the second foot. Arms should push immediately forward and up to crown by the ears.

      I hope this helps and that your daughter has a great season. Best of luck in your gymnastics endeavors and if there is anything else I can do, feel free to ask. -K

    • profile image

      Mica 4 years ago

      Just had gym end of year awards.

      In past years awards gold silver bronze were given out based on years comp results. We have anew girl who has a gymnastic gift she is in the overs category so has medal wise done better than the younger ones but points wise not so well. I understand the coaches wanting to encourage her on. But end of year competition results had my daughter 6 points above her and another unders girl 1 point up yet said child took silver. Am I being obsessive or should I voice my concerns.

    • profile image

      Kristi sharp 4 years ago

      I have been a huge fan of gym since when i was 4 it is a great achievement to what you've do to other kids life

    • profile image

      Nicole 4 years ago

      Hi, My daughter has a coach similar to Sharon's (earlier post) daughter it sounds like. I would like to clarify if some of the things the coach says is inappropriate. I have never been in competitive sports. DD is in 5th grade, on level 5. According to DD, coach rolls her eyes, tells her she is going to break her neck if she does so and so, asks the kids if they have an attitude and tells them they are not trying hard enough and therefore are wasting their parents money.

      I feel like it is wrong but am afraid of being the overbearing mother enabling her child to whine. This coach is only 19 or 20 years old and i suspect no training of working with kids. Other parents complained last spring and the owner 'talked' with the coach. Things were better for a while but seem to have gotten bad again. My daughter is sensitive, but has no complaints about her other coaches or teachers for that matter. Any guidance would be appreciated. Thank you.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hello Mica, Thanks for reading. If I understand correctly, at the end of the season, your daughter finished with a higher AA score? I think you should focus on the fact that your daughter scored so well. You can't control the subjectivity of coaches and judges. If your daughter is improving, that's what matters. Thanks again -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Kristi, thanks for reading and commenting. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Nicole, thanks for reading and commenting. I cannot think of a single instance in my entire career when I threatened to break an athlete's neck. That is absolutelty inappropriate regardless of the coach's age and the owner needs to know and be held accountable for that employee. Your daughter should be challenged but she should also have fun. If you prefer to discuss this privately, feel free to email me. -K

    • profile image

      nicole 4 years ago

      Oh, no the coach said "don't do that or you will break your neck" and all the other stuff i mentioned. I had already emailed the owner and am planning to meet with her. Not sure if we should have the coach present but I would think it would be helpful.

      Sorry my message was misleading, I can see how you would think that! Still, what do you think about the comments?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Nicole, Sorry about that! Are you planning on meeting with the coach as a team or just your family? The only thing I would consider is whether or not the coach might feel she is being challenged or attacked and therefore take it out on your daughter in practice. The tone during practice should be "work hard" and "have fun". If the coach is making remarks to the kids it's not because kids won't work, it's a coaching issue. Hope this helps. If you need anything else, please ask. -K

    • profile image

      Kate 4 years ago

      This is kind of a random question. We recently competed in an event and the meet director made a special allowance for my dd. I asked our gym for the meet director's address so that we could send a thank you card and the coach happened to walk by, heard me ask, then yelled at me and told me it was inappropriate for an athelte's parent to contact a meet director for any reason. Is this true? It was not a big deal, just a nice gesture on the director's part and we wanted to return in kind.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Kate, Thanks for reading and you bring up a question that I receive often. It is generally frowned upon to speak to judges or meet directors in reference to scoring issues. The reason for that is because judges would be constantly bombarded by parents and, coaches should be able to recognize and explain your athlete's scores. That said, coaches have a tendency to be overly cautious about parent-judge interactions. I see no reason to interfere with a thank you note. Judging can be a difficult and thankless job and she may have appreciated the gesture. Have a great season. -K

    • profile image

      Caught my Cheating Boyfriend 4 years ago

      Constant blogger really enjoy your thread and I’m always looking forward to the newest post. ^.^ Keep up the great work. I’ll be checkin’ up!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 4 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Caught my Cheating Boyfriend, Thank you for reading and commenting. I appreciate it. In this industry it's always nice to have a fan. Best of luck in your writing. -K

    • profile image

      busymomtogirls 3 years ago

      Hi, this was a great article, thank you!

      My daughter is 9 and has recently moved up to level 5, she will compete this weekend to hopefully score into level 6 before the down grading of the levels this year. Her coach is very good and recently relocated with her fellow coach husband from the gym where Aly Raisman trained at.

      Our problem is very similar to a prior poster, the coach coaches by fear and intimidation and compliments are rare. Threaths were common until I (hopefully)put an end to it (as in "get out of my class","you can go back to the level you came from") , I explained that the threats only made my daughter shut down and want to quit.

