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Lurker

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Jan 22, 2022
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I am a new Lurker who joined just to respond to this post. Several of the responses asked who you were trying to attract so maybe others are like me?

Background: My daughter just turned 6, was asked to join pre-team with intent of Excel Bronze starting in June. I'm sure I googled some gymnastics question since this is certainly not my wheel house and wound up here. Now I come back just to read. I've joined some facebook pages but I tend to like what I read here more it's less bragging and more info. Pre-Covid probably ages 3-4 we enrolled our daughter in the community center gymnastics classes with the idea being that balance, strength, flexibility ect. would help her with other sports. Covid shut everything down so we did nothing for over a year fast forward to last summer I found that the gymnastics gym was open so we enrolled there. After a couple of months of beginner was told she should enroll in advanced beginner. In that mean time she also had her first season of soccer that was ending so I planned on upping her gymnastics from 1 day a week to 2. Within that week of soccer season ending and going to two classes we were informed by the pre-travel soccer coach that she should be in that program and the gym e-mailed asking about interest in Pre-team. So to say the least I am just trying to figure out how long I will be able to balance and not make a kindergartener choose.

Observations:

It's really hard to "bucket" topics here everything is so varying. For example in people talking about pre-team I have seen it from 4 year olds that can barely do a cartwheel to JO level 3 that doesn't compete yet. That is a HUGE difference and the experience/ expectations will be entirely different.

Sometimes the gripes about the expense and time of gymnastics compared to other sports is eyerolling. As someone who played competitive soccer growing up I know my parents had to sacrifice a ton to support that. Every sport as you progress the cost and time commitment go up. The only difference I really see is that gymnastics starts getting crazy while they are much younger.

Topics I would like to see:
As a pre-team parent with a child that wants to practice at home and I am in no position to actually assist with gymnastics some strength training exercises to work on that would assist would be very useful. Example she is working on standing up from a backbend. Her coach suggested the wall walks they do and to try to do it from a higher surface. She can do the wall walks super easy and it doesn't seem to be activating the muscles she needs to strengthen since her arms can muscle her through so her quads and hip flexors don't need to do the work. As a former athlete I can guess that hanging leg lifts and some squats may assist but that would just be me guessing and may not be correct.

It would also be interesting to see more conversations on how you can be a dual sport athlete. Obviously as you get into crazy hours that is not feasible and may not be safe but that may not be the end game. Gymnastics might just be the base for another sport. For example when I was in middle school I would run indoor track in the winter time. We would still have soccer a few nights a week but it kept you in shape the rest of the week. Are there other complimenting activities for "off-days". Or the situation where gymnastics is a semi-short term pursuit, what's next what does it prepare you for? I didn't pick up a lacrosse stick until the summer before I was a freshmen in HS made JV that year and Varsity next year and only chose that sport because my HS was state champs. Would I have been able to do that without playing soccer my whole childhood of course not. I could have easily played in college but I chose soccer because that was my real passion.

I think the summary is I lurked because I am new so I don't really have anything to ask. I do think a tutorial on common terms would be useful for newbies. My real goal is to try to figure out how I best support my daughter and get her to her potential with her being the driving force not me.
 

gym_dad32608

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Aug 7, 2018
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Another topic/thread that I think might be of interest or draw folks and I actually do not see too much on here is discussion about booster clubs. Idk if they have completely fallen out with COVID or just too much hassle, but I know when we started this journey, booster club was an eye opener.
 

ldw4mlo

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Feb 13, 2015
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I am a new Lurker who joined just to respond to this post. Several of the responses asked who you were trying to attract so maybe others are like me?

Background: My daughter just turned 6, was asked to join pre-team with intent of Excel Bronze starting in June.
off topic, but the intent of Excel is to keep the hours low so they have time for other things. We have girls on our JO team playing a number of varsity high school sports. Soccer, track, diving, lacrosse and high school gymnastics. it is possible to do gymnastics and other things. You just need the right gym.

