Parents Advanced Preschool Class/Level 3 (Non-Sanctioned)

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Sep 8, 2008
My dd is on an advanced preschool team at her gym. The girls were invited to join the group beginning in the spring of this year. There are 10 girls on her team. They practiced over the summer in groups. At the beninning of each practice the girls would be separated and mixed with different girls. My dd was in a different group almost every practice.
However, since the fall semester started they split the team into 2 groups during practice. The same girls are together each time. I'm only curious as to what her coaches are thinking by seperating the girls in this way. It seems to me that it would create "cliches" within the team, which would be very unhealthy. I was hoping they would keep rotating the girls so that they get to be with new friends each time.
What is the norm for separating girls into groups? Is it by size, ability, level of dedication, personality?

Also, I was wondering if the coach could be thinking about moving one of the groups up to Level 3 team. Have you seen this happen in your gyms?
Maybe they are separating them to have more mangable groups. Maybe some girls are more are getting their skills quicker and are ready to move on. I know at our gym not everybody moves up together it goes by each childs ability and some are just ready sooner than others.
I know that they split the L4s in my daughters group into 2 groups, the younger and the older. It doesn't seem to be skill wise because some of our little ones have their skills the same or better than the older girls, but it is how they do it. I actually like when they are all together with the older girls as there are some really sweet ones that are helpful and good role models for the younger ones. I am sure there are other reasons, but we aren't privy to them. LOL. Most of our girls are also newer L4s, so that could be. The other group will be competing sooner than our girls.

You could be right about the possibility of one group being ready to be moved, etc.
We used to split our L3's into L3's we were trying to get to compete L4. Sometimes our L3 group were non competing L4's. Sometimes it was just the ultra young'ns versus the older girls because of their size and age, a different approach had to be taken. Sometimes it was also skill based. Top half of the L3's vs the other L3 still working on polishing L3 skills while the others are working on L4 skills.

I enjoy gang busting cliques like Teddy Roosevelt's broke up monopolies. Luckily, by the time they hit optionals, ya don't get many cliques because there isn't enough of them. Some girls are just going to gravitate towards each other. So long as it doesn't get out of control, I don't really mind. If however they start singling out other members or making fun of them behind their back ( I have my mother's ears ), I will split them up every chance they get and confront with them on my own time. It doesn't happen on my team...or else. Fascism has it's place.
If it's always the same girls it is probably an ability split. It is easier to work with a group of girls with the same ability level. Don't take it too hard if this is the case. Ability if gymnastics is never static. The girls who are excelling now, in level 3, are rarely the girls who will excell in 5 years time. Gymnasts don't improve in steady flows, the go up and down in waves. So even if your dd is in a lower group now, it doesn't mean she wont move up at the same time as the others.
There are about 30 girls in L4 with my daughter, so they are always split into at least 3 groups. The way they seem to do it at our gym is by height. Smaller girls are mostly together and then taller girls. I think they probably do this for bars. Then there is usually a group with mostly 2nd years in it so that they can work on L5 skills too.
Our gym has L4, L5 and L6 all practicing at the same time. They warm up and condition together and then divide off by levels. However, the girls are sometimes split up into even smaller groups. Usually this happens on vault or on bars. The reason is size. The L4 team has girls as young as 6 and as old as 12. Obviously there are huge size differences. The smaller girls vault on a lower setting than the taller girls. They also use a different bars setting. By separating them according to size, the coaches can eliminate resetting the equipment for every girl.
They do this in my daughter's level 2 class as well. Two groups - one they teach level 2 skills and the second group they are preparing them to move up to level 3 when they are age eligable.
The only time my gymmie has been in a group that has split was this past year as a L7. The girls that started the fall as L7s were in 1 group and the ones that were doing a double season(6 and 7) practiced in another group. They did pratice together 1 or 2 days(forgot the exact schedule). It made sense since in the fall the 6/7s were still splitting time between doing L6 meets and working L7 skills and didn't start competing until mid Feb. The girls who started as L7s were doing their routines in the fall and began competing in early Jan. Also, there were 12 total and dividing them made coaching skills and doing routine run throughs more manageable.
Thank you so much for your responses :) I'm still unclear on the reason for the same groups everytime. Just from observing, there seems to be girls of different skill levels in each of the 2 groups. My daughter is actually getting more of her skills than some of the other girls in her group. So, if its not by skill level, then I am just guessing it is by size. My dd is little bitty for her age. The other group of girls are quite a bit taller than her. They are all basically the same age though.

I honestly was worried that they might be moving the other group up to Level 3. But, after observing again this week, I think that they may just be seperating according to size. Only time will tell :eek:) Thanks again!
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