      My daughter loves gymnastics and has natural talent for it, my concern is that she does want to slow down in order to try other things, and I think her fear of her coach is at the root of that. She is currently going 16 hours a week (4 days) which her coach feels is not enough. This gym is the only gym I'll be able to take her to due to time restraints, and I am worried that she will not be welcomed back if she takes a "break". They coach with heavy emphasis on conditioning, many times using 3 of the 4 hours on it, the girls condition with ankle and wrist weights and my daughter has muscles I could only dream of. I like that she is getting stronger, but it makes it hard for her to enjoy her practice. Most of the girls are crying during conditioning and if any of them fail, they all have to repeat their movements. She is terrified to ask to use the bathroom or to get a drink, she also complains of chronic stomach pains prior to practice (I usually ignore this as stress pains). She is very flexible and the coach will often lift her legs over her head and place her butt on her head when she lays on her stomach, hyper extending her back, this is a move that causes her back pain later that day. When questioned the coach proclaims that she knows what she is doing.

      I have been her biggest supporter at home, her dad (my ex) disagrees with the coaching and wants her to quit, I am getting tired of the constant pep talk to get her back to each practice, should I continue to push in the hopes that she will overcome her fear of the coach? Or should I let her take a break so she can decide what to do?

      I am sorry this is so long, I have sacrificed a lot for her gymnastics, I work nights so I can take her there and get school work etc. done, her younger sister has lost out on continuing gymnastics as I can only afford one in competitive team sport. I do not want this to be about me though, she truly loves the sport and I feel that she would regret it later if she did quit. She will be a tall girl and I have no olympic aspirations for her, I do want her to be the best she can be though.

      Thanks, -A

    • profile image

      Sebsilsotte 3 years ago

      This design is stellar! You definitely know how to keep a reader amused. Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost...HaHa!) Great job. I really loved what you had to say, and more than that, how you presented it. Too cool! check it out

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      busymomtogirs, It's a tough decision, without a doubt. I'm a firm believer in conditioning but the time spent conditioning should never surpass the purpose the girls are in the gym which is to learn gymnastics. Additionally conditioning should make a child sore in a good way but never cause pain.

      Reinforce to your daughter that needing to use the restroom is okay and she should never be afraid to ask. If she is thirsty and needs a drink, she should always be allowed to get one.

      Have you talked to the coach about what your daughter is experiencing? While I'm sure the coach does have a resume of experience, she doesn't have the same "mom" experience with your child and she needs to know that your kiddo isn't feeling good every day. If the coach is resistant to discussing the possibility of allowing your daughter to take a short break then I would consider finding another gym if that's possible. You never know, with the compulsory groups being rearranged, you might find that another gym has a better schedule for you. I agree that she might regret quitting but she might also find another sport which she excels at because of her early gymnastics career.

      I hope this helps. Feel free to contact me again if you need to.

      K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Sebsilosotte, Thank you for reading and leaving such a nice comment. I appreciate it. You should start a blog! I'm sure you would excel at it. -K

    • profile image

      lhelmin 3 years ago

      Hi, My daughter started gymnastics a little late she is 11 and a level 5 she can do many of the level 6 and 7 skills as well and LOVES gymnastics. Her first year competing was last year and her first meet was her lowest score and it was an AA of 31.5 Her gym is now wanting to go to the excel program and would like her to switch from USAG JO but I am horribly torn about doing this I feel like it is limiting her before she has the chance to reach her full potential would you give me your opinion.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Ihelmin, Thank you for taking the time to read and comment. My first question is whether or not your gym is going to be exclusively excel or will they continue to offer USAG? In my experience, the level of competition in rec leagues is not the same quality you will find in the JO Program. Kids often workout fewer hours and the requirements are relaxed. If your gym will continue to offer the USAG program, I would keep your daughter involved in that. The only time I agree with moving an athlete into a rec league is when their progress plateaus and they have the opportunity to continue to advance by moving into a program like the excel program. If you have additional questions, feel free to write again.

    • profile image

      lhelmin 3 years ago

      Thank you so much for the advice, the gym is going exclusively to Excel and that is the only reason they want her to switch programs. I feel the same way that the rec league is just not the same. We have decided to switch her to a gym that will offer the JO program as she has not by any means hit a plateau and is still growing quickly.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Ihelmin, I think it's a wise move for you. Transition is never easy but at times, it is necessary. The earlier you move the easier it will be for your daughter. I wish your daughter the best of luck and if you should have any questions in the future, feel free to write. Good luck -K

    • profile image

      berkeymom 3 years ago

      My daughter loves gymnastics and has recently moved up to a level 6. She is 8. However her gym does not have a pit nor do they have a standard trampoline. Are these essential for mastering skills? thanks for the advice!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      berkeymom, Congratulations to your daughter! They are not essential for moving up to level 6 (assuming the new age-group program) but they are very handy tools to have. They make learning the flipping skills much easier. Trampolines are great because they allow athletes to work mostly technique while mastering the skills before they have to perform them on the spring floor. Foam pits are great because they offer an easy step from trampoline toward hard floor which provides a cushion barrier landing. If you are satisfied with your coaches and your scoring - how your team stands at the final. I would be good to know the coaching philosophy prior to making the comitmment.

