WAG a little girls dream...and the magic of gymnastics!

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catie

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I have been reading on this forum since nearly a year now, but finally decided to create my own account...so hello :)

I read in some previous posts that adults might not be able learn gymnastics, so I would appreciate if you read my story and let me know what you think about it.

My name is Kate, I am 20 years and I am from Germany.
Since my 7th birthday, when I saw a tumbling show I wanted to do gymnastics, but the next gym was a 2 hours drive away so my parents said no. I remember myself trying skills in the garden - I learned my splits in 2 months, I stretched everyday for hours!

As I got older I tried many things to distract me from my gymnastics obsession. I tried running, track&field, spent time with my dog....but somehow I always came back to having the strong desire of being a gymnast! School became tough and I tried to talk myself into that I am already too old and I should better focus on school work or friends instead of dreaming this stupid dream of starting gymnastics as a teenager!

I finished school a year ago and now I am at university. I bought myself a big trampoline, a pull-up bar, and my father build stall bars. I am in a "gymnastics" class at university 3 times a week, because here in Germany just kids can train at a high level.
The coaches are really good, but the classes are more rec classes and just for fun, without any conditioning. There are many students my age who are doing these classes for more than 2 years and are still not able to do a back handspring!

Anyways....I have a dream: I want to be a Level 7 gymnast! I picked this Level because (as discussed a lot in this forum) this is the Level that is quite "easy" to reach. I don't want to set my goals too high, because I am already 20 and need to think about work, friends, family in the future! But I also really want to do it.

As I said, I started 8 months ago. I started working on basics like handstands, cartwheels, round-offs and walkovers and have all of them neatly, even on beam! 1 month ago I started doing back handsprings and back tucks and nearly have both standing. Of course I have all splits and I can do a straddle handstand from stand. On bars I can do front/back hip circle, clear hip, undershoot, squat on ans started kips yesterday.

I think I am a pretty fast learner and I guess this is because there is nothing I want more. I watch soooo many videos, clips and tutorials on youtube, I condition a lot and gymnastics is basically my life. When I watch a video of a gymnast doing certain skills, I kinda am able to know how this skill would feel if I would do it! It helps me whenever I am sad and I just feel sooo happy if I do it!

Here is ma "plan":

For the next year:
work on strength (10 pull-ups, 20 leg lifts, 10 chin-ups pullovers, V-Sit, press handstand, pike press)
bars: glide kip, clear hip, squat on
floor: RO BT, RO BH BT, Front Handsprings and Front Tucks
vault: Front Hanspring

I want to work on those skills really hard, at class and at home on my trampoline. I want to have the skills I listed above in one year with very good form!

the year after the next year:
bars: straddle cast handstand, clear hip to handstand, giants, tuck dismount
floor: RO BH Back Layout, Whip Back, Full Twist, Front Layout
vault: Front Handspring
beam: Back Handspring

the third year:
perfecting all of the skills, connecting them and just have fun!

I condtion 3 times a week for 1 hour, I am in class 3 times a week for 2 hours and I try tricks on the trampoline as often as I can!

I need to add that I don't want to compete and I am in no system. And I don't necessarily need to do the floor skills like Layouts or Twists on spring floor. It would be totally fine if I could do them on the airtrack. The only thing I want to have on "real" floor is a RO BH BT and Back Handspring layout stepout!

So thanks everyone for reading my story.

These are my questions now:

1.) Do you think the strength+skills I chose are the point where it is easy to progress through?

2.)Do you think my "plan" with the progressions will work?
 
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htimcj

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I can't help you with your plan since I am not a coach but it is wonderful that you are still going after what you want! I am sure with dedication and A LOT of hard work you can make! Good luck!
 
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happychaos

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Jul 29, 2011
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Good luck reaching your dreams! It seems like your plan is reasonable, but there are so many variables..... I admire your determination!!!
 
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Redford

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Hallo Kate,
just because I know the mess of some gymnastic clubs in Germny far to well:
Do you have the equipment and coaches who can coach/spot you safely to that level?
The plan itself is good, but as happychaos said, many things can happen and I am quite sure there will appear steps in between. Dont be disappointed if things at some point stop coming so fast and please dont try anything new at home.
Im also reaching for 20 this year and Im still doing gym, so youre not alone ;)
If you want some insight by someone who has spent a few years in our frustratingly age focused system dont hesistate to message me.
 
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iwannacoach

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Do it the same you've been doing it..... enjoying yourself and learning. That alone will get you more than you have now, and there's nothing wrong with that..... or dreaming.

You'll find out how far you can get by working hard and looking back when you are done.
 
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catie

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I can't help you with your plan since I am not a coach but it is wonderful that you are still going after what you want! I am sure with dedication and A LOT of hard work you can make! Good luck!
Thank you anyways :) I will put in everything possible!
 
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catie

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Hallo Kate,
just because I know the mess of some gymnastic clubs in Germny far to well:
Do you have the equipment and coaches who can coach/spot you safely to that level?
The plan itself is good, but as happychaos said, many things can happen and I am quite sure there will appear steps in between. Dont be disappointed if things at some point stop coming so fast and please dont try anything new at home.
Im also reaching for 20 this year and Im still doing gym, so youre not alone ;)
If you want some insight by someone who has spent a few years in our frustratingly age focused system dont hesistate to message me.

Thanks for your reply!!!

Yes, one of the coaches has been a gymnast himself and coached some high level gymnasts before teaching at uni. Another one was also a gymnast and an acrobat in a Circus. He is already 60, but still does Iron Crosses and Press Handstands in a row!
And some others have been high level athletes before as well. Of course there are some "assistant" students (although I am better than some of them), but there are always 2 "real" coaches around!
We have an air track, beam, vault and high bars. No uneven bars or spring floor, just tumbling mats. But I think that's fine!

No, I won't try new things at home, just conditioning and working on flips in the tramp :)

I am sure there might be some steps in my way....but I think if I work hard like I am doing now I might be able to do it. I don't want to say "I am going to be a L7 in the future" - I want to set concrete goals! Because I am already a granny in this sport and I want to enjoy my time with this sport as long as possible!

Do you think Level7 and the strength skills I listed is a good pick?
I think these are pretty cool advanced skills, which you can easily reach without too much training compared to the ones after Level8, because I don't want to set my goals too high. And I prefer having all Level 7 skills neatly than Level9 and sloppy!

Thanks for your answer!
 

Iwannabemargo

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I know in the UK & US there is a "Masters" circuit for older gymnasts (I'm not sure about age but I know a lot of sports have masters as over 35). You could see if Germany has something similar. Also we have a lot of University competitions.

Good luck, I admire your determination.
 

Muddlethru

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Mar 16, 2011
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Hi Catie. I am not a coach and wish I could advise you appropriately but I am not qualified to do so. Nonetheless, my daughter just finished her L9 season and is planned to move up to L10 next season. So, I feel I've gone through the progressions with my daughter albeit from a spectator standpoint. I think you've set realistic goals for yourself. I do not know your strength or natural ability, but L7 is a realistic goal, I believe. There was a 38 year old L8 gymnast at one of my daughter's meets a couple years back. So 20 is young by comparison. Conditioning and safety is an important part of your journey. You will not be able to do the skills if your are not properly conditioned and will not be able to continue if you get injured. I would put a little running in your conditioning. Try to hold handstands too and if you can climb a rope, that helps.

I too admire your determination and wish you reach your goals and find fulfillment in this sport. Keep us posted on your progress and come to the site whenever you need help or encouragement.
 
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