My real goal is to try to figure out how I best support my daughter and get her to her potential with her being the driving force not me.
You are on the right path…… And have some great questions…. Make them their own posts :)
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
26
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off topic, but the intent of Excel is to keep the hours low so they have time for other things. We have girls on our JO team playing a number of varsity high school sports. Soccer, track, diving, lacrosse and high school gymnastics. it is possible to do gymnastics and other things. You just need the right gym.

Understood from reading our gym handbook and looking at class offerings I think our gym uses Excel at the lower levels and feeds into JO for the upper levels. It's good to hear that it is possible! Where we live is ultra competitive in everything from occupation, to education, to sports so playing a varsity sport would require some level of advanced preparation. All I know is my daughter is currently asking to go a third day a week so low hours may not be her thing.
 
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JBS

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I am a new Lurker who joined just to respond to this post. Several of the responses asked who you were trying to attract so maybe others are like me?

This is an awesome post... thank you very much! Please tell your friends to come here too.

As far as how to do other sports and gymnastics... that's a whole concept in itself. Start with this thread on LTAD...


Strength & flex... air awareness... uneven bars... tumbling ability... these are things that are very necessary at a young age. These things do not take as many hours as winning. If the need to "win the lowest levels" is removed... there is more time for other things and the ability to push towards upper level gymnastics.

Start a new thread on this concept asking others about their experiences with other sports and gymnastics... you'll get some replies.
 

Lurker

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Jan 22, 2022
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This is an awesome post... thank you very much! Please tell your friends to come here too.

As far as how to do other sports and gymnastics... that's a whole concept in itself. Start with this thread on LTAD...


Strength & flex... air awareness... uneven bars... tumbling ability... these are things that are very necessary at a young age. These things do not take as many hours as winning. If the need to "win the lowest levels" is removed... there is more time for other things and the ability to push towards upper level gymnastics.

Start a new thread on this concept asking others about their experiences with other sports and gymnastics... you'll get some replies.
Thanks for the links! I mostly use my phone so it's the just the newest threads I tend to see.
 
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gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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To get longer lasting members, I would target the new parents. The main topics that they are interested in are in how to get their gymnasts to progress and what judges are looking for. I would suggest these hooks:
-Registered members get free access to level requirements (this is also useful for optional levels, which has more fluid requirements)
-What are judges really looking for? New parents especially wonder why their gymnasts got the score they did.
-What's the difference between Xcel and "the numbered levels?"

It's been awhile since I registered myself, perhaps look into the registration process itself. Make it as easy as possible and reassuring that they won't get inundated with junk emails.
I think having resources behind a (free) membership wall is a great idea! level requirements, a skills dictionary with values (with or without videos), values of common deductions possibly with videos, college recruiting rules/timelines, expectations etc
 

RTT2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
857
Sometimes the gripes about the expense and time of gymnastics compared to other sports is eyerolling. As someone who played competitive soccer growing up I know my parents had to sacrifice a ton to support that. Every sport as you progress the cost and time commitment go up. The only difference I really see is that gymnastics starts getting crazy while they are much younger.
The time and financial commitments are something I think are important for new parents to understand. While it could seem eye roll worthy to some, the finances and time that DP gymnastics requires may be more than some families want to commit to and I think some info on what to expect is valuable for parents new to the sport. Maybe a 101 on what to expect in terms of time and money if your child continues through the levels. I've seen many posts from parents on FB groups who seem to be shocked by or struggling with the cost of the sport.
 
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raenndrops

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Oct 24, 2009
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How about attracting more coaches to post as well?

If I'm doing an internet search for some obscure code clarification question, or trying to find examples of skills, series, etc. google will usually point me in the chalkbucket direction ...
Lol, that reminds me of a time a few years back. I had to miss a lot of gym because of medical issues. HC had a question about something to do with Xcel. She did an Internet search to see if she could find the answer. I got a text later telling me that there had been a question that I would have answered if I was there ... and when she searched online for the answer, she actually did get the answer from ME - she knew my user name and thought it was funny that my answer was the first suggested link.
 