    • Susie Keeler profile image

      Susie Keeler 3 years ago from El Reno, Oklahoma

      I am a new gymnastics parent and my daughter is moving up fast. Our goal is to be on a competitive team one day. Just just moved to the pre-team today. I was wondering if they place in the meets do they receive money or just medals. I have heard how expensive it can get and so I was not sure but that would help with expenses if they do. And thank you so much for this, I have had many questions and you have helped me so much. Thank you.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Susie, Congratulations to your new gymnast! During meets at the beginner levels kiddos will receive ribbons and trophies. There isn't normally a cash purse unless it's been previously advertised. I've not seen that happen in the age group levels. It can get very expensive if your gym requires several leotards. Meet entry fees typically run from $35-$90 per meet and if you travel to out of state meets those fees are additional. Thank you for taking the time to read and respond. If you have any more questions I am happy to answer. Best of luck to you and your gymnast! -K

    • profile image

      Momtutu 3 years ago

      I genuinely appreciate this article. My 6-year old daughter has been invited on team at two different gyms and I've been struggling with how to properly consider and analyze this choice.

      I realize this next question is completely out of the box: Is it possible for a gymnast to take private lessons at a gym (or gyms) and compete AAU and/or USAG without being part of a team? Thank you. ~mtt

    • profile image

      NewStageMom 3 years ago

      krsharp05,

      I will first like to thank you for this article, it is truly inspiring to me. I am the mother of a four year old who is on Team Level 1, training for 2 hours, twice a week . Everything that was mentioned in this article is true to the "T" and is more than helpful!! However, I will like to ask you for your advice.

      My mother and I sit and observe my daughter each class. Being that she is 4, the only child, and won't be in Kindergarten for another year (late birthday), I am finding it difficult for her to stay focused and show any further progress. In fact she is regressing from when she was on pre-team.

      Her team coach is very hard on her (more so than any other team member). Being that she is the youngest on the team, I will think that she would have a little more patience with her. There is another little girl on her team who is 5 but seems to be treated much nicer by the same coach. The reasons that I have concluded for this treatment is:

      1. My daughter is not taking directions/corrections and applying them,

      2. My daughter likes to play around instead of watching the girls in line before her to determine what is next, utilize their corrections, and learn from their mistakes,

      3. I yell out to the floor a lot to tell her to tell her to get focused or to pay attention. I even give her corrections when her coach is focusing on other team mates when she is doing something wrong,

      4. Being 4 she constantly looks at me for approval, which, leads the coach yelling at her numerous times throughout the 2 hour classes to not "look at mom" "turn your head" "stop looking over their". At times she is not even looking at me, she is looking dazed in what I call "la-la land".

      With this being said, what should I do, switch gyms and start fresh or what? How do I repair the relationship with her coach?

      As I have mentioned several times, my daughter is only four and I do not want her to lose her love for the sport (which she is starting to do). Nor do I want this treatment to continue. At this age, I think that gymnastics should be fun, yet challenging. So if I have to choose a challenging gym, versus, a fun gym that is only semi-challenging, which one should I choose?

      Any help will be greatly appreciated, thanks.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Momtutu, Thank you for reading and commenting. It sounds like a real conundrum! The good new is, anything is possible. My suggestion is to stick with one gym so that you have "consistency in the classroom." Coaches teach differently and kids can get confused. You absolutely don't want your daughter to get mixed up and frustrated.

      I've not known many teams who allow kids to workout with their competitive athletes knowing they are not going to compete simply because their focus is on the athletes who are going to be competing. I think that private lessons are a great idea. Your daughter will have the full attention of the coach. Is there any particular reason you have to choose between USAG and AAU? Just curious why that's coming into the picture. -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      NewStageMom, Thank you for the nice compliment and I'm glad you found this helpful.

