For Parents 6 year old boy invited to go on competition track

Parents... Coaches... Gymnasts...
Gymnastics Questions?
Don't Lurk... We've Got Answers!

New For 2022
MEMBERS ONLY Parent Group!
Join for FREE!
Status
Not open for further replies.

alymg224

New Member
Jul 22, 2022
3
34
I know nothing about gymnastics, but my just turned 6 year old was begging to take a gymnastics class for months. After searching high and low for a gym that actually offered boys classes, I found him a gym that was reasonably close. I stopped by the front office to change his class day since they will be moving to a new Fall schedule soon. The front office informed me that they were actually going to call me because the coaches had invited him to switch from rec classes to a competition track. He has only taken 3 classes, but I have noticed that the coaches were asking him to add difficulty to skills beyond what the rest of the class was doing.

I have no idea what the world of boys/mens gymnastics entails, and the time commitment bump from what he is doing right now is huge. He is very interested in being on a team and going to competitions. Is it concerning that they are inviting him to transition so quickly? What is the boys gymnastics community like? I know some sports can get very intense even at the younger age groups.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Madden3

skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,226
Region 9
I love men's gymnastics! It tends to be slightly lower-key than women's, although it can still be intense. My son continued to do other sports until he was about 9ish.

How many hours are they wanting him to do at 6yo?
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

alymg224

New Member
Jul 22, 2022
3
34
I love men's gymnastics! It tends to be slightly lower-key than women's, although it can still be intense. My son continued to do other sports until he was about 9ish.

How many hours are they wanting him to do at 6yo?
Their program is 3 days a week for 3 hours a day. He is doing a 90 minute rec class once a week right now.
 

skschlag

Staff member
Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Jul 19, 2011
11,226
Region 9
OK. That seems reasonable. Maybe ask if you can start with 2 days a week, then add the 3rd when you see how he is doing. 6 hours would be enough at least to start. At 6yo, I think my son was doing 5-7.5 hours a week.

Welcome to this sport! Ask any questions. (been around it a while now ;) )
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mish and Madden3

Madden3

Proud Parent
Aug 24, 2013
826
50
In general 6 is fine to start on the team, I do not think it is worrying or odd that they asked him so fast, this happens. I personally think 9 practice hours a week is a bit much for a just turned 6 year old, but it is not outside the norm in the US and if the coaches are good they will know how to make long practices work for young boys. My biggest concern with three hour practices at this age would be making sure the practices do not go so late it interferes with sleep, but overall the ability to handle long practices is very individual. In general boys competitive gymnastics is more laid back than girls gymnastics but every gym is different and there can be some intense boys gyms, but hopefully that would not be a concern at this age/level. If you have not done so already, I would suggest that you ask for more information so you have a clear understanding of the financial commitment- there will be the cost of training (what I call tuition) and then there will also be the costs of competing.
 

Juniper311

Proud Parent
Gymnast
Feb 24, 2016
76
49
Region 7
This is totally normal. My son was approached for the pre team (non competition) at 4. 6 is the youngest that they can compete, and by 6 I believe he was doing 6 hours a week… but the other gym in my area has 6 year olds doing 9 hours. 10 years later, we now belong to that other gym. They are very competitive and have had multiple boys go on to compete in college, with one member in the National team.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Madden3

alymg224

New Member
Jul 22, 2022
3
34
Thank you everyone for the reassurances! He will be switching over to the competitive program next week. He is so excited.

I found out that the hours are so high because they had just rolled the pre team boys onto the team last month. Since a few of those boys only want to train (opting out of competitions) this year anyway, they think he will fit in with the lower level boys on the team well enough to not wait for another group of pre team to start.
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan and Tammie

CLaValle

Proud Parent
Judge
May 7, 2020
30
38
Welcome, and congrats to your son on getting invited to team!

This is a wonderful sport. As others have noted, hours vary, but 9 seems reasonable. I've found the men's gymnastics community to be more inclusive and laid back than the women's (my son is 13 years old, L9 Junior Elite, National Team, and my daughter is 9 years old, L7, TOPs A Team, so I've got a foot in each door!), but it can get intense and overwhelming pretty quickly!

Feel free to ask more questions here -- it's a great community!
 
  • Like
Reactions: txgymfan

Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
90
44
Thank you everyone for the reassurances! He will be switching over to the competitive program next week. He is so excited.

I found out that the hours are so high because they had just rolled the pre team boys onto the team last month. Since a few of those boys only want to train (opting out of competitions) this year anyway, they think he will fit in with the lower level boys on the team well enough to not wait for another group of pre team to start.
Congrats!! It sounds like they know what they're doing and I am sure your son will do great!! It's a fun sport!!
 

Tammie

Member
Jul 22, 2022
90
44
Welcome, and congrats to your son on getting invited to team!

This is a wonderful sport. As others have noted, hours vary, but 9 seems reasonable. I've found the men's gymnastics community to be more inclusive and laid back than the women's (my son is 13 years old, L9 Junior Elite, National Team, and my daughter is 9 years old, L7, TOPs A Team, so I've got a foot in each door!), but it can get intense and overwhelming pretty quickly!

Feel free to ask more questions here -- it's a great community!
Wow! You're a busy mama!! I only have one on the women's elite track(our gym doesn't do tops/hopes, they do their own thing-theyve produced Olympians & been around awhile, so we go with it-maybe I'm even grateful for it?) and can hardly keep up!
 
  • Like
Reactions: CLaValle
Status
Not open for further replies.