Lurker

Proud Parent
Jan 22, 2022
26
41
The time and financial commitments are something I think are important for new parents to understand. While it could seem eye roll worthy to some, the finances and time that DP gymnastics requires may be more than some families want to commit to and I think some info on what to expect is valuable for parents new to the sport. Maybe a 101 on what to expect in terms of time and money if your child continues through the levels. I've seen many posts from parents on FB groups who seem to be shocked by or struggling with the cost of the sport.
Any youth sport in America if your kid is competitive and progresses is going to be a huge time and financial commitment.
 

FlippingGenius

Proud Parent
Oct 22, 2014
3
The time and financial commitments are something I think are important for new parents to understand. While it could seem eye roll worthy to some, the finances and time that DP gymnastics requires may be more than some families want to commit to and I think some info on what to expect is valuable for parents new to the sport. Maybe a 101 on what to expect in terms of time and money if your child continues through the levels. I've seen many posts from parents on FB groups who seem to be shocked by or struggling with the cost of the sport.
I agree! I liken the cost of gymnastics to boiling a pot of water. At first, pre-team and team cost less per hour of instruction than rec classes, so it seems like a good deal. As gymnasts progress, the water slowly gets hotter with tuition and meet fees increasing bit by bit until the water is boiling. Similarly, the time commitment increases slowly. Many getting into the spot may not realize that long term it's near impossible to do any other sport or activity. Two days of practice is manageable; however, those in the sport longer know it increases to 5+ and goes year round with no off season. Some may never make it to the upper levels, but I agree that it's good to know in advance. Also, there's other paths if a gymnast eventually wants more balance in life, such as high school teams or some Xcel programs (our gym has an AAU Xcel program just for that).
 

ldw4mlo

Proud Parent
Feb 13, 2015
6,434
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I agree! I liken the cost of gymnastics to boiling a pot of water. At first, pre-team and team cost less per hour of instruction than rec classes, so it seems like a good deal. As gymnasts progress, the water slowly gets hotter with tuition and meet fees increasing bit by bit until the water is boiling. Similarly, the time commitment increases slowly. Many getting into the spot may not realize that long term it's near impossible to do any other sport or activity. Two days of practice is manageable; however, those in the sport longer know it increases to 5+ and goes year round with no off season. Some may never make it to the upper levels, but I agree that it's good to know in advance. Also, there's other paths if a gymnast eventually wants more balance in life, such as high school teams or some Xcel programs (our gym has an AAU Xcel program just for that).
It only increases that high if you choose it. As you said, there are other options And gyms.

If Covid has taught us nothing it’s that some downtime can be ok.
 

mom2newgymnast

Proud Parent
Jul 8, 2014
1,277
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Any youth sport in America if your kid is competitive and progresses is going to be a huge time and financial commitment.
I agree. My daughter (8th grade) is in the gym around 22 1/2 hours a week (training level 10) and she has about 5-7 travel meets a year. She attends traditional school and has many friends outside of gymnastics. Almost all of them are heavily involved in their club sport (soccer, lacrosse, volleyball, cheerleading, etc). They practice at least 3-4 nights a week, have games or tournaments most weekends and are out of town for their sport way more than we are for gymnastics. I know all that travel alone is not cheap! I think it's a little crazy (all of it.. for any sport), but it does seem to be the reality right now for competitive youth athletes. And I'm probably in the minority, but I don't really believe that the lessons or skills gymnastics teaches are really much different than any other sport at a similar level. But I do think that for parents of younger kids that may not have experience with any competitive sports, it would be a good idea to have a thread discussing the reality of it. Because my 2 older kids were not competitive athletes and it really is a huge time and money commitment that many may not realize at 5,6,7 years old when they are just getting started. I know that I had no idea!
 

Pirouette

Proud Parent
Oct 16, 2014
222
51
I don't post much because my gymnast is now a college freshman doing NAIGC, and her current road is not one that many people post about or even know exists. Plus with the current challenges presented by the pandemic, their experience in the sport is being stifled in very unfortunate ways.