      I have a few questions for you:

      1. Is your daughter the only new addition to the class?

      2. How old is the teacher?

      3. Does the teacher explain the big words she is using?

      4. How long have you been at this gym?

      5. Has the coach spoken with you about your daughter?

      If you would like to email me you certainly can. krsharp05@gmail.com. I definitely have some ideas for you but would like to get more information. Best, Kristi

    • profile image

      Christy 3 years ago

      Hello! We are considering joining a great gym with a strong program. Everything seems like a good fit, but after a 30 day trail, we are expected to financially commit for 1 year. For no reason ( illness, injury, dismissal, move, etc) are we allowed to withdrawal without continuing to pay. Is this a normal expectation?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Christy, It's not uncommon for a gym to ask for a one year commitment in advance regardless of the circumstances of your child being unable to perform. I would hope that if your child is ill or injured, the staff would go to every extent to get them healthy and ensure their future health. One question I would definitely ask is how often have families been "dismissed"? That sends up a bit of a red flag. If they ask you to sign a contract - never sign on the spot and if it's an option, I might discuss it with an attorney to see what your rights really are or if they are attempting to legally bind you into paying. I would definitely not pay by any sort of auto-pay. However, you did say that this has been a good fit so far so I wish you the very best. I would be interested to know how things turn out.

    • profile image

      Christy 3 years ago

      Thanks for your reply. Turns out, they have revised their policy and team manual. Now there is just a one month deposit required in addition to 30 day notice. That seems more reasonable to me. Something else has come up now and I am not sure how to feel about it. We just completed the level 3 season (former gym)and are on trial at this new gym. We were told that they would like her to stay on level 3 for now to build her strength and master some skills. She qualified for Texas South State last month (former gym) so I don't think we are too far off track. With that said, she has the opportunity to improve and be re-evaluated for level 4 in the Summer. Needless to say, we are disappointed and I am afraid my daughter will be really discouraged. She has already been on level 3 for a year and she is bored with the repetition so far and other kids will be moving up and she won't. She is already the oldest (10 years old) on level 3 and now that will stand out even more. So my concern is, is this a right fit for her? She loves the gym, is a hard worker, but its such a huge commitment. I want to be realistic about it and not just shell out $500 a month to "just see" . We went from being great gymnast at a gym we were not happy with to not measuring up at a great gym. Is it common for girls to repeat levels? Is 10 years old too old in the gym world for level 3/4 ? Any insight is appreciated. Thanks!!

    • profile image

      Jeanine 3 years ago

      Hi

      My daughter is in nj usag gymnastics level 3. She is 7 years old (but competing as an 8 year old b/c her birthday is in December). She has been practicing 11 hours per week and works very hard. Recently she has told me when she is not doing exactly what the coach says for example wiggling on the balance beam (which she does try not to do) they tell her to "get away from them". She also gets told to do v-ups when she wiggles on the beam. She is now reporting that she does not want to do this next year and wants to do usaigc instead. I do not see her moving to olympic levels, but what is your take on this track for girls. She is one of those kids...who can get stunts quickly like her mill circle and backhandspring..but her quality is not there. She places only in the top 50% each meet, usually falling 1/2 way in...for example 12th our of 24, or 8 out of 16 girls. Her overall scores fall in the 35's. She has 2 girls on her team who constantly get first and I think she is also discouraged because of that. Just not sure if I should encourage her to stay or move to usaigc...where in her opinion the girls have more fun?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hello Again Christy! Repeating the compulsory levels is not uncommon especially when the new routine cycles begin. Being 10 years old in level 3 is not too old and if she's at a good gym, she might be in a situation where she will skip level 6 and move right into optionals. If you feel that you have a good fit in coaches and teammates, stay put. It's always better to have a very successful second year than a mediocre year at the next level up. Best of luck to you and let me know how things turn out! -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Jeanine, Thanks for the inquiry. I have to tell you that I've never heard of a coach making athletes condition because they were wiggling on the beam - especially not the young - new athletes. I can understand why your daughter might be turned off to the intensity of USAG. My opinion is that you should always speak to the coach first and get their perspective. If you've done that or feel that is not an option, I would look for another program at the end of the season. I sincerely believe that training USAG can be fun based on the style of coaching and atmosphere. The only concern I ever have when athletes move into a program that requires less training is that there is less time to train proper technique and a better chance of injury - and kids simply don't understand that. It sounds like your daughter learns quickly so she has some gymnastic talent so it would definitely be in your interest to find a program that will foster it to her benefit. I hope things work out. Best of luck to you both. -K

    • profile image

      Linda 3 years ago

      Hello. I'm not exactly sure how I came across this, but I'm SO glad I did. My daughter really began gymnastics when she was 6 (summer of 2011), and was doing a Hot Shots class. They then moved her to Level 2/3 in the winter of that year (she was 7 at the time). I'd gotten a new job (Feb of 2012), and because of the hours, it got to be a bit overwhelming for her. And right before she was able to test for Level 4 (Mar/Apr 2012), she quit. I was disappointed, but I listened to her and let her. She watched the Olympics and got inspired again, and went back to that old gym in August of that year. She wanted to start at the rec class, but they watched her during the "play/rec" time, and suggested she go back to Level 2/3. She did, and stayed in that level for a month and a half, and was asked to join Level 4 (Oct 2012 - she'd just turned 8). Unfortunately, because of when she came into the team, she was unable to compete. The next year is when they changed the levels, and unfortunately, they were going to make Trinity go back a level (Level 3). I understood but didn't, and I wasn't pleased because I felt that would set her back.

