WAG 9 year old Xcel Bronze to Silver skills

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GymbopMom

New Member
Jun 22, 2022
4
40
My daughter joined an Xcel bronze team 2 years ago and competed this past year for the first time (did really well). They are wanting to keep in Xcel bronze for a third season due to her not having the skills to move to silver. The specific skills are all flexibility related - bridge kickover and splits specifically.
I am now starting to become concerned whether we should look at changing gyms - surely by now if her flexibility was lacking there should have been more focus on that within the last 2 years? There has been very little improvement in her splits. I worry that because the Xcel program allows you to choose which skills to perform that they have allowed her to leave out these important things and not work on it....

Any thoughts or advice?
 

MuggleMom

Proud Parent
Dec 22, 2016
761
Virginia
I would ask to schedule a meeting with the coach to discuss A) why your daughter can't move up and b) what they have done and will be doing to remedy that.

There really shouldnt be any reason to stay at Bronze for 3 years so I can see why you are concerned. If you don't like their answers it may be time to look at other options for gyms. Be aware though that moving gyms may not mean you get the level placement you want you can ask questions at the other gyms and evaluations before you decide and see if you feel more comfortable with the plan they are going to put in place for your kid.
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
114
30
It is quite unusual to stay at a low level for that long; however, I know at our gym we would never put a kid on team without a bridge kickover. That is a required skill to move from intermediate rec class to intermediate plus, which is the level below preteam. So the whole thing seems funny to me.
 

GymbopMom

New Member
Jun 22, 2022
4
40
It is quite unusual to stay at a low level for that long; however, I know at our gym we would never put a kid on team without a bridge kickover. That is a required skill to move from intermediate rec class to intermediate plus, which is the level below preteam. So the whole thing seems funny to me
She is very strong in a most of the other areas and I think that is why she got selected but then I would've thought that by now they would have have helped her get up to speed in the areas she was lacking - especially training 9 hours a week. Perhaps its because most of the other girls in her team have that skill and so they didn't waste time on it?
Is my expectation too high?
 

GymbopMom

New Member
Jun 22, 2022
4
40
I would ask to schedule a meeting with the coach to discuss A) why your daughter can't move up and b) what they have done and will be doing to remedy that.

There really shouldnt be any reason to stay at Bronze for 3 years so I can see why you are concerned. If you don't like their answers it may be time to look at other options for gyms. Be aware though that moving gyms may not mean you get the level placement you want you can ask questions at the other gyms and evaluations before you decide and see if you feel more comfortable with the plan they are going to put in place for your kid.
I have a meeting scheduled with the coach to discuss exactly what you mentioned. Will definitely look at getting an assessment done at another gym too, I totally get that she doesn't have the skills to move up and so would be fine with her staying at her level if she needs to.
 

Coach Kate

Coach
Fan
Oct 13, 2021
114
30
She is very strong in a most of the other areas and I think that is why she got selected but then I would've thought that by now they would have have helped her get up to speed in the areas she was lacking - especially training 9 hours a week. Perhaps its because most of the other girls in her team have that skill and so they didn't waste time on it?
Is my expectation too high?
Again, that is considered a critical skill in our rec classes. Bridge kickover and pullover frequently hold kids back even when they are strong in other areas. It is true that they probably don't spend much time on it, as most kids would have mastered it a long time ago. 9 hours a week is a lot to still be missing a skill that most teams would do in a warm up. Three tick tocks on each leg is the end of the standard warm up for preteam and up at our gym. I would definitely have suggested privates years ago when considering an invitation to team. Has that ever been brought up? What skills did she compete on floor? We don't do bronze, just silver and up, so I'm not as familiar with those routines.

I know that when we are looking at kids who might be ready for silver, we want to see a back walkover and a strong back limber to be ready to work back handsprings. While Xcel is great for allowing gymnasts to work around their specific strengths and weaknesses, there is still a need for basics and progressions.

As you pursue assessments at other gyms, I just want you to know that without a bridge kickover, she would be placed in our second of four rec class levels. If she could master it, we would be willing to move her up quickly as skill allows, but that's where we'd be. We actually had several girls who competed bronze at other gyms who came to us for assessments, and they're currently in our second or third rec level. We've had other situations where kids had an aerial or roundoff backhandspring but had never really done bars so didn't have a pullover or any basics. Even though their floor was silver or even gold level, they still took intermediate class to get those bars skills down.
 

GymbopMom

New Member
Jun 22, 2022
4
40
Again, that is considered a critical skill in our rec classes. Bridge kickover and pullover frequently hold kids back even when they are strong in other areas. It is true that they probably don't spend much time on it, as most kids would have mastered it a long time ago. 9 hours a week is a lot to still be missing a skill that most teams would do in a warm up. Three tick tocks on each leg is the end of the standard warm up for preteam and up at our gym. I would definitely have suggested privates years ago when considering an invitation to team. Has that ever been brought up? What skills did she compete on floor? We don't do bronze, just silver and up, so I'm not as familiar with those routines.

I know that when we are looking at kids who might be ready for silver, we want to see a back walkover and a strong back limber to be ready to work back handsprings. While Xcel is great for allowing gymnasts to work around their specific strengths and weaknesses, there is still a need for basics and progressions.

As you pursue assessments at other gyms, I just want you to know that without a bridge kickover, she would be placed in our second of four rec class levels. If she could master it, we would be willing to move her up quickly as skill allows, but that's where we'd be. We actually had several girls who competed bronze at other gyms who came to us for assessments, and they're currently in our second or third rec level. We've had other situations where kids had an aerial or roundoff backhandspring but had never really done bars so didn't have a pullover or any basics. Even though their floor was silver or even gold level, they still took intermediate class to get those bars skills down.
Thank you so much for your advice. Really appreciate it - it sure helps with a better understanding.Its good to know that this is something she really needs to focus on and drastically improve if she is going to progress.
A bridge kickover definately isn't a requirement for preteam or to get into bronze at our gym - just a bridge and in fact a lot of girls are accepted without this or even a pullover. But I guess what you're saying is that its a critical skill and perhaps that just re-iterates my concern... if they allow the girls in without it, I would assume they would prioritise them getting that skill.

I had a good chat with her coach yesterday and she has a tryout at another gym next week so we will see how that goes.
 

GymAir

Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Aug 28, 2018
72
If her main problem is flexibility, she needs to be stretching most days at home. Consistency is much more effective than “mega” stretching sessions a few times a week.