A few things I believe all parents should know:
Your child's journey through gymnastics may last a year or it may last a decade. It may be recreational or move to a team setting. It may be DP, Xcel, or another pathway. All of these are valuable, and all of them give an athlete a chance to enjoy a really fun and cool sport. Please don't judge any of these pathways as being lesser or just a money suck. Xcel gymnastics has given my daughter so much more than I can ever describe. The recreational gymnasts I know are so HAPPY when they get to go have fun in the gym. And the DP athletes have what they seek as far as training, competition, and opportunity.
 

Mish

Proud Parent
Aug 15, 2015
700
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don't post much because my gymnast is now a college freshman doing NAIGC, and her current road is not one that many people post about or even know exists.
I think is important for new gym parents. So many just starting off think the path they should be taking is elite, D1, etc. Any other path is seen as "less than." Club gymnastics can be a great way for your child to continue the sport, stay in shape, and be connected to their school community.
 

Gymbletot

Proud Parent
Nov 28, 2021
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So I'm a very new gym mum (and new member), and I'm in the UK, but here's a couple of thoughts from me.

I found this site around the time my daughter picked up a second recreational class and I was starting to think she looked like she might be a decent little gymnast, so lots of lurking on threads with that sort of flavour - how to tell if your lo is talented , what are coaches looking for, how to move into competitive gymnastics etc.

She's a couple of months into squad now, and I guess the stuff I'm interested in now is understanding a bit about what she might learn in what order, which skills lead to which skills... I've found conversations about home conditioning and equipment interesting too.

I have generally found gymnastics quite opaque so far, so I guess anything that just lays out the basics for a newcomer is value from my perspective!
 
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drwho42

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Nov 25, 2018
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How about attracting more coaches to post as well?

I'm here as a parent, but I'm also a coach and I really like hearing how other coaches do things and their tips and tricks. I've learned a lot. If I'm doing an internet search for some obscure code clarification question, or trying to find examples of skills, series, etc. google will usually point me in the chalkbucket direction, and there a some great coaching threads but they are usually older so some of the code stuff is out of date.

As a parent, I think seeing a coaches insight is really valuable! I love when they chime in on threads.
I would be interested in ways and methods to encourage our kids without being too overbearing - e.g., tips on pep talks, articles for them to read on their own, links to motivational speakers who are gymnasts or have posted videos geared to the kids to keep them thinking in a positive way as well as focusing on themselves and not let the "outside noise" or negativity bother them.
 
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JBS

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I'd love to hear from more of you...

What are 5 things that every gym parent should know?
 

MuggleMom

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Dec 22, 2016
809
Virginia
I am still reading some of the comments but in response to this
This is an awesome post... thank you very much! Please tell your friends to come here too.
To be honest I dont tell anyone at my gym about this site because I like being able to speak freely here. Some of the stuff I post about might make me recognizable enough at my gym and if I need to vent about coaches or our gym I want to be able to do so without too much concern....

That can be the hard thing to balance you may not get the word of mouth in the real world here because some questions that are asked you wouldn't want the nosey gym mom at your gym seeing.

I'll agree with some things others have said I had way more questions when she was younger and at the earlier levels. Much of what I have questions on now is way more specific which probably doesn't get as much traffic. Also having been on here for years...the questions can get repetative so while I shared my experience more early on sometimes I feel like I have already answered the question asked 10 times so I skip it now.

The private groups were nice but I do know some felt that people just took all their questions to those private groups and less people participated in the bigger forum. I definately saw an increase in participation when those went away. So that may be a catch 22 bringin back those smaller groups might drive some participation by veterans but not sure how that would bring in new people.

Another randome thought....It might be nice to have a "Just Venting" section. Sometimes when I need to just vent I get more feedback than needed or especially depending on the subject you get the "its your daughters sport not yours chill out" speech from people. Sometimes I just want people to agree with me or tell me ya it sucks :)
 
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