      We relocated to a Region 8 state (Georgia), and she's now on Excel Silver. I didn't and still don't really understand this Excel thing, but I feel as if my daughter is too skilled for Silver. She competed in her first meet in December, and scored a 38.20 A.A (Vault - 9.750, Floor - 9.525, Bars - 9.575, Beam - 9.350). I truly think and feel my daughter needs to be challenged, or she's going to get bored. And I don't want her to. I composed all of her events and made a video of it, and posted it on Youtube. Someone did comment and asked if they were gonna move my baby up to Xcel Gold this month. I sent a screenshot of the msg and sent it to her coach in an email, as well as some questions. I saw you mention something about the Xcel program being for gymnast who are lacking, in so many words. But my daughter isn't. Her coach did speak to me about my email, and explained that my daughter could compete Xcel Gold now, but his goal is not to put her in Gold when the meet season is over. He wants to put her in Level 5. I'm trying to be patient and sit back and let them do their job, but I feel like my baby isn't being challenged :( She'll watch the optional levels during practice do a flip (roundoff back tuck for instance), and come home and do it until she masters it (which she did). The gym is a great gym. The owner of her old gym has a friend who's a coach in GA and this gym came recommended because of how well they do at meets. A couple of other gyms also recommended this gym, prior to her committing to the gym. Should I just sit back and be patient and wait and hope they move her up? Is there a method to this madness? Any advice would help.

      P.S. Sorry for being so long winded. I'm just so elated to see a blog from a coach that is sharing such wonderful info, and actually giving feedback. Thank you so much!!! :)

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Dear Linda, Thank you for the excellent comment. I'm glad you are discussing the difference between USAG and Xcel. While I personally prefer the USA Gymnastics program, please know that the Xcel program is an excellent program and ultimately, it's %100 about the coaching as opposed to the name. Whichever program you decide to put your daughter in (silver,gold or level 5) You should always opt for the best quality coaching that you can get. If you have the option to be with a high quality program and working with excellent coaches, you should consider moving at the appropriate time of the season. Coaches nearly always have a "method to the madness". You should be patient but attentive and go for the "Gold". Wait for level 5 to start at the start next season. Best of luck to your daughter! If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. -K

    • TrinisMom profile image

      TrinisMom 3 years ago from Georgia

      Hi and thanks so much for responding.

      I will sit back and wait until the next season. I'm one of those mom's who has a lot of questions, and sometimes doubts. But I'd rather be well informed then not informed at all. But not to the point of where I don't want the coaches feeling like they're not doing their job. I know that they know what they're doing. Well her coaches at least. I just hope that I'm making the right move by keeping her here. I know every mom thinks that their daughter is talented, but mine really is. Her coach even acknowledged it. It's just hard to sit back and see her bored :( But I'll be patient and wait for the season to end, and see what happens next.

      I do want to ask a question though. As far as you saying I should be patient but attentive. Can you elaborate on that for me please? I know what attentive means, but I'm asking in reference to this. Am I being attentive to my daughter, like being there for her and her needs? Thanks again! :)

      P.S. I created an account, so my name shows as TrinisMom w/ the Georgia location.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Trinismom, I'm sorry for the confusion. What I mean is that you should continue to watch your daughter with the eyes of a protective mom but feel safe in knowing that you have her with coaches who know what they are doing. If at any time you have questions, ask her coaches face-to-face in private. If they ever hesitate to answer, I would consider that a red flag. I'm a big proponent of keeping athletes with coaches unless it's a safety issue or if it risks a child's personal well being. It sounds like your daughter has a real future in gymnastics so having quality coaching is critical. I hope things work out for the very best! -Kristi

    • profile image

      pitcherbrandi 2 years ago

      My daughter is 6 years old and competing USAG "new" level 3 this year. This is her first year doing routines or competing at all. She does really well but seems to fall to the bottom of the "extremely talented group". The coaches are getting ready to pick for TOPS and it is apparent she is not in the picking. She only trains 7 hours a week and largely competes against other young TOPS girls who train 12-16 hours a week. At her first meet she was 8th out of 20 and at her second meet she was 5th AA (35.825) out of 14. Do the coaches when looking to move gymnasts up look at their consistency in competing? There are 11 girls in her age group at our gym and only 2 girls score better than her (both are over a year older and 1 is repeating the level). She gets disappointed to not get 1,2 or 3rd but it is hard to compare someone who trains twice as much or someone who has already done this level once. Is it possible anymore to go elite or hopes without first being in the TOPS program? It is extremely difficult know that your child is on the cusp of the more fast paced program but not quite there. Any advice on what to do or expect or how to deal would be appreciated. Thanks!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      pitcherbrandi, the criteria each gym uses to move an athlete from one level to the next is not universal. While there is an AA score that must be met, the gym can decide who moves and why. It is possible for an athlete to be an Elite gymnast without having gone through the TOPS program but it happens less often. That said, it does happen. Since your daughter is only 6 and a new level 3, I would let it play out for another season. It's okay to repeat a level to ensure an athlete is totally prepared and it's a healthy cycle to follow the normal USAG level system. Don't compare her to other kids training nearly twice as much as she does. That's not a proportional comparison. Remind her she's a terrific job because scoring almost a 36 is pretty darn good for a 6-year old. If you have any more questions, feel free to ask. -K

    • snerfu profile image

      Vivian Sudhir 2 years ago from Madurai, India

      Gymnastics is fascinating and so is your hub. Good article.

    • profile image

      Susie keeler 2 years ago

      I have posted on here before and I love following this. My daughter has been in gymnastics for 15 months she made tag team but unfortunately we had to move before it started. When we moved to other town we just kept her in a normal class now they moved her to USA team level 3. She loves it but I'm concerned as to whether it was the right choice to skip tag she has never been to a meet before do you think that it's a good idea to skip that step. Her classes went from 2 days a week for 50 minutes to 2 1/2 hours 5 days a week. It's an adjustment I just do not want to get tired of it. Both gyms she has gone to says she is natural so I don't want her to get worn out

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      snerfu, thank you very much. I appreciate your compliment. Best -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Susie, Great to hear from you again. You shouldn't be concerned about your daughter making the move to competitive team even though it's a great deal more time. As long as she is enjoying herself, I say go for it. Keep in mind that there will be tough days and the total transition may take some getting used to but it's worth it. Keep in touch and good luck to the cherub! -K

    • profile image

      Jeremy 2 years ago

      We had an issue with a coach and the strictness of the rules for our daughter at age 5 in a level 3 class. We told the gym we would like to pull her out of but they reminded us that we signed a 1 yr contract. Would this contract hold up in court?

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Jeremy, thanks for reading and for commenting. ABSOLUTEY NOT. Unless you have paid tuition in advance, you are not obligated in any way to stay at a gym. I would take your kiddo and move if you feel there is an issue. They cannot hold you to a contractual obligation in any way. Best of luck to you always. -K

    • profile image

      Diana 2 years ago

      Hello, I love all the advice you are giving....I'm hoping I can get the same. My daughter just turned 11 years old and is in level 5 team. She has been in gymnastics since 3 years old. Never really had a chance to "miss it" I guess. She is not the kind of kid with the "talent", skills don't come easy for her...I believe she was invited to team because she is an extremely hard worker. The gym she was in got too intense, she was not one of the "favorites" (many of you moms probably know what I mean by that) so she was falling behind very fast. I finished the year there (contract) and moved her to another gym. Since she fell behind, her confidence was extremely low. We decided she should stay at the same level for another year, so she could gain confidence. She built confidence throughout last year, she made states for the first time (ever). She placed 5th at a couple of meets which made her feel good (normally she would not place or place even lower). So this year she went up to level 5. She is doing well in the gym, but after 2 meets she has not made states yet. She is also starting to say things like "I'll never make states" or "I work so hard and still I can never get first, second or third place" . She has good coaches in this gym, although once in a while she'll hear a comment from a coach that says "maybe you should be a level 4" ....I notice the coaches sometimes put her to train with the level 6's and she seems to freak out every time they do that....she almost seems to shut down...and although she tries, is very scared of trying the new skills. I think the coaches see something in her, last year, her scores were the 3rd best of her team at almost every meet. They say she's holding back and I believe that too. She says she likes gymnastics, but she doesn't practice at home at all (most parents say their kids do). She always says she doesn't want to quit...but I don't always see her excited about going to the gym...however, while she's in class, she is always smiling and happy. She only cries if a coach yells at her (and that is very rare, since she's always working so hard...). So it is very hard for me to figure out how to boost her confidence in gymnastics. Her highest score was a 34.8 last year. The highest she has ever placed at a meet is 5th place. I'm afraid she will quit only because she feels she's working her hardest at the gym and still she can't win or place 2nd or 3rd. We also try to do about 1 private a month sometimes 2 if I can afford it...but lately the coaches have been so busy that I haven't been able to get a private for over a month. How would you advise me on handling this situation? I have no idea what to do at all!!! Any advise would be very helpful.

      P.S. My apologies for the lengthy message...but I'm trying to give you as much info as possible....

    • profile image

      JB 2 years ago

      Don't understand the judging ,seems the bigger an older girls don't get judged fairly as the smaller ones. Every competition I have gone to seems the host sites girls always gets better scores than the visiting teams . This is unfair judging . I have enjoyed going to the competition very much but I am losing interest in going with the judging going the way it has.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      Hi Diana, Thanks for reading and for sending me the message. I apologize for the delay. It sounds to me that there could be a couple of things going on here. It's a coach's job to inspire an athlete to learn and to grow. If she is being told that she should move down a level that is a threat and an unnecessary one. In my experience kids always fair better in a positive environment than they do under duress. I wouldn't worry that she's not practicing at home as long as she is still enjoying going to gymnastics. I wouldn't focus on her scores as opposed to setting small goals with her. Help her to work through her fears (because they are real and they don't just disappear) by setting small attainable goals that she has input in setting. What is her long term hope in gymnastics? How can you help her get there. Your job is to be her biggest fan, tough when it's warranted and always applaud the effort. Every progress, even the smallest moves, are a move in a positive direction so when she makes a correction or learns something new - then applaud. I sincerely believe that kiddos shouldn't have to do privates if the coaches are doing their jobs but in come cases - such as extreme fear or if a kiddo is going to regionals, westerns, nationals - they can be helpful. Do you have video of her routines? Go through them with her and start making a list of goals. If you still have time before state then you can isolate the small things she can change just by observing her own performance - tell her she's the coach and ask her what she would say to herself to make her routine better. If you need more help or have more questions please feel free to email me directly and I will get back to you asap. krsharp05@GMAIL.COM - Best of luck to you both, -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 years ago from 18th and Vine

      JB, thanks for reading and writing. I could write an article on the inefficiencies and mistakes of judging. Unfortunately it is a subjective job and unless a judge has the experience to recognize how differently tiny bodies perform than medium build and taller girls, it's just a guessing game. Plus there are "cute points" which are technically given for artistry but when a judge thinks the athlete is fun, bubbly and darling then they tend to score better. It's not unusual for the judges to give the host team a cushion since they are being paid by the host team but it should be consistent. You can always write to NAWJG and let them know how you feel as an anonymous spectator. Make sure you note which region you are in if you do. Just remember there is human error and few judges can see everything. If you have questions about how scoring works, feel free to ask. Best of luck -K

    • profile image

      lilllian 23 months ago

      i want to compeet

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 23 months ago from 18th and Vine

      lilllian, If you decide to join a gymnastics team or have been working on recreational gymnastics, I hope you are able to start competing. Best of luck to you. -K

    • profile image

      Marc 21 months ago

      Thanks for your post. Great stuff. I have a 6 year old daughter who has been asked to join a competitive team. She loves gymnastics and even we asked her whether she wanted to try other sports she says she wants to stick with gymnastics. As a parent, I think I must support her and she should give it a try since she wants to do it. My concern is the amount of hours training.

    • profile image

      Emma 17 months ago

      Can you start gymnastics at 11 and still go to the Olympics

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 17 months ago from 18th and Vine

      Marc, Thanks for reading and commenting. I wouldn't worry about the hours of training. She will most likely be tired at first and may show it. It's not uncommon for kiddo to have a bit of shock to the system but she will adjust. It sounds as though she has made a choice and wants to give it a try. I would make sure she commits for an entire season and follows through so she can experience everything they go through. Best of luck and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. - Kristi

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 17 months ago from 18th and Vine

      Emma, First of all, thanks for reading and commenting. Unfortunately it's probably too late. Kiddos need to be competing level 8-10 at age 11 as opposed to just starting. I hate to crush anyone's dreams but I definitely encourage kids to continue to get involved in gymnastics because they can still enjoy the benefits of gymnastics when starting at 11 years old. Either way, best of luck and if you have any other questions, feel free to ask. -Kristi

    • profile image

      smharvill 16 months ago

      thanks so much for takng the time do give us so much info!

      my daughter is 7 in level 2 and has her 1st state competition coming up here really soon. we just found out that it will be held on the same Sunday she has a special church presentation she has been working on for months. my question to you is, how important is the state competition? if she opts out will it hurt her going forward? are there points she gets from state? or does it qualify her for anything ? she pretyty much comoeted everyother competition so far.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 11 months ago from 18th and Vine

      smharvill, Thanks for reading and commenting. I'm sorry for the late delivery and I'm sure you've figured out what to do. In my opinion, I would have chosen to compete a level 7 athlete just because it's a different level of competition - meaning it's the best of the best kiddos. She will be more prepared to be a level 8 and thus, if she makes it to level 8 regionals, she will understand that it's more difficult. I hope this helps. Again, sorry for the delay. -K

    • profile image

      ellie 5 months ago

      I do competitive gymnastics, I am 11, and I won gold in the state finals this artical is really fun to read!

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 5 months ago from 18th and Vine

      ellie, Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Congratulations on your big win! Keep up the great work kiddo! -K

    • profile image

      Angigi 3 months ago

      Thanks for the article. I am very interested in your opinion and hope that you can help me out in this dilemma.

      In your observation, how many years does it take to train from L9 to L10 and make it to JO National and place? Is one year realistic?

      In your observation, are colleges interested in more years of L10 experience over fewer years but good performance in competition? I am asking as I see many college commits with many years of L10 competition but not necessary archiving high scores until later years, but yet colleges are choosing them over 1 or 2-year L10s who might have done similarly well in a shorter time frame. It seems so partially because they get committed early in Freshman year and no spots are left for later bloomers. What is your opinion on that?

      Lastly, would you recommend scoring out L9 and going straight to L10 so as to get one more year of L10 on the resume and get started on recruiting efforts, even though this can possibly be a pretty good L9 year and the L10 results probably won't be stellar? I worry waiting another to start would mean end to college gymnastic dreams.

      Thank you for your insights.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 3 months ago from 18th and Vine

      Angigi, thank you for reading and commenting. Each athlete is different. For some, it may take one year to transition from level 9 to level 10. Others may spend 2 years at level 9. I am never a fan of rushing from one level to the next so if an athlete isn't prepared to move from level 9 to 10 then I would never suggest it for any reason. They should have a solid skill base and score well at regionals, westerns and should make it to nationals before they move on.

      As far as colleges go, I believe that they are looking for what skills kids have and what events they excel at. Most of the time they are looking for kids who are good at beam and bars - because a lot of kids can do vault and floor well. What you should do is ask the colleges that your daughter is interested in what they are looking for. If your daughter is great in every event then she will have an advantage that other girls don't have. Don't worry that your daughter isn't acquiring enough level 10 years. Talk to the recruiter at the college. Best of luck and if you have other questions, you can email me at krsharp05@gmail.com -K

    • profile image

      CM 3 months ago

      I enjoyed this article and the information you provided. I wish I had found it three years ago. My daughter has competed for 3 years and simply loves the sport. However, as a family we have become exhausted with the time and financial commitment. We have spent comparable to three years college tuition. I wish gyms would offer a recreational program that allows girls to learn skills at a competitive level. They don't seem to exist in Florida. Any ideas for the enthusiastic gymnast that doesn't want to put in the 15+ hours of training a week?

    • profile image

      Ginanoble 2 months ago

      My daughters just started gymnastics. They are 3 and 5. My oldest turned 5 a few months ago. Is two days a week too much for a 5 year old? She would go every day if she could. The gym only offers 1 day a week for 3 year olds.

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 months ago from 18th and Vine

      CM, hello and thank you for reading my article. You are right, gymnastics is expensive and it only gets more costly as your daughter rises in levels, as you must well know. I don't suggest going to a rec program unless you can find an amazing "Excel" program which is an extension of USAG that allows girls to compete in a sort-of recreational way because typically a gym will have excel athletes workout fewer hours and often they don't travel. They also have less stress when it comes to the routines. Aside from that, the only thing I can think of is does your club have a booster club? Do they provide any fundraisers? Those can be very helpful but often time-consuming as well. If you have any additional questions you can definitely email me. Best of luck, -K

    • krsharp05 profile image
      Author

      krsharp05 2 months ago from 18th and Vine

      Ginanoble, Thank you for reading and for commenting. The key is whether or not your daughter is having fun and it sounds like she is. I don't believe that two days a week is too much. For your younger daughter, can you enroll her in a second class? We do that at our gym. Just a suggestion. Best of luck to both your little gymnasts! -K

    • profile image

      Naomi 6 weeks ago

      This article really helped me with my library research report

    • profile image

      Natalie 5 weeks ago

      Thanks. My daughter is pre team and just four and it is time to commit. I am not a gymnast and so making this decision when she is young seems early, Your info helped. Knowing it is not super competitive at this age is nice. She is in a very awesome gym with an awesome coach and she loves it, I just want her to keep loving it!

    • profile image

      Emily 5 weeks ago

      Can you outline the difference in AAU and Team Levels?

    • profile image

      Gobindo 2 weeks ago

      Thanks for sharing the information. Really I don't know the play name but today I am clear.

      Gymnastics is the best game of Olympic play ground. I hope day by day increase of player Gymnastics program.

    Click to Rate This Article